Does the bridal music you choose play a big part in the success of your Wedding Ceremony? Yes it does! Ok, I'm a musician and music naturally plays an important part in my life, so I know I'm biased. But let me ask you this...
Could you consider, even for just a moment, a wedding ceremony without music to help capture the mood and celebrate the occasion? What would your wedding be without that special song to accompany you down the aisle? A wedding without music is just unthinkable! A wedding with the 'wrong' music is almost as bad.
I really believe that the music you choose goes a long way in determining the success of your big day. I believe it pays to choose wisely!
There are many different ways to include music in your ceremony and there are also no fixed rules. What is important though, is that the music you choose represents you: it has to have meaning and significance and 'speak' of you and your intended in some special way.
So, don't put it off! it is important to put your heads together early and decide on the type of music you would like. I find the best way is to, simply, start writing down all the music you love as it comes to mind. Here are a few questions you might consider to help you on your way:
- Is there a particular singer that you both enjoy listening to?
- Is there a tune that you both call “your own”?
- What is your style or genre or music that appeals to you e.g. pop, jazz, classical?
- Would you want to have live musicians or recorded music?
Prior to the Ceremony Starting
I always advise couples I am marrying that it is a good idea to have around 15 minutes of low-key, ambience, music prepared and ready to play as their guests arrive. The right choice of music here sets the mood for the ceremony and creates a relaxed and welcoming feel that helps keep everyone in a calm frame of mind.
You can prepare your own mixed playlist if you prefer; or, you can a buy a pre-compiled selection of music in any genre you prefer. What could be better? A fantastic mix of music and all the hard work done for you!
One of my favourite compilations of prelude music is Wedding Music by Romantic Music Masters.
Music For Your Bridal Procession
When choosing your bridal music, nothing can be more important, or difficult sometimes, than picking the song to walk down the aisle to.
Again it is best if this song has some significant meaning to you both; or, at the very least, that you both like it!
Having narrowed down the choice, you then you need to consider the beat of the music. Have no doubt, you will walk down the isle to the beat of the music...every bride does!
So the song you choose to accompany you down the aisle should be one with a pretty chilled-out beat.
Looking for musical ideas for your processional? Here's my Top-10...
That way you will be sure to take your time when walking down the aisle. After all, this is your special moment - you want to make it last: you don’t want end up under the arbour in under 10 seconds flat!
Finally, you have to decide on whether you would like to be accompanied down the aisle to the sound of a male or female voice.
I have found the most emotive and memorable bridal songs to be the ones that the bride and groom have selected together: songs that they love because of the special meaning the music holds for them both.
So, in choosing your music to walk down the isle to, you may want to think of the song you had your first slow, romantic, dance to – perhaps it was when you were on holiday on a beach in some far-off and exotic place. Or, it may be the song that was playing when you first met. There are many different situations that can lend themselves to a song becoming “yours”. Whatever that song is, if it means something to you both, if it makes you both feel good inside, then that is a sure sign it is the song you should go for!
Music For Signing The Marriage Register
Signing the Marriage Register is a relatively simple matter - but it can take a while!
Both the Bride and Groom have to sign the register, as do your two witnesses and the Celebrant. After all this you can be sure that your photographer will want to capture this special moment in not one but a truckload of photos!
So, you are going to need some music here as well.
In my experience, it is best to choose a few songs to cover this period. Again, try and choose something that is pretty chilled out: still, perhaps, songs with some meaning - although that is not as important here as it is for the Bridal Processional.
Some chilled-out songs that are perfect for signing the register...
Music For The Bride and Groom Recessional
You are now a married couple being presented to the world as as 'Mr. & Mrs.' for the very first time...
...so the music you choose for this part of your ceremony should to be upbeat and celebratory and communicate just how happy you are!
Why not have some fun and leave on a high note!
With the serious business over, this can also be a moment that lends itself to having some fun. Many couples choose this time to express themselves as a couple as they make their departure and leave on a 'high note'.
You will find no end of inspiration for your recessional by searching Youtube for “best wedding songs” or the like.
Live Music or Recorded Music?
I love to hear live music being played during a wedding ceremony. The most beautiful I have experienced was played by String Quartets: they provide an ambience that, in my view, is like no other. There are many different styles of musicians available from solo guitarists, harpists, string quartets, jazz bands to DJ’s. It all depends on the style you prefer and and the size of your budget. Prices do vary a lot and it is worth shopping around for quotes.
As a Celebrant I find it very easy to work with live musicians: with just a nod of the head we can cue the next song and there is never a fear of the music running out!
Bridal music is most commonly pre-recorded on a smart phone or tablet these days and played back through the Celebrant's P.A. system. If you choose to use recorded music, there are a couple of key things you should be aware of:
- Copyright laws: You do not own any recorded music you buy. You have merely purchased the right to play and listen to it - and even these rights are limited. For example, you are not permitted to play the music in a public setting. Other licenses must be purchased to do that.
Fortunately, because most wedding ceremonies are attended by only family and friends they are not considered to be a public performance. As long as the music has been obtained legally, you are permitted to play it during the ceremony.
- Operating The Recording Device: It is not your Celebrant’s responsibility to operate the recording device. You must ensure that you have a designated person to operate the device at the relevant times throughout the ceremony.
What do you have planned for your Bridal Music? Will you go the traditional route, or do you have some very different choices in mind. Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments box below. I'd love to know!
P.S. if you are looking for inspiration and ideas for your bridal music, you can download my Top-10 songs for each section of your wedding ceremony here.