Selections for the service prelude welcome your guests as they are being seated. This is the time to have your favourite pieces played. Then, the processional: Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (Here Comes the Bride) appeals to brides who have had it in their heads since they were little girls. Others find it trite. Trumpet Voluntary is currently popular, as is Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. But open up the possibilities. Is there music associated with your background that best represents you? Traditional classics? Carribean? Latin?
You may want a soloist to sing your favourite love song during the signing of the register. The recessional is a joyful celebration and is an opportunity to make a choice that is highly personal – even fun. Popular choices are Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and U2’s Beautiful Day.
Too many bridal couples make casual music choices – there seems to be so many more important wedding decisions to be made. This is a shame, because your choice of music represents who you are more than any other decision. Spend a little time listening and comparing so you both are represented in the music choices.
Who will produce the music at the service? You may be required to use the church organist. If not, there are lovely options. For a small site, consider a harp or two violins or guitar. Their sound won’t carry in a larger site, where you might consider a string quartet. How about a mariachi band for a Mexican beach wedding? It’s all about what will work best for you.
Start by researching
Does the service site allow music? Does it have limitations about what kind of music may be used? Can you bring in your own musicians?
If you’re having an outdoor service, say in a park, are there any noise restrictions? Are electrical outlets available to service the musicians?
The reception probably begins with a cocktail party. This is the chance for old friends to catch up, so conversation takes precedence and music should just be in the background. But it is necessary. A cocktail party without music is fl at. If you had your own musicians at the service, perhaps they can provide music for the reception. A harpist, quartet or, perhaps, a pianist playing popular songs is ideal.
Background music also is perfect for the dinner hour where, once again, conversation (and toasts) are king. Then ramp it up for the dancing.
Break the music choices down into four components:
- The service.
- The cocktail hour.
- The dinner hour.
- The party/dancing.
Then start collecting a variety of options for each section. Use elimination until, finally, it will be clear what will work best for you.
- “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
- “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams
- “Amazed” by Lonestar
- “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain
- “From This Moment” by Shania Twain
- “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison
- “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt
- “Angels” by Robbie Williams
- “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston
- “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
- “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle
- “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
- “A Song For Mama” by Boyz II Men
- “No Matter What” by Boyzone