THE CEREMONY

The actual wedding… The important bit.

Generally there are four musical sections you might want to consider during a wedding ceremony.

PRELUDE MUSIC

Guests will normally arrive 30 - 45 minutes before the ceremony. A bit of background music here creates a good vibe. Guests know where they are supposed to be and they can quietly chat away until the proceedings begin. You have a few options here:

Solo Instrumentalist - Piano, Guitar, Singer, Harp, Cello, Organ etc

Group - String Quartet, Singer with Guitar/Piano

Background Music - iTunes / Spotify and a speaker

I probably wouldn’t go for a band here mainly because you don’t need one. The point of the music here is to fill any awkward silences. A musician will give guests something to look at but it will cost a bit more than plugging your phone into a speaker. If you are using background music (I did for my wedding and it worked perfectly) make sure the person you have doing it knows their cues.

PROCESSIONAL MUSIC

This is the big reveal. If you’re not going with traditional processional music, you should think about either one or two songs here. A few things to consider are:

  • How far the bride/bridesmaids have to walk

  • How many people walk in before the bride

  • How long the song you want is

  • The speed of your walk

For example on my wedding day I walked into ‘Glasgow Love Theme’ by Craig Armstrong. The version I used was about 2 minutes long so I had another song for my three bridesmaids to walk in to… however… I had to walk from a beach house and then down onto the beach. So the bridesmaids music faded out, Glasgow Love Theme started and by the time I was standing next to Willy there was about 10 seconds of the track to go.

If you are getting married in a room, time how long it takes for you to walk from the back to the front and go from there. You don’t want the music stopping halfway down the aisle and you don’t want it playing for a minute or two after you get to your partners side.

So you can use the same options as above. A live musician should normally be able to read a situation and lengthen or shorten a song accordingly. If you have a singer with backing music get your timing right because their hands tied to an extent when it comes to stopping or extending a song. Backing music again works fine as long as their is enough of it to get you to the front.

SIGNING OF THE REGISTER

The deal is near done and the guests are waiting for the big smooch. If there was anywhere I would suggest a live musician it is here. Your guests will start to chat between themselves so to avoid it getting too loud give them something to look at. Signing of the register can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. It is sometimes signed in front of everyone and it is sometimes signed in another room. The photographer will need to get a few snaps so give your musician at least two songs to play here, they might not get through two but at least you have yourself covered.

RECESSIONAL MUSIC

Have a bit of fun here… You just got married after all! If you’re not going the traditional musical route choose something upbeat cause you’ll be buzzing! I once sung an AC/DC tune for a couple as a surprise from the bride to the groom! This is normally just the one song but it all depends on where the guests Cocktail Hour location is.

THE COCKTAIL HOUR