Selecting the right music for your wedding is an important decision to make as a couple. Weddings from a musical perspective:

Prelude

The prelude sets the tone for the ceremony, as your guests arrive and settle into their seats. This is usually 20-30 minutes before the ceremony starts. It can be fun to select music your guests may recognize, which matches your personality, or to establish a mood for the wedding. This is often the most memorable impression your guests will have of your wedding. Remember that you will not hear much of this music. We can play any music during the prelude, but usually we play a mix of elegant, quiet background music.

Processionals 

These are the different groups who walk in during the ceremony. We can play different music as each group walks in, or just one piece if there are just a few people. The length and location are key factors in selecting music for these walks. Typical settings require about one minute of music, so it's important to determine exactly what part of the music you want. If your beautiful outside location has a long walk, it's better to have a longer piece of music. If your ceremony is inside, your walk may only be 30 seconds! You can consider this as you scout out venues. Groom escort The first part of a ceremony is often the groom escorting the couple's family (usually mothers or grandmothers). We typically play a nice waltz, and this flows well from the end of the prelude to the start of the ceremony. Bridal party  This is the group of people who arrive before the bride. If you have a maid of honor and a best man, you may prefer to combine this music with the escorting of mothers/grandmothers. If you have a large party and perhaps a long walk, you'll want a longer piece of music. If you have young members of the bridal family participating in the ceremony (flower girls, ring-bearer, etc.), consider unique music for their entrance with their input. It makes them feel really included in the wedding, and acknowledges them in a special way. It can be really fun, memorable, and only requires a pause to make sure we have time to shift instruments (if necessary). We have done James Bond, Disney, Harry Potter, pop tunes, etc. The most crucial part to coordinating all this is for us musicians to have a line of sight with the bridal party as they line up for their entrances. Bride The bride's entrance is what everyone wants to remember about a wedding. As with all the other entrances, consider location and length to help determine the piece. It should be different from the other portions, to stand out. As there is a change in music, there should be a slight pause between the end of the bridal party and the bride's entrance, for everyone to hear her special music. (Sometimes the bride gets too excited and walks directly behind the last person.)

During the ceremony 

The ceremony is a beautiful time to create something long-lasting that will always remind you of your love and your wedding. You can select background music as you do one of these activities:
  • Celtic knot
  • sand-mixing
  • wine-mixing
  • lighting candles
We love playing with other musicians. If you have another musician or vocalist who would like to perform a special piece during the ceremony, we can participate. This can also be for the processional or recessional, but it's nice to have something in the middle of the ceremony.

Recessional 

This is the final component of the ceremony. The officiant has just married you, and it's time to celebrate! You want a joyful, bouncy piece, something that makes you want to skip down the aisle. It's your choice whether you want the music to start after the kiss or the announcement ("I now present you...."). Do consider this; it's really important to us as musicians so we come in at the right moment!

Cocktail Hour 

The time between the ceremony and dinner is a time for your guests to mingle. It's also common for the bridal party to take photographs during this time. We play more upbeat and lively music from whatever genres we have discussed.

Dinner

When we play during dinner, it creates an elegant atmosphere from the past, with musicians in the corner. If you have a historically-themed wedding, this works especially well. You can transition to recorded music after dinner, when you may prefer pop music for dancing. Amplification We have our own sound system we can use to amplify ourselves. We need access to plugs in order to use it outside. If we are playing the ceremony and the cocktail hour, we usually set up for the cocktail hour and play the ceremony un-amplified. Even if the ceremony is outside, it is a quieter moment of the wedding, and the sound carries just fine. It's better for us to be amplified for the cocktail hour (whether we are inside or outside), as people are talking and the sound carries better. Consider amplifying yourselves, the officiant, and anyone else talking during the ceremony. It's easier for your guests to hear. We can provide a wireless mic that can be either hand-held or on a stand. This works well if you have a vocalist or readers. We do not have a lapel mic, which is recommended for officiants. If you have long vows or plan to speak a lot, it could be nice for the bridal couple to be amplified. Usually the officiant has suggestions for a lapel mic, but we can provide suggestions to rent one.   The critical moments to make specific musical selections are:
  • bridal party's entrance 
  • bride's entrance
  • recessional  (the couple & the bridal party exit)
In addition to the overall musical vision for your wedding, these are the pieces we select when we have our planning meeting. We often assemble a combination of styles to transition from slower, quieter music for the ceremony to a little more lively music for the cocktail hour, then a mix if we are playing during dinner. After dinner is the typical transition from live music to recorded music, as you dance the evening away. Weddings are exciting! All the months of planning suddenly come down to what feels like a few seconds. You've taken so much time to carefully pick just the right music, make sure you slow down and take time to enjoy it!