Wedding music - setting the tone for the ceremony and reception
The wedding music you choose sets the tone for the whole event. You need to consider music for both the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception, but the two can be totally different. For example, just because you choose opera for the ceremony, it doesn’t mean you need to be cultural for your reception - you might prefer to boogy the night away to Abba and the Beach Boys!
When it comes to wedding ceremonies, civil or religious, most need music in a minimum of three places: the prelude, the processional, and the recessional. Ceremonial music is usually classical in style, which tends to lend certain sophistication to the proceedings. Remember that each stage of the ceremony will require a different tone. Opt for something that sets the mood for your prelude — perhaps Handel's ‘Water Music’. The processional demands something far more rousing. This is the big moment when the bride walks down the aisle, so dramatic music such as Mozart’s ‘Wedding March’ is appropriate. When you walk back up the aisle during the recessional, pick cheerful music such as Beethoven's ‘Ode to Joy’.
Although classical music is popular, remember that you can choose absolutely anything you desire, from Lionel Richie to U2. If you are keen to have your favourite popular music, think about whether you will be playing it on a stereo, or if you plan to hire a live performer. Live music suits the special tone of a wedding, but you may find it difficult to accurately reproduce the sound of your favourite artist.
Weddings, above all else, are wonderful parties. Reception music can make or break the overall success of your wedding, and it’s essential to get just the right band or DJ to make your party go with a swing. Your choice of band versus DJ will create the ambience of your wedding. Live bands can be expensive, but the excitement of live performance often compensates. Remember to check how much room you have before you hire a ten-piece band, though!
A DJ can cost far less than a band, and is perfect if you are a big disco fan. The usual renditions of ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘YMCA’ cannot be substituted for anything else! However, beware the lack-lustre DJ as their personality can make a big difference in whether people are leaping on to the dance floor or staying in their seats!
Whether you choose a band or DJ, ensure that you see them perform prior to making a commitment. They may be able to send you a CD or tape of their music and a list of the songs they usually play. Think hard about what song you would like to have your first dance to, and check that your musicians can perform this song.