There is no right or wrong music choice for your wedding ceremony. It's your day and whether it's classical music, a wedding classic, a romantic ballad, 'your song' an old favourite, ska, hip hop, death metal or the latest garage tune that moves you, music adds magic and personality. But if music is as important to you as it is to me, you need to get it right on the day! And that's where I can help if you need me to!
Depending on your venue, you could opt for live music or you could play your favourite tracks through a sound system. Your wedding venue coordinator will be able to assist you with the logistics of using their PA system. Please do not assume that your wedding venue has a great device for playing music, however!
If your venue is not geared up for supplying wedding music regularly, you may run into problems with their set up. And your own bluetooth set up may not work as well as you think with 50 others in the room or with your best man's mate taking charge of the entrance and exit music playlist! I have many tales to tell! Including the horror story of when an evening DJ turned up hoping to rely on the wi-fi in a 16th Century castle... There are so many things to consider! Please click through to my blog to read more.
DON'T PANIC - I HAVE IT COVERED!
All weddings booked with me include free use of my professional, indoor/outdoor professional PA system (pictured above) if you need it. It's portable and battery or mains operated, so is perfect for music and voice amplification at ceremonies of all sizes - inside or outside.
I generally use microphones when there are more than around 70 guests (I have professional hand-held and lapel mics). My fabulous PA system is excellent for use at large country houses, village halls, in pubs, restaurants and hotel rooms, and at barn, tipi, marquee and garden weddings, where there is no access to power. It has inputs for aux cable (iPod/phone), 2 microphones, keyboard and guitar if required. And there's an output if your videographer needs one. It's super loud and reliable! And it's a wired system, so there are absolutely no connectivity issues. I download your playlist onto my phone (always on airplane mode!) and plug and go! I've used it at many, many weddings and at other community events and it's absolutely brilliant!.
Live music adds drama, beauty, serenity and individuality. Musicians can be hired in most areas with recommendations from venues, or with a Google search. Or you could try asking for recommendations from Facebook forums such as DIY Bride, directories such as Hitched.co..uk or search on Instagram and Soundcloud for local bands, musicians, duos or trios.
Consider the use of specialist PA systems if your are in a field/tipi/marquee and need the music to be running all day and evening. Unless you have a good, battery powered PA system, you will probably need to plug into an electricity supply or have a generator running.
We all have our favourite songs and pieces of music. Songs and instrumentals chosen for walking down the aisle, signing a certificate, warming the rings and your celebratory exit music all add to the emotional involvement of you and your guests. Think of an arc of emotion when planning your playlist.
Perhaps start with settling guests in with half a hour's worth of calming love songs or instrumental mus
How much music and what kind should I choose?
There are no rules regarding music for a humanist wedding ceremony. You can mix genres to your heart's content! I would suggest around half an hour of settling in music for guests to listen to while they wait for the wedding ceremony to begin, and then two or three specific tracks, depending on the structure of your ceremony.
You could walk down the aisle to a traditional piece of music, or an instrumental version a favourite song, or include the original version or a cover version if the lyrics are meaningful.
Remember that you may only take a minute to walk down the aisle, so think about where the song should start and end - whether you want it to fade out, include a certain verse or chorus, or whether you have a large bridal / groom party who would relish their own grand entrance and aisle walk before the arrival of the bride which adds to the anticipation. I've been at a ceremony where Songbird by Eva Cassidy had half the guests in tears before the bride even reached the top of the aisle and I've had all the groomsmen and the groom dancing down the aisle one by one to an Oasis song before the entrance of the bridal party - so it's important to think of what emotional scene you want to set right from the start! No two ceremonies are the same - and there are no rules! Your wedding, your way!
You may have a musical interlude or include a symbolic act where music would add significance, elegance or a sense of fun. Or you might have a sing along before the love story, or during a certificate signing.
Your exit music should be celebratory, start off with a punch, rather than fade in, or you could fade the song in within the final, parting words of the celebrant, to get to exactly the right point as you make your way down the aisle as newly weds. All do-able with planning and a little rehearsal!
Please click through to my blog to read about the logistics of PA systems vs live music - there is a lot of information there for those who are unsure of how the set up should work, and what to consider!