Organising music for your wedding can be a rewarding but difficult task. There are quite a few moments in a wedding where music can really lift the atmosphere to a different level: the wedding ceremony, the reception, the evening entertainment.
My wife and I are both musical, and so are many of our friends and family, so it was obvious that we were going to have a lot of music at our wedding but, at first, we were decidedly getting carried away with it (well, I was, at least) and were nearly turning our wedding into a concert. So if you are in charge of organising your own wedding music, get the balance right, immediately. Remember: people are coming to share in your great day and not to listen to music; they want to concentrate on you and your wife and have a good time with you. So music should add a pleasant touch to the atmosphere; it should be a tasteful and meaningful accompaniment.
Music is also a very sensitive aspect of a wedding. Whether you opt for a church wedding or a civil wedding, in a town hall, hotel or on the beach, make sure the music fits the place, the mood and does not feel awkward. Consider your guests, too: are there any of them who do not like music? Are they quite unanimous in their tastes?
Choose your musicians/DJ carefully. My suggestion here, unless you know musicians yourself, is word of mouth; if you can’t rely on that, there are a lot of good agencies around which will help you. Whoever you hire, listen to them beforehand and give them clear instructions as to the music you want them to play, how loud you want them to be and agree exactly all performance times in advance.
Liaise with the venue. Do they have electricians or do you need to provide them? Do they need special music licenses? Does the band need to be insured?
Last but not least: it should be music which is meaningful to your wife to you and your guests.
Our ceremony was a wedding Mass with choir and organist. We opted for a selection of music which we and our guests would have enjoyed and expected to hear in during a Mass. We came in to the uplifting Resurrection Chorus from Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana”; then Puccini’s passionate Kyrie from “Messa di Gloria” led us into the celebration which also featured music by Mozart, Bach and Rutter until we went out to “Va’ pensiero” between wings of our guests who, by this time, were all joining in.
For the reception, we hired a harpist to play for two hours, from the moment people started coming into the reception hall all through the meal until speeches began. Harp music was perfect for the occasion: soft, rich and warm, and the repertoire we chose with the harpist just provided the perfect background for the situation. Elegant and discreet.
Finally, the evening entertainment. We were undecided on what to do: the idea of a disco did not satisfy us but we did not want anything too taxing at that time of the day when people mainly want to let their hair down. We also wanted something which would engage people and get all the different nationalities at our wedding to mix and have fun together and we decided to go for something completely different: a barn dance with live music. It was a great success: the band were able to engage everyone despite the different languages and cultures and, immediately, they all started dancing together as if they had known each other for ages. When my wife and I left the scene at night, our guests were still dancing and having fun.
All in all wedding music was fun to organise and to listen to and we were glad we had just the right amount and of a very high standard.