Choosing the right music for your wedding can be a daunting prospect. There are so many things to think about: what sort of music should we have before the ceremony as our guests arrive; when we walk in; during the signing of the register; leaving the ceremony or during the reception? Big questions to think about, all at a time when your mind is swimming with other pressing decisions!
As an experienced wedding pianist and organist, I would like to offer you some helpful advice……
Live vs recorded. . .
The age old rivalry between live music and recorded music – recorded music is quick and easy to arrange, you can make a playlist, hand over a CD, iPod or even a phone and hey presto all your music is ready to play at the venue! But have you thought about the sound system? Could it break down at the crucial moment? Instead an experienced live musician could be a much more dependable and memorable choice, passionate about their instrument and the music they provide just for you.
Music to match the mood
After deciding on live music there are endless possibilities of music professionals: a solo singer or musician; a string quartet, choir or even a whole band. All musicians will have a wide repertoire of music to set the right mood for every aspect of your special day. Your musician can be flexible – perhaps filling in with more music; varying the speed of the piece; but more importantly, they will be able to adapt to the ever changing mood and pace of the day.
Booking your chosen musician needs to come fairly early in preparing for your wedding. The very best musicians are always in demand, so you need to book well ahead to ensure they give your special day the ‘wow’ factor.
Look, listen and learn from the web
The internet offers amazing flexibility in choosing your musician. From the comfort of your own home you can search to find what’s on offer as well as hear them play!
Share your thoughts and discuss the details
Send an email, phone and chat about your ideas. Musicians will be delighted to discuss your requirements and tailor-make music for you. This is best done through a consultation meeting in a relaxed environment. The musician can put you at ease, share examples of their work and listen to your needs. After all, it’s your special day and the musician is there to make it stand out from the crowd! Confirming the details in writing is always helpful too. After you’ve paid a deposit- hey presto- you’ve got your live musician!
Stay in touch
Keep in regular contact with your musician. Changes to music or timings can be made – but only if you keep them up to speed. Arrange when you’ll make your final payment before the big day- it’s one less thing to think about.
2 weeks before
Your musician should be in contact to check everything is in place. They can also contact the venue for rehearsal and set up times.
On the big day
Arrange for your musician to arrive in good time and entertain your guests and remember to keep them in the picture about any last minute changes. Musicians always love feedback- a quick word during the day can lead to an extra special moment in their performance. Building in short interludes for food, drinks and comfort breaks will keep their overall performance going longer.
Above all, enjoy your day knowing that you’ve made your wedding unique by using a live musician!