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Music For Your Wedding

Jun 24, 2008
Music sets the tone for any event. It has the power to move us emotionally, bring back memories, and set our spirits soaring. The music that you choose for your wedding will have a major impact on the overall mood of your ceremony and reception.

You will need to plan music for several different parts of the wedding. They include: the prelude while the guests are being seated, the processional (when the bride walks down the aisle), the recessional (when the joyous newlyweds go back up the aisle), the cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, and possibly for a late night party. That is a lot of music to organize! Chances are that you will hire more than one music professional for the course of the evening. A cautionary tale for brides: I knew one bride who delegated hiring musicians for the ceremony to her fiance, and guess what - he forgot! They walked down the aisle in silence. If others are helping to coordinate the details of your wedding, be sure to check over the arrangements they have made!

Ceremony music tends to be the most traditional and sentimental. Classics like "Here Comes the Bride" (officially named Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin) and Pachelbel's Canon in D will never go out of style. For a church wedding, an organist can play traditional songs like these (church organists are very affordable, by the way), and you could hire a string quartet to play for an outdoor ceremony. If your ceremony site does not have any restrictions (some churches do), you could also choose your music from modern classics, like Unforgettable or What a Wonderful World. One of the loveliest weddings that I ever attended featured the groom's teenage daughter singing At Last, which brought tears to the eyes of all of the guests. If you have a talented singer in your family, by all means recruit her!

Generally, the music during the cocktail hour should be pleasant background music. Something soft and easy to talk over like a piano or other instrumental music is appropriate. The music playing during dinner should also be at a low volume to allow for relaxed conversation (there is nothing worse than trying to shout over a band). Whenever possible, seat elderly guests away from speakers, as they are more likely to have a hard time hearing over the music.

The music that is the most fun to pick is the dance music. Options include a quartet, a d.j., or even a full orchestra if space and budget allow. Some couples prefer to program the musical selections themselves in their MP3 players, and broadcast the tunes over their venue's sound system. If done well, this can be a great idea; if done by someone who does not really know what they are doing, it can sound awful (especially if every song is at a different volume).

The after dinner dancing is certainly the most fun part of the wedding. It is a time for everyone to kick up their heels and let loose. One of my favorite memories from my own wedding was our adorable flower girl having a great time on the dance floor, with her little flower girl jewelry swinging as she twirled (I gave her a silver heart locket as flower girl jewelry,and she loved wearing it). The flower girl always seems to be a tireless dancer at any wedding.

Reception music can also include any songs that are important in your culture. Celtic songs would be great for an Irish couple, and no Jewish wedding would be complete without the whole group dancing the hora. These old favorites are the type of music that bring every guest to the dance floor, from Grandma on down. They are a great nod to your heritage, and are always a high point of the evening.

The final type of music you might want to consider is something for late night. After the older generation had called it a night, many couples are hiring d.j.s to spin tunes into the early hours of the morning. Often the bride will change into a sassy dress and really let loose. If you are planning a really late night, you can even serve a light breakfast around midnight. Sometimes the party is just too fun to end!
About the Author
Bridget has extensive experience in helping brides with their wedding plans. She writes for http://www.silverlandjewelry.com where you can shop for flower girl jewelry like flower girl necklaces as well as entire jewelry sets.
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