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Choosing Music & Musicians
 for Your Wedding Day

by Jessica Stewart, Piano Performer for all Occasions

Choosing music, musicians and DJs for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception may seem like an easy task, or does it?  There are so many options, decisions, people to call, arrangements to be made, or are there?  In this article, I hope to clear things up a bit and show you that deciding on music and musicians for your wedding day can really be a simple, very enjoyable process.

First you must decide on what kind of instrumentation best suits the ambiance and atmosphere of the occasion and the location.  Would you like a pianist or organist for your ceremony? A violin trio? Maybe a trumpet and bagpipes? 

My recommendation to you:  Travel back to dreamland for this one, close your eyes and envision yourself walking down that aisle.  You hear a sweet, majestic melody soaring high into the rafters, making your heart flutter, and your family and friends giddy with a nervous excitement!  Now, what instrument or instruments are playing that joyous march?  Which song would be oh so perfect for your bridal partyís procession?  What would be a timeless, loving piece to be performed for the lighting of the bridal candle or other traditional event during the ceremony?  What gleeful yet grandiose solo will escort you and your loved ones down the aisle for the recessional?

After the moment you begin your lives as husband and wife you are whisked away to the reception, greeted by your loved ones, awaiting the fun and festivities of the evening.  What do you hear as you share a toast and pass the dinner rolls around the table?

My recommendation to you:  Something subtle always fits so well during this pre-dusk celebration.  You want to recognize the music, know itís there and have your ears perk when you hear a familiar song of love, but you donít want it to be overwhelming.  Pleasant conversation is on the brain right now and some gentle, soothing background music is just what the doctor ordered.  Soft piano is always nice, or any stringed instrument tenderly serenading you and your guests does the trick quite nicely.  Mellow, intoxicating and memorable. 

Time to party, time to dance!  Time to throw the bouquet!  Oh how we wait for this sweet release, swaying to the rhythm of the night, sharing that first dance with the man of your dreams!  It is upon you, the night that you hope will never end.  Get crazy and creative!

My recommendation to you:  What kind of music do you like?  When you go out with friends, when you listen to the radio, when you go buy CDís, your all-time favorite sing-a-long songs.  Thatís what this should be about, kicking back and having fun.  Find someone who will play the music you sing so loudly to in your car or shower, someone who will play you and your husband/wife to beís beloved tunes.  Live bands as well as DJs are perfect for this nighttime celebration.  Most will cater to your ideas and volunteer to MC the special events of the evening; donít be afraid to request this!  It will make the night that much more unforgettable. 

A few tips for you:

1.  To save money, find a versatile musician, someone who can provide entertainment for more than one wedding day event (ex:  the pianist from the reception band can play for your ceremony and cocktail hour, a string ensemble that can play for your ceremony and cocktail hour, etc.).

2.  Contact the musician(s) directly or go through a recommended, reputable booking agency.  Sometimes agencies will tack on extra, hidden percentage charges.  

3.  Make sure you hire musician(s) who are willing to work with you and cater to your requests & wishes.  I recently played a wedding ceremony in which the bride desired to walk down the aisle to Celine Dionís - ďBecause You Loved MeĒ.  Not traditional, but it turned out very beautifully.

I hope this article was able to shed some light on the act of choosing music and musicians for your wedding day.  I hope it gave you some new ideas too!  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at:

Congratulations and good luck!   


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