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The Music

Perth Bride Magazine - Friday, April 24, 2015

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Choosing the Perfect Music for Your Wedding

If music be the food of love, play on.

                                                                          -William Shakespeare

You’ve found your partner! You’ve taken the plunge and decided to get hitched. Everyone has their glad rags organised and the date is set. It’s the fine details like picking the music for your special day that can sometimes be perplexing. Music does more than simply set the mood and with the seemingly limitless possibilities, choosing the right music for your big day can be tough.

The first thing to remember is that it’s all about love. Love songs make the world go round and whether or not you love or hate soppy love ballads, often weddings are where you’ll hear them.

With that being said, the most important thing to remember when choosing your music is that it should reflect you and your partner’s own distinctive style. This is what makes a wedding truly personal not just for you but your guests too. If you’re wondering what to do, why not choose music that reflects each of your own backgrounds, respective countries or even history, like the song that was playing when you first met.

With this in mind, here’s a basic guide of what music should go where:

The Prelude:

This is the time in-between the arrival of the guests and the walk down the aisle. This is usually a very excited and anticipatory atmosphere before the coming nuptials. Whatever your venue, look for elegant and soft musical pieces that blend rather than stand out. Everyone is meeting and greeting and maybe meeting partner’s family for the first time therefore the music should not be overpowering but compliment the joy of the occasion. A prelude usually lasts around 20 minutes, so try to make your playlist around 5-7 songs long. Instrumental songs work best as singing can sometimes stifle the conversation but as long as it’s soft then the effect can be a stunning and warm beginning.

The Procession:

This is the music to accompany you and your attendants walk down the aisle. Ideally, you’ll want different music for your bridesmaids first and then one to announce your very own special procession. The key here is to make sure you choose a piece that accentuates your entrance and enchants your guests. If you’re opting for a traditional venue, like a church, then a string quartet playing quietly is a delicate and dainty introduction. The most widely known tunes for a procession are of course Wagner’s Wedding March (Here Comes the Bride) and Pachelbel’s Canon as these never go out of fashion. If you’re looking for a more contemporary introduction then consider something like Beyoncé’s Halo or Adele’s Make You Feel my Love. Instrumental versions of your favourite songs are also very popular, less distracting and make for a beautiful ambiance.

The Recessional:

The vows have been said and the pressure is now off! It’s time to celebrate! This music should be more upbeat and livelier compared to the processional music as the recession is a triumphant finish to the ceremony and marks the beginning of your lives together. Look for a happy little number that can still suit the previous melody. For a modern crowd pleaser, think Beautiful Day by U2 or I’m A Believer by Smash Mouth. For a more traditional piece a classic choice would be Mendelsohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The First Dance:

This is the music that most signatures the couple’s union. This is the Aaaaah moment when you and your new husband have your first dance together. Drenched in romance it really is just you and the music, so you’d better pick something good! Many couples pick a song that’s special for them both and while it’s often romantic, it doesn’t always need to be. If you’re not great at waltzes pick something modern and fun. Again, it’s up to you and what makes you both happy. Friends and family are there to celebrate your day and if you’re happy, they will be too. If you’re still stuck for ideas, there are endless songs online that cater to every type of First Dance.

Planning music at a wedding is more than just picking out songs because that would be far too easy! Your wedding day is all about you and your loved one and the songs that you both love and illustrate your union. So, once you’ve picked your playlist, how are you going to deliver it? Do you want a live band? A traditional quartet? A DJ?

For the classic, traditional wedding common ensembles are usually (but not limited to) string quartets, a church organ or a simple piano with or without a singer. Modern styled weddings often showcase a DJ or a live wedding band. Wedding singers are also a great option if you’re looking for a retro vibe as a wedding singer’s repertoire can often be expansive and can include the most modern numbers to the oldies-but-goodies.

Perth has a wide variety of wedding musicians with huge repertoires at your every beck and call, so make the most of them! To see a list of some of the best musicians Perth has to offer, click here.

Of course, no matter how you plan to play your music, you’ll need to maximise the clarity of sound and volume and this means making the most of your venue. Is your ceremony and celebrations inside or outside? Open or closed doors? How are the acoustics and will there be echo? Be mindful of all the little details and make sure to chat with whoever is going to be playing your music to get their advice on what can be done to improve the listening experience for both you and your guests.

No matter what songs you choose or musical accompaniment you decide upon, the most crucial thing to remember about planning music for your special day is that it should be what you want and should reflect you and your partner’s personalities. Your music will reflect your love, as Shakespeare said, “If music be the food of love, play on.” 

By Amelia Hurst