Your Wedding Ceremony
You could be standing in the back of a church, outside the ballroom of a hotel, or around the corner from an open field with nervous anticipation when you hear the music change. You know that all of your bridesmaids are in place and you take that first step down the aisle. Your wedding ceremony has begun. You are not only taking your first step towards married life, but also the first step into a day of celebration that you have been planning for weeks, months, or even years. And it all starts and ends with the music.
The first thing your guests are exposed to as they arrive is the prelude music playing in the background and setting the atmosphere that you want for your day. It is the music that cues the seating of the mothers and the entrance of the groom and officiant. The processional music dictates the cadence at which your bridesmaids make their way down the aisle. With a brief pause and an increase in volume, the bridal march tells your guests instantly that you are taking that first step into view. Once the minister pronounces you husband and wife, the celebratory recessional music communicates to all of your guests the joy you are feeling as you come back down the aisle joined as one. It is hard to imagine a wedding ceremony without music, since it is the thread that holds it all together.
Many ceremonies are held in churches, where an organist, piano player or sound technician dictated by the church itself takes on the responsibility for providing the music for the traditional activities during your ceremony. In some cases, however, churches may not have a sound system or may allow couples to bring in outside sources in order to personalize their events. If you are getting married in a church, you should talk to your minister, rabbi or priest to find out what choices you have.
When getting married outside of the traditional church setting, the first choice you need to make is whether to use live musicians or recorded music. Each has their advantages and limitations. A string quartet or trio, or even a harpist can offer a wonderfully elegant visual presentation, whereas a disc jockey playing recorded music will attempt to be as inconspicuous as possible. Of course, that means that live musicians usually need more space in which to set up and perform. When using recorded music you can be more creative in your choices and are not limited to classical selections. You can use classical music if you like, and use versions that have been recorded by any orchestra in the world, but you can also choose to use jazz, ballads, vocal standards or show tunes if you like. Anything that has ever been recorded can be on your play list.
Most classical instruments, especially string instruments, have their own resonance chambers to help the sound carry, so live musicians usually do not need to have electrical power to function. This means that you don’t have to worry about finding a power source for an outside venue if one doesn’t exist. On the other hand, since they don’t need amplification themselves, live musicians usually can’t provide it for anyone else, such as your minister, reader or soloist. If those persons need a microphone, you’ll need a PA system.
We offer three ceremony packages, any of which can be added to if you have special needs. The first is for those who only need equipment to provide the music for their ceremonial activities. The second, for those who only need PA, or amplification for microphones so that the officiant and other speakers can be heard. And the last is for those who need the proper equipment for both services. For the ceremony itself, we offer 3 different types of microphones to choose from depending upon your needs:
1. A wireless lavaliere microphone is a small unit that can be clipped to a minister’s robe or a jacket. It connects to a transmitter usually clipped to a belt or tucked away in a pocket which sends the signal to the receiver positioned at the DJ’s station. This is perfect for a minister who needs his hands free during the ceremony and wants amplification, but wants the electronics kept out of sight.
2. A standard hand held wireless microphone is great for speeches by parents, readers or soloists who might be performing at your event. The only downside is that the more wireless frequencies you place in a given area, the more prone you might be to picking up interference from stronger signals in the area.
3. A corded microphone on a stand is the best and most reliable way to pick up sound from anyone involved in your ceremony. You can use a regular hand held unit or what is referred to as a “shot gun mic” to pick up voices and sound from further away. Since you have a directly wired connection, the risk of interference is negligible, but it does mean placing a microphone stand somewhere in the midst of your bridal party and it might show up in some of your photographs.
Regardless of what type of microphones you choose, you will need to think about the sound. If you are outdoors, you might be competing with nearby traffic noises, the wind, and other environmental sources. Talk to your officiant, musicians or your disc jockey to see what equipment they require or recommend for your specific needs and location. For additional information please check out our additional services page.
Make your ceremony run smoothly by planning it properly. Make sure that you have someone in charge of your processional. If you do not have a “day of director” or professional wedding consultant to oversee this, you will need someone to assist you as your "processional director” for that day. Neither the bride nor the groom are in a position to get the people in their bridal party down the aisle in an orderly fashion. This must be handled by someone who is NOT in the bridal party. This person should be involved at the rehearsal, know the ceremony line-up and be able to cue the disc jockey or musicians at the proper time for the various musical selections. One of the most common mishaps within a wedding ceremony are the music cues. Make certain that everyone is on the same page.
Need entertainment at your rehearsal dinner/party? Need an experienced person who is familiar with ceremony traditions who can consult with you, determine your preferences and then help organize your bridal party at the rehearsal? Maybe you need both? If we are already providing music for your ceremony and/or reception, we can offer discounted packages for your rehearsal that will reduce your stress level or provide entertainment for your guests. Just ask us when you call.
Ceremony Music Suggestions
Prelude music: Played 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, while guests are arriving.
• Arioso (Bach)
• As Time Goes By (A Kiss Is Just A Kiss) (Tony Bennett)
• Ave Maria (Schubert / Gounod)
• Brandenburg Concerto #2 (Bach)
• Gloria (Vivaldi)
• God Only Knows (The Beach Boys)
• Greensleeves (Traditional)
• Isn't It Romantic (Glenn Miller)
• Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)
• Ode To Joy (Beethoven)
• Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin)
• The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
• Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers)
• Water Music (Handel)
Processional & Bridal music: Played during the time the family, wedding party, and the bride walk down the aisle.
• Canon in D (Pachelbel)
• I Can't Help Falling In Love (Elvis Presley)
• In My Life (The Beatles)
• The Four Seasons (Handel)
• Trumpet Voluntary in D (The Prince of Denmark's March) (Clarke or Purcell)
• Unforgettable (Natalie Cole and/or Nat King Cole)
• Water Music (Handel)
• Wedding March from Lohengrin (Wagner)
• What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
• When A Man Loves A Woman (Percy Sledge)
Interlude music (optional): Played during the ceremony.
• Amazing Grace (Traditional)
• And I Love Her (The Beatles)
• Ave Maria (Schubert)
• Für Elise (Beethoven)
• Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison or (Rod Stewart)
• La Traviata (Verdi)
• Love Me Tender (Elvis Presley)
• Primavera: First Movement, Allegro (Vivaldi)
• Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
• We've Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
Recessional music: Played as you walk up the aisle together.
• Hallelujah Chorus (from "The Messiah") (Handel)
• How Sweet It Is (James Taylor)
• I Got You (I Feel Good) (James Brown)
• I Got You Babe (Sonny and Cher)
• Magnificat In D (Bach)
• Ode To Joy (from The Ninth Symphony) (Beethoven)
• Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours (Stevie Wonder)
• The Long And Winding Road (The Beatles)
• Then He Kissed Me (The Crystals)
• Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
• Wedding March (from "A Midsummer Night's Dream") (Mendelssohn)