Great ceremony music should play a supporting role for all the other aspects of the ceremony and in this regard, there needs to be a wholistic approach taken to what is required of the music on the day.
We’ve listed a few tips below for how your music choices can have a positive effect on each stage of the ceremony, and a few other things to keep in mind while making your plans.
From our experience it seems that most guests would rather be on the safe side and arrive a little early at a ceremony.. it varies depending on the location, but more often than not, guests will begin arriving up to half an hour before the ceremony is scheduled to commence.
In that half hour before the ceremony, the excitement and anticipation will often create a few jitters amongst the crowd, and one great way to ease the tension is by having something else to focus on as they arrive at the ceremony site. Having background music playing at this time is a very effective way to welcome your guests, ease the nerves, and set the mood before the ceremony.
Instrumental-only pieces make wonderful prelude music, as they create a welcoming vibe without the added emotional content of vocals and lyrics.
Bride Entrance Songs
An often overlooked aspect of choosing a processional piece is that you and your bridesmaids will be walking down the aisle to this song, so for comforts sake… uptempo pieces are best to be avoided! (Save that one for the recessional!) Finding a song that you love with a slow pace for walking will ensure that you don’t feel rushed on the day.
Choosing a procession song with vocals after an instrumental-only prelude can also have a strong impact on the ceremony, as it acts in a subtle way to symbolise the start of formal proceedings and to draw attention to the bridal party.
‘Fading-out’ the song at the end of the procession allows the bridal party time to settle in their places, and for the celebrant to check they are all ready to commence. Once the bride reaches the end of the aisle, we usually continue the music another 30 seconds or so before fading-out completely. This provides a little time-buffer for the bridal party to catch a breath, adjust a veil, or wipe away a tear if necessary!
Depending on the actual distance of your procession and the size of your bridal party, the piece you choose may need to be extended or shortened on the day. Your wedding musician should have the skills to lengthen or abbreviate a processional piece as required, and to know exactly when to fade-out the song as you reach the end of the aisle.
Visual cues are also important for knowing when to start (and end) the procession music.
If the musician and bridal party are not in each others line of sight, often the celebrant or venue manager will have to cue the start of the procession. This will need to be discussed in advance, and often falls on the musician and celebrant to work out a cue on the day. Whenever possible, it is preferable for the musician to have visual confirmation of the brides approach, and an experienced musician should be able to asses the site for the optimum set-up location.
Register Signing songs.
The legalities of marriage require paperwork to be filled out mid-ceremony by you, your witnesses and the celebrant before you can legally be pronounced married, and your photographer will definitely want to document that whole process, so it’s a safe bet to allow up to five minutes or more for the register signing.
As it is still a fairly formal stage of the ceremony, this is a wonderful time to have a song played that is meaningful to you and your partner. Your guests will most likely contain their urge to celebrate until after you are pronounced married, which allows space for more gentle, acoustic ballads to be played during the signing. If you have a favourite song that you’ve always wanted to hear at your wedding, this is probably the best time to include it in your ceremony.
Now all the formalities have concluded it’s time to celebrate, and choosing an upbeat song to walk back down the aisle to as husband and wife will surely get the ball rolling! This is the perfect moment for any favourite song with an uptempo, happy vibe.
We hope you find these tips helpful, and please free to contact us with any questions about Wedding Ceremony Music, or if you are looking for Ceremony Music ideas and suggestions.