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Image It’s All in the Details

Here Comes the Bride….All Dressed in White

The wedding ceremony:  the most important part of your wedding – hands down. Whether it lasts ten minutes or an hour, you are being joined “till death do you part,” and this union is being witnessed by your closest family and friends. Almost all couples want achieve a personal feel at their ceremony – and a surefire way to do that is through your musical accompaniment.

First off, you need to decide what type of musicians you would like to have. We are in Austin, so you have TONS of options!

Strings – Duo, Trio, or Quartet, nothing is as classic as strings. No matter the configuration, it is a beautiful sound inside a church or in the middle of a field. Take your guest count into consideration when deciding on the size of your ensemble. If you have more than 150 people – don’t get less than a trio. Two hundred or more – go for the quartet. Modern music sounds even more beautiful when played on classical instruments. “Clocks,” by Coldplay, “Fields of Gold,” by Sting, and :With or Without You,” by U2 are some of my favorite contemporary selections that I have heard played by strings.

Guitar – Doesn’t get more Austin than someone strumming an acoustic guitar! Country, classical or Latin – this is a great choice for any venue. Added bonus, it is budget friendly! If you have a large guest count or venue, make sure the guitarist is amplified.

Choir – Everyone loves a choir! Clapping, tears and “woo hoos” have all been heard when a choir belts out tunes chosen by the couple. My first experience with a full choir was so moving. They broke into “Seasons of Love” from Rent during the middle of the ceremony. The entire congregation cheered when it was over. Solo vocalists are also a beautiful way to go.

Piano – Thanks to amazing rental companies you can have a piano delivered just about anywhere. And you can have anything from a keyboard to a grand piano! Piano can also be combined with any other musician to have a full, robust sound throughout your ceremony.

Bagpipes – Have a bit of Scottish in you? Honor your heritage by having a bagpiper lead you or your wedding party down the aisle. A bagpiper commands attention, and makes a fabulous photo!!!

Mariachi – For the bride that wants a FIESTA! Mariachis are fun . . . perfect for the festive couple.  You can get smaller groups so you don’t overwhelm the guests with their loud sound.

Harp – Ethereal, elegant and classic – a harp is a beautiful choice for an elegant wedding or a great add-on for an ensemble. The range of songs that can be played on a harp is extensive and every song sounds beautiful.

DJ – Want to have the original songs by the original artists without flying them in – a DJ is for you! Recorded music can give you any genre and can begin at just the right time and faded out when needed.

Flute – While a solo flautist is not a big enough sound for most ceremonies, it is a beautiful add-on to the solo classical guitarist. Simply majestic.

Saxophone – Hello Kenny G . . .  soulful, poetic and even a little sexy. Saxophonists can play solo or with strings, guitarist, harpist or trumpeter. The sax is very diverse so you can have everything from the blues to jazz!

Trumpet – Add some drama to the bride’s entrance with a trumpeter. It will add a regal touch and then use again for your recessional for added fanfare. Trumpeters work well with a string ensemble.

Organist – This is reserved for church weddings, as organs are difficult to transport 😉 The organ’s sound is powerful, so work with your organist to hear selections beforehand. Nothing will give you more of a traditional church feeling than an organ.

Once you have decided on your instrument, then pick your genre.  Hymns, classical, modern or do you want a mix of styles to be represented. Look at your ceremony venue and iPod for inspirations. At a loss, ask the professionals! This is their business, so set up a meeting and let them get to know you and take their advice.  Most musicians will learn a song for you  (for a fee) if it isn’t in their current repertoire. Also, if you are getting married in a church or temple make sure you inquire about what song selections are allowed.

Musicians and genres squared away? Now it is time to decide on how many songs you will need. There is no true etiquette, so it really depends on your personal tastes and the size of your wedding party. Prelude music is the music that your guests will hear before your ceremony begins. This should begin thirty minutes prior to your ceremony start time. Then comes the “Seating of the Families.”. The next song is the “Wedding Party Processional.” This is your officiant, groom, best man, groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid/matron of honor, flower girl and ring bearer. If you have a small family and wedding party, you can do just one song for both; however, make sure it is worded correctly on the wedding program: “Family and Wedding Party Processional”. Next song – the “Entrance of the Bride.” WOO HOO! Brides: this is your own moment, pick that perfect song, Or ask your groom as he may have an opinion on this one! OR keep it a total surprise!

Songs during the actual ceremony are a great way to add some length to your nuptials. Often a song is played for a lighting of the unity candle/sand ceremony/rose ceremony. Make sure it is not too lengthy (more than three minutes) as guests (and you) can become restless.

The final song – your recessional! This should be upbeat and celebratory no matter the genre. You did it! You are married!, Let the party begin!!!!

Here’s to the Details,

Gina

Photography Courtesy of Dustin Meyer Photography, Diana M. Lott Photography and Jennifer Lindberg Weddings

October 26, 2010 - 11:27 am Dustin Meyer - Thanks for the post, Gina :) Having appropriate music can really tie the whole experience together! But maybe I'm just a little biased because of my opera background ;) Love the profile photo, btw! Dustin

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