I talk with lots of couples about music for wedding ceremonies. Here are some of the common themes and tips I can share from this experience.
First, identify where you would like to have music. In other words, create the music moments.
Once you do this, you will have a structure or flow and you will find it much easier to pick songs for each moment in the ceremony. Some songs are great for processional, others are good for pre-ceremony or post-ceremony music.
In this post, we will discuss structure for the first part of the wedding ceremony.
1. Pre-ceremony music
This is music that the groom will hear, but the bride may not. It is designed to entertain your guests as they are seated and to set the tone for the wedding. You can decide if you want medium energy songs or more meditative songs but it is a good idea to choose songs that are well known and span the age group of your guests. One way to think about this is that this music is more for them than for you. Songs about love, commitment, relationships, dedication are all good choices.
2. Bride’s Maids Entrance
This signals the start of the wedding itself and usually you will want some music for the bridesmaids and ushers to walk to. Something with a good tempo (not to fast, not to slow) will be a good choice so that the bridesmaids are not rushed. As with the bridal procession, we will want to think about how long it will take to have everyone walk down the aisle and get into position. This is often less than 1 minute (sometimes two) so I often suggest picking a song that has a well-known chorus and relying on the chorus.
3. Bride's Procession
This is one of the biggest moments in the ceremony and all eyes will be on the bride. Again, I would pick a song that has a good tempo for walking and has a strong chorus. But the focus should be on the bride, not the performer. Bridal processions are usually less than a minute, and sometimes less than 30 seconds, so you want a song that supports th
e wedding and is recognizable in a short period of time.
Often the song continues after the bride reaches the groom to allow for a few minutes to enjoy the moment (and to allow bridesmaids to make any adjustments to the bride's dress.)
In our next post: We will look at music moments during the wedding as well as at the end of the wedding ceremony. See you soon.