Marchand Music

Choosing your Wedding Music

Choosing music for your wedding can be a very daunting task for many soon-to-be brides and grooms. Quite often the decisions on which songs are being performed are left until the final weeks before the wedding - or in one instance of mine a song was changed in the final days. There are a vast assortment of decisions and plans that are being made for your wedding. It's understandable that some things take a back seat, and because of the sheer number of songs to choose from, the task of selecting the right wedding music can be overwhelming. However, being a musician who has performed in many weddings (and attended many others), I feel that choosing the right music for your ceremony is vital. It sets the mood for the entire ceremony. Read below for some helpful tips when choosing your wedding music:

1. Choose your favorite style of music. - This is your day! Granted, you may like all kinds of music. If so, choose a style you can envision during your ceremony. What do you imagine your wedding day sounding like? If you are not sure what kind of music you want, ask for suggestions and keep an open mind.

2. Ask your spouse-to-be. - Seems obvious doesn't it? It's good advice. You may actually be surprised by what they like or expect for the wedding. They may want a particular love song or a traditional hymn.

3. Choose meaningful songs. - Meaningful to you and your spouse that is. Again, this is your day! You plan and ponder how you want the flowers to look, and what you are serving at the reception, and what you are going to say for your vows... yet, too often, songs are chosen because, well, you've heard them at other weddings. I'm not bucking tradition. Tradition serves a great purpose if the song is meaningful to you, but don't feel pressured to include a song just because tactless Cousin Louie says you should.

4. Consider your friends and family. - Do you have a family member or friend who sings or plays an instrument beautifully? Do you want them to sing or play at your wedding? Please ask! I don't know that any musician gets offended by being asked to perform for a wedding. Quite often though, friends and family are not asked simply because the bride and groom do not want to be a burden. Choose wisely however... warbling Aunt Tilly may not add to the richness of your ceremony. Again, I repeat... this is your day... not a day to please everyone else!

5. It's a wedding, not a concert. - Try not to over-do it. I suggest no more than 3 solos for the ceremony. Often times, 1 or 2 songs will be sufficient. It's awkward to sit though too many songs for both the wedding party and the guests. If you are having trouble narrowing down your choices, consider having some solos performed during the reception or dance.

6. Live performers contribute immeasurably to the mood of any gathering. - The general mood of the ceremony is, in my opinion, night and day when comparing live music to pre-recorded music. Yes, it almost assuredly means spending more money, unless you know good musicians who treat music as more of a hobby, however, having some live music is better than none at all. If your budget permits, live musicians are an excellent choice.

7. Classical music is often the most comfortable for a diverse crowd. - You may think this is a plug for me, but I truly believe in this statement. Classical music transcends genres.

8. When in doubt, hire experienced musicians. - They know how to follow the action of the ceremony and will be able to adapt to sudden changes. They won't necessarily need to go to your rehearsal; they are prompt and will show up dressed properly and ready to play or sing. These things often get taken for granted, but are vital to making your day go smoothly. Experienced musicians are often very helpful with the "little things", such as sound set up, and choices of music.