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How to choose live wedding ceremony music
It’s important to strike the right balance between a style of music that is suitable for the atmosphere of the ceremony and specific pieces that reflect your own personal choices as a couple. This can present a bit of a dilemma, but with careful thought a satisfactory solution can usually be found.
Whatever your final selections, you will need to agree them beforehand with the vicar or registrar officiating at your marriage. Bear in mind that music of a strictly religious context will not be permitted as part of a civil ceremony, although this need not exclude spiritual content entirely – there are ‘grey areas’, and registrars vary in their precise interpretation of ‘strictly religious’.
Traditional nostalgic, vintage romantic or popular modern music
Find out more about booking an acoustic act for your wedding ceremony.
Popular choices for wedding ceremony music can be broadly classified in three distinct categories:-
1. For time-honoured tradition, a classical ensemble
You may want your marriage ceremony to strongly reflect tradition, or classical music might be your preference regardless of custom or formality. A string quartet, or perhaps a solo harpist or guitarist, can set a reflective ambience as your guests assemble ready for the ceremony, then play a suitable fanfare to announce the arrival of the bridal party. Interlude music during the signing of the register will sustain the atmosphere, followed by a celebratory fanfare as the newlyweds are presented as man and wife.
It’s usually relatively easy for the ensemble to entertain your guests during the customary drinks reception immediately after the ceremony, or even as background music for the formal meal.
2. For a romantic ambience, nothing beats swing jazz
If good old-fashioned romance is your bag, then a dose of Hollywood glamour will probably fit the bill nicely. A compact acoustic ensemble playing a selection of your favourite swing classics should set the scene for a romantic ceremony all about declaring your love for one another. Again, further entertainment for your guests during the champagne reception or formal meal should be a straightforward option.
Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin:- ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, ‘I Can’t Give You Anything But Love’ or ‘It Had To Be You’ sums it all up, really.
3. A contemporary take on romance – modern pop
If the classic Broadway Musical songwriters incontestably summed up the essence of romance for a couple of generations and beyond, that’s not to say they still hold an absolute monopoly on the music. Romance for you and your partner may well be better expressed in more up-to-date songs which signify meaningful moments in your growing relationship. A guitar/vocalist or a small acoustic group might be ideal to perform your own very personal choices as you exchange your vows and rings.
Versatile professional wedding musicians will generally be more than happy to learn and perform your special requests, helping you to express the intimate essence of your emotions in a personal statement.
Whatever your choice of music for your wedding ceremony, carefully consider the ambience you wish to create, whether formal and traditional or more modern and romantic. A live performance of your chosen music will set the scene in a truly intimate fashion, creating and maintaining an appropriate atmosphere that is both solemn and joyous, to accompany the celebration of a memorable and significant personal occasion.