The food of love: music at your wedding
Choosing the right music for your wedding can set the scene beautifully and really bring the day to life. It can reflect your tastes as a couple and pull together other themes and aspects, such as the country you are in, historical setting of your venue and the time of year. You needn’t pay the earth either – with some careful planning, you can enjoy sweet music all day without having to break the bank.
Booking the band
Always make sure you can listen to any musicians you book for your wedding in advance so that you can feel confident about their talents, style and approach. They may have pre-recorded demos available, or may choose to fix an appointment to play for you beforehand. Don’t feel awkward about not booking them if you don’t feel totally happy with their performance. Music is a very subjective thing and you will regret compromising on your choice. Find out how and when musicians expect to be paid – many prefer cash on the day. Get everything agree in writing in advance, including names and contact details of all performers, prices, venue, date and times, plus overtime and performance breaks arrangements.
Take it personally
Choose music that appeals to you both as a couple, rather than what you think you ought to have. This will create a far more genuine mood and will help everyone relax. If you have musically talented friends and family members, ask them to contribute, perhaps by singing or playing a piece as you enter the ceremony venue, during the signing of the register or at the reception. If someone who doesn’t sing or play music would like to be involved in this aspect of the day, you could ask them to pick out some favourite pieces of instrumental music or songs for you as their contribution.
Don’t feel you have to be restricted to just having music at set times of the day. Think of other key moments that would be enhanced by the perfect tune. You could have a choir welcoming guests to the ceremony, for instance. Or have an instrumental ensemble play at the wedding breakfast or when the cake is cut. What about a fun, uplifting song for when the bouquet is tossed? If you are known for your love of a particular band or musician, consider downloading a couple of tracks onto CDs too, and presenting them as wedding favours for guests.
If you, or anyone you know has a gift for composing music, this can be very fortunate indeed. It offers you as a couple the chance to have a brand new piece of music crafted for your big day. You can commission people professionally to do this for you if you don’t know anyone with the right talents. This would make a charming and unique memory of the day, and will doubtless go on to become a family heirloom. Or if anyone you know is involved in DJ-ing as a hobby or career, ask them to create your very own, personal playlist and to write down the details for posterity.
When music is written down, it can look beautiful in its own right. Sheet music can be incorporated into wedding décor very easily. Photocopy sheets of suitable music (check first that you are not infringing any copyright laws) and turn them into confetti pouches or paper bunting. Add a line of musical notation to your wedding stationery, menus etc. Or pick song titles to name your tables and add suitable illustrations to the table plan and name cards.