When choosing music for their wedding ceremony most couples start with the traditional pieces they feel are ‘required’ to be a part of the event and then fill out the list with pieces that have special meaning. There is another way to approach the music for your wedding day — focus on the emotions, mood and experience you want to create.

Music is used in many situations to create an emotional response:

  • The progressively faster tribal beat used by Anthony Robbins to get people to walk over fire
  • The English national anthem sung for our Olympians on the gold medal box
  • Christmas music in Starbucks to get us in the ‘spirit’ of buying a red-cup drink

What Emotions Do You Want to Evoke At Your Wedding?

The music before a wedding ceremony is usually something calm and romantic. Something to soften the nerves and keep everyone focused on why they are there (especially if there is possibility the ceremony will be a few minutes late starting).

Michelle Dalton Harp

The ceremony itself can be a mixture of emotions, from love and romance to intimacy, with a focus on family and tradition. The readings, the signing of the register and the recessional are natural areas to inject a bit of personality into the ceremony, even in a religious setting.

Then there is the dreaded ‘witching hour’ during the picture taking when guests risk being left to entertain themselves, followed by the wedding breakfast and proper party time, the reception.

The drinks reception (during formal photographs) is a popular time to have musicians perform. Not only can they provide a mixture of romantic and upbeat pieces for the guests’ listening pleasure, they equally provide a bit of entertainment and a talking point until the wedding party arrives and the wedding breakfast begins.

Choosing the Right Musicians

There are any number of musicians you can hire to perform at your wedding, from an organist, pianist, saxophonist, string quartet, trumpeter, guitarist, and harpist.

The emotions and experience you want your guests to have, even down to the level of energy, you can influenced not only by the music you select but also by how it is played. Most musicians will give you the opportunity to meet and hear them play. Some will even let you work with them to select the music you most enjoy hearing them play for your wedding.

No matter what music you choose and how you choose to have it played, your wedding day is all about you two, so make sure it reflects you and the emotions and experience you want to share.

Guest post by Michelle Dalton

Image from Michelle Dalton