Your big day is set, hall rented, rings ordered, dress bought… and now it’s time to turn your attention to the music that will make the event a memorable one for you and your guests. No matter what type of ceremony, there are a few key places where music is a must-have. They are the prelude, processional, recessional, and postlude. Here are descriptions of each, with a few suggestions. (Requests are always welcomed, though!)
Prelude: About 15-30 minutes of festive music to welcome the guests as they arrive and set the atmosphere.
Processional: The processional is the music for walking down the aisle. There are usually two pieces played, one for the bridesmaids and ushers and one for the bride (though there’s nothing wrong with having just one piece, especially if the wedding party is small).
Recessional: The moment the ceremony is finished, the music will start. Time for something lively while the newly-married couple comes back down the aisle.
Postlude: The musicians play for 5-10 minutes after the recessional until the guests have left the ceremony area.
There may be a separate piece for the seating of the mothers. You can have music between readings or during a candlelighting (though these should be fairly short). For Catholic weddings, a longer piece may be needed for communion.
It’s pretty simple, really.
Pick the music YOU would like to hear. Our suggestions above reflect the majority of requests we get, but are no means “required”.
Pick music that has special meaning to you and/or your loved ones. We’ve had requests as diverse as the Navy Hymn, the Brady Bunch theme (for a newly-blended family), James Taylor, even Aerosmith (though to be honest, classical music and power chords don’t mix easily!).
If you’re having trouble deciding or don’t have any strong preferences, just let us know.
Make sure to let the wedding coordinator, facilities manager, or friend/family member tell us where to sit. (Please read our guidelines for setup.) We will need to speak with the officiant as soon as he/she arrives to determine the exact makeup of the wedding party, the order of the ceremony, and the cues for beginning and ending each piece.
The musicians will do their best to cut or repeat as necessary so that no one is standing around waiting for the music to stop nor walking down the aisle silently. Generally, music takes up more time than you think. A full round of “Here Comes the Bride” takes about a minute and a quarter, which is more than adequate time for a bride to make her way down the aisle. Of course, adjustments will have to be made depending on the size of the venue and the wedding party.