As I have mentioned in previous posts, one of the items that many brides leave for the end, I actually tackled as one of my first objectives—selecting the music. (Shhhhh, don’t tell Mike, but I may have had it thought out before that ring was put on my finger!)
I LOVE music! Why you ask? I blame my Mom. I know that her secret mission in life was to re-create the Von Trapp family—which was partially successful as she played the viola, my sister played the violin, and I played the cello (and all of us ladies played piano). However my dad and brother didn’t fall into the "little plan” as smoothly. The good news is my sister and I both still play piano, so those years of lessons did pay off!
If you have read my third blog, you may know that I have played piano in many weddings, and enjoyed every one! From playing in churches, theatres, parks, in the woods (by a lake), and at a marina, I have seen my share of wedding music choices and still believe it should be exactly what you and your fiancé want. What best represents you? Don’t feel like you need to stick with the typical!
For our wedding, we are planning on a female and male vocalist. (And when my original male vocalist moved to Chicago I found my new vocalist thanks to the wonderful technology of Facebook as I hadn’t seen him since college and had no clue where he was living—luckily he didn’t think I was a psycho-stalker and accepted my friend request!) In addition to vocalists we are planning on other instrumentalists (oboe, bassoon, violin, and more . . . ?).
How do you go about planning the music/musicians? Here are a few of my tips:
1. Determine the order of your ceremony and where you want music—have this in mind when you meet with the music director or your chosen musicians. Do you want a separate song for the parents/grandparents? Will you have a unity candle? Are you presenting flowers to your parents?
2. Think about your style—do you want vocalists, or do you like the simple sound of a piano and/or violin, string quartet? Do you want a big processional march where the doors open and a big song plays or do you want to keep it simple and delicate?
3. On a budget? Check out your local high school/college musicians. Many times you can find a great string quartet from the local high school. ( A little music secret: Wedding songs such as Cannon in D or Arioso are not nearly as tough as the stuff their music teachers make them play for concerts).
4. Try to have your musicians attend the rehearsal—at least the pianist/vocalists. This way they can learn the cues, timing of songs (and sometimes the music is a cue for the wedding party as well), etc. This may cost a little more, but it worth the peace of mind (unless you have a very quick and simple ceremony—in which you could opt out).
My testimonial: I once got a phone call the NIGHT before a wedding from a former high school classmate who was singing in a wedding and the church organist couldn’t play the songs on the piano—it was so bad that the bride was crying at the rehearsal and the father of the bride asked him to please find someone to play at the wedding the next afternoon. Luckily I was able to help out and the wedding was beautiful. (P.S. I am not even close to a world class Beethoven-type pianist—it just goes to show that the rehearsal is helpful!)
5. Do not feel compelled to have family members perform at your wedding. I know you may feel pressured, but this is YOUR special day—not their American Idol performance. Unless Luciano Pavarotti is your great uncle or Celine Dion is your second cousin’s sister-in-law once removed, you are entitled to choose your own ensemble! If you still feel stuck—maybe they could perform a prelude song or something at the reception.
P.S. In case you were wondering what the wedding dress update is from my last blog, I have yet to sign on the dotted line, but plan on doing it before the New Year as shipping dates lead times are starting to scare me!
P.P.S. I have to give a lot of credit to my AMAZING FIANCE! I have been really busy at work, so put him up to the challenge of writing our 2010 Christmas Letter and he did an amazing job. My own Bill Shakespeare! Click HERE to read it!