Tips & Techniques

Ask an Expert

June 22, 2016

 

Get connected to the wedding industry pros for answers that every bride needs to know. Here, we get advice from classical musician and author Anne Roos on selecting your wedding music.

Q: Whether a bride is opting to use a disc jockey service or live musicians, some serious thought must go into the selection of music for the service and reception. How can a couple decide what kind of music they want?

A: Keep in mind two important thoughts as you select your music:
• Let the music reflect your own unique personality. This is your wedding. You don’t need to follow the current wedding trends or old wedding traditions. You don’t need to cave in to the wishes of others, either.
• Select the music that you love! What kind of music do you and your fiancé enjoy the most? What type of instrumentation do you like? What do you dance to? What music is on your iPod or mp3 player? What does your favorite radio station play on your commute to and from work? What music do you never tire of hearing?
Have you selected a wedding theme? Here are some thematic ideas and examples of ways that music can accommodate them:
- Music to reflect the things you enjoy—Use the music to paint a picture of you and your fiancé’s personalities. For instance, if you are a fan of Disney movies, include Disney music within each event at your wedding.
- Music to match your wedding location—Complement your wedding scene with your music choices. Getting married on the beach? You could choose ‘60s surfer tunes. If you are planning a destination wedding, select music that is popular in the location or use music that describes the scenery.
- Music to honor your religious background—The music that you grew up hearing in synagogue, singing in church, chanting in temple may have specific importance to you. If you’re exchanging vows inside a house of worship, you could weave sacred melodies throughout your ceremony. You can also carry this religious theme into your reception, including modern popular Christian songs, for instance.
- Music to celebrate your ethnicity—Let the music highlight your heritage. Are you planning a traditional Scottish wedding, where the gentlemen will be wearing kilts? Consider being led down the aisle by a bagpiper. Of course, the musicians can also dress according to your ethnic theme—think of the colour that a mariachi band adds to a Hispanic wedding.
- Period music for a period wedding—Choose a time in history and design your entire wedding around that period. You and your guests can wear costumes of that era, dine on food that may have been eaten at that time, and listen to music that was fashionable then. Your musicians can visually fit into the theme as well—they can wear vintage costumes as they perform. Popular themes include Victorian weddings, medieval Romeo and Juliet weddings, and Renaissance weddings.
- Music for a holiday celebration—If you are getting married on or around a holiday—Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Saint Patrick’s Day, or even Halloween—make your wedding music part of the festivities.
- Music to reflect the season—There are many songs written about spring, summer, fall, and winter.
- Song titles that mirror your wedding themes—What if blue is your main wedding colour? Use tunes with that colour in the title (“Blue Moon,” for example). If your theme revolves around roses, use tunes that include the word “rose” in the title (like “La Vie en Rose”).
Whatever your wedding theme, it’s almost a sure bet you can find song title to match it.
By the way, there is no rule that says that you can’t mix and match these themes. Who says you can’t have a backyard barbecue following a formal Catholic wedding Mass? Have fun and come up with some ideas that will make you say, “I can’t wait to hear the music at my wedding!”

From The Bride’s Guide to Musicians© 2010 by Anne Roos, published by Hal Leonard Books. Reprinted with permission. www.halleonardbooks.com

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