Tips & Advice on Music for your Ceremony and after.........
So what do you need to think about?
If you are getting married at the Register Office or an approved venue, the Registrar’s Office who will come to your venue and perform the marriage usually ask for notification of what music you would like well in advance of the wedding. Due to legal constraints, no religious music is allowed at a civil ceremony and they like to double check this is all in order and know in advance of your music choices.
We’ll start at the beginning of the ceremony. While your guests are being seated for the ceremony, it is not uncommon for music to be playing softly in the background and it helps create a friendly ambient atmosphere while people are sitting and chatting. You should think carefully about something really special to make your entrance to as you walk down the aisle. You also need at least 2 songs to play while you are signing the register. Usually the official photographer will take some photos of you with the Register and then your guests will be invited to take their snaps too. After this, the guests are asked to return to their seats so the Registrar can close the ceremony and introduce the newly married couple.
With that, you need a song to play for you and your new husband to walk out down the aisle.
Do you want live music? Our Bride-Buddy expert has been to weddings that have included Classical Quartets, Harpists, Pianists, Choirs, Trumpets, Singers….all sorts. It can certainly make the ‘feel’ of your ceremony very special, and being professionals, you are safe in their hands as they know exactly how to play during your ceremony.
If you choose something pre-recorded the venue may ask for the songs to be downloaded in order of play, onto a CD so their staff can manage this for you on the day. In some cases you may need to nominate one of the guests to do this for you. If this is the case, make sure that they are aware of these few little tips for getting the music right at the ceremony on the day:
Tips on playing the right tracks in the right order for the Ceremony:
Have a word with the Registrar/Celebrant. Hopefully they will be willing to give you ‘a nod’ to start the entrance music as the bride arrives at the top of the aisle and the Registrar asks all the guests to ‘Please stand for the Bridal Party’. When the bride arrives at the grooms side, do not just stop the music dead. Let it continue playing for a few long seconds and then fade it out slowly. Once the volume is completely down, it is useful at this point to move the CD onto track number 2 and pause it, ready for when the couple sign the Register later in the ceremony.
As the ceremony comes to a close, the Registrar normally says something along the lines of ‘I am very pleased to pronounce that you are now Husband & Wife.’ At this point the guests normally join the Registrar in a round of applause and this is when you need to play track 2, fairly loud. Bring the volume down to suit as the clapping subsides. The couple will now sign the Register and have a few photos taken and 2 tracks should be long enough. If you are running out of time and music tracks, DO NOT EVER let track 4 (the walking out together track) play by accident. Just rewind back to the beginning of track 1 or 2 to fill in some time.
Once guests have returned to their seats after taking a few photos, or the official photographer has finished, the Registrar usually finishes with a few words to close the ceremony and introduce our couple as Mr & Mrs………or Mr & Mr….......Mrs & Mrs.........whatever you would like! At this point, you need to get that last track on good and loud so it can be heard over everyone clapping and cheering as the couple walk out down the aisle together. Got all that?? - Well Done, No Pressure!!
It is usual to have soft music playing in the background as the drinks reception starts and of course as a couple, if you are planning on dancing the night away with your guests, you need to have play list and think carefully about the differences in music tastes, ages and generations and have fun with it! You need a good balance of styles that encourage the festivities and continued celebrations. Enjoy thinking about your first dance together especially if you are considering doing a special dance to entertain everyone!
If you are working with a DJ or a live band, it's best not to dictate EVERY SINGLE TRACK, but meet with them before the big day so they can get a feel for the styles and music genres you like and of course give them a list of those songs that are ‘absolute musts’ but also remember to let them know of any songs that are ‘absolute NOTS!’
Choosing your ceremony music and evening playlist can be really good fun, enjoy yourselves, and please pick 'I Ran by A Flock of Seagulls' for me....that will always get me up on the dance floor!