Including wedding musicians in your ceremony and reception

Wedding musicians can add something really special to your wedding, from that amazing harpist that plays as your guests arrive at the ceremony to the swing band that gets them up and dancing at the evening reception. Here are some ways of including wedding musicians in your ceremony and reception.

wedding band

Wedding musicians can play at various times during your ceremony:

The prelude

A perfect prelude will be around forty-five minutes long and played prior to the arrival of the bride, as the guests enter and begin to get themselves comfortable in their seats. As it is creating the atmosphere of your day, your music should be calm and unobtrusive. The intensity of your music could build as the arrival of the bride nears.

The processional

During the processional, the point at which the bridal party enters, the music should have a slow dramatic pace, complementing the speed at which you choose to walk down the aisle. The tone of the music should be regal and emotive.

Hymns or songs

Any hymns or singing could very well be accompanied by the wedding musicians, or you may even have hired professional singers to perform a favoured song during the proceedings.

Signing the register

Keep your guests entertained during the registry signing by playing live music. Select a tune that will be recognisable to most people, though it must be formal enough to suit such a celebration.

The recessional

The recessional will be where the bride and groom leave the ceremony as newlyweds. Try to match this joyous occurrence with music that is upbeat and celebratory. An up-tempo track would allow you to dance back down the aisle should you feel the need to.

wedding band

Wedding musicians for the reception

There are many popular types of wedding bands available for hire. These include everything from string quartets to flutists and harpists, to a duo or trio of professional singers. The more experienced wedding musicians will have a detailed knowledge of the kinds of tunes needed to heighten the emotion of a particular time. Do not be afraid, though, to ask them to learn your favourite piece of music or something that is personal to you.

Popular music genres for receptions include jazz, classical and swing, with an increasing popularity for numbers from musicals. Should you have a live band, maybe you could cater for the older generation by starting the evening with a few timeless tunes you can waltz and foxtrot to. Later in the evening, satisfy the youngsters by hiring a DJ to spin more up-to-date tracks. It is now fashionable to have your wedding musicians play throughout your welcome drinks and reception dinner, all the way to your first dance.

Questions to ask wedding musicians

  • What packages do you offer and are there likely to be any hidden extras?
  • What would the extra cost be should we need you to play for longer?
  • Are you willing to dress in accordance with the wedding’s dress code or theme?’
  • Are you happy to play requests and learn our first dance song?
  • How long does it take for you to set up?
  • What time would you need access to the venue?
  • For how long will you perform, and how often will you be taking breaks?’
  • Have you played at the venue before?
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