Your wedding day is YOUR day. There is not a right or wrong way to enjoy your wedding - so long as it fits what you want!
Ceremonies are very ritualistic. So, for the sake of time we will follow the most ritualistic pattern. Even though, I still say, you can do things how you want.
The order of ceremony music:
Prelude - This is the music as guests are being seated. It sets the mood for your ceremony. You will need 30+ minutes of prelude music as your guests arrive. A little more traditional folks will drop some Bach or Handel right here - that is, your classical artists. If you are just a down-home southern style, your favorite country music will do the trick. See, the "right" answers are endless depending on you!
Seating of Family - Parents and Grandparents enter. You can continue with the Prelude style music... or, if you have some big cultural thing about your genealogy you could play the music of your peoples...hmmmm.
Wedding Party - Here comes the Bri... I mean, all of your friends. Again, if you skipped doing anything for the Seating of the Family and want to continue with your Prelude music - go for it! Or, you could get a little more creative and play something for your friends to put some pep in their step...or you could be really cool and play something like "Forever Young" by Youth Group (cover of Alphaville).
Bride's Entrance - Yes, the grand entrance of the Bride! You've probably dreamed of this moment your whole life and already know what song will be your soundtrack as you make your way down the aisle. I would probably pick that song. If not, the most popular options are Pachelbel's "Canon in D" or Wagner's "Bridal Chorus". If you are still needing help deciding, when we sit down to talk about your ceremony (assuming we are heading toward that kind of business relationship) I can help you choose something that works perfect for you.
Interlude - Part of the ritual of a ceremony usually involves a break where the bride and groom tie a knot, light candles, pour sand, or not-so-commonly do a secret handshake. You may have a vocalist sing or whoever is providing music put on a song during this time. When I am providing the ceremony music, it seems "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley takes the cake on this one.
(SIDE NOTE*) It happens more often than not, and gets a bit awkward (in my opinion), that the bride and groom finish whatever "interlude task" they have chosen and then everyone looks at the musician only to find that they are deep in sheet music and have no idea that the bride and groom are finished. Of course, the musician plays music for several more minutes while everyone is thinking "let's get on with this". Decide whether you want them to play the whole song or find a way to wrap it up as you finish.
Recessional - This is the happy music that plays after you are officially married! When you head back down the aisle the other way you really want to lighten the mood. Think "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder or "Beautiful Day" by U2.
Postlude - Generally, you'll get back down the aisle in about 20 seconds. So, the song from your Recessional will still be playing. Wedding party and family will also make it out during the same song. But your guests may not like leaving to silence. Keep the good vibes going by having a few extra songs lined up as people are leaving! Something similar to your recessional song is preferable so that the energy stays the same.
It's now time to go take wedding pictures. Your guests will be heading to the cocktail hour. The fun of your reception is about to take place! Congratulations! Your ceremony music was a success. And with that, I hope you found that the secret to ceremony music lies in the unique bits that create you who you, your family, friends and fiance are.
Let Events by Snow join you to help create the ceremony magic! :)
Events by Snow Wedding DJ, Columbia, SC