``Music is love in search of a word,'' wrote 19th-century
musician and poet Sidney Lanier.
These days the sheer joy of a wedding is openly celebrated
and music is extremely influential in the melding of the
wedding day, helping set the atmosphere in the church, at the
reception and the dance that may follow.
Couples have their own musical preferences, their specific
choice providing a unique texture to their wedding. Genres
vary widely from rock and pop (often selected from a specific
decade such as the '80s!) to bluegrass and country to reggae
and drum 'n' bass. Don't forget the show tunes, hip-hop,
techno and jazz or world music, the latter a superb way to
reflect the cultural backgrounds of the couple.
The possibilities are vast but many opt for the strong and
dramatic classical pieces often chosen for traditional church
weddings, particularly for the processional, when the bride
walks down the aisle and the recessional, when the newlyweds
and attendants leave the church. Played by an accomplished
organist these have a proven track record in providing a
fabulous sense of occasion and exuberance.
Other couples marrying in a church walk new paths, the
results of which can be refreshing and fun. This is often
manifested in the music played prior to the arrival of the
bride and attendants, the soft background background music
creating a warm and mellow atmosphere for arrival of the
Musical interludes during the signing of the register can
also vary widely, from solo singers through to a musician,
the instrument varying from a guitar or flute to a saxophone.
Pipers often come into their own welcoming guests outside the
wedding venue, or playing the couple and their attendants
into the reception.
Background music for the reception is also a very personal
choice. If classical music is the newlyweds love they may
consider a string quartet, or if they are romantics, a
harpist or flautist. For contemporary music buffs a pianist,
guitarist, a duo or jazz combo are ideal.
Always in high demand are professional DJs. Some couples like
to put together their favourite songs and tunes for the
reception and dance, downloading these onto discs or iPod. In
this case, it is a good idea to have back-up.
Entertainment agencies and sound and lighting professionals
can often help with information about musicians, DJs and
bands. They have diverse stables of talented musicians, bands
and singers to choose from.
Check entertainment and music sites or talk to recently
married friends. They often can recommend a particular
musician or DJ and often have tips
as to what they might have done differently, such as creating
a ``must play'' and a ``do not play'' list.
TIP: When it comes to the dance do not ostracise guests with
your choice of music. Many couples arrange top favourites
everyone knows to start the dancing, moving to more
contemporary sounds as the night wears on.