Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Step 32 - Interview and Book Your Ceremony Musicians

(6 Month to 9 Months before the Wedding)
Like most brides and grooms, the music that will be played during the wedding ceremony has to be very special to the both of you, but you may not have a clue about which music to select. An important factor in choosing your music is the setting of the wedding ceremony. If your ceremony is not at a religious setting, you can choose almost any kind of music you like, as long as it is in good taste. On the other hand, if the ceremony is in a church, synagogue, or chapel, the music selected will need to stay within the guidelines set by the clergy person or the church.

Most religious denominations consider the wedding ceremony to be a form of worship service. For this reason, churches do not allow secular music (non-religious popular music) during a wedding. Some might allow secular music while guests are being seated. The music that is typically allowed in church weddings are songs that contain respectful references to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Music also allowed, not made specific to deity, are songs focusing on religious ideals and values relating to love and marriage such as faithfulness and mutual support.

Many weddings feature a vocal soloist singing from one to four selections during the ceremony, depending on the length of the ceremony. The soloist is often accompanied by an organist, pianist, acoustic guitarist, flutist, or a harp. Some churches do not allow recorded music in the wedding ceremony. Some wedding couples will hire a bagpiper or a stringed orchestra just outside the church which play wedding music prior to the wedding or directly after the wedding, as the wedding couple signs the wedding papers for the marriage and get in a receiving line getting well wishes from their guests.

There are a number of places in the wedding ceremony for the vocalists and church musicians to play. They can play during the time guests are being seated which can be about six or seven songs and could last about thirty minutes. They play two songs during the processional, one for when the bridesmaids enter and a more dramatic piece for the bride's walk up the aisle with her father or whomever is giving her away holding her arm. Music is played sometimes during the lighting of the candle and right before wedding vows are read aloud. Then finally you want exciting or dramatic music
as the couple leave the altar first time as husband and wife.

First place to start your search for your wedding ceremony is the ceremony site location itself. You need to consult with the church wedding coordinator to find out the musician guidelines for the church or venue. In some churches, the musicians are required to come from the church itself, or the fee charge from the lease of the church includes a musician. The wedding coordinator, also might have a list of musicians with contact information of musicians allowed to perform at their church. If there are no music requirements you then are authorized to look elsewhere, and you can find many musicians from wedding related websites. You can also Google musicians by putting in city and the type of musician you are looking for. Gigmasters also can provide you with a list of musicians and some musicians can even be found elsewhere in this blog.

You want to interview a few musicians before deciding on one or a couple, be sure not only to interview them but be sure to hear their music for yourselves. For what music one person hears and likes, another person may think the music is horrible, to be safe, make sure you hear the vocalist or live musicians in action. Also, try to pick the music as a couple, so you are sure the both of you like the music. You want to be sure you are comfortable with the person you hire, someone who will work with you on selecting the right music for your wedding and someone who will dress sharply for your wedding. On selecting the music, maybe you can have the musicians share their sheet music and pick music you like and have them play a little snippet for you.

In your hunt for music, you should find some in various types of music stores and even the music section of a library, looking for sheet music and songbooks and be sure to ask and browse in the wedding section. Look for printed music rather than recorded music so you can share the music with your various musicians. You can also find sheet music and songbooks from online websites, one which is called www.myweddingmusic.com .

Another option is to hire a composer songwriter to write a special song for just the wedding couple at the ceremony. There are several websites that offer this service. You just need to allow the songwriter with enough advance time to complete the song.

Some music suggestions for your wedding ceremony;

Formal Atmosphere - A Vocalist, A String Quartet, A Harp, An Organ
Dramatic Atmosphere - A String Quartet, A Pipe Organ, Bagpipes, or A Choir
Traditional Atmosphere - A Vocalist, A String Quartet, An Organ, A Classical Guitar
Enchanting Atmosphere - A Vocalist, A Harp, A Harp and a Flute
Uplifting Atmosphere - A String Quartet, A Guitar and Flute, A Piano, A Piano and Violin
Background Music - A String Quartet, A Piano, A Piano and Violin, A Piano and Saxophone

If you are allowed to and are deciding to use recorded music, there are a number of wedding music related websites you can download samples and music from. Some websites charge a small fee. Some ideas, for the Processional you can use Wagner's "Here comes the Bride" or "Pachelbel's Canon in D". For the ceremony itself you want some softer music and you may decide on Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" and Paul Stokey's "The Wedding Song" and "Ave Maria". Then finally there's the Recessional when the bride and groom leave the altar as man and wife. You can play Mandelsohn's "Wedding March" or Harry Connick Jr's "It Had To Be You". Just be sure to pick wedding music that has meaning to you, the ceremony music should be music that the wedding couple love and who want to share it with your guests. The wedding music should not be geared to the guests but to the wedding couple.

Make your wedding ceremony extra special, the wedding ceremony message and music are all about you. That's the story of interviewing and booking your ceremony musicians. See you on the other side!

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