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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Music: Options, Options, Options!

As you begin planning your wedding, the question of music will come up very quickly. Music sets the mood for your wedding, and definitely sets the tone for your reception. This article is not going to touch on song choices or music styles, but will talk about how the music you choose will be played.

Live Music
There is nothing more beautiful than a harpist playing “Here Comes the Bride” as your walk down the aisle! Or what about a live band at your reception playing the latest hits? In my opinion, live music adds a special something to your festivities. When considering this, think about the fact that hiring live musicians can be more expensive than using recorded music. Multiple piece bands have to ensure each band member is paid for the event, especially if they are foregoing a club gig (including tips) to play at your wedding. If they do not charge a specific fee, wedding soloists and accompanists for your ceremony should be given an honorarium for their services (which many times includes attending your wedding rehearsal).

Hiring a DJ
A DJ can be the life of the party, getting everyone engaged, or can ruin the mood of a reception (anyone remember the YouTube video of the drunk DJ?). Disc Jockeys are an excellent option to provide recorded music for both your ceremony and reception. They can also serve as your Master of Ceremonies for your reception, making sure everything flows as it should throughout the evening (along with your planner of course). DJs can also provide lighting to help transform your reception space into a party atmosphere. Make sure your DJ has wedding experience (there is a difference between DJ’ing in a club and for a reception).

Whether hiring live musicians or a DJ, you will need to ensure your music and song choices are given to them ahead of time. Don’t forget to share with them what music you do not want played.

Using an iPod or CD
If your budget is limited, an iPod is a great way to provide music for your ceremony as well as reception. If you decide to go this route, there are several things to consider: (1) There must be someone to operate the iPod, especially for your ceremony. If the processional is taking longer than anticipated, someone will need to repeat the song until the processional is done. And you never want there to be a lull in the music for your reception, unless it’s time to transition to things like the bouquet toss or dollar dance. (2) Always have a plan B. What if your iPod breaks, or what is the CD is scratched? Always have a backup just in case something happens. (3) Make sure you have more than enough songs. Repeating songs is not a good thing for a reception (think about when you’ve been at a party or club, and you hear the same song every 30 minutes…no good, right?). There should be enough songs loaded to last the entire evening. Although you are saving money with this option, this choice is very labor-intensive!

Your Planning Assignment
Choose wisely the manner in which your music will be presented at your wedding. It can make your break your special day!

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