Music for Your Wedding Ceremony
Having have played steeldrums for civil and church weddings for some years, I am still happily surprised at how cautious brides and grooms are in their choices of wedding ceremony music, especially since civil weddings have come into play.
There are so many suitable pieces out there – classical, popular, caribbean, MOR and in-between.
Perhaps we performing wedding musicians are to be commended!! .. we offer so much choice!
The proliferation of wedding music CDs with similar playlists also perpetuates the myth that only certain pieces are allowed .. but this is NOT the case! .. its your day, your wedding, your choice!
The first rule for a successful choice must be: choose music that fits in with the atmosphere you want for the ceremony, or to complement the theme for the day.
Steelasophical enjoy being challenged to play unfamiliar items, and we give a huge repertoire of songs to be found here in our blog pages .. so you should find the perfect song choice for you.
Whatever pieces you choose (unless you already know them well) try to listen to them a few times before the wedding so that when the day comes they really mean something to you .. why not google the lyrics and read and understand the complete song (not just the popular chorus) … ‘Its so funny how we dont talk anymore’ has a lovely melody, but I am guessing the lyrics would not be a good fit
Everything Little things gonna be alright (Bob Marley) or Unchained Melody may hit the spot .. not just for the wedding ceremony, but the 1st dance but the drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening musical entertainment too
Next; take your time and do your homework. If you go to your musician expecting to make a choice within a single session, the chances are you will go for the first items played to you that you happen to like. If you hear several pieces you like, you will find it hard to choose between them ‘on the spot’. Of course, you can never make the perfect choice. There are thousands of pieces you might like if you had the chance to hear them, but that you have not yet heard because you don’t have the CD, or your musician either does not know them or has not had time to play them. That is why when brides and grooms come to see me for ideas, I play a few pieces through to them, see what they like, and make a written note of ‘possibles’ for each part of the ceremony. I then invite them to take the note away with them and mull over their choice .. more over however, past experience has found that between the two of us, a perfect choice is made .. especially as so many melodies take on a new life when played on SteelDrums
The first music you are likely to need is for when the guests assemble, in church or other ceremony location. For this it is best to let the Steelasophical choose something to suit the atmosphere.
For a civil ceremony, discreet improvised `background’ music works very well, as it can be played for as long as needed, adapting to the ambient sounds, speech levels and general sounds present at any one time.
Music for the bride’s grand entrance and walk up the isle should always put over its message in a short time, but be flexible to be able to go on slightly longer than planned if there are any reasons for delays – unless you are getting married in a cathedral or church with a very very long isle, it will not take long for the bride to get from the door to her groom
Steelasophical Steelband have a wide variety of options here .. be sure who ever you consider can take this advice
When choosing hymns for a church wedding, try to find ones that really mean something to you. Unless the congregation is made up of regular churchgoers, or you have a strong choir, use well-known hymns, and check that the organist will play them in keys that are comfortable for people who do not sing regularly.
There are few things less enjoyable than having to sing hymns you do not know that have notes in them that you cannot reach.
Read through the words and make sure you like and understand them, and that you want to hear your guests sing them.
Leave out any verses with high-flown Victorian language or obscure meanings.
Don’t be afraid of using hymns intended for children that convey a simple message.
You may even wish to hire a vocalist or choir to augment and lead the choral charge
The signing of the register and photographs usually takes around 5-10 minutes, but may take longer at civil weddings, where guests are often invited to come up and take photos after the official photographer has finished.
The music chosen should therefore collectively be capable of covering this period. If in doubt, choose music that might be too long, and ask the musicians to cut it short if needed.
If you are having solo singers, make sure that they stand at the front. Musician(such as Steelasophical) are more than happy to be located at the rear or to the side, as the music will naturally continue to maintain that welcomed atmosphere
Music for the exit of bride and groom should be long enough to also cover the exit of most of the guests. Tastes vary greatly on this – some couples may like something `light and bright’, similar to the music the bride might enter to, others may like something grand and stirring, and yet others might like something romantic.
This is usually the hardest music to choose, and where the church organ comes into its own. If you are having other instruments playing, avoid anything that forces them to play at maximum volume to create enough noise. Otherwise, if you are just having piano, you might end up with something that sounds like the accompaniment to a silent film! .. or a nice caribbean feel good kitty will set everyone off on an upbeat step!!
Steelasophical Steel Band has found that since the inception of Civil weddings venues and ceremonies, the sky has been the limit for types of music to have for the bride and newly weds .. with more and more weddings having a Caribbean theme, the choice to have Caribbean music has been a very popular choice
Steelasophical can provide music for the following parts of your wedding day:
- Wedding Ceremony
- Drinks reception
- Pre Dinner
- Wedding Breackfast
- Pre Evening
- Evening Entertainment
What Is Steelasophical?
A live band can be great .. there is that wonderful authentic throw back to the ole the caribbean days with a 3 or 4pc traditional steelband, and there are many excellent ones to chose from. Steelasophical is however something entirely different, Steelasophical bridges the gap between a DJ playing music tracks (backing racks) and a LIVE band (live steeldrums/percussions), by smoothly and seamlessly blending the two with the best of BOTH worlds