Wedding Music
By Gabriel S. Horne

Music is the finest way to personalize your marriage vows and set the tone of your ceremony. Whether you plan to have a large formal wedding in a cathedral or a small gathering at your home, the music played before, during, and at the conclusion of the ceremony is an important part of your planning.

If you are planning a church wedding, discuss the music with your clergy member. Most churches allow the inclusion of appropriate secular or popular music, and a personal favorite might be just the thing to make your ceremony just a little bit more special. Anyone planning a church wedding will definitely have an ear toward the traditional or religious aspects and you should take full advantage of the possibilities. Find out if the church has an organ or piano on the premises. The clergy member will almost certainly be able to recommend a keyboardist with experience performing music at ceremonies. The musician will have wider range of appropriate classical and/or religious music from which to choose or will be able to perform a piece of your choice if given some time to rehearse it.

Other favored classical and traditional presentations favored include the classical guitar, the harp, the string quartet, or duos consisting of harp/flute, piano/flute, and trumpet/flute and trumpet/violin, etc.

You might also wish to have a vocalist or small vocal ensemble perform a piece with lyrics that have special meaning for you and your family. Again, the clergy member will most certainly be able to recommend a soloist or group.

Combinations of musical style are also possible. One recent wedding made the most of everything available. Although the couple opted for a very classy violin and trumpet duo for the bulk of the musical offering, there was a beautifully restored pipe organ at this colonial-era church and the instrument was utilized for two of the selections.

If you're being married at a private home or at the location of your reception, the options are considerably widened, limited only by the boundaries of good taste. The family piano or the piano at the hall is always a good place to start. If there's an organ available, that makes for a good combination of the traditional and the casual. Light folk music (acoustic guitars, fiddles, mandolins) is also very popular. And don't forget about pre-recording your favorite music on to a cassette. You can program the entire ceremony yourself. Just make sure you have a trusted accomplice with detailed instruction running the deck! No matter what you decide, the music for your wedding is the perfect background for your ceremony and its one area where the choice is solely in your hands.


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