Selecting the style of music you have performed at your wedding ceremony can seem like a daunting prospect. Searching online will reveal that there are a multitude of options to choose from, and when you aren’t quite sure what you want, it can be difficult to commit to anything.
So we have compiled an overview of your ceremony music options, including pros and cons of each, with the aim of making your decision a little less overwhelming:
Versatile and expressive, a string quartet (or trio) remains a popular choice for wedding ceremony music. Suitable for both religious and secular ceremonies, string quartets can perform from a large repertoire of classical and popular songs, and it is common for them to accept song requests (as long as they are given enough notice – leaving it until the day itself is a little late!). They also add a fantastic visual element to the occasion, and will stimulate an atmosphere of classic elegance.
String quartets can perform outdoors at garden ceremonies, although they will require cover or shade, as sunlight (or rain!) will damage their instruments.
A good idea if you like: ‘Canon in D’ – Pachelbel, ‘Spring’ – Vivaldi, ‘All You Need Is Love’ – The Beatles, ‘Air on G’ – Bach.
Hiring a harpist for your wedding ceremony is another more traditional option, however like string quartets, they are suitable for both religious and secular ceremonies. If you have a romantic wedding in mind, a harpist will be ideal, as they exude romance both musically and visually.
The repertoire of a harpist is far more limited than other options, as they have a narrower range of sound and expression. They also have quite a soft dynamic, so are more suited to intimate ceremonies. If you are having an outdoor wedding, the harpist will require shade or cover to avoid damage to their instrument.
A good idea if you like: ‘Greensleeves’ – Traditional, ‘Raindrop Prelude’ – Chopin, ‘Moon River’ – Henry Mancini
Guitar (or Keyboard) and Vocal Duo
This option is most suitable for secular ceremonies, particularly if you want a relaxed vibe, and more contemporary songs to be performed. Duo’s can perform from a large repertoire of well-known pop, acoustic, groove, rock and even indie favourites. If your guests are on the younger side especially, this choice will be perfect as the audience will connect with and relate to the music.
If the duo is performing with electric guitar or keyboard, they will require a power source for their instruments, which can be problematic for some garden ceremonies.
As this duo will come with a vocalist, there are Lyrics to consider as well as the music. Lyrics are a very powerful expressive tool, and can communicate to your guests how you and your partner feel about one another. Just make sure you consider the lyrics of your chosen music carefully – some songs don’t have the meaning that you initially expect them to!
A good idea if you like: ‘I’m Yours’ – Jason Mraz, ‘It’s Only Natural’ – Crowded House, ‘If I Ain’t Got You‘ - Alicia Keys, ‘Just The Two Of Us’ – Bill Withers, ‘Better Together’ – Jack Johnson
Hiring a jazz band to perform at your ceremony will add a unique and sophisticated edge to the occasion. They can perform from an enormous instrumental repertoire, however a jazz band won’t be able to perform ‘conventional’ wedding songs that many of your guests will expect. Generally, a trio or quartet is best, and you have the option of selecting the instrumentation eg. saxophone, guitar and drums, or trumpet, guitar and bass.
If the jazz band is acoustic, there won’t be the issue of requiring power if the ceremony is outdoors. Also, a jazz band will also project sound further than most other groups (particularly if you choose to include a horn player) so your guests will be able to enjoy the music without struggling to hear it.
A good idea if you like: ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ – Frank Sinatra, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ – Michael Buble, ‘So What’ – Miles Daves