Wedding season 2013 is here, and we’ve got a fantastic summer ahead of us! In particular, I’m looking forward to playing at the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Old Timer’s Cabin, debuting new arrangements of Beatles and Coldplay songs, and getting to pack up our tuxes and gowns and wear jeans and t-shirts (!) to a 50’s greaser style wedding!
To those in the middle of wedding planning, here are a few do’s and don’ts from a musician’s perspective:
DO: Meet with your musicians at least a month in advance to discuss the music. Not only will you choose which pieces you want where, but they will help you factor in things that you might not have thought of, like how long the aisle at your venue is and how that affects which pieces you choose. Or, if you really love Pachelbel’s Canon in D, but want something similar and not as often-played, they will be able to give suggestions!
DON’T: Expect your musicians to read your (or your officiant’s) mind! If there are any last-minute changes to the ceremony that could affect the music, let them know! If there will be 9, not 7 bridesmaids walking down the aisle, they need to know so they can repeat the song one more time to avoid that awkward (and unnecessary) silence.
DO: Keep to the schedule as much as possible. Things sometimes happen, regardless of how organized you are, but the closer you can start your ceremony on time the better – your guests will appreciate it and will enjoy it more if they haven’t been sitting and waiting for 45 minutes. You will also avoid running into overtime fees for musicians and your officiant, and won’t have to worry about conflicting with the next booking at your venue.
DON’T: Use a CD player or iPod for the music. Not only is it a little tacky (personal opinion), but it is tricky to get the timing right. Experienced musicians are able to start and end pieces elegantly to fit with the ceremony – even if it means ending right in the middle of the piece because your enthusiastic flowergirl ran down the aisle!
DO: Choose pieces that YOU love! Think about what reflects your personality, relationship, family, and culture! Most ensembles are flexible and are able to help you find or arrange sheet music for that song you’re dying to walk down the aisle to. Don’t just choose Wagner’s Bridal Chorus just because you think that’s your duty (unless, of course, you really love it)!