Harpist, Chantal Dubé
You have just gotten engaged and you’ve already chosen the song for your first dance. But what will you walk up the isle to?
Ceremony music seems to be the realm of the unknown to most couples. I am hoping I can offer some helpful advice to you in this area.
As a professional musician I have played for all types of ceremonies and performed a variety of music. From vineyard weddings to formal church ceremonies I have seen it all! Couples seem to be very educated about what they want their DJ to play but are left with little knowledge about what to choose for their ceremonies. They usually suggest me to play the standard repertoire. But why not be different and make your choices more personal? It’s not as hard as you think. Classical music seems to intimidate people but there are no rules saying you even have to choose classical music.
If you are having a traditional church ceremony you have to consider the type of music that would be respectful. If you’re having a non-traditional ceremony there are no rules. I encourage couples to choose music that is personal to them. Gone are the days of the traditional Wedding March. Canon in D by Pachelbel is currently the most popular choice for a processional. However if you are leaning towards something less traditional perhaps you should choose a slower contemporary song for your entrance. Most musicians are willing to take at least one request, especially if it’s a piece they feel would add a little flavor to their repertoire.
YouTube can be a very helpful tool for couples trying to choose ceremony music. I have had couples find what they like on YouTube and send me the link. It gives me a chance to see what their taste in music is and what type of ambiance they would like to create for their ceremony. I have often arranged music for some contemporary songs chosen by couples that sound unexpectedly lovely on the harp.
When hiring a musician be sure not only to ask them how long they have been playing but how long they performing for weddings. Performing at weddings is a completely different type of experience. As a musician we have to be ready to deal with distractions and ready to fill any unsuspected moments of silence. There are no two ceremonies alike and nothing ever goes as planned. If you can be sure you have hired a musician that has a lot of experience performing at weddings than you can be sure your ceremony will flow with ease.
Out of all the weddings I perform for only about 5% of couples ask for a consultation. My biggest word of advice is to meet with your musician and be sure they are willing to play for you. They can offer you some advice as to what type of musical selections will be suitable and personal to you. Perhaps they can even add a special flare to their arrangements to suit your personalities.
Be sure you are hiring someone whom you think will be easy to work with. They are not only musicians but entertainers who will be interacting with your guests, bridal party, minister and wedding planner. After all, your wedding ceremony is the most intimate part of your day and you want to be sure that they are going to add to the experience not only with their talent but with their cheerful disposition.
Lastly be sure to ask how your musician how they plan to dress. You and your bridal party are going to spend hours getting ready. Your musician is going to be a focal point prior to your ceremony. As guests arrive they will play prelude music , thus all eyes will be on them until your ceremony starts. I personally like to wear a lovely gown because the harp is a luxurious instrument and a simple black skirt or pant suit doesn’t seem elegant enough.
I would be pleased to meet with you to discuss and customized your wedding ceremony music!