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What Are Your Options for Wedding Music

Updated on September 21, 2013
What Are Your Options for Wedding Music?
What Are Your Options for Wedding Music? | Source

This is probably going to be one of the most varied and most exciting vendors you work with throughout your planning. After all, it's the job of a wedding music vendor to be exciting, fun, interesting, and well...entertaining.

In this category, you could be working with a DJ, a band of any sort of music (country, rock and roll, jazz, blues, punk, alternative, etc.), an orchestra, a church choir, a duet, a trio, a quartet, a quintet, or even a musician with a single instrument. Obviously the options go on and on, but these are the major options for most weddings.

In these more modern times, your entertainment could also simply be a CD player, an iPod, an iPad, or a sound system, without anyone actually behind it. This option would have been arranged by the wedding couple, and the wedding venue, ahead of time to be ready for the wedding day. Of course, instead of hiring someone to do any of the above jobs, or working with the wedding venue to come up with other options, you could simply use a close friend or family member. They could play an instrument, sing, or even arrange music playing alternatively.

If you do go the friend route though, see about renting an amplifier, speakers, and a microphone from a local church or school. Without some kind of sound equipment, even a live person can be hard to hear, and there's no way to anticipate the wind/weather. Each wedding venue chosen can really change the acoustics of the wedding music, especially if the wedding will be outside; so having an amplifier can be extremely helpful.

What are Your Options for Wedding Music
What are Your Options for Wedding Music | Source

Choosing the Right Music

On that topic, the type of music used in the wedding ceremony should be a good fit for the venue chosen. Many wedding venues have chosen to start limiting the type of music played due to the creativity of more modern brides and grooms. Traditionally, the mother of the bride planned the wedding, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" or the "Canon in D" was the choice for the processional, the "Wedding March" was the choice for the recessional, and the parents chose appropriate music for the rest of the evening, likely some live music from a string quartet.

Times are changing and it's important to know how. In churches, couples now have to stick close to an approved list of musical choices. These normally include hymns and a short list of classical songs. However, for those set on walking down the aisle to the very popular "Bridal Chorus" by Wagner may be disappointed to find that it is no longer allowed because of the negative connotations of its original setting (mocking an ill-fated wedding). "In fact, in 1971 the Roman Catholic Church and its Congregation for Divine Worship of the Sacraments issued a document forbidding the use of the 'Bridal Chorus' at weddings." (My Wedding Music)

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It's helpful to check with any wedding venues, in the initial interview, if you know ahead of time that some music will be important. Asking may reveal some information that you may have not known as well. In any type of venue, wedding music can be further dictated by the amount of space available and the abilities and instruments of the wedding music vendor chosen.

At outdoor weddings, music often limited to the instruments that can be easily carried and don't need electricity, unless the venue chosen offers power options to couples having their ceremony in such locations. Guitars, harps or string quartets are most often used at outdoor weddings for that reason, but wedding music vendors are getting creative to match the uniqueness and creativity of the weddings they are playing for. (My Wedding Music)

What are Your Options for Wedding Music?
What are Your Options for Wedding Music? | Source

Band versus DJ

In this planning category, one of the biggest dilemmas that most couples face is the big "Wedding Band versus DJ" decision. When it truly comes down to it, this decision will be determined not only by the couple's wedding budget for this area, but the kind of atmosphere they are trying to create and the music they would like to hear.

Live music always sounds better obviously, and makes a huge impression when played at any event, but they are almost always the more expensive option by far. DJs will have a much wider variety of music that they can play and can take requests at the event for music guests want to hear, by the absolutely cannot produce the same sound or elegance live music can give.

Bands can speed songs up, slow them down, or stretch them out if dad is dancing a little off beat during the father-daughter dance, or the photographer hasn't gotten the picture she wants yet and needs them to dance a little longer. However, a DJ will take up less space on the dance floor and can be relocated and switch between locations at the venue a lot easier.

The argument is a good one for both parties. Both have pros and cons that equal the other and both would be amazing options at any weddings. This is why it really comes down to the specific needs and taste of the couple getting married. The only way to really decide now is to see what each and every available option offers their couples.


Any and all of these wedding music options would be a fantastic choice for any wedding, as each creates an ambiance and an atmosphere all of it's own.

If you're looking for something more upbeat and fun, try for a DJ or a band. For a more elegant touch, an orchestra or any live musical group (especially dressed to the nines) will make you feel like you're at an elegant affair.

For soul and meaning, and people standing up singing, a church choir is an amazing choice. But really any of the above can create exactly the feeling you're looking for. Music is the heart and soul of any occasion. You'd never consider a wedding without music would you?

Without music, it would just be a room with people standing around talking. With music, it's fun, it's entertaining, it's meaningful and tugs at your heart-strings. Although this will be the most exciting vendor you work with, and it will be a blast choosing the right one for your wedding, choose carefully.

Music can develop all the right or even all the wrong feelings. Take the time to do your research, be creative, think outside of the box, and make sure you are choosing someone that makes you feel good and moves you with their music. You'll know when it's right.

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© 2013 Victoria Van Ness


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