Live music at a wedding can come in many forms. One thing for sure is it always makes an impact and, depending on your choice, may well and truly get the party started. One celebrant gives us their personal top tips for using live music to jazz up your wedding ceremony.
The traditional string quartet at your ceremony can still be lovely, there is certainly a place for it in the right venue at the right wedding. Let’s face it though, there is so much more out there.
When planning your wedding ceremony the initial thought may be to think recorded songs for walking down the aisle at the start and when you have said your I Do’s.
With everything now, it is all about choice and reflecting your own beliefs, wishes and personality. More and more couples are realising that live music, and perhaps raucous singing, doesn’t have to be restricted to their reception.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex may be under intense scrutiny for their decisions but they had the right idea when they got married. The moment Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Gospel Choir sang Stand By Me in St George’s Chapel, millions of people were awakened to the beauty, the awe, the uplifting happiness of live music.
Why listen to me? Well, because I booked the live music for our ceremony before we had even confirmed the venue! In fact it’s fair to say, other than having a celebrant conduct a personal, humorous and heartfelt ceremony for us, the music was the most important part for me. Music is such a powerful form of communication and I wanted it to express the fun and laughter in our relationship.
So what did I plump for? A brass band of course! I had seen The New York Brass Band play a few times at festivals and had turned to a friend on the second occasion and said ‘if Ian and I get married, I am booking them to play at our wedding’. She was shocked, I was determined. And so it came to pass that this amazing ensemble surprised all our guests by appearing on stage with us (we got married at a small, local theatre) and accompanying us as we all sang It Must Be Love by Madness. They then followed us as we shimmied down the aisle and outside. Oh and they accompanied us on our bus to the reception too. Waaaaah, I want to do it all again!
A couple I married late last year went for steel drums. As the ceremony came to a close and guests followed the newlyweds down the aisle to enjoy a glass of fizz, the Rainbow Steel Band struck up. The Bath band, who originated in Barbados, certainly brought a Caribbean flavour to the laid back, industrial vibe of the wedding.
Last Summer, a bride who comes from a musical family added her own individual take by having the wedding party play kazoos during the outdoor ceremony. It wasn’t the most tuneful or co-ordinated rendition of Love Me Do but it was hilarious, joyous and well, slightly bonkers which I loved. It was the perfect addition to the ceremony. I was informed a few days later they had given kazoos to the rest of the guests as favours and had done a re-run of The Beatles classic during the meal which had been a lot better!
Have a talented friend or family member? How about enlisting their help and asking them to play acoustic guitar as your musical accompaniment as you walk down the aisle. This also proved a popular option in my previous weddings.
Jazz, pop, opera, brass or rock, whatever your flavour, it is about celebrating your love with the music that reflects you.
Traditional or spiritual, wildly alternative or totally badass, (Helen's words!) she will help you to plan and create a memorable ceremony for all the right reasons, which is unique and appropriate to you and your lifestyle.See Helen's profile here
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