Category Archives: wedding ceremony music

Tips for Finding the Best Chicago Wedding Ceremony Musicians

wedding ceremony site needing wedding musiciansCouples shouldn’t have to settle for wedding ceremony music that’s any less than the wedding reception entertainment. And you won’t have to, if you use these tips for finding and hiring the right wedding ceremony musicians for your big day.

Consider the acoustics and size of the venue.

Before hiring any wedding ceremony musicians, the first step of the process is to consider the wedding atmosphere, type of music, and amount of musicians that fit with the wedding venue. A small duet may have issues with volume in an open-air outdoor venue, whereas a quartet may seem overwhelming in a small indoor ceremony venue.

In addition to the venue, consider the desired wedding atmosphere when choosing wedding ceremony musicians. The right wedding ceremony musician contributes to the wedding theme. A ceremony musician with a Carribean sound is the perfect fit for a beach wedding. A violinist or harpist reinforces the atmosphere of an upscale wedding. A guitarist sets the stage for a contemporary or modern wedding atmosphere.

Set the wedding ceremony program.

The best wedding ceremony musicians for your big day are a perfect match for your wedding ceremony program. Every wedding ceremony program is different, but a traditional program general consists of:

  • Prelude music is soft, background music played as guests enter and are seated.
  • As the wedding party enters, there are two songs played during the processional. The second processional song is a more exuberant song signifying the bride’s entrance and walk down the aisle.
  • Select ceremony music played during special moments, such as during the lighting of a unity candle.
  • During the recessional, a louder song is played as the bride and groom exits followed by softer music as the guests leave.

When finding and hiring wedding ceremony musicians, ask them if they experience playing in wedding ceremonies and, specifically, your chosen wedding ceremony music. (This list of songs for a wedding ceremony can give you a head start on selecting the right songs for the program.) Don’t settle for amateur musicians with no experience with wedding ceremony music.

To ensure that there are adequate musicians for the ceremony and cocktail, ask wedding ceremony musicians if they have a minimum amount of time required for a booking. If you want to skip these steps (finding, hiring, and coordinating wedding ceremony music), contact a professional entertainment agent to find, hire, and coordinate wedding ceremony music.

Know venue restrictions for wedding ceremony music in advance.

Some venues have restrictions on music volume or specific songs. Talk to the coordinator at your ceremony venue, or discuss any limitations with your officiant.  Some venues or ceremony sites do not allow amplifiers or restrict the wedding ceremony songs included in the ceremony program. If your service is in a church, synagogue, or temple, ask about hymns or traditional religious music that is played at weddings.

Hiring a band or entertainer? 6 Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid

wedding dance floor full of guests dancing to wedding bandHiring a band or entertainer for your big day can seem like just another task to check off on your wedding planning checklist; as simple as it seems, it’s still a wedding planning task that begets blunders if you don’t take advice from the pros to heart.

Procrastinating

We’ve seen many a couple wait too long (way too long) to consider their wedding entertainment.  Don’t wait to start searching for a great wedding band or entertainer; the best wedding entertainers’ calendars fill up quickly.  As soon as you reserve your wedding venue, start searching for bands or hire an entertainment agent who can find the right entertainer and manage all the important details.

Thinking that wedding entertainment is a low priority

Don’t think of your wedding band or entertainer as an isolated item not connected to your wedding atmosphere.  To the contrary: wedding entertainment can be a powerful part of creating a vintage wedding, country picnic or any other wedding theme you are trying to create.  Search for the entertainers that help you connect all the dots and tie all the details together.

Not asking for help

A typical wedding planning checklist is long.  When you’re busy, vetting entertainers (for your ceremony and reception) to find the best and most reliable can seem like a huge undertaking. To ease your wedding planning stress, consider contacting an entertainment agent as a time-saving life saver (amid other excellent reasons). An entertainment agent can locate the right quality entertainers for your wedding, and handle all details and any needs the entertainers might have—decreasing your wedding planning workload and giving you the wedding you’ve always dreamed of.

Making price the only factor in your decision

It’s a common misconception: any amateur musician can play in a wedding ceremony.  You shouldn’t have to settle for amateur musicians who haven’t touched an instrument since grade school (here’s how to choose a quality ceremony musician) or an inexperienced musician who has never played at a wedding before. Your guests shouldn’t have to settle for a mediocre band that doesn’t play together often or has the experience to keep your dance floor going all night.  The lesson: use more than cost in your decision to hire a wedding entertainer, so you get the right entertainer for your big day.

Not considering the size of your venue

For your ceremony and reception, think about the size of your venue when screening potential musicians and entertainers.  A small group or band that can’t hit the volume in a venue your size is going to leave your guests underwhelmed and waiting for the real entertainers to come out and play.  Ask bands and musicians if they’ve performed at a venue your size before, and how many members of the group is going to be present at your ceremony or reception.

Ignoring advice

This doesn’t mean you have to listen to that advice from your aunt about your wedding dress, but it does mean to be open to advice from your wedding planner, venue consultant or entertainment agent. You’ve hired these wedding professionals for their experience; listen to them when setting a schedule, wedding entertainment line-up and placement. Remember, they are trying to make your vision a reality and work for you; now you can rely on their experience for the perfect wedding entertainment line-up.

Not sweating the details

Hiring an entertainer or band is more than just signing on the bottom line.  If you want to make sure you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed, lean on the professionals who have experience and can sort through and coordinate all the details.  You’ll be glad you did when you’re enjoying all the benefits of terrific wedding entertainment.

5 Tips for Selecting the Right Ceremony Music

wedding ceremony sheet musicYou’re engaged! Congratulations. Let the wedding planning begin, including selecting the songs that play while you walk down the aisle. Your ceremony music is one of the first parts of your wedding that your guests experience, so make sure you give your ceremony music the due attention it deserves and don’t let your big day (or your guests) down. Here are five tips to help you choose the ceremony music—and the musicians—that makes your wedding ceremony even more meaningful.

Know how much ceremony music you need/want.

Every wedding is unique; the amount of songs vary but we can talk in generalities. Typically, your ceremony music consists of prelude, processional, and recessional music, and any interlude songs that are played during special moments during the ceremony (lighting a unity candle, etc.).

  • Prelude music is soft background music played as guests enter and are seated.
  • As the wedding party enters, there are usually two songs played during the processional. The second processional song is a more joyous song signifying the bride’s entrance and walk down the aisle.
  • During the recessional, a louder song is played as the bride and groom exits followed by softer music as the guests leave (called postlude music).

If you’re holding the wedding in a religious setting, ask about ceremony music restrictions.

Don’t wait to do this important step; ask first so you can avoid heartache later. Talk to the coordinator at your ceremony venue, or discuss any limitations with your officiant. If your service is in a church, synagogue, or temple, ask about hymns or traditional religious music that was played at other weddings.

Consider your ceremony setting.

The amount of, type, and kind of ceremony musicians you hire depends on a lot of different factors. If your wedding ceremony is outside, you may need more musicians to ensure that you have adequate volume. For a small, intimate, interior ceremony setting, a quartet may be overwhelming—and, from a practical standpoint, there may not be adequate room for your musicians. If you are unsure, contact a professional who can select the right professional musician or musicians appropriate for your wedding and coordinate all the details.

Your music is your choice.

Don’t feel limited by traditional songs. For example, just because your mother walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D doesn’t mean you have to do the same. We found this list of songs to work from; don’t be afraid to ask an entertainment agent for quality musician and song suggestions (they can draw on their experience to make modern, contemporary or traditional recommendations for music). Good musicians have the experience and skill to play a variety of songs that you choose.

Don’t hire amateur musicians.

You don’t want just any hack musician setting the mood for your special day. This is the time when you are committing to your wedding partner formally, and you shouldn’t have to settle for amateur musicians who haven’t touched an instrument since grade school. Instead of relying on a ‘friend of a friend’ who may or may not have the skills to play at your ceremony (do you know for sure?), contact an entertainment agent who can choose skilled professionals perfect for your ceremony, venue, and budget.