The Mindful Bride, Wedding Planner Tips from  The Music

 The musical entertainment is a memorable, emotional part of the wedding day, and typically something that bride thinks about well before she’s even engaged.  Music can incite a lot of emotions in the wedding party, family, and even guests; from tears of joy for the couple, to sadness for deceased family members, to pure elation and fun.  Care and time should be taken to select the appropriate music for the ceremony and reception so the mood of each part of the day is captured.

There are two distinct parts of the wedding day that involve music:  the ceremony and the reception. Ceremony music can be live, such as a string quartet, organ, or vocals, or it can be recorded music.  Generally, live music is more moving and interesting than recorded music, but it is also more costly.  If the ceremony is held in a church, music options can be limited depending upon the denomination and church rules, so that certainly needs to be initially explored.  If the ceremony is outdoors, weather conditions need to be carefully considered if string instruments are desired, because most musicians/performers will not perform above or below specific temperatures and in adverse weather conditions.  If weather conditions are questionable, it is wise to have a tent on hand to cover the performers.  It’s common for couples to involve a family member in the ceremony music, which usually involves them singing a traditional song like ave maria.  This can be lovely, but only if that person has the skills to pull it off.  If their skills are questionable, have that family member read a poem or recite a reading, and save the music for the professionals.  Costs for professional musicians can range from $100 per hour for a piano or organ player to several hundred dollars for a string quartet.  Depending upon the interests of the couple, live music can be very special and worth the money.

The reception music is the stage for more light-hearted fun and excitement.  This is where, after a few cocktails, the gravity of the ceremony ends and the celebration begins.  Therein lies the decision of whether to select a DJ or a band for the celebration.  There are a few key factors that the bride and groom need to consider to make this choice:  expense, guests, and type of venue.  Typically, bands are significantly more expensive.  Unless the group is just starting out, which should be approached with caution, live bands typically range from $2,500 to $5,000.  The more prominent the band, the more costly, but most people can’t afford Katy Perry or Billy Joel to perform at their wedding.  Know that some venues do not allow live music, and the bride and groom also need to consider their guests and perhaps a DJ is the best choice.  A DJ gives guests more options to request favorite songs, and for the couple to select their specific wedding dance songs.  If expense is a factor, average DJ costs range from $500 to $1,000.

The music is a part of the event that guests tend to remember, good or bad, so consider the type of music and songs selected in relation to the audience.  Whatever is decided, the music should be special and fun, even if that means playing YMCA.