1. The best ceremony musicians are just like the catchers on a baseball team.
When you’re hiring ceremony musicians for your wedding, trust me, you want someone who’s done this before. Timing a wedding right is HARD. Really hard. We have to judge, on the spot, how much music or how little music is needed, how loud or how soft to play, and we have to be ready to throw all those judgments out and revamp them in the next instant if we need to. It takes thorough musical knowledge and laser focus on what’s going on. And oh yeah—we usually can’t look at our music very much. So our goal with weddings is to be just like a catcher who’s just called a perfect game. Things should go so smoothly on our end that everyone forgets about us and focuses on the pitcher and the guy who hit the game-winning home run!
2. When picking musicians and music, think about who you and your fiancé are, not “what you think a ceremony should be.”
I mean this both ways—if who you are and what you want is a traditional ceremony with the musical accompaniment that’s been played for hundreds of years, that’s beautiful, and that’s what you should have. There’s a reason that those pieces are what folks have been getting married to just about as long as there have been weddings. Don’t feel pressured to choose something that isn’t you. However, if that ISN’T who you are or what you want; if your tastes run more towards opera, or folk music, or jazz, or that hit song that’s been all over the radio lately, or that indie band everyone’s been talking about… then the same thing holds true… don’t feel pressured to choose something that isn’t you! You should hire a group that can play what you want, and help you figure out what that is.
3. Your setting does play a factor for us.
I love playing weddings (I'm a wedding musician, after all!) but when your wedding is outdoors, there are some conditions that are harder to work in than others. Excessive heat or cold damages most instruments and the fingers of the people trying to play them. Level ground is vital for a harp, piano, or anything else you don’t want rolling away while you’re trying to play it. We’ll work with you and the venue as much as we can, and the solutions are often simple (usually a space heater, a fan, or some cover over us, and we’re good to go!) Just keep in mind—if the conditions will ruin your hairstyle, they probably will also mean that we won’t sound as good as we could, and we don’t want your music to be okay, we want it to be awesome.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask!
I know that while music may be something you’re passionate about (or maybe not, maybe you just really like the idea of live music at your wedding, and that’s OK too), chances are, it’s not something you have a lot of formal education in. We don’t mind. That’s where we come in! Unsure if a piece is too long (it’s not)? Too short (it’s not)? Don’t know a composer’s name or a band name or the name of a piece of music or a song? Just not even that sure where to begin? Ask us. We know the music world can be intimidating, and we love to help de-mystify it.
5. Don’t forget- this is the fun part!
I get plenty of late-night stressed out emails from clients that run something like this: “I don’t know whether to pick Song A or Song B! I don’t know how much music I’m going to need! I want Song C, but my parents will absolutely disown me unless I pick Song D…” My answer to all these people is simply this: don’t forget—this is the fun part. This is your chance to make your life sound like the movies. So hire ceremony musicians who can figure out all the tricky stuff, but then go with your gut… because at the end of the day, we understand that the deciding factor in choosing your ceremony music should be the way it makes YOU feel.