Wedding professionals agree that good entertainment is the key to having a successful wedding.
When hiring musicians for your wedding ceremony, reception or any special occasion, start your search as soon as your date is set. Professional musicians, orchestras, bands, DJ's and soloists may be booked a year in advance. Here are some guidelines to use when making a decision about the type of music you want and whom to hire:
Piper 2000 Ex-RAF Pipe Major
Having trouble deciding on the type of entertainment you want at your wedding reception? Below is a list of the pros and cons of Bands and Disco's so you can consider what elements matter to you most:
The best way to hire a great DJ is to pick one that you have seen and heard before or one that is recommended by friends. However, this is not always possible.
DISK JOCKEY Pros:
DISK JOCKEY Cons:
Once you have a list of DJ's talk to them. Pay attention to their professionalism on the phone and ask for literature and referrals.
Your wedding will most likely require music to satisfy all ages and musical tastes so ask about variety and the policy on requests.
Find out about equipment. A DJ should have professional sound equipment - not "home consumer" gear. If lighting is important to you, ask about these special effects.
A good DJ will take the time to explain how they will handle the details of the introductions, first dance, toast, blessing, cake cutting, bouquet & garter and special requested dances. They will be able to communicate well with you and should be willing to listen to your ideas and meet any special needs.
Your DJ should be familiar with most of the music you want and should know how to organize the reception within your guidelines. Try to determine if your DJ has the ability and willingness to "read" and motivate the crowd.
Most reputable DJ's will be willing to provide you materials, song lists and informational planning sheets.
Some will be willing to meet with you. Take advantage of these opportunities, as it will give you a chance to share your ideas, get suggestions and meet the DJ in person.
If a video is available, request to see it. Also be sure to check references and recommendations. Auditioning a DJ at a stranger's wedding in not usually practical. Remember, a good wedding is an individually customised event lasting 4 hours or more. To properly observe a DJ's show you need to stay for the entire time.
The perfect DJ will be affordable, experienced and have good references. He or she will know music, communicate in a friendly and helpful manner, and should be interested in what you and your guests want.
A professional DJ will be well attired; mix music types well and blend motivational dances & special activities with your requests. Your DJ should do it all with style, microphone presence and proper volume. The best weddings are classy yet fun, well-organised and well run. Above all, you want your wedding reception to be memorable, fun, worry-free and a good time for you, your family and your guests.
WEDDING MUSIC FOR THE CHURCH
Also see Booking a String Quartet for addvice on what to look out for when booking a String Quartet
Entering the church - 'Bridal March'
Entering the church most church organists will suggest the traditional and rather stately 'Bridal March' from Wagner's Lohengrin but you might like Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba.
Signing of the register
This can take ten minutes, so you may like a good soprano singing an Ave Maria. Gounod's heavily romanticised, but very beautiful arrangement of a Bach solo keyboard work is probably the most popular, but Catholic Weddings still tend to opt for the more understated serenity of the Schubert. If you have a really good soprano or chorister you might like to emulate Royal weddings with Mozart's motet Exsultate, jubilate', 15 minutes of celebratory vocal fireworks for a high voice with a famous closing Alleluia. Perhaps the most sublimely beautiful of all vocal wedding favourites, Mozart's 'Laudate Dominium, from his Solemn Vespers has a soprano or boy treble solo soaring gloriously above a choir. All of these works can be accompanied by, or arranged for, organ piano. Our personal choice would be Britten's exquisite arrangements for two-voices and piano of Purcell's 'Sound of the Trumpet' lasting just three minutes or a tenor signing Franck's 'Panis Angelicus'. You could combine this with Bach's 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' or something non-choral, anything by Bach; perhaps of a solo cello suite, would be the ticket.
Leaving the church – the processionalThe most famous piece of music associated with weddings is, that favourite processional, the 'Wedding March' from Mendelssohn's' Midsummer Night's Dream. Prince Charles chose the fourth of Elgar's magnificent 'Pomp and Circumstance' Marches. But if that is too grand, Widows 'Toccata' is a wonderful way to leave a euphoric congregation. For more information: Try one of the popular monthly classical music magazines like the excellent Classic CD magazine published by Future Publishing, available at all good newsagents.
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