Consult with your spouse-to-be about their preferences
Your husband-to-be might be put on that Jack Johnson song. Your wife-to-be may want to include Ave Maria, the song that's been used in her family for generations. You should both be able to come to an arrangement or compromise on the songs you wish to use for the service. If tradition is a variable, then decide if that conventional song is a ideal fit for your service. Speaking to your fiance about your music preferences and making mutual decisions together will also bring you closer to each other. It'll be great practice for your married life!
Choose music that will best represent the overall theme
Your songs will create the atmosphere for your occasion and set the tone for your guests. Discuss your theme with your spouse and the overall vibes you want for the service. Can it be traditional or modern? Are you striving for spiritual practices or celebrating your cultural habits? Perhaps you want the ceremony to reflect your favourite romantic scene from the Parisian or Italian film you both enjoy, or maybe you prefer it to signify something more festive, such as the carnival where you shared your first date. Maybe you both share a love for theatre and wish to have a Broadway-themed occasion. The theme of the service will lead you to the sort of music you require. If you really want a particular song but it doesn't quite match the rest of your choices, there might be ways to adapt it. Do not be afraid to change songs to fit your individual taste and the mood and theme of your event.
Pick music that fits your style
Don't worry about adding your Great Aunt Muriel's song suggestions for the service. And your bridesmaids should not be pressuring you to use songs they've heard used at everybody else's weddings. Remember, this is not your mother's wedding, or your friend's, or some stranger's, it is yours. You should choose the kind of music that best represents you, your partner, your feelings for each other, and your characters. You don't need to use a song just because it is the number-one choice for weddings. If you do not like a song, do not use it - plain and simple. Find music that you and your spouse can both agree on. The music you use can be much more meaningful if you choose something that speaks to both of you. Listen to the radio, CD's and research Pandora, and keep your ears open as you see films. You're bound to find a song or instrumental sound that gives you and your partner that same special feeling in your soul.
Choose music that is appropriate for the venue
Where you hold your service may determine the sort of music you can choose. Churches may already have pre-approved lists of audio that you must adhere to, or the pastor may deny the use of certain song requests because of their negative connotations. Certain religious songs might also be insisted upon for certain areas of the ceremony. Restrictions in the use of musicians and instruments may also be a factor. Weddings in nonreligious venues or outdoor weddings may have more room for options, but have their own elements to think about, like supplying power for electric instruments, and determining the amount of musicians you would like to use. Also, keep in mind that 99 percent of music in a ceremony, aside from traditional hymns, is instrumental. But this doesn't mean you can not have music with lyrics. Keep in mind, if you wish to have vocalists, this adds yet another factor to the type of music you might use.
Determine how much music should be used during the ceremony along with the order
It's your choice to only have a small music during the ceremony or lots of it. Keep in mind, however, that it isn't a concert; having only enough music to cover the basics can be sufficient. Remember, your guests came to observe you, so it's best to not mess the ceremony with a lot of music - keep it classy. If there is no room for a number of your song choices, you can always play with them during the reception. Also, while having a vocalist or several, or even a chorus, can be beautiful, make certain that their singing won't wear your guests thin with too many vocal numbers, or interfere with important features of the service. Opt to have your vocalists lead the hymns, or inhale before or after the service. The songs you choose and the positioning of these during the ceremony will set the mood and flow of events.
Determine the parts of the service you wish to set to music
Bear in mind that the music is meant to be the glue that holds your ceremony together. You want your event to be able to maintain a pleasurable flow. Think about the areas of the ceremony that you are choosing music for. Potential parts of the ceremony that can be set to music could include the prelude, the processional (you may select distinct pieces for the wedding party and the bridal entrance), congregational hymns and spiritual ceremony responses, the lighting of the unity candle, the recessional and the postlude. If you wish to, you may add a vocalist to one of these pieces. Bear in mind that several of these pieces, particularly during the processional, may just require a few seconds to move through, so try to select similar-sounding songs for all these parts. Rather than trying to cram a lot of songs into the service, which may disrupt the flow, you can also save some of those songs to be played at the reception instead. An important note: If your service is at a place of worship, remember to get your list of song selections approved by the coordinator.
Determine the number and type of musicians you desire that fit your personality
Size certainly matters - when it comes to musicians in your own wedding. Consider your space limitations at the venue beforehand to make sure there's enough room for all of the musicians you need and all of the equipment they require. Pick musicians that not only best fit your chosen style, but that are also comfortable with that style. String quartets are lovely for traditional weddings, while modern weddings can be quite charming with only a solo pianist, saxophonist, or acoustic guitar player. Churches might have their own musicians besides the organist that you may use. You may also wish to consider choosing a tool that's unique to your individual culture if it is important to you. Don't hesitate to include family members with musical abilities in your ceremony too. Just bear in mind that not all musicians are created equal. If you ask someone who is not a professional, understand that they might not precisely perform perfectly on the big day.
Don't hesitate to ask for advice
With so many choices and kinds of music to pick from, it can get easy to become lost or overwhelmed. Do not be afraid to ask your close friends or people who know you well for help if you need it. Request a recently married friend about their experiences in selecting music and any tips about what they did or what they would have done otherwise. Perhaps you will want to hold off on booking musicians until you have decided on your musical options. However, you might also considering welcoming the advice and thoughts of the professional musicians whom you employ - they may be able to suggest something that's right up your alley. Listening to CD's of popular wedding music can help you to get the ball rolling as well. Ultimately, the choice of music is up to you and your fiance, so choose what feels best for you!