Consult with your spouse-to-be about their preferences
Your husband-to-be might be set on that Jack Johnson song. Your wife-to-be might 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 agreement or compromise on the songs you would like to use for the ceremony. In the end, the music should express the feelings that you have toward each other. If tradition is a factor, then determine if that traditional song is a ideal fit for your ceremony. It'll be great practice for your married life!
Choose music that will best represent the entire theme
Your songs will create the atmosphere for your occasion and set the tone for your visitors. Talk about your theme with your spouse and the total vibes you need for the service. Can it be traditional or modern? Are you striving for spiritual practices or celebrating your cultural customs? Maybe you want the service to reflect your favorite romantic scene from the Parisian or Italian film you both enjoy, or perhaps you prefer it to represent something more festive, such as the carnival where you shared your first date. Maybe you both share a love for theatre and want to have a Broadway-themed occasion. The theme of the ceremony will lead you to the type of music you need. If you really want a particular song but it does not quite match the rest of your choices, there may be ways to adapt it. Don't be afraid to change songs to fit your individual taste and the mood and theme of your event.
Choose music that fits your personality
Don't be worried about including your Great Aunt Muriel's song suggestions for the ceremony. And your bridesmaids should not be pressuring you to use tunes they have heard used at everyone else's weddings. Bear in mind, this isn't 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 personalities. You don't have 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 songs you use can be much more meaningful if you select something which speaks to the two of you. You're bound to discover a song or instrumental sound that gives you and your partner that same special feeling in your soul.
Pick music that is appropriate for the venue
Where you hold your service may determine the sort of music you may choose. Churches may already have pre-approved lists of audio that you must adhere to, or the pastor may deny the use of specific song requests due to their negative connotations. Certain religious songs might also be insisted upon for certain parts of the ceremony. Restrictions in the use of musicians and instruments may also be a variable. Weddings in nonreligious places or outdoor weddings may have more room for alternatives, but have their own factors to consider, such as supplying power for electrical instruments, and determining the amount of musicians you would like to use. Also, keep in mind that 99 percent of music during a ceremony, besides traditional hymns, is instrumental. However, this doesn't mean you can not have music with lyrics. Just remember, if you wish to have vocalists, this adds still another factor to the sort of music you may use.
Determine how much music should be used during the ceremony and the order
It is your choice to only have a little music during the service or lots of it. Bear in mind, though, that it isn't a concert; having only enough music to cover the basics can be sufficient. Bear in mind, your guests came to celebrate you, so it is better not to mess the ceremony with too much music - keep it classy. If there is no room for some of your song choices, you can always play them during the reception. Also, while using a vocalist or several, or perhaps a chorus, can be beautiful, be sure that their singing won't wear your guests thin with too many vocal numbers, or interfere with important features of the service. You don't need the soloist distracting the guests while shirk or hitting piercing high notes because the bride is walking down the aisle. Opt to have your vocalists lead the hymns, or inhale before or after the ceremony. The tunes you choose and the placement 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
Remember that the music is intended to be the glue that holds your service together. You want your event to have the ability to maintain a pleasurable flow. Think about the areas of the ceremony that you're choosing music for. Potential parts of the ceremony that can be set to music may include the prelude, the processional (you may select separate pieces for the wedding party and the bridal entrance), congregational hymns and religious ceremony answers, the lighting of the unity candle, the recessional and the postlude. If you wish to, you might add a vocalist to any of these pieces. Keep in mind that several of these pieces, especially during the processional, may only take a few seconds to move through, so try to choose similar-sounding songs for all these parts. Rather than trying to cram too many tunes into the service, which may disrupt the stream, you can also save a few of those tunes to be played at the reception instead. An important note: If your ceremony is in a place of worship, don't forget to get your list of song selections approved by the coordinator.
Determine the number and type of musicians you want that fit your style
Size definitely matters - when it comes to musicians at your own wedding. Consider your space constraints at the venue beforehand to make sure there's enough room for all of the musicians you need and all the equipment they require. Pick musicians that not only best fit your chosen style, but that are also comfortable with that style. Churches might have their own musicians besides the organist that you may use. You may also want to consider choosing an instrument that's unique to your personal 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 exactly perform perfectly on the big day.
Do not hesitate to ask for advice
With all these choices and kinds of music to select 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 assistance if you need it. Request a recently married friend about their experiences in choosing music and any suggestions about what they did or what they would have done differently. You might even want to hold off on booking musicians until you've decided on your musical choices. However, you may also considering welcoming the advice and thoughts of the professional musicians whom you hire - they might be able to suggest something that's right up your street. Listening to CD's of popular wedding songs can help you to get the ball rolling as well. Ultimately, the choice of music is all up to you and your fiance, so choose what feels right for you!