“If music be the food of love, play on!” - William Shakespeare
Music is a huge part of any wedding and very literally sets the tone for the entire day. Selecting the right song for each part is an important part of the planning and design process. Our Pinterest board this week is full of song ideas for every part of your day from the start of the ceremony to the last song of the night, so I won’t be talking about song selection here.
Just as important as which song you select is how it’s played. Do you want a band or a DJ is no longer the only music question you have to ask. The choices of live music you can have at your wedding are almost endless and every sound lends itself to a different scene. A string quartet for your ceremony has a luxurious regal cadence, while a harp can feel almost like a dreamland. Acoustic guitar can feel traditional or laid back and folky depending on the arrangement of the song and while not many people would pick a banjo to walk down the aisle to, it could make for a rocking party at the reception. If you want steel drums for your grand entrance, you can have it. We had a taiko drum performance at our Chinese reception and everybody loved it.
And that’s the best part - with so many options, you don’t need to have the same musician playing for the whole day. Depending on the instruments you want, for almost the same price as one musician all day, you could have one at the ceremony, a different one during cocktail hour and a different one for the important parts of the reception.
If it sounds like I am pushing live music, I am and for a very good reason. It might seem like something frivolous compared to the other choices you have to make but even for the most frugal I still have to recommend investing in the ceremony music being live. I’ll be blunt, I think it is some of the best money you can spend on your wedding and here’s why:
My earliest memory of live music is Sharon, Lois and Bram in concert. I couldn’t have been very old at all, but I vividly remember loving every minute of it. I remember seeing Phantom of the Opera with my grandma as a kid and she bought me the soundtrack afterwards. I remember being a teenager and seeing local bands play in Streetsville at the Masonic Lodge. I remember the first concert I saved up to go see: Tool at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton. The visual effects of that show blew my mind for weeks after that. And even though it was almost 7 years ago, it still feels like only yesterday the violin started playing Edelweiss and then our wedding ceremony began.
I could go on and on recalling times when I heard live music, but I don’t remember what I had for dinner two weeks ago or even what song was on the radio on the ride home tonight. Live music elevates whatever it accompanies; it makes you take notice, it makes you remember. I have a painfully bad memory at times but I can remember pretty much every single time I was at a live performance whether I was guest or working. And because of the live music, I have the most amazing ingrained memories of our wedding worth far more than we spent.