Choosing wedding music is one of those tasks that seems like incredible fun at first. We all love music. We all love weddings. Shouldn’t finding the perfect ceremony song be as easy as pressing shuffle on my iPhone? For so many of the brides and grooms that I’ve had the chance to speak with on this subject over the years (that made me sound old), this choice is not as simple as it would seem.
Ceremony music in particular is challenging because there are only so many songs that sound “ceremony-appropriate” to begin with. Couple that with the desire to choose music that is memorable, original, meaningful AND beautiful and you will start to understand why so many wedding ceremonies still feature the Bridal March and Pachelbel’s Canon in D (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Live music is a wonderful stepping stone over most of these challenges as musicians can perform classical versions of songs that might not otherwise seem appropriate. With Pianos and Violins taking the place of Guitars and Drums, even the ugliest of loud offensive rock becomes extremely ceremony-friendly when played with a wedding mindset. A great example of this is an upcoming August wedding performance we have at Graydon Hall where the bride and groom happen to love 90’s rock. One of her all time favourites is the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Hard To Concentrate” (a smaller song from Stadium Arcadium). Other songs for their ceremony will include Oasis, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and Weezer. What I love the most about all of this is just how personal the soundtrack becomes while playing music that is both beautiful and very “wedding-appropriate”.
So now that you are armed with the power to select just about any song in the universe again, how on earth will you narrow down the field? Finding memorable & meaningful selections that you can both agree on still might not immediately come to mind (don’t feel unromantic…it really is tricky!!) but since this has come up in conversation for me a few times, I have stumbled over a few tricks that just might help:
The Music Overlap
Dig up all of those old playlists, CD’s and tapes (if you happen to be born in the early 80’s like me) and find the albums and artists that you BOTH have privately bought, downloaded, streamed or pirated over the years. Seriously, only keep the music that you both have loved. The result of what is left will surprise you both and delight you when you find how easy it is to choose a selection (if you are both left with only “Weird Al” Yankovic albums, I will concede that this selection process may not be for you…)
Old Romantic Comedies
Rom-Com’s to the rescue once again (turns out, they’re not just for sick-days and weekend movie-marathons on W after all)! Rom-com soundtracks provide such a wealth of amazing songs that you never remembered you loved. Think back to the Gin Blossoms in Empire Records or Wonderful World from Hitch. Even more recent examples like He’s Just Not That Into You and Something Borrowed (it was on W last weekend), are filled with musical classics that might be the perfect safe-song for the two of you to agree upon (even though they may have made you groan with their predictable endings – Something Borrowed, we’re looking at you!). I highly recommend Jerry Maguire and caution against Twighlight (yes…the Christina Perri song has been used before).
Another inspiring point for choosing great ceremony music is thinking of incredible concerts that the two of you went to together. Just a couple of months back I met a couple who adorably first fell in love at a Jimmy Eat World concert (I will protect their identity so as not to give away their age!). Now imagine her walking down the aisle to a classical string’d version of “The Middle”; pretty cool, right? From Darius Rucker to Miley Cyrus, no answer is too embarrassing so long as it is something that you both shared together (although Miley Cyrus is pushing it probably…)
Something For The Family
If the previous three methods didn’t work for you, there is a very strong possibility that you will never be happy. Why not make you mom happy instead!? If she is anything like my mom she is dying to give you a suggestion. Just ask. She probably has one right now. And the beautiful part of hiring talented musicians is that whatever her answer is, we will be happy to play it for her.
Have you found your perfect ceremony music? Tell us in the comments below!