The wedding prelude can be the forgotten guest at a wedding… I can recall many times over the years playing for a wedding, and realizing the morning of that we never settled on what music the couple prefers for the prelude. Now if I was married to the printed page, this wouldn’t be quite so easy to overlook, but since I usually play preludes by ear, and I’m comfortable just winging it, the discussion about the actual content of the pre-wedding music can be easily forgotten.
By the morning of the wedding, I hate to bother the happy but probably slightly nervous couple with this kind of decision, and I figure if they cared deeply about the music choices they would have alerted me.
So, if it’s a somewhat conservative church or wedding, I’m asking myself, is it okay to play “secular” music? (That term sets off alarm bells in my head, but I’ll ignore them for now). The question is, will anyone be offended if I’m playing a song that might call up Elvis, such as Unchained Melody? Personally, I think “Righteous Brothers” when I think of that song, and what could be more appropriate in a church setting than a song by the “Righteous Brothers?” I mean, come on. Or how about an even more innocuous choice – something by the 70′s band Bread, or Dan Fogleberg, or The Carpenters, for heaven’s sake.
Truthfully, 30 years ago this was more of an issue than it would be today; so I usually feel comfortable in most settings playing any well known love songs as long as the lyrics are not offensive. Often I’ll begin a wedding prelude with these love songs, but for the last couple before the bridesmaids make their entrance, I’ll default to something more familiar in a church setting.
I think that’s due partly to my upbringing, but also to my view of the sanctity of marriage and the richness of the metaphor for marriage comparing the relationship of a man and a woman to the relationship between Christ and the church.
As usual, what started out to be a harmless post about something wedding related has taken me down the rabbit trail, but it was my choice to leave the beaten path, wasn’t it now. My dad always liked shortcuts, both while driving and hiking, so it’s his fault I think…
Here is an interesting post about one of the most beautiful songs ever written – Moonlight Sonata…a great wedding prelude. Check it out!