Let’s talk about some ideas that will help you have a problem-free church wedding as relates to your music. The goal is a good relationship with those overseeing the church affairs for this event, and a clear understanding of your options.
- First, make sure you are aware of the music policies and procedures of the church. Some churches will give you free rein in choosing any wedding music you like, and using any musicians you choose. Other churches have restrictions on which styles of music are considered appropriate for weddings, and still others may have staff musicians that you may be required to use. For example, a church that has an expensive pipe organ may have restrictions as to who may play it.
- Communication is key. Well in advance of your wedding, call and find out who you need to talk with about your church wedding music ideas and plans. Some churches require that you use a wedding planner that either attends the church, or is on an approved list. If this is the case, they should be able to advise you on all matters related to your wedding music ideas and plans.
- This is the time to be proactive and very forthcoming! For example, if you have considered unusual wedding processional music, or upbeat or contemporary wedding recessional songs, best to ask about it early on, so there are no surprises or disappointments as your wedding day approaches. If you are considering a musical ensemble of some sort, whether a family group, friends, or a choir or band, make it known to your wedding planner or to the church, as there will be details to be worked out related to microphones, cables, and so forth.
- Regarding the sound system and the engineer in charge of sound for your wedding: Your wedding planner probably knows the situation at the church or other venue. However, you should be aware that not all sound engineers are of equal ability, and the equipment they are using may be more complicated than you might think. So, our goal is to make the music layout as simple as possible for the sound engineer, as follows:
- When your wedding music is finalized – from the first note of the prelude to the last note of the recessional or postlude – create a document that is easy to follow, preferably printed from a computer, that lays out all of your music. Make it as clear as possible, with all information that might be useful -
- who is playing/singing at different times in the wedding
- how many individuals are involved in any ensemble or group
- how many songs they are performing
- who is accompanying
- if accompaniment tracks from CD will be used
- additional details that might be helpful (Amy has a very soft voice, for example)
The sound engineer may of course transfer the information to your wedding bulletin.
Since this is a wedding music website, we are addressing primarily church wedding music ideas and suggestions. There are other considerations for a smooth working relationship with the church that don’t involve music – and most of them are solved by using common sense, and being direct but soft-spoken in your communication. Last, if you have difficulty tracking down those you need to speak with about these matters - be persistent!