Monday, August 24, 2009

Ceremony Music

I thought I would take a moment to talk about our wedding music. Being a working musician, the music was incredibly important to me and I spent a lot of time on it. I was lucky enough to have a built-in filter of rockabilly/50s music or it probably would have taken me months to even narrow down my choices! Perhaps a short discussion of how I researched, picked and narrowed down the music will help someone else in their discovery of that "perfect song(s)."

The way I approach music research is very organized. First I try to get my hands on EVERYTHING I can that matches up with my theme or emotion. This may seem overwhelming at first, but if you take a look at your wedding planning notes and such, you will notice a thread that runs through it. I then listen to every song and see if it grabs me within the first 10 seconds. If it does, I add it to a cd compilation file (I use Nero) or jot it down. Don't worry if your initial list is large or is bigger than a blank cd can hold.

The next step is to go back and listen to those songs again. You may want to do this in a separate sitting from the first step if you had to listen to a ton of music or you may be too tired to stay unbiased. This time I pay more attention to the lyrics and see if I feel an emotional connection. I found that if it makes me cry, I am on the right track. At this point you should try to get the choices narrowed down enough to fit on a cd so you can burn it.

Step 3 is to take the cd you just burned and listen to it for a week or so. I call this my car test. I always listen to the music in my car and see how it affects me (and my fiancee) as I am driving from place to place. Certain songs tend to jump out as good or bad and I keep a small notebook in my glove compartment to jot down notes when I reach my destination. I am usually able to narrow the songs down by half this way.

After this it really comes down to what fits each element of the ceremony best. Most people want to have something introspective for the processional but upbeat for the recessional. Most songs have a natural flow to them and some are easier to chop down into sections if you need to. If you or someone you kow is handy with sound editing you can modify some songs to fit what you need exactly. I used the Elvis song Can't Help Falling in Love as my bridal processional and took out half of the intro, the second verse and part of the ending to it felt complete to me, instead of just fading it out. It was 1 and a half minutes that way and was a perfect length and the verses included said exactly what I was feeling.

Here are the songs we used for our wedding:
Wedding party processional- Going to the Chapel- The Dixie Cups
Bridal processional- Can't Help Falling in Love- Elvis Presley
Recessional- Love Love Love- Ruth Brown
1st Dance- Reet Petit- Jackie Wilson
Father-Daughter Dance- My Girl- Otis Redding

Good luck finding your music. It can be an involved process, but if you find the right tunes it makes such a big difference on such an important occasion.

1 comment:

Kate8085 said...

I am a huge fan of Jackie Wilson!
We used alot of 50's and 60's at our wedding too.
Those songs can't be beat for love!!

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