After you decide what style of music you want for your ceremony, and (if your ceremony will be in a house of worship) making sure they allow the style you have in mind, you can now determine when during the ceremony you would like music played.
There are four parts to a wedding ceremony, and each will need its own selections.
The first part is the prelude, usually played 20 – 30 minutes prior to the actual start of the ceremony, while guests are arriving and being seated. Many couples also choose a particular song to be played as their mothers are being seated (and lighting the unity candle tapers, if they’re having a unity candle ceremony).
Next is the processional – the walk down the aisle by the bridesmaids, maid of honor and the bride, signaling the start of the ceremony. The bride may choose to walk down the aisle to the same music as her ladies, or she may prefer a separate selection altogether.
This is followed by the ceremony itself. Music during the ceremony is optional, although an appropriate piece played during the lighting of the unity candle, communion or the sign of peace, for example, is a nice touch.
Lastly, though no less important, is the recessional – played as the entire bridal party and the guests exit, usually something very upbeat and joyous. Usually only one song is played during the recessional, but depending on the number of guests, two or more may be needed.
Tomorrow we’ll share a list of ceremony song selections.