Choosing a special musical number can be a great way to make your wedding ceremony unique. But before you request your musician to play “Stay” or cue up your CD player to “Shape of You”, here are a few points to consider.
Many churches consider weddings to be a special type of worship service. Do they have a set procedure or is there room for special numbers? Does your favorite song fit the mood or spiritual requirements of the church or your officiant?
When do you want to feature your special number? A popular time for requested music is during the candle lighting, sand ceremony, hand fasting or whatever special unity ceremony you plan. Some brides choose to have their requests be part of the prelude. Some numbers may be better for the reception or cocktail hour.
Many current pop songs have upbeat melodies and a catchy rhythm but what are the lyrics? What message does your song send? Will your guests hear that message in the same way that you do? A popular Celtic song has a beautiful melody but the lyrics are about betrayal and false love. Not quite a happy theme for a wedding!
You may want to give a family member or a friend the opportunity to share their talent as part of your ceremony. Will they be performing with a recording or will your ceremony musician provide back up? I am willing and able to work with your guest musicians but do charge extra for rehearsal with them. And keep in mind that not everyone who loves to sing or play an instrument enjoys playing in front of others or under the high stress environment of a wedding. Will your guest musician be comfortable laying as part of your wedding or is that special tune best saved for a more intimate family gathering?
I do my best to play special requests but not every piece works well on the harp. On the other hand, you may be surprised by what can and has been played on the harp! It also helps when music is easily available. I’m usually able to find what I need on online sources but had to work a little harder to find sheet music for a Chinese Popular song! By the way, yes I can play Stairway to Heaven on the harp…