Tips For Brides

(and others planning a special event)

No matter how large or small the ceremony or occasion, live music creates a special mood.  Solo acoustic guitar is ideal for smaller, more intimate venues.  A DJ or band is usually hired for a reception, though acoustic guitar works perfectly for smaller, more formal receptions.  I have performed many weddings, corporate events, anniversary and birthday parties, and special events such as Christmas open houses and book release parties.  Below are some tips for engaged couples.  Some apply equally well to those planning a special event.

The Ceremony

While every wedding ceremony is unique, traditionally there are three parts that require music.
These are:

1. The Prelude (Seating music)
2. Processional (Entrance of the wedding party)
3. Recessional (Exit of the wedding party)

Additionally, many couples request music for special parts of the ceremony such as candle lighting, exchanging roses, or prayers.  I have even played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for a very special flower girl’s walk down the aisle.  You'll most likely want music as the
guests mingle and depart once the ceremony is over.

The Prelude/Seating Music:

Before the start of the actual ceremony, guests are seated.  This generally requires 15 - 20 minutes.  Usually when guests hear the music begin, they start finding their seats.  For the Prelude, I normally perform light classical music, and I can create a custom arrangement of a favorite song.

Many brides want special music for the seating of their parents, grandparents or other family members.  I am happy to help you select the perfect music for these special people.

Processional Music:

This includes the entrance of the wedding party and the bride.  This music is usually very stately and elegant.  It should have a comfortable walking tempo.  The wedding party processional music should be different from the bridal processional music.  The bridal processional is the most important music of the event.  I play most of the popular wedding choices or I would be glad to create an arrangement of your special song.

Recessional Music:

This is the music played as the bridal party and the bride and groom depart from the ceremony site.  It is usually jubilant, celebratory music.  Guests generally begin departing soon after the bridal party, and I can play a selection of tunes as the guests leave.

Additional Points and Requirements:

One essential element is to provide me with very clear, visible cues from someone not in the wedding party, generally the wedding coordinator, an assistant or a guest, when it is time for the entrance of the wedding party.  A clear hand signal with clear eye contact is best.  I also require a signal when the bride is ready for her entrance.  This is extremely important.

Please understand that it may take a few moments to reach a portion of a song where I can end it gracefully and then begin the processional or the bride’s song.

It is very rarely necessary for the ceremony musician to attend the wedding rehearsal.  I do require a copy of the finalized order of the ceremony from the wedding planner or bride.

If the ceremony is outdoors, I need dry, level ground, convenient access to power for amplification, shade in the spring or summer, and a chair without arms. It is best to arrange to place me to the side of the ceremony area.  It should be in a place where I have direct sight of where the bridal party will enter and of where the bridal party will stand for the ceremony.

At a reception, or any special event, I should be located away from food and beverage tables to avoid spills and distractions.  Musicians should not be placed next to heaters, fireplaces, drafty windows, or doors.  If the ceremony, reception, or event is in the evening, adequate lighting is required in the musician’s area.

It is very important that I receive clear directions in writing to the event site along with information
regarding parking and set-up in advance. I always arrive early and double-check directions with MapQuest or Google Maps, and I use GPS.

Applause is not necessary or encouraged at any time during the performance. The ceremony musician is there to serve the client and

enhance the mood of the gathering, nothing more.

The guitar is a physically demanding instrument and may need to take a five to ten minute break every hour during longer engagements.  For a wedding ceremony alone, this is, of course, not applicable.

 If the event runs longer than expected, I will be glad to continue to play past the agreed-upon time, but additional fees will be incurred.  If you would like me to continue playing, just let me know and I'll be glad to oblige.  

Thank you for your interest in making acoustic music a part of your special occasion.  Please contact me should you have questions or to book your date.