Your wedding has officially begun! Guests are arriving and being ushered to their seats, you’re trying to relax before your grand entrance, meanwhile music plays gently in the background to set the scene for what is sure to be an unforgettable day. But what “seating music” will you start your wedding with – the choices are practically limitless! Let’s first figure out what type of wedding you have and take it from there…
Which ceremony are you?
1. Traditional: These are the ceremonies that take place in a church. Churches typically require that you use (and pay) their in house musician(s), usually an organist or pianist. And unless the organist plays In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the seating music is typically church hymns and classical pieces. Always beautiful, classy, traditional, you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for suggestions here, talk to your organist…I’m sure they’ve played every wedding at the church for the past 20 years 🙂
2. Classy, sans church: Maybe you’re not going the church route but still want a traditional feel. A professional pianist will have no difficulty playing your standard classical pieces (“Air on a G String”, “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring”) while people take their seats. Or if you want music that wasn’t written 200+ years ago, then some tasteful background jazz would work wonderfully as well (“I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, “The Way You Look Tonight”). Regardless of the direction you go, I’d recommend picking a genre and sticking to it.
3. Themed: Rustic theme? How ’bout some Hank Senior? Gatsby Themed – Maybe “Five Foot Two” or some ragtime classics (“Maple Leaf Rag”, “The Entertainer”). Sometimes it can be a lot of fun to work in the theme early on…but at the same time, if you’d like to maintain a certain level of seriousness to the start of your ceremony, then maybe stick to the safe choices. The nice thing is there are no “wrong” answers here…you can set the scene however you’d like!
Live Music or DJ for Seating Music?
The stereotypical dream ceremony likely includes a string quartet and/or harp playing beautiful music while you float down the aisle, and yes, it can be a beautiful moment. But if you’re like the majority of brides – with a budget that doesn’t include a string quartet in addition to reception entertainment – don’t worry! You still have plenty of options.
Entertainment companies like Felix and Fingers can provide either live or DJed seating music (or a combination) for the ceremony. If you really want the string quartet sound, there’s always the option to DJ tracks from groups like Vitamin String Quartet. Or if you fancy yourself a music aficionado, find interesting covers of some of your favorite music. My wife walked down the aisle to Radiohead’s “Subterranean Homesick Alien” as played by Christopher O’Riley. Not your typical choice, but get a good piano version and it can be unique, personal, and beautiful all at the same time. We let the rest of the album play for the seating music.
Regardless of which direction you choose, my usual recommendation is to maintain continuity. Don’t send the DJ/Musician a list of your favorite songs when it ranges from Beethoven to Bieber. Or, don’t mix and match DJed with Live options…pick one or the other for seating music. It’s alright to abandon some continuity for the start of the processional (because the change will let people know that something different is happening), but changing music styles, genres, quality, live/DJ during the actual seating will make things seem disorganized.
Below is a Spotify playlist with seating music examples (including all the pieces listed above). This is not a playlist to use for your music, it just provide examples of some nice music/genre choices to then develop. One word of advice…Don’t stress out over this music. Chances are you won’t hear a note of it, your guests will be talking over it, and even if it’s the most beautiful music ever played, everyone will suddenly forget the moment they see you walk down the aisle. Give your musician/DJ a direction, maybe a song recommendation or two, but don’t hesitate to leave the playlist in his/her hands – it’s what you pay them for!
And if you’d like to find out more about what Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos can do for you – click here! We’re the only dueling pianos company in the country to have won both Best of the Knot and Weddingwire’s Couples’ Choice awards!! Check our Reviews