Planning Your Ceremony Music

 Questions to ask yourself when planning ceremony music:

Do you have a special song to include, or are you just looking for a unique and fun approach to your ceremony music ?

Today's post will talk about including vocals in your music.

Question 4: Vocal vs. Instrumental ?


Because I am a singer as well as an instrumental guitarist, couples have the option of including vocals in their wedding ceremony music.  Probably 75% of the ceremony music I play is instrumental guitar, which is always a versatile and elegant choice. But some of the most beautiful and unique wedding ceremonies I play incorporate singing as part of their music.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about including vocals:

* Special songs: If you are planning to include current popular songs, or maybe your special song, remember that many of your guests will not recognize instrumental versions. ( Not all popular songs make great instrumentals anyway). Singing can let your guests hear why ( and remind you why) this song is special to you...lots of times it's the lyrics that make a song special.


*Overall Mood:  If you envision a folksy, relaxed, or informal tone for your ceremony, vocals can add a fun and different accent...not quite as formal... and just about everyone loves a singer with a guitar.

Then again, if you are looking for a more stately, formal mood...maybe consistent with your particular setting ...then instrumental music might be more elegant. 

And, of course, if your ceremony musician is playing bagpipes, or cello, or violin, then singing is probably not an option for you anyway :)


*Singing the Recessional: Using instrumentals, either traditional or contemporary , for the processionals, then switching to a sung recessional is a favorite approach of mine. Singing the recessional shifts the mood in the direction of fun and celebration...kind of signals that the formal part is over.  This is how I would set up my own wedding music.


*Timing:   If you are using a vocal processional, realize that most songs will last much longer than it takes for the bride ( or even a fairly large party) to walk down the aisle. It is easier to time and shorten an instrumental.

But  I always think it is nice when the song continues for a while after the bride and groom are standing together at the front...a chance to take a breath, reconnect, and listen together to those lyrics that mean so much to you.


*A Song Within the Ceremony:  Another great option for you to consider is to have that special song performed mid-ceremony, like a reading, where folks can really listen to it. My experience is that this is always a really cool touch, but just not done that often. those are some my thoughts on including vocal music in your ceremony.  It's a nice option to have, and I actually think a bit underused...

But that's just me :)


You can visit my website and look at some of the songs that I have been playing regularly.                 


Happy planning.


Dwight Phetteplace; Dwight's Wedding Guitar


TheKnot "Best of Weddings"    and      WeddingWire "Brides' Choice"



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