Welcome to Pianonoise!
"Which of the two powers, love or music, can elevate man to the sublimest heights? It is a great problem, and yet it seems to me that this is the answer: "Love can give no idea of music; music can give an idea of love." Why separate them? They are the two wings of the soul.
--Hector Berlioz (1865)
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Weddings (planning page)
For those getting married at Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign, Illinois.
Relax. This is the easy part. All you need to worry about are two pieces of music (or possibly three)--what you'll be coming in to, and what I'll play while you're marching out. Everything else can be taken care of by me, unless you have an Aunt who is singing, or cousin Ed's going to wow us with his clarinet--it's your wedding, so you can plan it like you want it (provided the pastor approves it, of course.) Here is a quick rundown of the musical element in the ceremony.
About twenty minutes before the start of the wedding I start to play music, while the guests are being seated. I have a list of things I usually play, but if you want to request something I'm open. Sometimes somebody (a friend, a relative) sings a piece or two here. I can play most, or all the selections on either the organ or the piano, or both (one at a time, usually). If you have a preference, let me know.
A few minutes before the ceremony the mothers are seated. They usually light candles which represent their children; these are the candles that will later be used to light the single unity candle in the middle. Sometimes a special piece is played during this time.
When everybody is in place--we go! Here is where you'll need to choose something to march in to. Below is a short list of the most common processionals I play. It doesn't have to be one of these, but most of the couples I've played for have chosen one from this list. Click on the title below to hear a bit of each one.
Music during the ceremony
After the wedding "sermon" there is usually a brief period of "traveling music" while the couple moves up near the altar for their vows. I usually just improvise quietly for about 30 seconds, which is all the longer this takes. Sometimes an additional solo is placed here.
After the vows, the couple goes to the altar and lights a single candle from the two that their mothers have lit before the ceremony. This is the most common place to have someone sing a special song. It only takes about a minute to light the candle, but if you don't mind listening to the rest of the song it can be a nice musical interlude.
Occasionally an additional piece is inserted in the service. Recently, someone sang the Lord's Prayer in place of the congregation's recitation of it right near the end of the ceremony. Sometimes a hymn or two is included in the service. If there are multiple scripture readings a musical number might be placed between them, particularly if there is a soloist with several songs to sing.
After the pastor introduces you as the new Mr. and Mrs. you are sent dashing back down the aisle to one of these pieces, or another that you've chosen. Again, click on the title to sample a bit of it.
If you are ready to make your selections, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to wander from the beaten path, the following websites have a large number of suggestions for wedding music.
Good luck, and call or email me with any questions (email@example.com)