Wedding Music

Wedding Music by Bonnie Whitehurst

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. You are now ready to start considering an important part of your special day….the music. The following information is designed to offer suggestions that will help you decide on the music that will enhance the mood you desire to create.

Begin by starting a list of music you have heard at other weddings, on the radio, in movies, songs that have become special to you and your fiancé, and music mentioned in wedding literature.

Some common questions:

What religious affiliations do I regularly work with and play for?

I provide music for weddings of Catholics, Jews, Unitarians, members of Unity, various other Christian denominations, non-denominational or unaffiliated brides and grooms and interfaith couples. Therefore I am quite familiar with particular musical moments, customs and, rules that must be followed in some wedding ceremonies.

Where will your wedding take place?

The majority of weddings are conducted in houses of worship but many brides and grooms choose hotels, resorts, private homes, commercial wedding chapels, beaches, parks and weddings at sea. I am equally comfortable providing your wedding music in any of these venues. If electricity is not available, I have a battery operated sound system that can be used anywhere. A microphone for the minister or notary can also be provided.

What can I offer musically for your wedding?

I play a variety of instruments including the harp, piano, organ, guitar, dulcimers and recorder. I am also a vocalist. If you want more than one musician I have professional trumpeters, violinists, flutists and male vocalists, etc. that I frequently call upon for musical enhancement. I can also accompany a family member or friend whom you would prefer to have sing.

If you choose to meet with me in my home, I can suggest and play through many songs, well-known and unique, for your wedding ceremony. I have learned music that was previously unfamiliar simply by listening to a CD or sheet music provided by the couple. So if you and your fiancé have a special song that does not appear on any list, it does not mean I cannot help you. Couples have chosen music from artists such as Coldplay, Enya, Clint Black, Shania Twain and others. There was even a groom who composed his own music and I and a violinist used the composition as a processional.

If you decide to have printed programs at your wedding ask a wedding coordinator for some samples or ask the business that is printing your invitations. They often keep copies of programs from past ceremonies that will show the general order of events and you can see music that was chosen by other couples. Find templates online and do it yourself.

What happens to my deposit if my wedding is cancelled?

I try always to return a deposit should the wedding be cancelled.  Especially if it is a month or more in the future.  Many things can happen to cause a change in wedding plans and a deposit will almost always be refunded in a timely manner.

Location recommendations

Here are links to three beautiful historical wedding chapels in Pinellas County Florida where I often play and sing.  I highly recommend these sites for marriage ceremonies.

The Old Church at Heritage Village in Largo, FL
http://www.pinellascounty.org/heritage/

The Old Historical Chapel in Dunedin, FL
http://www.andrewsmemorialchapel.com

The Old Historical Chapel in Palm Harbor, FL
http://www.thepalmharborwhitechapel.com

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The Old Historical Church in Tarpon Springs, FL
http://www.uutarpon.org

ADDITIONAL HELP FOR PLANNING YOUR MUSIC

There are many fine websites that I am about to suggest that will also help you choose your wedding music. One site that I discovered is called Wed Alert (http://www.wedalert.com).

It has a nice article written by Elaine McDonald who gives an overview and good advice on choosing music for your wedding ceremony. I noticed a place on this website where you can click on Tampa Bay and find Local Wedding Services in Popular Metro Areas.

This site also has an Ethnic Selections category. So if you are planning a Polish wedding, Greek, Irish or Indian, you can find appropriate music. You can also type into a search engine phrases such as “Planning a Jewish Wedding” or “Planning a Catholic Wedding”.

If you are planning a wedding consider attending the Bayou Club’s Bridal Open House. At this lovely and centrally located venue you will connect with a large variety of talented local vendors who will do their very best to assure the beauty, elegance and smooth flow of your very special day. (Wedding show flyer)

Another website I found helpful is:

http://www.topweddingsites.com/wedding_ceremony_music.html

There are many suggestions for prelude music, processionals, the ceremony, unity candle, and recessionals. You can click on each suggestion and hear a sample.

Try going to:

http://www.weddingmusiccentral.com

This site offers a Musical Tour of Your Wedding describing every musical component from the prelude through the reception and what kind of music is appropriate at each point, including the garter toss and the throwing of the bouquet. There is a Wedding Music Library and a CD Listening Room where there are several wedding CDs. You may listen to all selections on the CD in the comfort of your own home.

Rates to play music at your wedding are based on the following:

  • distance from my home
  • special rehearsals required
  • additional musicians

Please call (727) 459-0438 or contact me for a quote.

The agreement for music at wedding is available in .pdf format: download here (requires Adobe Reader)