Wedding ceremony music: your questions answered
01 Aug 2016
Take a look at these commonly asked questions surrounding your wedding ceremony music - answered by an expert
Classical singer, Saira Luther, shares the top questions (and answers) she has received from excited couples looking to choose the songs for their wedding ceremony.
I definitely want a singer or instrumentalist for my ceremony, but when are the best times for them to perform?
The bride’s entrance is a fantastic time for live music. I have performed 'Ave Maria' unaccompanied whilst brides have walked down the aisle and it definitely creates a magical start to the ceremony. In place of a reading is another great moment for some quiet reflection and during the signing is a popular time for some songs or pieces of music.
We have a favourite song but it is not on your repertoire list, is it possible for this to be performed?
If you give enough notice (a couple of weeks is more than enough) most musicians and singers can learn the required piece. I love being able to perform a couple’s favourite song. The look on their faces when they hear their song being performed is such a rewarding moment for me.
We really want a live singer, however we are on a budget and want to know if we have to book a quartet to accompany you?
Most singers can be versatile with their performance and don’t need a quartet for accompaniment. I offer the options of singing to high quality instrumental backing tracks or singing unaccompanied to help keep costs down. I can also provide classical background music for when the guests arrive and for after the ceremony, so the ceremony is full of beautiful music.
What are your top five song requests?
- The beautiful, simple and very fitting 'Ave Maria' by Schubert
- Panis Angelicus. Floaty, romantic and perfect for a wedding
- Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus. This is such an elegant piece and for a trained opera singer, it is a great piece to sing.
- The Prayer. It is a great classical crossover piece that couples love during the ceremony. The words are gorgeous as well.
- Nella Fantasia. A beautiful classical crossover piece that will ensure everyone is reaching for the tissues. Such a romantic and emotive piece.
Where should we start when searching for the perfect ceremony song?
When starting the search for the perfect ceremony song, have a listen to the beautiful wedding albums that are out there. Also check out repertoire lists on singers' websites as they will normally include wedding favourites and pieces that are fitting for different styles of ceremonies. Keep in mind that if having a traditional service or mass, you may want to stay with the more classical pieces and for a civil ceremony keep in mind what would work acoustically in the space. Remember it is an expression of who you are as a couple, so if there is a favourite song that was playing when you met, or when you were travelling or when he proposed... then that would be ideal! I once had to adapt a Phil Collins song for a couple's ceremony and they said that it made the ceremony complete, knowing their song was part of the day.