One of the classiest details I’ve ever seen at a wedding is live musicians playing at the ceremony. Yes, there is a time and a place for a professional D.J. and s/he is worth his/her weight in gold for getting your party started and keepin’ it rockin’. But nothing compares to, say, a harp & flute duo playing everything from traditional to popular pieces as you take your much anticipated walk down the aisle. That’s them on my home page.
I’d like to say I’ve seen it all over the past 18 years, but I still brace myself for what’s to come. A few years ago, the birds and I attended a wedding at a lovely facility. They had a D.J. for their ceremony. So, I was waiting for things to get underway…okay, showtime–there’s the groom and his mom, flower girls, there’s the bridesmaids, ring bearer, all the usual suspects taking their positions…then the bride’s music started. It was the duet version of "From This Moment".
From the Digression Department–The first time I heard "From this Moment" at a wedding, I thought it was among the cheesier selections I’d ever heard. But, now!?! I LOVE THAT SONG! When it comes on the radio, I call my husband and sing it to him. (Talk about cheesy–he tolerates me very well. )
From the Further Digression And Speaking of Cheesy Department–I was at a beautiful church wedding last year. The birds and I had just finished doing our thang, and as I was departing, I heard footfalls behind me closing in fast. I turned around and there was the wedding coordinator. She said, and I quote verbatim, VERY enthusiastically, I might add: "When (Bride) said she was going to release white doves, I thought that sounded cheesy, but actually, it was VERY beautiful!" I blushed and thanked her, and chalked up one more believer for the books.
Anyway, I now think "From This Moment" is a lovely non-traditional choice for the bride’s processional. But, here’s what happened…bride was in place on her father’s arm, music started, bride started walking. Now here’s the thing. There are a couple versions of that song, and this particular one had that really long intro. By the time the bride had finished her walk down the aisle and took her place next to the groom, the intro had JUST finished, and we only got a few words out of Shania before the D.J. had to cut the music. Maybe no one else noticed, but I was terribly disappointed. Did I mention I LOVE that song?
Live musicians can adjust the music to make it fit perfectly to whatever’s going on. Okay, you say, you timed your unity candle ceremony and it will take 1.5 minutes? Great. A D.J. can queue up 1.5 minutes of your selected music. But what if your lighter won’t light? What if it takes longer to get that candle to stay lit? What if the wind keeps blowing them out? These can all be charming parts of your wedding story, but the minute and a half your D.J. prepared for is history, and everybody’s still giggling over that stupid lighter!
It CAN be different with a professional D.J., but there’s only so much a human can do with what the gods hand you on your wedding day. What YOU can do is call Music A Due’/Harp & Flute, (916) 456-8223. And go to their website and hear their music. These guys play like ANgels! And because they’ve played together for SO long, as their website states, they’re like Borgs, always in sync, always anticipating the other’s moves. Listen to the fifth selection under "Popular". Moon River. Story is, that intro wasn’t planned by the flutist, it just happened. Hard to believe that sound comes out of mere mortals.
Eighteen years and over a thousand weddings to my name means I’ve seen alot. Here’s a few P-POOs that come to mind:
1. I would never suggest you hurry your ceremony along just because your guests skipped lunch to make room for the fabulous feast that awaits them. But, all those songs that make up the story of the night you met, your courtship, that wonderful weekend away when s/he proposed, do not all have to be played during your ceremony. Save some of the fun for your reception. Have your D.J. explain the significance of each song during the party. Tres romantic!
2. When it comes to weddings, "professional musician" means they have a history of performing at weddings. Just performing professionally doesn’t qualify. Both is a plus!
3. Wedding professionals know the drill, and will offer you selections for different parts of your ceremony, such as your prelude music (as your guests arrive), all the way through your recessional..and then some.
4. Hear their music. Most will have samples on their websites. Listen and compare.
5. You can also extend the elegance of live music to your cocktail hour prior to dinner, as well as entertaining out-of-town guests the following morning for an open-the-gifts brunch.
6. Playlists are good, but chances are you wouldn’t recognize some of your favorite music by their names. Ask to hear particular pieces, or better, have the musicians make suggestions.
The Dove Lady LOVES to open presents, especially her own (second best is watching others open theirs), almost as much as she likes French toast, applewood smoked bacon, and mango mimosas for brunch. And she thinks the harpist and the flutist of Music A Due’ (www.harpflute.com) must be lesser gods.