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Twin Cities wedding and event pianist, Sharon Planer, loves the adventure of bringing events to life with her live piano music!

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Real Weddings
What music is appropriate for a Wedding Ceremony?
May 09, 2016

Are you at a loss in selecting your Ceremony music?

You are not alone! For most couples, planning a wedding is a first time experience...and a daunting one!

Among the thousands of decisions you have to make, music is one of them. 

Some couples have very definite song ideas while others have no clue as to what songs to select for their Ceremony. Whether you are a DIY and having a friend play recorded music or you are working with a musician or wedding planner, you will want to have a musical atmosphere that enhances the style and theme of your wedding.

The musical landscape for your wedding can be as traditional or unique as you wish!

Before compiling your song list, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself. 
  • Do you have a particular style or theme for your wedding day? Consider music that will reflect your style or theme. I recently performed piano music for a wedding at the Saint Paul Athletic Club. The city of Saint Paul, MN, was especially important in this couple's relationship and they wanted to highlight aspects of the city of Saint Paul throughout their Wedding. They selected the Peanuts theme 'Linus and Lucy' as their Recessional. The guests LOVED it! Their wedding venue was in the heart of downtown Saint Paul where Peanuts sculptures are seen everywhere!
Linus and Lucy in St. Paul, MN

Linus and Lucy in St. Paul, MN

  • Do you wish to incorporate certain religious components into your Ceremony?  Look for songs that might accomplish this. Do you wish to celebrate different faith traditions? Music is a wonderful way to do just that. If your Ceremony is at a place of worship, the staff may be able to offer suggestions. Note: if your Ceremony is in a place of worship, find out what music restrictions may apply.
  • Do you wish to include cultural songs? Music is a wonderful way to celebrate the bringing together of different cultural backgrounds.
Italian American Wedding

A long distance romance of a bride in Minneapolis and a gentleman in Italy was celebrated in a wedding on the steps of the Washington County Courthouse amidst the 16th century Italian Architecture. The blending of their cultures was displayed in their music and ceremonial flag exchange. During the planning process I met with the bride. She had special American jazz song requests that she wanted performed as solo piano music in their ceremony. The groom communicated with me from Italy and sent me sheet music for some romantic Italian songs that he wanted me to perform in their ceremony. The thought and care that the bride and groom put into the planning of their music culminated in a beautiful ceremony that celebrated the union of their cultures and love.

If you need inspiration for song ideas, there are many song resources online. I have posted some song lists on my web site at  

If you plan to follow a fairly traditional program for your wedding, here are some places where music can be performed.

  • Prelude - 15-30 minutes of music as your guests arrive.
  • Processionals - songs for the Entrance of the Parents, also  the Wedding Party, and then Entrance of the Bride.  For LGBTQ weddings the Couple might enter together or separately depending upon preference.
  • Unity Ceremony - music is appropriate.
  • Recessional - music at the end of the Ceremony while the Wedding Couple exits followed by their Wedding Party.
  • Postlude - music while the guests wait to exit the Ceremony location.

What is special about you and the relationship the two of you have?

 Are there particular songs that represent your love? Those songs might be perfect for certain parts of your wedding! Reach out to your Wedding Planner and Musicians. You can benefit from our experience. We are there to help guide you through the experience of planning your wedding music.

Do you need a pianist or a little help in planning your wedding music? I would love to hear from you! Just send me an email at
Music Planning, Wedding Music
wedding music, wedding ceremony, wedding planning, Ceremony Music, Real Weddings
Saved the Day! Wedding Story, Carlos Creek Winery
February 09, 2015

Find out what happened when the dj failed to show up for the wedding!

Last week I posted one of the 'Saved the Day' Wedding Stories that were recently shared at the Central Minnesota Wedding Association's Award Banquet. The 'XO'  eXtraOrdinary Award was given to the 3 top stories submitted by its members. The stories were judged on how a member of the Central Minnesota Wedding Association 'saved the day' for a couple that had hired them. The 3 stories that won were written about Larry Rowe at Impressions Mobile Music--whose story I shared last week, as well as Sharon Planer at Pianist for Parties, and Paige Meier at Carlos Creek Winery. Today I am excited to share the amazing story of Paige at Carlos Creek Winery.

As writer of this blog I must start out by stating that Carlos Creek Winery was WCCO's "Viewers' Choice for Minnesota's Best Winery" in 2014. Not only do they have award winning wines, but award winning services!  Here is their story.

Prior to the start of the wedding ceremony our wedding coordinator, Paige Meier, noticed the DJ was missing and tried calling him. He never answered or called back.

The DJ was supposed to provide the music for the wedding ceremony. Paige's quick thinking saved the couple from a ceremony catastrophe. Paige used her cell phone to download the ceremony music based on what she had remembered from the wedding rehearsal. Whew!

The staff at Carlos Creek Winery continued to try and reach the DJ...but to no avail. Now it was time for the social hour and still no DJ, so Paige used her cell phone to provide the music. During this time the couple did NOT even notice that their DJ was a no show! They heard the music and figured everything was good.

While Paige was keeping the music gong during the social hour, the staff found out what song the couple's first dance song was supposed to be as well as some of the couple's other dance music choices.

Lucky for everyone, Josie Nelson was the music performer on the Wine Patio that day. 

josie Nelson, singer / songwriter

josie Nelson, singer / songwriter

When Josie finished her set. The staff asked her if she would be willing to help them out later that night and play the couple's First Dance song as well as some of their other special dance songs. Josie was a sweetheart and agreed! Since some of the music wasn't in her polished repertoire, she hurried home to learn the new music and returned. Josie got connected into the sound system and was ready to perform! CLICK HERE for Josie's YouTube channel.

Paige meier, coordinator at Carlos creek winery ... AND mc / DJ  extraordinaire!!

Paige meier, coordinator at Carlos creek winery ... AND mc / DJ  extraordinaire!!

The guests were now seated for dinner. Paige took over as the MC and did all of the announcing. When it was time for the First Dance, Paige made the announcement and Josie performed beautifully while the couple danced their first dance together. It was more than perfect! The couple never dreamed they would dance to a live performance of their song. Not only that, but Josie performed the mother/son dance, the father/daughter dance and a few of the first songs for the guests while Paige kept up with the announcing. 

Paige continued using her cell phone and downloaded songs as guests made requests. The guests were dancing and enjoying themselves all night long.

The wedding was a wonderful success thanks to Paige, Josie and the staff at Carlos Creek Winery! What an award winning team!

Find out more about Paige and the wonderful team at Carlos Creek Winery.

carlos creek winery

carlos creek winery

Carlos Creek Winery   /   Comment
Saved the Day Wedding Stories, Carlos Creek Winery, Real Weddings
Saved the Day! Wedding Stories
February 01, 2015

Find out what happened when a judge who was hired to marry a couple never showed up at the wedding!

The Central Minnesota Wedding Association hosted its Awards Banquet last week. The 'XO' eXtraOrdinary Award was given to the 3 top stories submitted by its members. The stories were judged on how a member of the Central Minnesota Wedding Association 'saved the day' for a couple that had hired them.  The 3 stories that won were written about Larry Rowe at Impressions Mobile Music , Sharon Planer at Pianist for Parties , and Paige Meier at Carlos Creek Winery.

CMWA President, Rollie Carlson, presented the 'Xo' awards to Paige Meier, Sharon Planer & Larry Rowe.

CMWA President, Rollie Carlson, presented the 'Xo' awards to Paige Meier, Sharon Planer & Larry Rowe.

I will share Larry's story in this post and the other stories in later posts.

Larry Rowe is DJ entertainer extraodinare at Impressions Mobile Music

Here is what the bride and groom had to say about Larry 'Saving the Day'! 

The story began on Sept. 27 2014 . . . .

We decided to have our wedding outside in a field on our farm.  We decided to have a Stearns County Judge do the ceremony.  I sent our choice of wording for our ceremony and the address, time and date.  The Judge stated he had a wedding prior to ours but would for sure be here by 5:30. 

Larry came out earlier in the afternoon and set up all of his equipment for the music and lights. 


I was in the house getting ready and all of the guests were arriving.  We had our BBQ started and dance floor was ready for the evening.  We were ready to go... the hay ride to the field was on it's way, it was 5:30 and we were ready. 

When we got to the field we were informed there was no JP yet.  Hmmmmm ... so we said we can wait a little to see if he is just running late.  Larry came up and asked if everything was okay.  We said, "Play some music for a little bit and we will see if he shows up."  Joe's sister had googled 'ceremonies' and had a plan that we would fake it and have Joe's brother just read the ceremony. We could get married at the court house at a later date. 

Larry came over and said, "I can't believe how calm you are.  Other brides would have been crazy by now."  And that was putting it mildly!  Ha Ha.  We told him this is our life, just winging it most of the time.  He offered to check and see if a friend of his was available to do the ceremony.  We said. "Well, we will wait a little bit."  

Larry called his friend just to see if he was around and well, he was fishing.  Larry came back to tell us what he had found out.  We thought for a bit and decided, "I guess we have to pull him off the lake!"  We said, "Okay. The JP isn't showing and we better get someone here."  Everyone was getting hungry and mingling.  So Larry called his friend and asked him to come. His friend stated he had to run home and shower but would be on his way.  I said, "He doesn't need to shower, we don't care if he smells fishy!"  

We were all watching the driveway for the next car to come in and wondered who it was going to be ... the JP or Larry's friend?  Larry's friend pulled into the drive way and  he calmly came up to us asked us if we wanted anything special.  Joe and I both said, "No just lets get married and get to the dancing!"  

Larry literally saved the day, went WAY above and beyond his job.  We loved his music he kept everyone young and old on the dance floor all night.  I cannot say enough GREAT things about Larry and how he just seemed to keep everything going calmly and of course pulling a JP out of his hat was quite amazing!  

We will never forget what Larry did and how professionally he did it.  We feel Larry deserves the XO award. Words cannot explain how lucky we were to have not only a GREAT DJ but one that knew a JP!  

Find out more about Larry Rowe at Impressions Mobile Music

Saved the Day Wedding Stories, Central Minnesota Wedding Association, Impressions Mobile Music, Real Weddings, Awards