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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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wedding ceremony
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 http://pianistforparties.com/songs/  

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 sharon@pianistforparties.com
Comment
Music Planning, Wedding Music
wedding music, wedding ceremony, wedding planning, Ceremony Music, Real Weddings
How to Plan Your Wedding Music
October 13, 2015

From the moment your wedding guests enter your ceremony or reception site, one of their first experiences will be the music! 

You will want your musician to be talented, professional, reliable and passionate about creating a beautiful musical setting for your special day.

How to find the right musicians for your wedding.


Word-of-mouth recommendations from people you know and trust can provide you with great leads. Get recommendations from local music stores. Do an internet search for the type of musician you are looking for. The place where you are having your ceremony or reception may provide you with names of musicians that they recommend. Check with other facilities that hire musicians for their recommendations. Select a number of musicians to contact. Hear them perform live. Read reviews online of people that have hired the musicians you have selected.


Ask the musicians for sample demo recordings. Ask them for references. Talk to references who can vouch that the musicians do a great job and are prompt and responsible. Do they provide a free consultation to help you plan your music? Are they willing to learn other songs? Do they play the style of music you are looking for? Are they willing to accompany vocalists or other instrumentalists if necessary? Will they attend your wedding rehearsal? What backup plans can they offer if they are not able to perform for your ceremony? Do they charge by the hour, by the job? Do they 'listen' to you? Do they make you and your event seem important to them? Do you like their personality and they way they respond to you? 


Find out the total cost to you including their performance, mileage, set up fees, rehearsal, practicing with other musicians, learning new music, etc.  Once you find the musicians that best represent your wishes, you will probably be asked to provide a deposit in order to secure the date for your wedding. 

Finding music for your ceremony

Once you have selected your musicians, you will want to meet to plan your ceremony music. Your musicians should be able to offer advice and provide you with a variety of music to choose from. Be sure and tell your musicians any special song requests that you have. It can sometimes take 4-8 weeks to special order music, so it’s important to do this well in advance of your wedding. The musicians will appreciate time to learn the music. 


There are some great sheet music resources and song lists online. Your local library will also likely have wedding music resources including sheet music and sound recordings. Many of the wedding web sites have lists of ceremony and reception music allowing you to listen to samples. Online and retail bookstores have music resources as well and you can listen to samples in the store and online. Bookstores and music stores will have resources to help you plan your music as well as sheet music and audio recordings. Staff at the retail stores are usually happy to share their insights with you. Discount chain stores sell wedding sampler audio recordings as do card shops and wedding shops.

Here are a few sites with helpful musician reviews and great planning ideas.

WeddingWire

Perfect Wedding Guide

Central Minnesota Wedding Association

 

If planning music for your wedding seems overwhelming, a professional musician will be able to guide you through the process and take care of all the details for you.  

 

You can relax knowing that your musician will create the perfect setting for your wedding!

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Wedding Planning, Wedding Music
wedding ceremony, wedding planning, wedding music, wedding musicians
A joyous wedding indeed!
December 18, 2013

by Sharon Planer, Pianist for Parties

From the moment this couple walked into my office, their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. As we talked about their vision for their wedding day and as I played samples of piano wedding music, certain songs and artists surfaced that they really loved. We came up with a great play list for the pre ceremony, ceremony and post ceremony music. It was an elegant mix of some older romantic standards with contemporary songs. I was glad they wanted a wedding pianist for their ceremony music. They were a delightful couple to get to know!

Happy together!  http://www.brioart.com/

Happy together! http://www.brioart.com/

Rev. Leslie Johnson gave a heartfelt and intimate message which brought tears and laughter. 

Wedding at the Semple Mansion.  http://www.brioart.com/

Wedding at the Semple Mansion. http://www.brioart.com/

From my place at the grand piano I was not able to view the Handfasting Ceremony. The photo below shows the brides' mothers and Rev. Leslie as they braided the three strands of ribbon. The brides clasped their hands together and Rev. Leslie fastened their hands with the braided ribbon symbolizing their unity and oneness.

The Handfasting Ceremony.  http://www.brioart.com/

The Handfasting Ceremony. http://www.brioart.com/

The Semple Mansion was a magical setting for this beautiful wedding. This couple wanted to find the perfect venue for their wedding day. It was fun to hear Rev. Leslie's story on how they knew the moment they entered the mansion that this was where they wanted to be married! Intimate, classy and beautiful...just like the brides!

Meant to be.  http://www.brioart.com/

I loved the song they requested for their recessional...'Walking on Sunshine". It was great fun to perform and it was obvious they had fun recessing!

Wedding recessional at the Semple Mansion.  http://www.brioart.com/

Wedding recessional at the Semple Mansion. http://www.brioart.com/

Their wedding was one of the most joyous ceremonies I have experienced. I was glad I arrived early at the mansion so I could experience the exuberant joy that was taking place.  There were happy voices and much laughter as the brides and their wedding party traversed through the mansion and outdoors for photos. It was not uncommon for cheering to break out!  Even though they had to endure the chilly outdoors temps, you could tell by their smiles, that this was a joyous wedding indeed!

The happy couple!  http://www.brioart.com/

The happy couple! http://www.brioart.com/

Semple Mansion   /   Comment
Piano Music, Wedding Music, Weddings
wedding pianist, wedding ceremony, live music for weddings, historic mansion