Looking for some cost-effective ways to have beautiful music at your wedding ceremony? Here are some money-saving ideas to look into as you think about ceremony music.
Contemporary Music - if you are looking to have a more modern sound to your ceremony, have you considered simply playing the CD of the song or songs that you like? This is extremely cost-effective. And, if you think that it wouldn't be as nice or as personal, think about it again - can anyone play that song as good as it was played originally?
(Before doing this, however, you should definitely check with your officiant. Some churches will not allow you to hook a CD player into their sound system and others simply will not allow contemporary music or possibly certain songs. Make sure to find out before making plans.)
If you don't like the idea of not having the music live, look into some local cover bands. There may be a band in your area that would be willing to play just one or two songs at your wedding - especially since it would be a short gig they may be willing to do it for a reasonable price. Check around and make sure to interview and hear the bands play before hiring them. be specific in your contract about the songs that will be played and how much the band will be paid. If you are hiring a cover band for your reception, you may want to ask them if they would be willing to play a song at your ceremony as well.
Classical Music - Professional trios, quartets or having a small symphony at your wedding can be pretty expensive. If you are not a perfectionist and are willing give it a try, call your local high school and see if the symphony director would be willing to give you some names of students s/he would recommend. Or, drop off a flyer to him/her to hang in the classroom with your phone number for the students to give you a call. You could even hold auditions for trios and quartets, asking them to play a certain piece of music that you would like during your ceremony. You may be surprised at how professional and impressive these students can be when money is on the line. Be sure to also be clear with them exactly what music you would like played and at what point in the ceremony, as well as how much you will pay them for their efforts.
Of course, in my opinion, the best resource for any kind of music is....friends! If you are looking for a soloist or duet think about the friends you know that have a good voice. For our wedding, my husband had a friend that we knew was pretty good at playing the guitar, and he had a friend with an incredible voice. So, we invited the two of them to do 2 duets at our ceremony. We were very happy when so many people told us how impressive the music at our wedding was. The best part about it - they were free! (Of course, we gave them a gift to thank them for all of the work they did, but it was much less expensive than it would have been to hire someone to play at our wedding.)
And last, another great resource for church ceremony music is the organist or music director. S/he may be a wonderful musician or may know of church members who would be willing to play requested pieces with specific instruments. If you are not holding your ceremony at a church it wouldn't hurt to call a local church and ask the music director if s/he would recommend anyone for your wedding. Church music directors in general have been to many weddings and will know what works and what doesn't. They may even be willing to coordinate the music for your ceremony for a fee, since they already have extensive experience in this area.
No matter what kind of music you have at your ceremony or how it is played, it is certain to be a success. The most important part of the day is the love that you share and that is what people will remember far into the future. Have fun and good luck to you as you continue to plan your wedding!