Here in New Orleans, music is life, and picking out the right music for a wedding – your wedding – is a challenge. But don’t worry, New Orleans is a musical treasure chest, and hundreds of gems lie within your reach just waiting to provide the perfect soundtrack for your big day.
You want everyone to enjoy it – your twirling little flower girl, your country uncle who only listens to Merle Haggard and your music-snob “hipster” cousin. Fortunately, although their tastes may vary, wedding music can be quite crowd-pleasing.
Who doesn’t love romance, happiness, fun and a little nostalgia?
Plan to spend at least five to 10 percent of the total budget on the music – and probably a little more if you want a live band or a second-line.
thomas calmes of louisiana spice
(504) 782-4063 | (504) 343-3912 | email@example.com
What’s the most important thing to remember about wedding music?
Let the band do what the band does best. I explain to every bride that there may be songs that you don’t want the band to play; however, your guests may want to hear those songs, so if you want the wallflowers of the crowd to come out and dance and enjoy themselves, let us do what we do best.
How is your band unique?
We’re a 12-piece band, which consists
of four horns, two female vocalists, one male vocalist, keyboards, drums, bass and two guitarists.
We put on a full show for the bride and their guests – one that allows everyone to play a part. We also wear custom zoot-suits, and they have that Motown, R&B soul feel to them; customers love it. Our music is very versatile, we play every style from every era.
We’ll perform the traditional bouquet, garter and bridal procession music, but with a unique twist that customers love. The whole event is about getting people to interact and have fun.
rachel van voorhees, harpist
(504) 909-3756| RachelvV@aol.com
What advice do you have for a clueless bride?
Relax – you just need guidance! Start with what you know you don’t want, and you’ll be able to decide what your taste is in music for the ceremony.
What kind of music do you play?
At weddings I either play solo harp or with other musicians such as a violinist, flutist, trumpeter, singer and/or cellist. My most popular group with others is the harp, violin, cello trio with voice and trumpet. I perform a wide range of music, and I’m happy to accommodate unusual requests. I really enjoy getting to know the brides and enjoying their weddings with them. I feel privileged to be included in such a special moment in people’s lives.
In what ways are you traditional?
I am very knowledgeable about most religions and know the musical requirements.
In what ways do you change it up?
I have such a huge repertoire of music and am willing to learn all sorts of new things to accommodate just about any request. One minute I’ll be playing “Trumpet Voluntary” and “Canon in D” and the next, “What a Wonderful World” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” I’ve even had a bride request “Zipp-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
givonna joseph, opera singer
What is the most crucial element of wedding music?
To honor the solemnity of the vows. The music should reflect sacred Scripture if that’s in accordance with the faith tradition.
Read the wedding contract for your church or venue for the guidelines about hiring singers and musicians, and what type of music is permitted there. Some churches don’t allow secular music or outside musicians, so that’s important to know. Contact your musician months in advance. This will give you time to learn more about the music you want and time for musicians to learn a piece of music that you select, if they’re not already familiar with it. Make sure you hear the people you want to hire in advance, preferably in person!
Investing in good music is important. Music is one of the things that guests will remember for years, as I have continued to hear from family and friends who attended my wedding. People might forget what flowers you had or the style of your decorations, but they always remember the food and the music, especially if it was bad – so choose wisely!
What kind of music do you perform?
I sing mostly standard hymns and classical music, but I’m versatile in the traditional gospel style as well. For the ceremony I usually sing two or three prelude songs before the wedding begins; during the seating of mothers and/or grandmothers of the bride and groom; and after the vows (if a unity candle is lit by the couple). For a Nuptial Mass I may also sing The Responsorial Psalm, between Scripture readings; The Mass parts – “Alleluia,” “Holy Holy” and others; the Offertory; Communion; and a Meditation for presentation to Mary. As a trained opera singer, I offer the traditional music of composers such as Bach, Schubert, Franck and Mozart as well as other traditional sacred and wedding music.
troy marks of NO idea band
(504)469-4002 | www.noideaband.com
What kind of music do you perform at weddings?
One of the strengths of our band is our variety. We can perform over 400 songs and we perform them well. We allow the bride and groom to choose the song list for their wedding, as everyone’s taste is different. We will consult with the couple prior to the big day to finalize a song list that they are happy with, as well as lend our opinions if asked. We suggest starting off a little slow as the guests arrive and begin eating and mingling. We will then build momentum as the night professes until a full-fledged party has broken out. But more to the question, we play everything from Fats Domino and Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne, and everything in between – ’80s rock, ’70s dance, country, you name it.
What’s important for a bride to know as she plans her music?
Ask yourself what kind of reception you want. Do you want a low-key sit-down dinner with elegant jazz, do you want a New Orleans-flavored wedding for a lot of out-of-town guests or do you want a party atmosphere that has people dancing all night? We can accommodate all of the situations above. It’s all up to you. There are very few bands out there that do it right, and those are the ones that have been around a long time.