A wedding event is a journey for the bride and groom as well as their guests. When determining the music for an event, we start at one point, go through a variety of segments (arrivals, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing etc.) and end up in a much different “place” than when we started. Each of these segments can have a completely different tone and energy. By giving thought to what we want to accomplish, we can consciously use sound, music, décor, lighting and even timing to create these moods. We then weave together a unique tapestry of moments that bring us through the entire wedding experience.
There is not one way to throw a wedding, and there are many strategies for planning the flow. We have ample time throughout the night to create several different atmospheres. Here are some questions to get us started in choosing a direction.
1. How do we want guests to feel as they first enter the space?
2. What feeling do we want to create during the wedding processional?
3. What vibe do we want for the cocktail reception?
4. What feel do we want as guests first enter the dining room for dinner?
5. Do we want dancing interwoven throughout the evening or save it for the end?
6. What styles of music do we want for dancing?
7. Lastly, how do we want to end the evening?
Let’s look at some of the options. Music has a profound impact on the way we feel. Think of movies and television shows, and how we begin to feel once music is introduced into a scene. The same holds true at live events. We can underscore the moment to create specific feelings. As guests first arrive at your wedding, for example, we can create a feeling of Old World grandeur by playing a Viennese waltz with four violins.
Consider how different that would be than walking in to a classical guitarist playing a soft melody. Yet again, if there were no music at all, the tone would be filled by voices and the background sounds of the venue at work. These are three totally different experiences, which put the guests in three totally different moods.
For the wedding processional, some couples choose soft and romantic classical pieces that bring a somber and thoughtful feeling, while other couples prefer bouncy and fun renditions of their favorite pop tunes, by James Taylor, the Beatles or Coldplay. Many of our clients choose to mix genres together for an eclectic blend of meaningful songs. My job as the bandleader is to find ways to weave these together so they flow seamlessly and create the desired mood.
Whether we choose to have dancing throughout the courses, or to have more of an “after-party” with dancing for the last few hours, it is important to target the types of music you want for dancing. Do you want Big Band, Motown, soul, 80’s, rock, or Top 40 pop music of today? Most good bands and DJs can blend these together to create a custom repertoire that reflects your taste and also plays to the pulse of the crowd.
Every gathering is a co-creative experience where the energy of the group affects each individual. By the end of the evening, we have all been through a unique and transformational experience, in honor of marriage and celebration. That’s the way we do it at Starlight Music New York, and we do it worldwide!
Wishing you the best, Valerie Romanoff, Bandleader