Can you even imagine a wedding without music? Somehow this imaginary wedding looses nearly all of its warmth and emotion. As humans, our feelings are deeply tied to our senses, so our subliminal evaluations of any experience are based on how many of these senses are triggered, to what degree they are activated, and finally if the connotation - or association, if you will - of our brain's reference to that particular combination of triggers is a positive one. Sound is one of the most powerful sense triggers. Waking to happy sounds such as gently chirping birds can cause our entire day to begin on a brighter note and falling asleep to relaxing sounds such as ocean waves can lull us to a peaceful sleep.
The music you select for your wedding is pivotal in setting the tone for your wedding as well as how you and your guests will feel when they attend and when they recall the event. It can also tell your guests so very much about who you, as a couple are, what inspires you and how you feel about your celebration.
The possibilities for your music selections are nearly limitless. First, there is the beauty of pure, clear vocals, either solo or with mild accompaniment. In terms of common instrumentation, there are of course the strings (violin, harp, piano and the like), and winds (flute, organ). These are timeless, classic choices, but that does not mean that they are mandatory by any means. Why not classical or flaminco guitar - or electric guitar for that matter. And if you really want to step out from the mold, consider trumpet, saxophone or even percussion. Share your choices with your guests either live or via recording.
A caution; whether your selections are country, classical, pop or any other style or combination of styles, try to think of how you will feel about them into the future, when you will look back on them as your "first dance" or even more likely, listen to them on your wedding DVD.
You can check out our Wedding Planning Tips article with a list of traditional wedding music for the various parts of your wedding ceremony and reception. You can also visit Pandora with the playlist search "Wedding" so you can listen to a variety of tunes and "try them on" for size. Starting early, will give you time to select tunes that are uniquely you and choose a way to present them that will help your wedding to be a feast for the ears as well as a wonderfully endearing and enduring memory!