(Closed) Ceremony S.O.S. Please help.

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

My string quartet isn’t coming to the rehearsal either, and they asked for cues. For example, when the groom breaks the glass, they should start the processional. Find some pretty obvious cues that you can give her and she should be fine!

Post # 4
1379 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I love the "Hands" ceremony



HANDS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM Bride name, please hold groom name’s hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.

These are the hands that will work along side yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

   These are the hands that will comfort you in illness, and hold you when fear or grief wrack your mind.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.

and then do the reverse!!

Post # 5
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

For your musician.. could you just give her a copy of the finalized ceremony before the big day?  You can bold all the musical selections so they stand out and she’ll know exactly where they fit in with the bigger ceremony picture.

Post # 6
27 posts

My cousin didn’t do a unity ceremony or have any readings, she just had some family friends sing a song after the vows and then quick prayer and we were outta there. Nobody will ever complain about a shorter ceremony. Let’s get on to the cocktail hour!

Post # 7
192 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I sent this email to our pianist before our wedding. That way we both knew exactly what was to be played, (piano vs. CD) and when and everything went perfectly.  Hope this helps:  

just wanted to confirm the music with you.


"Music of the Night" – Phantom"Seasons of Love" – Rent

"Refelections of Passion" – Yanni
"Fields of Gold" – Sting
Mothers Entrance:
"Through the Years" – Kenny Rogers
Bridesmaid Processional:
"All I Ask Of You" – Phantom
Brides Entrance:
"Cannon in D Major"- Pachelbel
Presentation to Children:
"Swept Away" – Yanni
Unity Candle
CD:  "This I Swear" – Nick Lachey
CD: "You’re My Best Friend" – Queen
Here is when each piece should be played:
15 minutes of prelude music starting about approximately 2:45 pm
Beginning of Ceremony is initiated by:
1. Mother’s Entrance/Lighting of Candles – will probably allow for ~ 2 – 2.5 minutes of playing "Through the Years
2. Processional – which begins with Groom and the minister (Dr. Woodson) coming in….followed by my attendants, ringbearer, etc.  All of this will require most of one song. "All I Ask of You"
3. Brides Entrance – Pachelbel’s Canon
4. Presentation to Children – Swept Away  –  Dr. Woodson will have the girls say their vows to the marriage and we will present them with diamond necklaces. Please begin music at beginning of presentation.
5. Unity Candle. – Dr Woodsoon will announce when we will be lighting the Unity Candle during our ceremony – "This I Swear"
6.  Recessional. – At the end of the words "I now pronounce you husband and wife" que "You’re My Best Friend" we want the opening music playing while he presents us Dr Woodsoon will present us to the congregation and we will begin our up the isle after the first lyric. Music is to continue playing until all guests have left the chapel.
Side note: grr!! It annoys me sooo much that we can’t just copy and paste and when you go back to edit everything keeps running together!

Post # 8
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I would make time to meet with the teenager to teach her when you play what "when I walk in do this" think of a signal the pastor could giver her to usher her into the next song needed.

Post # 9
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Humarock – love the Hands ceremony idea.  Had never heard of that.  I was just thinking it would be cool to get a plaster kit and actually then do handprints for each of us that we could frame around our wedding photo of choice with the words printed on it.  I’ll have to look into that! 

Post # 10
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

I performed in 2 weddings when I was 16.  Admittedly, it was not "professional work", but I think everyone enjoyed it.  (It was for relatives.)  If they don’t start, you can usually just look at them, and they will get the hint.  😉

Post # 11
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

I don’t know what your musical selections look like, but here’s how we did it (prompted by my years of experience playing piano and organ for weddings, as well as our musicians’ preference).

At the beginning of the ceremony, the varous songs used for entrances of all the players usually just follow one another.  You do have to tell your musicians when to start the sequence (either to start playing altogether, or to switch from the general background music that they have been playing) – generally, you have a friend or an aunt or an usher signal the musicians from the back of the church, or make their was to the front, discretely let them know that you’re ready, and then sit down.  From that point, you actually follow them.  You usually have a song for the parents’ and grandparents’ to walk in and be seated, another song for the groom, groomsmen, and officiant, another song for the bridesmaids (and flower girl/ring bearer if you’re doing that), and then of course the music you are walking to.  When you hear your music start (regardless of who you are) you start walking!

For songs inserted into the service, the officiant should announce the song, perhaps providing an appropriate introduction (a few words about the meaning of the song to the bride and groom, the fact that the bride’s sister is singing, etc).  This should be an obvious cue for the singer to get to the microphone; the musicians should start when the singer is ready, which is generally something they can work out on their own.

For the recessional, it’s sort of obvious.  The vows are over, you kiss, turn to face the audience, and the officiant announces you (May I present Mr. and Mrs. SugarSparkle!)  And then the musicians start the recessional, and you walk out.

If your musicians are paying attention, it’s all pretty obvious – no need to someone to poke them and stage-whisper "Now!"

We didn’t do unity candles, sand, or any of that stuff – just a traditional service, with a couple of readings (both of which we had the pastor do) that lasted a total of about 20 minutes.  Last weekend I went to a cousin’s wedding where they did a wine ceremony, a sand ceremony, a unity candle, presentation of coins, moment of silent prayer for deceased relatives…  not to be unappreciative of their effort, but it went on for freakin’ ever.  You friends and family (IMO) came to see you exchange vows and hear some nice stuff said about you, and then to eat and drink and dance – they’re not expecting the Cirque de Soleil.  They are much more likely to get bored if they have to watch you do too many things up there than if you keep it short and sweet and cut to the reception.

Post # 12
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Ditto for not doing unity, sand or anything extra.  If a reading or other ritual is meaninful to you, by all means, go ahead.  But don’t clutter a ceremony for the sake of filling it up.  Guests appreciate keeping it simple!

Post # 13
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

We did a rose ceremony.  Basically we each gave each other a rose, a symbol of our first gift to each other as husband and wife.  Then – and this was a surprise for the moms – we each gave our new Mother-In-Law a rose. I can get you more info if you are interested…..  

On the music, you should try to be as specific as possible in writing about what you want.  You might want to appoint a trusted friend or relative to be in charge of the cues to the musician if you are worried about her being on top of it.  We had professionals and they messed it up – and I did actually notice – but it just wasn’t a big deal so don’t stress too much!

Post # 14
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

as for the teenager… I would suggest you meet with her and go over the songs that will be played.. IN ORDER. Then have a family member in charge of giving them the "cue" , there will be way too much going on to worry about giving them the sign. That way she will be able to go down a list and play as needed.

Post # 15
189 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

Has the musician played other weddings before? Honestly, it’s VERY standard for musicians not to come to the rehearsal, especially because the rehearsal rarely includes the music even when the musicians *are* there. I played in dozens of weddings in high school (and many since then) and rarely attended rehearsal – maybe three times, ever… and those were friends’ weddings.

Do you have a DOC? That person should be in charge of giving the musician cues of when to change musical selections for the parents, wedding party, bride, etc. If you have a program, just have someone (you or someone else) make it very clear what’s supposed to happen when and approximately how long each and every part of the ceremony is. That way she can keep an eye on the time.

But I agree with TallBride: the best thing is for there to be a point person (whether it’s a DOC, best man, mother of the groom, whatever) for the musician to look at whenever there’s a questionable moment. If they can make eye contact and the point person can give a head nod or shake, you’re in the clear.

Things **always** happen that make the ceremony different from the rehearsal or the program, so musicians just have to be on their toes. That’s the most important part of playing in a wedding, much more so than how you sound!  

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