Post # 1
This shouldn’t be a big issue, but the way my family works, it is. I’m Catholic, Fi is not. We always knew we were getting married in a Catholic Church, since I am still a practicing Catholic, and my family is incredibly religious.
We met with the Priest back in November, where he mentioned he didn’t have specific rules on musicians, and guest musicians were fine as long as they were appropriate songs. So, Fiance and I decided to ask my 17 years old Cousin to play at the wedding. She very good on the piano, and we figured we would just set up a keyboard. Now, the priest is telling us a an electric keyboard won’t give the kind of ‘sound’ we want for the wedding. (Last I knew we could make a keyboard have hundreds of different sounds) and that it’s not fair to ask someone who doesn’t normally play in Church to play for such an important day. He ended his email by saying “I think you know what I mean.”
We asked her a month ago. My cousin and her parents are both excited about this, and I’m not sure what to do. I feel awful about this. It’s not fair to her, or us, for the priest to change his mind about this! I don’t want to pay an organist who I’ve been told only knows several songs and refuses to learn more >=-(
Post # 3
Ugh, I say stick with your cousin. It’s your wedding, and as long as she plays appropriate songs, you’re still staying within the guidelines he originally gave you. I think it would be really nice having your cousin play!
Post # 4
do they not have a piano that she can play?
i know how you feel. i keep getting told ” oh there is no rules for that so as long as you follow X,Y,Z it will be fine” and then it’s not. makes planning a nightmare.
can you ask other people who have been married there what they did for music? they might have an idea for you.
Post # 5
The priest is out of line. Not the right sound? Is he a sound technician now? Write him back that you adhered to his ONE prior condition that guest musicians are allowed as long as they played appropriate songs. He said nothing about anything else at the time and so you proceeded based on that one condition. Now you have made a request of a cousin to play, and now she is expecting to and you don’t want to let her or the family down. (Next thing you know he’ll complain about the color keyboard not matching the decor of the church. Sheesh.) Inform him that the keyboard has adjustments to sound just fine, and it will be a sound that will be fitting and please you. (Are you paying a fee to have your ceremony in the church? If so, all the more reason to get your way on this.) Let him know your piano player is not only skilled, but a family member and you would like to honor family because being a priest, he should know what you mean about honoring family. 😉 Okay, maybe leave out that last little bit, but wouldn’t it feel good to write it? hehe
Post # 6
Im going to agree with the priest on this one-
I sang in a church choir for many years and an electric keyboard sounds really tinny and empty in a church,
at the end of the day, it’s absolutely your choice, but in my experience, that is how ecoustically it will sound!
If I were you, just bring in an electric keyboard and see what the ecoustics are like before the big day!!
congrats on your wedding!! 🙂
Post # 7
I went to a wedding where the bride’s brother played music on an electric keyboard. It was beautiful.
I suggest you talk to the priest about this in person. Emails can be misinterpreted. And I always feel like you can catch more flies with honey… so you should be as nice as possible while trying to be persuasive. Also, pray before you meet with him.
When he says, “You know what I mean”, what does he mean? Is his objection that the cousin isn’t Catholic (if that is the case)? If that is the problem, you could list all the appropriate songs that the cousin will be playing and explain that she learned them and loves to play them.
I don’t know what personality this priest has, but if you are sweet and persistent, he can probably be won over.
Post # 8
My SIL had her best friend play the flute at her wedding and they didnt seem to have a problem with it – i think it depends on the chruch honestly because at my church we HAD to use the choir their which happened to be one lady singing and another guy playing the piano. i had to pay them $400.00 to play/sing for an hour and they butchered one of our favorite songs. i would fight for it as much as possible – and though im all for supporting the church and dont even haven a problem with the certa in songs you can use but i think its just ridiculous that you HAVE to use their music directors, their wedding directors and have to pay a ton of money for so so work. but that was just my experience.
Post # 9
I’m a church pianist, so I know a thing or two about what it takes to play at a Catholic mass. For one, you better know exactly when to start each song and what order they come in. You have to be able to watch the priest and take cues when to start. That takes a while to get used to, especially if you’re working with a priest whose “style” you aren’t familiar with. There’s really a lot of unspoken communication going on between the priest and the pianist to keep the mass moving along with no awkward gaps. So your cousin should at a minimum have some experience playing at regular masses.
If she has that experience, then your priest should have nothing to complain about. There’s no rule about the pianist having to be Catholic to play in a church.
As far as what instrument she plays, I think the priest is being too picky. But if the church has a piano or organ available, why bother carrying another one in? Consider the set-up time, finding an outlet to plug into, sound testing, etc. You wouldn’t want your cousin to miss out on the coctail hour because she’s trying to take care of her keyboard. So just for the sake of simplicity, she might as well use the church’s instruments.
Post # 10
To answer your questions: no, there is not a piano in the church, only an organ. I’m not orignally from the area we’re getting married, but I go to Mass there in the summer. I ASSUMED it was a piano, but I was wrong, hence the first issue. I figured an electric keyboard would be an easy fix. It makes me sick to think I have to ask my cousin who I adore to step out now because the priest decided to change his mind/didn’t like who I chose for a musician when she has alerady started practicing =(. She is Catholic, and I told his that. I also chose all very traditional (mostly Latin) songs for the wedding.
I don’t mean to offend anyone, but not all Church organists can play WELL, and it annoys me that he’s going to make me pay to have a woman butcher my wedding music. I guess it does make sense that she would have to know the cues.
I think one of his problems is the fact that he’s afraid she won’t do a good job. Which…is not his call to make. I don’t think his organist will do a good job. My Fiance and I are very laid back…are we going to notice if she gets nervous and a few keys are messed up? no.
Sorry, this is jsut another rant, I’m just dreading talking to my cousin about this, because the priest seems determined.
Post # 11
I agree, that shouldn’t be the priest’s call to make whether your cousin would do a good job. When you signed up with the church, did they give you a list of guidelines or rules at all? If they gave you something like that, and it doesn’t explicitly mention that you’re bound to the church’s own organist and organ, then you have every right to complain. They should have told you everything upfront.
Post # 12
I would email the priest back and let him know how important it is for your cousin to play. The ceremony is about you and your FH, maybe the priest needs a reminder.
Post # 13
@Miss Audrey: electronic insturments are not allowed in a Catholic ceremony – the priest is trying to be nice. Does the church have an actual piano?
@15happyyears: You don’t walk into someone else’s church and tell him what you can and will do. Besides, a wedding is about more than just the bride and the groom.
Post # 14
@CatholicBee: “electronic insturments are not allowed in a Catholic ceremony”
Really? Like, it’s not allowed in a wedding ceremony, or in any Masses period? Not all churches have pianos or organs, and I’ve been to many Cathoiic churches where all they have is a Clavinova, or something similar.
I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that it’s not a rule I’m familiar with.
Post # 15
yeah Ive never heard of that rule either!!!
Post # 16
@Catholic_Bee He’s not being nice, he changed his mind without letting us know. And if it’s an electric organ…what’s the difference?