Wedding Music: Wondering if You Should Hire Live Musicians? 7 Things to Consider.

Updated: May 30

Getting married? Congratulations! Chances are, you are modifying your original expectations for your event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You may be wondering if you should hire live musicians or just have pre-recorded music to either simplify, reduce cost or gathering size. You are not alone in this. This is a difficult time and there are so many uncertainties. Before you scrap the plan to hire live musicians (and there may be some excellent reasons this is absolutely necessary) I’d like to offer seven things to consider first…

1. Has live music been an important part of your journey, or for those that will celebrate it with you? Recall the times when you heard live music performed by professionals. Did you experience chills, become more tranquil, or feel a heart-warming connection? If so, you’ve experienced the enchanting effect that can happen when listening to live musicians perform. There’s science to back this up, but it feels magical.

2. Are there special songs you are envisioning? Perhaps they hold special meaning because they are connected to a significant moment or you just simply love it. Maybe you need an instrumental of a pop song that takes only one-minute. Professional musicians can arrange music and adapt it so it is appropriate and meaningful. Be sure to ask about advanced notice requirements and fees for this service.

3. Do you want traditional classical wedding music? If so, a live musician can adapt it by performing it on their specific instrument/s that fits your event. Hey-if you have 30 guests in an outdoor space, having a pipe organ isn’t really practical and a recording of one may not give the authentic feeling you imagined. Why not choose a solo guitar or small ensemble to perform it instead? Classical wedding music arrangements can be found for just about any instrument out there. If there isn’t one, musicians can often create one of their own. Many times, people are amazed at how a familiar piece sounds so beautiful performed on a different instrument than it was written for.

4. Your event is an organic experience, and musicians can adjust (with reasonable limitations) to that. Pacing and timing are always a concern with weddings. Let’s be honest, sometimes getting everyone in place is like herding cats! Musicians can speed up, slow down, stop playing, play more, play louder or softer, all depending on what is needed (and communicated).

5. A musician is also likely a parent, sibling, or spouse and can probably relate in many ways to you and your guests. They recognize the value of your event and it’s their intention to employ their concentration, emotions and skill to bringing your vision to life. People really do make a difference.

6. Did your wedding shift to outdoors? Well, provided the weather is favorable, and the setting is right, musicians are often able to perform outside. If amplification is needed, technology offers battery powered and wireless options, so chances are you can be on that beach, in that field, or on that lawn and have live musicians. Please be sure to read up on their outdoor policies and have a back up plan if the weather doesn't cooperate.

7. Consider the overall picture of what’s important. The main thing is that you are getting married, right? So, if you have to scale back for safety, finances, or other reasons, we get it. To figure out where to scale back, make a list of what is most important. Think of weddings you’ve been at or seen a video of, what specifically moved you? If music is near the top your list, then consider options that will help you to overcome those hurdles. Talk with musicians about your concerns. You may find they have creative and reasonable solutions!

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