Luke O’Connor – Lark Music
Ceremonies… religious, civil, hipster, traditional, church, vineyard, beach.
From the sun-kissed lawns of Thailand’s most exclusive resorts, the vineyards of California’s Napa Valley and the rooftops and lane ways of Melbourne, as bandleader and singer for Melbourne wedding band, Lark Music, I have sung at a lot of ceremonies, and learned a lot along the way.
It’s in that moment where I begin to strum the guitar and guests begin to take their seats that I ask myself, what would I do if this were my wedding? How would I do it? This is a big deal!
No doubt, if you’re reading this, you’re going through endless lists of things to do for the big day, celebrants who all bring a unique and individual style to the nuptials. From the hipness of John von Goes to the Perfect Match schtick of Greg Evans and even a singing celebrant, there’s no limit to the choice available to a couple when organising their ceremony. Just like the perfect celebrant can lay a foundation that makes that moment last in memory forever, so too can a song can become eternally bound to the emotion you’ll feel as you take your loved one’s hand in front of all your friends and family.
Like a soundtrack in a movie, music is essential.
Whether you’re a Pachelbel’s Canon in D, a Van Morrison, a Florence or Cat Power type, music makes us feel. A special song can transport us back in time to a first kiss or an embarrassing dance off.
Selecting the right people to providing the music for your ceremony can be a daunting one. But fear not!
Here are Lark Music’s tips for picking the right music for your wedding ceremony:
How many songs do I need played?
As a general guide, a performer would provide twenty minutes of music whilst guests take their seats or gather around, one song is played for the walking down the aisle or commencement, two songs are played during the signing and a song for the couple’s exit also. Total songs for the ceremony… 4. An experienced performer will be more than happy to learn songs that are special to you.
Vocal or not?
A melody, as much as words, can make us feel a certain way. The sound of a string ensemble can add a touch of class but does it resonate for you and your partner? Where strings can add class, a song performed by a vocalist/guitarist or pianist can tell a story about the kind of couple you are or hope to be. Words can be personal, even somebody else’s.
What song should we choose?
Choosing the song needn’t be the most harrowing experience of your life. Musicians are a sensitive lot, and have written countless songs about the love of someone, the love of love, the love of weddings etc. If you don’t have a specific special song, your chosen performer should be able to point you in the right direction.
Image by Todd Hunter McGaw
What songs shouldn’t we choose?
People are often not great at hearing the meaning within popular songs. Some popular ones for ceremonies over the last couple of years have been Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits and Someone like you by Adele. Although fantastic songs, neither are about everlasting love, more letting go and moving on. Listen to the lyrics of the song before choosing. But hey, if you like it, go for it!
Amplified or not?
The debate over this is one that musicians often have and really depends on the size of the crowd. An unamplified acoustic guitar and vocal can sound beautiful in the right setting, but totally lost within a big crowd. An amplified performance will be more audible and clearer but may lose some of the intimacy. Ultimately, a great performer will be able to advise you whether amplification is required. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Whatever you decide to do with your wedding ceremony music, it’s important to remember that the most important people in that moment are the two of you. Go for music that makes you feel comfortable and that will be a meaningful soundtrack for the rest of your life. Nobody likes a bad song stuck in their head!
Need some song inspiration? Check out Lark Music’s song list now
Ms Gingham says: Music is so good at drawing out emotions. There’s so much great music around that you can use to express your emotions and so many talented musicians to make your choice come to life! Thanks to Luke for this article!
About Lark Music: Lark Music are a band of some of Melbourne’s busiest and most talented musicians, committed to performing live music that guarantees dancefloor shenanigans and a soundtrack that will not be forgotten by you or your guests quickly.