Friday, December 19, 2008

Julie and Ryan Mix it Up for Their Wedding

Julie and Ryan are seriously into music-She is a flutist and Ryan sings in barbershop quartets. So, they wanted to include all kinds of music at their winter wedding.

Here's what I played (for more information on these songs, check out my repertoire list).

Pre-Ceremony Seating Music:
1. "Star of the County Down" (traditional Irish)
2. "Unchained Melody"
3. "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (Christian hymn)
4. "You'll Never Walk Alone"
5. "Silent Night"
6. "La Vie En Rose"
7. "In Dreams"
8. "Come What May"
9. "Canon in D"
10. "Clair de Lune"
11. "Arabian Dance"
12. "Annie's Song"

Wedding Party of 3 Bridesmaids: "Ave Maria" (Schubert) 
Bride's Entrance: "Here Comes the Bride" 
Music played softly behind Ceremony: "Some Enchanted Evening" 
Music during the Lighting of Unity Candle: "You Raise Me Up" 
Recessional: "March" from the Nutcracker Suite

Post-Ceremony Music Played During Photo Session:
1. "The Angelical Hymn"
2. "Into the West"
3. "(Everything I Do) I do It For You"
4. "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow"
5. "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes"
6. "Ice Castles (Through the Eyes of Love)"

The scene was set for the wedding, with candles lit throughout the indoor gazebo at David Walley's Resort in Genoa, Nevada.

When Reverend David Beronio arrived, I checked in with him about my cues for the ceremony and then seating began. He checked in with Wendy, the wedding coordinator. I began playing "Ave Maria" just as Reverend David walked up to the altar with the gentlemen. Trouble was, I had not set my harp in the correct key after coming off of playing "Annie's Song" for the seating.

In walked the bridesmaids on cue, and I just continued flipping harp levers, playing an errant note here and there, until the harp was finally in the correct key. I felt like a gymnast who starts off her routine a little wobbly and has a flawless finish. All else went perfectly. The bride walked in to her majestic music, and I was in sync with all my cues from the minister.

Did the bride and groom notice, in that candle-lit room decorated like Christmas? Did the bridesmaids notice? Not that I knew. Everyone complimented about the music. Only Reverend David took notice and mentioned afterwards, "Was wondering about that first song, but it all came out beautifully!" (Rev. Dave is a fan of music played during the ceremony).

As I left at the end of Julie and Ryan's photo session, Julie gushed about how she loved "Some Enchanted Evening" played during her ceremony, and off they went to their reception.

Tips for Brides:

Go ahead and mix up your music list for your wedding. Like Julie and Ryan, you can let your music selections be a reflection of you and your fiancĂ©. Just make sure to clear your ceremony music choices with your officiant, especially any tunes played during the ceremony itself. 

In the above example, you'll notice that I was in touch with the wedding coordinator and the minister before and during the ceremony. When you hire services providers who are professional, they work together as a team to make everything come out perfectly. It is a plus if the service providers have worked with each other in the past, too. For instance, I am familiar with Reverend David's ceremonies, so I know that he welcomes music played within the ceremony.

When you hire your wedding service providers, ask how long they have been in business as well as whether they know some of the other providers you have already hired. Then, you can relax in the knowledge that you have hired a team of professionals who will take care of your wedding needs.

Tips for Musicians:

Check in with everyone prior to the wedding ceremony to get your cues, even if you have worked with the minister and the coordinator in the past. Every wedding is different, and you might find out that there was a change made in music or cues at the last minute.

And if your instrument, your voice, or your ensemble members crack a wrong note, just keep on going. You can't go back and fix that moment, but you can perfect the remainder of your performance. We're all human, and stuff just happens. Professionals make mistakes all the time--they just know how to cover for them.

Many more tips are available from my book "The Musician's Guide to Brides" available wherever Hal Leonard Books are sold: music and bookstores, and through online retailers including,, and of course, at my website at

I'm looking forward to reading your stories, comments, and feedback. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year!

Sending Warm Wishes, 
Anne :-)
Celtic Harp Music by Anne Roos

P.S.--Musicians--Get a jumpstart on your New Year's Prosperity Plan. Attend one of Bob Baker's workshops.

1 comment:

Mauren Thomson said...

Speaking as a professional wedding officiant THANK YOU for your advice to musicians to check in with the minister prior to the ceremony. (A good wedding officiant will do this as well.) Hiring professional musicians (as opposed to cousin Marve and his Ipod) makes all the difference in the world when it comes to insuring a polished wedding ceremony experience!