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Wedding tips part 2:

From cathedral to courtyard, setting the mood

Whether you're planning a religious ceremony or a theme wedding, creating the right mood is essential. Your music selections will undoubtedly set the ambiance, and whether it's romantic, regal, classic, or traditional, the right music will help create the perfect atmosphere.

Once you have your basic wedding plan in mind, get music suggestions and recommendations from your officiate, reception hall manager, friends, family and any potential musicians. Think of the music as the soundtrack to your wedding.

Here are some considerations:

· What kind of space are you dealing with for both your ceremony and your reception?
Plan your music proportionally to the size of your wedding. Don't overwhelm a small group of guests with a brass band, or expect to hear a string duet over the voices of 300 guests.

· Location - Take geography into consideration. Is your ceremony and/or reception indoors or outdoors? Don't count on a pipe organ for a garden wedding! If you're planning an outdoor wedding amplified music may be out of the question. If you've rented a large hall for your ceremony, be sure that the instrumentation you choose fills the space.

· Ceremony Music - Think about instrumentation. You could choose any number of combinations including a vocalist, organist, pianist, string quartet, harpist, or instrumentalist. For a regal or majestic sound you might choose a brass ensemble, trumpet solo, or organist. Likewise, a harp, piano, or vocalist could create a romantic mood.
For a religious or traditional ceremony consider an organist, vocal ensemble, or string quartet. To jazz things up for a casual or contemporary ceremony, you may opt for a saxophone or guitar player, a jazz ensemble or possibly fiddle tunes.

· Reception Music - Choose a well-known band who plays a style that you like. Country, Swing, or Klezmer are popular options, and of course you can't go wrong with a Big Band for versatility! Most bands with experience playing wedding receptions will know a variety of recognizable standards and dance tunes to please a diverse crowd - but don't hesitate to request that they learn specific songs.

1. When to book
2. Setting the mood
3. Setting the stage
4. Hiring musicians
5. How much?
6. Acoustic or amplified?
7. Music selection
8. Putting it all together!

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