Learn what the restrictions are, discuss the mood you want to create and get advice from experts. You might want the conbination of a trumpet and organ, the enchanting quality of a flute and harp due or the charm of a string quartet.
Music for a wedding ceremony is generally thought of in four "coarses" which includes a prelude, processional, ceremony and recessional. The prelude music is played as the guests arrive. A period of 15-30 minutes is allocated for this course.
Once the guests are seated and the bridal party is ready to enter, the processional begins. The processional first accompanies the bridal party down the aisle, and then, often a brief pause and change of music, presents the bride.
Music during the ceremony is optional, but it will add something momentous to the proccedings. It will be the most pronounced of all, since it will be less an accompaniment than an element of the ceremony.
Once you have been pronounced husband and wife, music must communicate the celebrity mood as you sweep back up the aisle. Plan to have the recessional music played until all the guests have exited.
A number of excellent sources are available for the planning of the music for your wedding ceremony. There are various companies involved exclusively in contracting music ensembles for weddings. Among the most reputable is the Los Angeles based Classic Music Ensembles which draws from a pool of the finest professional musicians and for more than twenty-five years has been providing music for everything from intimate weddings to high-profile celebrity events. They will supply, upon request, a CD of their ensembles and the most popular repertoire choices.
see article in Southern California Modern Bride Spring 2004.