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Live music vs recorded music at your wedding ceremony

live music

One of the big decisions you'll need to make for your wedding day and especially your marriage ceremony is the music. Celebrant Katherine Sessions of Adore Celebrancy Services and member of The Celebrants Network is taking us through the ins and outs of choosing live or recorded music...

Why do we play music? There are strong emotional experiences attached to a specific piece of music, the emotional effects may differ from person to person in their reactions.  Music can evoke utter joy, sadness, a sense of calm or anxiety depending on the association to the piece of music from past memories.    

We play music at a wedding to create atmosphere, it is also a form of entertainment and to symbolise different stages of the ceremony.  The grand entrance or the celebratory exit.

The choice to use recorded music or live music is an individual choice that often comes down to a financial decision.  I have been lucky enough to work with some great musicians in the past 12 months so I asked them what do you charge?

The criteria - play music as guests arrive, bride arrival, during signing and bridal party exit, local wedding within 20mins drive.  All these musicians supplied their own equipment (guitar, microphone etc), and were able to sing anything that was requested.  I was pleasantly surprised that the quotes came in at $300 to $500.  


Live music can be about the moment.  There is preparation, there is contact between the performer and the guests that is inspired by the location, the time, even the weather, all creating the mood. It can be beautiful, memorable or just getting the job done.

How do we use recorded music?  These days there are many options for downloading songs/music with endless choices.  The absolute most cost-effective way to present recorded music at a ceremony is to download the music in play order on to a mobile phone.  

A responsible guest at the ceremony can Bluetooth that phone to my PA then sit back and press play & stop at the appropriate moments and voila!  Music taken care of, but have we evoked any emotion, created any atmosphere?  That may depend on your personal memories (if any) associated with that song or piece of music. 


The overriding fact is that music has been chosen by the couple for their own reasons, and to be perfectly honest if you ask them did they hear the music?  The answer is usually NO!  

Apart from the bridal entrance piece when the atmosphere is heightened with anticipation.  Sure, the music is there in the background, adding to the atmosphere, but often lost in the excitement and babble of family & friends.   



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Wednesday, 14 April 2021

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