American weddings have come a long way over the years. In a society that is made up of people from so many different cultures, lifestyles, religions, and backgrounds, it is no surprise that the traditions in the wedding ceremony are as vastly different as well. Wedding music is no exception. From the ceremony itself to the party atmosphere of the reception, the wedding music sets the tone for the event.
Traditional Wedding Music:
At most weddings we can expect to hear selections that have come to be known as traditional wedding music. Titles like Ave Maria, the Minuet from Don Giovanni, and, of course, The Bridal Chorus and The Wedding March have long been the standard music for a wedding. Particularly religious ceremonies may include hymns like Amazing Grace and a Jewish wedding almost always includes a hora danced to a medley of tunes like Hava Nagila, and Siman Tov U Mazeltov.
The traditional wedding music holds a special place in our hearts and many think that a wedding ceremony is incomplete without it. The couple must decide whether or not to use traditional wedding music in the ceremony, as well as how much of it to use. If this part of the wedding tradition is important to you, then traditional wedding music is the way to go.
Modern Wedding Music:
Often couples will forgo the traditional wedding music selections and instead include modern or popular music in the wedding ceremony. This practice is so common that some titles are becoming traditional wedding song selections themselves. It is not unusual to hear When a Man Loves a Woman, Always and Forever, or I Will Always Love You sung, performed, or played at weddings today. Often more modern titles like these will appear in a ceremony along with the more traditional wedding music.
Avant-Garde Wedding Music:
As people’s attitudes change and varying forms of wedding ceremonies take place, the choice of wedding music often changes right along with them. Occasionally couples will choose music for their wedding that reflects the stark difference in their personalities and makes a unique and bold statement. While your wedding ceremony is primarily for the couple getting married, it is important to remember that it is an event attended by your family members as well. While you may wish to make an impression on your guests with your choice of music, you should still be cautious not to offend your respective grandmothers. As such, a selection by an artist like Marilyn Manson may never be appropriate for a wedding ceremony. This does not mean that your wedding music choices are restricted to traditional classics or sappy love songs. I once attended a very avant-garde wedding where three couples married in the same ceremony. It was a beautiful event and was made memorable by their choice of music. The couples strode down the aisle to the sounds of Pink Floyd’s Signs of Life, an instrumental track from the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. It was a wedding ceremony that I will remember forever.