The Music

by Anna Jones

Courtesy The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Photo by Tessa Marie Studios

The Details

You’re engaged! You’re thrilled. You’re in love. You’re ... overwhelmed. Whether you’ve dreamed of the big day your whole life or never thought about it until the moment you said yes, the actual process of planning your wedding is uncharted territory. Let this guide be your road map — and leave the details to us.

DURING THE CEREMONY 

Many different pieces of music are required to make this sacred occasion meaningful and seamless. Generally, music is required for the seating of the bride and groom’s grandmothers and mothers, for the bridesmaids’ procession, for the bride’s procession and finally for the bride and groom’s recession down the aisle as husband and wife. If you’re counting, that’s four different pieces of music. For more traditional wedding ceremonies in a church or place of worship, the church’s ministry will help guide you in picking out the pieces of music for the ceremony. If your ceremony is outdoors or not in a religious setting, work with your wedding planner and musicians to weave together a list of songs that represent your relationship and what this day means to you.

Greg and Robin Ross of Legato string quartet and their own band, Ross2, often receive requests for instrumental versions of contemporary songs, keeping the music in line with the formality of the ceremony. “Couples want to make the music appro- priate for the wedding but also show a little of their personalities,” Robin Ross says. It’s small touches like these that can make a wedding ceremony speak to the uniqueness of the bride and groom and make the day all the more special.

WEDDING RECEPTION

Band or DJ? With a well-constructed budget, it’s an easy decision. Bands are the more expensive choice of the two, but live music can certainly be the life of the party.

“The music, more than anything, sets the tone for the celebration,” says Jeremy Davis of The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, based in Savannah and New York City. “Long after the flowers have faded and much of the night becomes a distant mem- ory, people will always remember the way a great band made them feel.”

As the more budget-friendly option, DJs are a perennially popular choice and can book months in advance for wedding receptions. Jeff Brown, owner of All About You Entertainment, works with his clients to ensure the DJ’s style fits the bride and groom’s vision for the reception—and their taste in music, of course. He recommends following DJs on social media to get a sense of their go-to genres and recent wedding programs.

RECEPTION PLAYLIST

Make a list for your band or DJ of all of your must-haves, songs to avoid, the major moments (bride and groom’s first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances) and the phonetic pronunciation of any names that will need to be introduced (including yours). The more details you can provide, the better.

Courtesy Timwill Photography

AFTER PARTY

Savannah and other historic areas must abide by strict noise ordinances, which means the party might come to an end a bit sooner than you’d like. The rise of “silent discos” presents a polite alternative. Equipped with individual headphone sets with music piped in from a DJ (or sometimes two or three), guests can party all night long without risking a noise complaint. Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings planned a silent disco for a bride and groom who wanted to extend their reception and was very pleased with the guests’ reaction. “Everyone loved it,” she says. “It was one of those things that was either going to be a huge hit or a bust, and it was definitely a hit. Guests danced and sang along to their favorite songs and we didn’t have to worry about any noise.”