While the wedding ceremony is a fairly small portion of your overall wedding day, you want it done right with the utmost professionalism. This means hiring a Charleston Wedding DJ who has the proper finesse and professional equipment to handle your ceremony. In recent months, I've been getting a lot of inquiries and questions about wedding ceremony music, so I wanted to answer some of those questions on my blog. I just realized that this is my first post in over a month. My apologies. It's been a busy and very hot summer and when I have not been DJing weddings, I've been in the yard doing work, and venturing out to my happy place, Kiawah Island. Enjoy this refresher about ceremony music for your Charleston wedding and if you should have any questions, be sure to fill out a contact form and we can set up a time to talk.
What's The Best Way To Plan The Timeline For Your Wedding Ceremony?
When planning the music for your wedding ceremony, you need to talk to your DJ about setting up to play for your prelude. The prelude is the period of time that is usually about 20-30 minutes before your ceremony begins as your guests are beginning to get seated. As your ceremony begins, your wedding DJ will fade into the actual ceremony music you have chosen. We'll get into those parts later inside this post. Then, as you guys walk out of the ceremony during your recessional, your DJ should play a song as your guests walk over to the cocktail hour. You will want your wedding coordinator / planner to coordinate with your DJ on the transitions of songs that will be happening during your ceremony time.
Photo Credit: Aaron & Jillian Photography
Where Should My Wedding DJ Be Set Up For My Ceremony?
The short answer. Not anywhere near you. I've seen DJs continue to place speakers in the front behind where you will be exchanging vows. I would hate to see those wedding photos with those ugly black speakers in the background! There are numerous ways for the DJ to set up, but one thing you should notice is their desire to make sure they are out of the way. I like the set up in the back and off to the side. My speakers will point toward your guests so that they can hear the music, as well as your officiant. The speakers are usually high enough for equal distribution of sound so that everyone can hear. The best case scenario is for your wedding DJ to be hiding in the bushes. :)
Do We Need Microphones For Our Wedding Ceremony?
Yes. The amount of people who will be attending your wedding ceremony makes a huge difference. The more people you have sitting at the ceremony, the more important it is to have microphones. Wireless lapel microphones are the choice of most professional wedding DJs. Your officiant needs to have a microphone and my train of thought has always been that the groom is equipped with a microphone if he and the bride are planning on doing their own vows. Smallish ceremonies with 25 people can probably get away without any microphones. I've actually been to weddings before where I was planning all along to set up to use my wireless microphones and the officiant said they did not need a microphones. The professional officiant with a booming voice most likely does not need a microphone, but when your guest list exceeds 100 people, microphones become a necessity. If the bride and groom have put in the extra effort to make their ceremony even more special by writing their own vows, it is my recommendation that a microphone is placed on the groom. Proper placement of the microphone in conjunction with the location of the bride will allow the bride to be heard without putting an ugly microphone on her. Don't ever let a DJ tell you a bride needs to have a microphone on her. This is a surefire way to ruin all those pictures with the dream dress that she purchased at Betty Bridal Atelier downtown on State St on the peninsula of Charleston. If special readings are needed during your ceremony, a handheld can be provided and can either be placed on a small table or the DJ can give the person the microphone who needs to do the reading before the ceremony begins.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
Does A Musician Need To Connect To The Wedding DJs Setup?
If hiring a musician for your wedding ceremony, they normally come equipped with their own PA equipment and / or amp. and should not be expected to plug into a DJs mixer. Most of the time a musician will not have the lapel microphones required for your guests to hear the ceremony. If you hire a musician, but still need microphones, I do provide that service.
Photo Credit: Mike Bills
How Do We Choose The Music For Our Wedding Ceremony?
The music that you choose for your wedding ceremony depends on the vibe that you are trying to convey to your guests. Did you picture yourself in a more serious, formal affair or did you picture yourself in a more laid-back affair near the coastline of Charleston? Either way, the options are simply endless when it comes to choosing your wedding ceremony music. Some couples opt for the traditional and classical stringed instrumentals, while others may choose more modern, contemporary selections. Some brides and grooms spend a lot of time on their ceremony music and others will plug in some of the more popular choices. Either way, the music you choose is completely up to you.
Photo Credit: Anchor & Veil
Common Wedding Ceremony Music Parts
Processional Song For Parents / Grandparents
Processional Song For The Bridal Party
Processional Song For The Bride
The recessional song is usually a "happy-go-lucky" song that is played as the bride and grooms are exiting the wedding ceremony. The DJ will generally play the song in it's entirety as the bridal party files out along with the guests and head over to the cocktail hour. If you should have any more questions about the types of music for the ceremony, be sure to ask your DJ when you meet.
Popular Modern Wedding Ceremony Songs
1. "A Thousand Years" | Christina Perri
2. "All You Need Is Love" | The Beatles
3. "You Are The Best Thing" | Ray Lamontagne
4. "First Day Of My Life" | Bright Eyes
5. "Can't Help Falling In Love" | Haley Rinehart
Do You Have A Sample Timeline For A Typical Wedding Ceremony?
I thought you would never ask. Yes I do. This is a basic framework of how a lot of my wedding ceremonies have gone here in Charleston over the years. If you do employ a wedding coordinator / planner, be sure to introduce them to me right after you book me so that we can work together to make sure your wedding ceremony is perfect for you and your guests.
The Prelude Music | 20-30 minutes prior to the beginning of your ceremony
The Seating Of The Parents / Grandparents
The Bridal Party Processional
The Bride Processional
The Wedding Ceremony : Most ceremonies can last up to 30 minutes, with most of them about 15-20 minutes
The Recessional Song
Some brides and grooms also have a special sand ceremony and / or unity candle lighting where a special song can be ready to be played by your wedding DJ. If you should have any more questions on these parts of your ceremony, be sure to ask me when we get together at your initial consultation.
Photo Credit: Mike Bills
Why Is There A Separate Charge For Ceremony Music Even When You Are At The Reception Site?
Your wedding ceremony music done the "right" professional way requires an additional DJ rig to be setup. The additional equipment combined with the extra time required for setup is the reason for the extra expense. For instance, earlier this year, I had a wedding ceremony at a location that required me to run 350 feet of extension cord. Running that cord was one of the most laborous hauls I've had as a professional wedding DJ. An even more recent example was the need for ceremony music right on the beach where I had to run over 150 feet of extension cord. Also, I had a wedding ceremony at Middleton Place that required me to rent a generator because no electricity was available near the ceremony site. I could go on and on about other examples of wedding ceremony configurations, but as one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston, I can tell you that you will want to hire a company who does ceremony music in the manner that I have described to you in this post.
Photo Credit: Mike Bills
Wanna Learn More About Wedding Ceremony Music And Talk To Mike About Being Your Wedding DJ?
I must tell you on this afternoon that I am wrapping up this blog post that it feels so good to get it finished. The parts to this post have been in my mind and it took a very rainy Saturday afternoon for me to get it all down for you and to get it up online. As i mentioned up above, I've had a pretty busy summer and while I have not been doing my weddings, I have been working on other things and booking brides for 2020. It's hard to believe we'll be starting a new decade next year. Charleston remains one of the most desirable wedding destinations in the country. Brides and grooms choose Charleston for the backdrop of one of the most special days of their life each and every year. The secret is out about Charleston and brides and grooms have been hitting the website in recent weeks to inquire about their 2020 celebration in the Holy City. If you have just hit my website and are looking for reasons to get married in Charleston, be sure to click the link. Music is my specialty and my attention to detail has allowed me to forge an impeccable reputation as one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston. I invite you to look over my entire website and blog and be sure to check out this all important post about Why You Should Hire Me I look forward to learning more about your musical tastes as you start the search for your Charleston Wedding DJ. Click HERE to tell me a little more about ypur special day in Charleston.
Photo Credit: Mike Bills