Besides listening to a whole bunch of potential ceremony songs, we highly recommend brainstorming to come up with some good song choices for your marriage ceremony.
Ok, let's define "brainstorming": It is a problem-solving technique in which members sit around and let fly with ideas and possible solutions to a problem. No ideas are edited or judged - all ideas are considered worthy. The editing only starts after the brainstorming session is over, and when no other solutions can be thought of.
So, here is your problem - you need to come up with songs for your wedding ceremony. The brainstorming session needs you, your fiancé, and someone - one of you or an outside party - to write down the possible solutions. Of course, you could also record the proceedings and write the solutions later off of the recording.
What Are Some Clues Or Questions To Consider When Brainstorming For Marriage Ceremony Songs?
To help you out (after all that's what we are here for) we are going to give you some clues...
(Remember to consider all options - don't limit yourselves. A song that you might not want for a processional could still be played as a prelude or postlude song, or even later at the reception. So your choices are almost unlimited.)
Ask yourself the following questions...
What songs do you just really like?
Do you have a favorite composer, artist, or concert performance?
Is there a musical period you enjoy the most? (i.e Baroque Classical, 80's, early Jazz era, etc.)
What was that song that you loved when you were a kid?
Is there a new song just released recently that you really like?
What songs inspire you?
Are there any special songs that relate to how you met, or when you fell in love?
Do any songs define the specialness or uniqueness of your relationship?
What songs describe how you feel about love?
Are there any songs that relate to how you feel about commitment?
How about some songs that describe how you feel about special relationships?
Are there any songs that define your goals as a couple?
Is there a song that defines the motto you live by, or would like to live by?
Is there a person or persons you would like to dedicate a song to?
Are there any cultural or religious songs that you might like to have included in the ceremony?
If your wedding has a theme, what songs might relate to that theme?
What songs might add to the setting? (i.e. a wedding at the beach might include a song related to the sea.)
Have you been to a wedding ceremony recently where you heard a song you really liked?
Do you have a friend who would like to sing or perform at your ceremony? What song or work might they like to perform?
Are there favorite songs whose lyrics just aren't right for a marriage ceremony? Can you rewrite the lyrics and have a performer sing the song with the revised lyrics? Or can you have an instrumental version of the song played?
Ok We're Done Brainstorming And We Have This HUGE List - Now What?
Considering some of these questions, write down all of your musical ideas and then gradually narrow it down to your favorites. How do you do that? Well, of course, the first thing to consider is that this is a marriage ceremony, so a song like "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy probably wouldn't be appropriate (and no rewriting of the lyrics is going to save it). Songs like that need to go first.
Next, consider your intuition. If you can't put your finger on it, but a song just doesn't "feel" right, it may be best to leave it out. Intuition can be a powerful thing - it's best to listen to it. The last thing you want is to realize, during the ceremony, that reason the song didn't "feel" right is that it was a song played at your Maid of Honor's father's funeral.
When narrowing down your list also consider the mood you are trying to create and which songs best reflect you and your fiancé. Many other tips are addressed on other pages of this site.
And, oh yes... remember that this list can and should be flexible so, even after you've made your final decisions, the next time you hear a song that sounds like "music to your ears" make a note of it - after all, just as rules are made to be broken, "final" decisions are made to be changed!
Now, let's see how you can choose music that reflects you.