Instrumental music is appropriate for all selections in a wedding ceremony. From a soft new age instrumental to be used for the background of a reading to a rousing classical recessional tune, instrumental music can be utilized to enhance all aspects of your wedding.
Musical Instruments Typically Used In Instrumental Selections
Traditionally, the organ is the musical instrument most used for marriage ceremonies. Of course organ music for an outdoor wedding is usually not available (unless it is recorded music). Still, you'd want to consider whether using recorded organ music would even be appropriate for an outdoor wedding since an organ is basically an indoor instrument. Other musical instruments that are popular today include the piano, flute, violin, harp, guitar, and for a Celtic themed wedding, the hammered dulcimer.
Using The Instrumental Version Of Popular Songs
In some cases couples will opt for the instrumental version of a popular song (e.g. From This Moment). Even without lyrics, this song, and the instrumental versions of other popular wedding ceremony songs used in the right places, will create just as powerful an impression as the vocal version. Often, especially for very popular songs, the tune will be recognized, and the lyrics may even be playing in your guests' heads as they hear the melody. Ask your musician(s) if they can play the popular song you have in mind, or ask your DJ if s(he) has or can find the instrumental version for you.
Instrumental Music Volume
An important key, especially with instrumental music, is that it be played loud enough for your guests to hear. This is true primarily during the recessional, when many guests may be loudly cheering and/or well-wishing. A soft instrumental played on the harp may not be the appropriate piece for a recessional, especially if it is an outdoor wedding and/or you have many guests.
As mentioned elsewhere on our site, volume is one of the main reasons that organ music is played for recessionals. If you are going to use an instrumental for your recessional, check with your DJ/Musician(s) to make sure it can be played loud enough for guests to hear.
So what kind of instrumental music can be used for your wedding? Classical Music, New Age, Jazz, Instrumental Versions of Popular Wedding Tunes, Celtic, etc. We have included many good selections in our "Songs For Different Parts Of Your Ceremony" section on this site. Take a look there, surf the net, ask your DJ/Musician(s), or just use something you like. The list is almost endless.
The human voice is a wonderful instrument. Let's learn more about using vocal selections in your wedding.