So, does all of the music in your ceremony have to be recorded or played by musicians? Absolutely not! At a certain point or points in the ceremony you might like to have your guests join you in a song.
When Can Your Guests Join In?
When people sing together it creates an emotional bond. This is especially so when they are singing a song about love at a wedding! There are several points at which you might like to have your guests join you...
1) At the beginning of the ceremony, just after the Celebrant's opening words. Often, a prayer is recited by the celebrant here, but a prayer can just as nicely be sung here.
2) After the Celebrant's address or after any reading.
3) After the couple's vows/ring exchange.
4) After a Ritual.
5) After the Affirmation Of The Community.
6) After the presentation of the new couple, just before the recessional.
7) In Catholic services “The Lord's Prayer" may be sung as part of the Liturgy.
Guest Song Preparation
If you will be having your guests join you in song, remember to have the words of the song printed on nicely decorated paper, and distributed to the guests prior to the start of the ceremony. This can be handled by the ushers. The words of the song can also be included as part of the program. Also remember that although you and your guests will be singing, the words can be accompanied by the instrumental background music of the song played by your DJ or Musician(s).
Remember too that one of your guests might like to sing or play a song solo. In this case, any of the above mentioned points of the ceremony would be appropriate for this, as well as anywhere you might include a reading.
Is There A Limit?
How much singing by guests is too much? You might not want to have them sing any more than two or three selections but, then again, if you have a group that likes to sing who are we to suggest a limit? Let your own imagination and common sense be your guide.
Next, let's look at how to include ceremony music in your program.