Wednesday, January 7, 2009

As I mentioned in a previous blog (below) , We at Lethal Rhythms were contacted by Conde Naste in New York to write an article about the new music styles and song suggestions for different parts of both the ceremony and reception. I have always believed that a bride is thrown into a situation of having to make a lot of important decisions without much expertise. We understand that this is probably your first time as a bride… and probably feel a bit overwhelmed by the entire process… The number one item that new brides have some difficulty with is the actual wedding ceremony. I thought it would be useful to break down the components of the “typical” ceremony.Lethal Rhythms Ceremony Outline

Typical Ceremony times are 20-30 min from the time the actual procession begins (grandmothers, mother’s, etc.).

Pre Precessional (Pre Ceremony)typically 20-30 minutes of music for guests to seat. Weddings with over 100 guests should start the music 30 minutes prior to actual ceremony, unless a “keeping area” has been established for the guests. This type of wedding music is generally vocal, melodic type, some great artists to add are Vitamin string Quartet (quartet instrumentals of various folk rock songs), O Neal Brothers (piano style of classic songs). or actual vocals that match the feel or atmosphere you are looking to create.

The Processional – this when the guests are already seated and the actual wedding party begins to enter. The order is typically the following: Grandmothers, (brides grandmother then grooms grandmother)Mothers (brides mother then grooms mother)Preacher/Groom and Groomsmen Bridesmaids Ring BearerFlower Girl(s)Bride’s entrance
Unity Candle/Sand Ceremony (if applicable).The Recessional – When the Bride and Groom, bridal party and family of both sides exit the ceremony.

Generally for the processional you would pick a song to encompass each group above. For example, one song for the grandmother(s) to enter – escorted by their husband or other person of note. (including possible usher) A new song for the mother(s) to enter. The Preacher, Groom and Groomsmen could also enter on the same song as the mothers if time allows.If a Unity candle is present, then after both mothers have seated, they would turn to look at each other, nod and approach the altar. The bride’s mother would light the candle on the left side, and the groom’s mother would light the candle on the right hand side, leaving the larger center candle untouched.

If there is no unity candle, then the Preacher, Groom and Groomsmen could come into the end of the mother(s) song. (The Preacher/Groom/Groomsmen tend to come from a different direction the the rest of the bridal party, to avoid seeing the bride before the right time) .

The bridesmaids are next to approach the altar. A new song would signal the release of the bridesmaids. (Each bridesmaid woudl approach one at a time, approx 30 paces between – same for exiting (to allow for photos). The order would be the shortest to the tallest, ending with the maid or matron of honor, or both. In cases of both maid and matron of honor, the maid of honor would approach prior to the matron of honor.The ring bearer (if applicable) then the flowergirls would finish the bridesmaids song.
There should be a moment prior to the bride’s entrance. The bride is on the left hand side of her Father. The Father will escort her to the altar and remain by her side until asked to deliver or give her away.I have seen a song sung or played prior to the bridal appearance. The bride comes in to her chosen track, escorted by her Father, or Mother, or Both.

At the designated time, the preacher should indicate that the guests rise out of respect for the bride and her family. When the bride approaches, she should be careful to walk slowly, so the guests can admire her entrance as well as allowing the photographer/cinematographer to capture every moment.
Once the bride reachers the altar, the preacher will welcome everyone, indicate that this day is a very important day, ask for the guests commitment to be witness, uphold and honor all that is laid out before them on this day. Then the preacher will ask who is to give up the bride (generally the father of the bride or both parents).

Once the father announces his release of the bride, the groom will step down to face his bride. The father offers her right hand and places it in the grooms left hand. The Bride then reaches out with her left hand and gives it to the groom, signaling her acceptance. This will cause them to turn and face each other.

The preacher will then continue. At this point there are variations. Generally there will be prayer, respective readings from the Bible, signification of the importance of the Marriage between husband and wife and then the vows. After the Vows are spoken the bride and groom may opt to do the Unity Candle or the Sand ceremony, both displayed here:

Unity candle – if a Unity candle is used, the bride and groom will take their respective candles (brides on left and groom’s on right) and light the center candle together. This is to signify a blending of the two families into a new family, one which cannot be separated. The bride and groom would generaly have a song for this portion of the ceremony.

Sand ceremony – same premise as the unity candle, the mothers bring the sand (if not already set up at the alter). The sand should be two seperate shades (light and dark, etc). The bride and groom each take their respective sand containers and pour them into a new container, signifying the blending of the two families, one that can not be separated. The bride and groom would generaly have a song for this portion of the ceremony.

Once the rituals and vows have been completed the Preacher will announce that by the power vested in him/her the couple are officially married. He will then invite the groom to kiss his new wife. After they kiss, he will have them turn to face their guests, and will introduce the new couple to much cheering, fanfare and applause.

The couple will then proceed down the aisle to a song of thier choosing. This can be a fun upbeat song, or something more traditional.

The bridal party will follow, (reversing the order of entry) Starting with the Maid of Honor escorted by the Best man, and then the groomsmen escorting the bridesmaids back down the aise. Then the family of the Bride and Groom proceed to go down the reverse order of seating – mothers then grandmothers.

Once the family has exited, the preacher should Thank the guests for attending, remind them of their promise to safewatch the bride and groom and then let them know where the cocktail hour will be.

Posted by Joel Of Lethal Rhythms at 2:18 PM