It’s a beautiful sunny day and the bride looks stunning as she steps into the garden accompanied by a gentle music softly in the background. Your dream garden wedding scene, but who is going to play your music?
There are a number of options available to you, depending on both your budget, and the mood you are looking to create.
Most couples envision a guitarist or harp playing softly in the background, this is a beautiful option, and probably my favourite, though probably the most expensive. Even though your musician is only playing for a short while, they still need to travel to and from the venue, unload, set up & pack up heavy equipment, and need to charge accordingly.
While musicians are expensive, they are still good value for money. If you find the right musician for you, they will really create that special ambience that is the soundtrack of your life.
Musicians will usually have a set list for you to choose music from, often they include learning 1 song for you, but that is an individual thing that you should ask them about.
When choosing a musician, where possible use someone you been referred to or have been able to go and see live.
Your Reception DJ
Couples often ask us if we can play the music for their ceremony. While we are happy to accommodate our clients in any way we can, I usually recommend other options (which I will discuss further).
For your wedding reception DJ to play your ceremony music, you will be charged for an additional two hours, depending on your ceremony time, which is quite expensive.
Your DJ will not be able to stay and play nice background music while your guests have canapés, as they will have to dismantle and load out your equipment to take to your reception, this means you are basically paying your DJ a lot of money to mostly pack up and set up equipment.
So as much as we are happy to do this for you if you like, it is not only expensive, but also not very good value for money.
Your first step if you choose not to have a live musician perform is to talk to your celebrant. Most celebrants that officiate outdoor ceremonies use a portable PA systems, most of these have a cd player built in or an input that you can plug your cd player or walkman into.
Talk to your celebrant and ask them if they will be using a portable PA that you can play your music on. If they agree, you will just need to arrange someone to press play and stop.
Portable Stereo or Ipod Dock
Most high end portable stereos and ipod docks are actually quite suitable for outdoor use, again you will need to arrange for someone to press play and stop. If you choose this option, always:
- Try the stereo/ipod in the location to ensure that it will give you a good quality sound.
- Discuss with the venue, whether they have somewhere you can plug the stereo into their power supply or if you need to bring batteries
- If you need batteries, ensure the device has fresh batteries, and bring enough spare that you can replace all of them if need be.
Hiring a Portable PA System
Your last option is to hire a portable PA system, which is basically a portable speaker which either has an inbuilt cd player, or an input for a cd player or ipod. Again you will need to arrange for someone to play your music, as well as pick up and return the equipment to the hirer.
A portable PA can be hired from most places that hire audio equipment and is usually around $110.
Some Tips For You
- Always have someone do a sound check, leaving time to spare to ensure that the equipment is set up correctly and in working order and your levels are correct. Leave enough time that you will be able to rectify any concerns.
- Have one person in charge of your music, it will be there responsibility to:
- Pick up and bring equipment required
- Set up equipment in advance and check sound
- Bring disc/ipod
- Know your ceremony timetable and where each song fits into it
- If you are compiling a CD of a few songs you own, always make two copies, giving one to the person responsible for your music and a spare to another reliable person, ensuring that if one is forgotten, you will have another around on the day. Always check the disc on the actual device you intend to play it on. Some CD players will not play some brands of discs.