Music is an important part of the celebration of your marriage. Throughout history, music has been used for weddings to bring the community together with sounds and rhythms that have the power to surpass age and status buriers, uniting everyone in support of your marriage.
When choosing music for your wedding (in addition to your personal preferences) it's important to consider the musical tastes and desires of your guests. A good point to consider is that your wedding (reception and/or ceremony) is an opportunity for you to give back to your guests for their participation and support, so choose a musical selection that will appeal the most to your guests.
Music is also a great "stress reliever" or "ice breaker" because it helps people to relax and transition from what is often a very formal situation to an environment where people can express themselves more fully.
There are 2 general types of music available for a modern wedding, they are:
1) A DJ
2) Live Musicians
A DJ (which stands for Disk Jockey) is a person who plays CDs through a sound system at your reception and provides stage lighting for additional effect. The advantage to hiring a DJ is that they are typically less expensive than live musicians, and you can have all the songs that you want played for your reception.
The disadvantages to hiring a DJ are that the music can sometimes seem a bit "generic" or un-lively, and may be inappropriate for your ceremony. Some people may also feel that DJ music is "cheesy" or uninteresting due to the lack of musical flexibility and depending on the DJ's individual approach - you may or may not want to have them emcee for the reception.
Hiring live musicians is the other option you have for your wedding music. This is typically more expensive and may involve a bit more planning than a DJ, but can be a very uplifting resource for you and your wedding guests.
How do you envision your wedding reception? Do you want to dance with your guests or are you intend to have a more subdued event? If you don't want dancing, you may choose classical or jazz musicians to entertain - This could include a string quartet, a harpist, pianist or any other type of soloist. (Soloists are often the first choice for wedding ceremonies as well).
If you DO intend for there to be dancing as a part of your wedding celebration - there's nothing better for this than a live dance band! The advantage to hiring a live band for your reception is that there is a certain synergy that occurs when live musicians perform together that cannot be achieved with a DJ, and live musicians can are also able to adapt to the "vibe" of the room - playing faster, slower, louder or softer depending on the preferences of you and your guests.
Skilled wedding musicians can also allow for members of the wedding party to participate by singing along or joining in with the band. This can add a great deal of value to your wedding reception by creating the great "Kodak Moments" that everyone will remember for years and years to come.
Take your time and consider the options carefully. Use the internet to research your options and look in local wedding trade journals for musician and DJ listings before you hire. Make a list of questions and concerns that you may have and ask them of your perspective entertainers.
Your wedding day is YOUR DAY - make it great with music that compliments the theme and emotion that you want reflected at your wedding.