Few things say more about a person than their musical preferences. The music you choose for your wedding really sets the tone for the event. From casual calypso steel drums or guitar on the beach, to classical string quartets in a more formal setting, music (whether live or recorded) is an important complement to your wedding ceremony and reception. 

But choosing the music for your wedding can be overwhelming – after all, there is a lot of music out there! This post will discuss how and where music fits into beach weddings, and will also share a great internet resource we’ve found for choosing the right music for your wedding.

Music and Beach Weddings

Clients often ask us whether they should add music to their beach wedding package. We love it when our clients include music, and we feel music adds an extra dimension and a special touch to our beach weddings. We work with some great local musicians – whether you want a violinist, guitarist, bagpiper, harpist, steel drums, or all of the above, we’ve got you covered! We also have the right equipment to provide recorded music for your Florida beach wedding ceremony.

Using the right equipment is an important point. You simply cannot hear an acoustic guitar over the wind and waves on the beach, nor can you hear a typical iPod speaker system, CD player, or boombox. We’ve seen this happen on more than one occasion, and it’s such a shame when no one can hear the music and/or musician that was so carefully chosen by the bride and groom for their beach wedding.

But don’t take our word for it – Libbie Bailey was married in November 2018 on Siesta Key, Florida, and offered to share this tip with our readers to help future brides avoid her mistake:

“We had a big boombox for the wedding. You couldn’t hear it at all. You don’t really think of the beach being loud until you’re trying to hear something else. It was a bummer because I had music that my late father was singing that was supposed to be playing as I walked down the aisle. Everyone was asking me later if there was supposed to be music, since they heard nothing. I was totally bummed about it and definitely would’ve paid a little extra for the sound system had I known. My wedding planner [editor’s note: it wasn’t us!] didn’t even suggest it and I wish she had!”

So if you decide to have music for your beach or outdoor wedding, make sure you use the right instrument and/or equipment. Violin, bagpipes, or steel drums are generally loud enough by themselves, but acoustic guitars in particular require amplification in order to be heard on the beach from more that a few feet away. An “acoustic-electric” setup with a portable amplifier is your best bet if you’re planning on a guitarist. Keep in mind electrical power is not available in the beach.

See some wonderful wedding photos here

For most beach weddings, your musician (or playlist for recorded music) will need to cover about 30-45 minutes:

  • 15 minutes or so while your guests are being seated (the prelude). A popular traditional piece here is Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel
  • The processional for the bridal party (if applicable) and bride. The traditional “Here Comes the Bride” piece often played here is Wagner’s Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin (1850)
  • Background music for the ceremony (if desired)
  • recessional at the end of the ceremony. The traditional piece here is Mendelssohn’s Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1826)
  • A few minutes at the end to wrap things up (the postlude)

While we have mentioned some of the more traditional wedding music, many of our clients simply aren’t the “traditional” type. After all, they are having an intimate wedding on the beach in Florida, not a huge formal affair! We have seen (or rather, heard) clients play everything from Martina McBride to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole to Jay Sean and Lil Wayne!

But it can be incredibly hard to decide what to play at your wedding, and when to play it. That’s where Songs for a Wedding comes in! Songs for Wedding is a wedding planning website that helps you choose (you guessed it!) songs for a wedding!

The site lists a collection of potential wedding songs broken down by each element of the Ceremony (prelude, processional, recessional, etc.) and Reception (bouquet toss, cake cutting, first dance, etc.), as well as by Genre (classical, country, R&B, etc.). In addition, the site contains a link to a recording of each song, and displays the lyrics as you listen to the song. In short, its the best resource we’ve found for helping you plan your wedding music.

Pretty pictures for wedding music