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Bride's Guide to Wedding Music: What's Prelude?

Photo Credit: The Ramsdens

Let's get right to it: What on Earth is Prelude Music?

Simply put, it's background music to set the scene for your wedding as your guests arrive. It's the very first experience that your guests have on your wedding day. Ariana Strings musicians become the unofficial welcoming committee and can create the perfect atmosphere for your style: elegant, sophisticated, romantic, upbeat and lively.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but let's be real: Most weddings start late. The average is 5-15 minutes, but we've even played a 90-minute prelude! (That time, the groom's family was caught in airport traffic because they flew in on the same day as the wedding - Yikes!)

When the highway is closed and the bridal party is stuck in traffic, we're the ones who keep guests' toes from tapping nervously to tapping with delight!

How much Prelude music do I need?

That depends on the number of guests you have, your venue, and the time of year. Since we're performed for hundreds of weddings, we have it down to a science. For example, if you're having your wedding at a church and have over 100 guests, you'll want 30 minutes. If you're having an outdoor wedding at somewhere like the Wadsworth Mansion or Eolia Mansion, 15-20 minutes is plenty. Whenever I receive a new client inquiry, I always ask questions, so I can best advise the amount of prelude music you'll need.

How many songs should I choose?

Instead of hand-picking an entire prelude selection, most couples leave it up to us and sometimes give us a few guidelines. For example, brides often mention what kind of atmosphere they'd like and then ask us to include a few of their favorites. We have specially curated setlists with a variety of music that will speak to all of your guests. We also take note of which songs your guests seem to be enjoying (yes, we can tell!) and often add in more like it. Since it's impossible to predict just how many songs you'll need, we fill in the blanks. We always bring plenty of extra music.

For classical background music with an elegant feel, ask your Ariana Strings ensemble for pieces from the Baroque and Classical era. Translation: Upbeat and light melodies, like Mozart, Handel, and Haydn. We'll sneak in a Waltz here and play excerpts from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. All recognizable favorites that your guests will adore.

To add a sophisticated twist, ask for a mix of classical with contemporary music from musicals, jazz, classic rock, and today's pop hits. We often play Elvis Presley's Can't Help Falling in Love (below), La Vie En Rose, Fly Me to the Moon, A Whole New World, and Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud. It's the sort of mix where every one of your guests will find a favorite and lean in with interest. Sometimes, they even get up to dance!

Did I answer all your questions about Prelude Music? Comment below!

Happy wedding planning!




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