Please Don’t Stop the (Wedding) Music: Making Your Wedding Music Meaningful

This was my dream for our wedding music:

(Big Sur wedding @ Style Me Pretty)

As a pianist and music educator, I would have loved to have live music at our wedding. But try planning your wedding from overseas in 6 months. On a budget. While you are working on your M.Ed. You learn to stick with your big picture ideas. Now had I been in Minnesota and had more time, I would have scoured Craigslist and made it happen. As it was, I resigned myself to a borrowed keyboard, a mystery band, a good friend playing violin, and my trusty iPod.

The “pre-prelude” was my favorite Christian song in Spanish – Creere (Believe).Β  I have some in-laws who speak Spanish so at least I wasn’t the only person there who understood it. It was meant as a nod to all my Dominican friends and loved ones who couldn’t make the trip to Minnesota.

The basic translation is that no matter what you are going through in life, God will give you the strength and hope if you believe.

Parents & Grandparents’ Song (iPod)

Simple Gifts/Going Home Medley performed by The 5 Browns. 5 siblings playing 10 hands!

Ringbearers & Bridesmaids Song (iPod)

This was sort of an impulsive decision, but I chose to have the bridesmaids walk down to Fidelity by Regina Spektor. I was going for a lighthearted, poppy feel, and I knew it would make my fabulous bridesmaids smile.

Listen to Fidelity.

Processional: Hannah Elizabeth-Rose & Me

If you known me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m a Russian Romantic to the core. I obviously chose Rachmaninov for my grand entrance. I chose Lang Lang’s performance of Rachmaninov’s Variation XVIII from Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, accompanied by Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra. I’ve made almost every student I’ve ever had listen to this piece, and it’s so beautiful I almost always tear up so I knew it was the perfect choice. It’s also a good choice for weddings because there are several very natural sort of entrance points.

Listen to this one – it’s my favorite!

The Wedding Singers: The Christenson Trio

The Christensons are longtime family friends, and I heard them sing a carol together at Christmas. I thought it was so cute that I totally wanted to ask them to sing in our wedding. I was totally chicken to ask them so I forced my mom to do it. What are moms for? I easily chose The Love of God because it’s one of their favorite hymns, and it was a great fit for a wedding. My friend Lizzie (we met at piano camp!!!) accompanied them on the keyboard.

Here’s a YouTube version if you’re not familiar with it (complete with water sound effects)!

Congregational Hymn

This sounded like a disaster to me, mainly because the bridesmaids/groomsmen didn’t have the words in front of them. Other guests said it sounded fine. They could just be saying that to be nice. I’ll never know. I chose my favorite hymn of all time Come, Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing.

I have known Sandy Glomski my ENTIRE life, and I spent a lot of time at her house with my best friend (and bridesmaid), Deidre. I loved having her participate. It touched my little heart so much that everything that was done for the wedding was contributed by people who has loved and supported us.

Here’s the song:

Special Music

My home girl, Emily, who got me through the Emmaus Music Ed program (actually she’s really the one who inspired me to get my teaching license) was on hand to play a Ashokan Farewell after we exchanged rings.

This was a piece she played for one of our big presentations during senior year, and I loved it the from the first time I heard it. It’s a perfect wedding pick!

Recessional (iPod)

Kevin actually helped me pick this one! I’m pretty sure I just gave him some options, but we landed on Be My Honeypie by The Weepies. “Dance with me darling…” Perfect opening to our reception/wild wild wedding dance! Click here to listen to then whole Be My Thrill album.

Don’t worry Josiah (my little brother), we’ll always remember that you were the one who ruined our entire wedding by not starting the recessional music promptly! You had one job to do! And I didn’t even make you wear a bow tie!

Can’t you tell I was a super-stressed bride? Haha. I found everything that went wrong that day completely hilarious. Especially the children on the playground screaming like banshees during the ceremony. That’s probably good luck, right? :)

You can find tons more fun wedding stuff and recap on the wedding page! Wedding photography was provided by Melissa Laska.

P.S. I love classical music so if you’re a bride-to-be looking for some inspiration, I’d love to steer you in “the right” direction. Shoot me an email: