The Art of Ceremony Music by Matt Windsor

July 15, 2014 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer

143-078Today, anyone can buy a domain name and sell themselves as a professional in the disc jockey industry.  It is not difficult to promote oneself as a professional with a sleek-looking website and marketing materials. So, to stand out from the crowd, it is important that true professionals take extra steps to create the perfect events for their clients.

Some extra steps include truly listening to the concerns of clients during the initial meetings, and going the extra mile to make sure the party atmosphere is consistent throughout the night.

For example, advising your DJ clients on their music choices doesn’t have to be limited to the reception. DJ are often an untapped resources when it comes to choosing ceremony music as well. Giving your clients valuable information that sets up their ceremony is key to retaining them for business long-term and gaining valued referrals, growing your business organically.

Using some specific examples, first, we will discuss using timing for processional music to create the perfect moment between the bride and groom at the beginning of their ceremony. Next, we’ll touch on the use of an upbeat recessional song and creative editing to keep with the tone of the event. Finally, I’ll mention some key music editing software to have in your arsenal.

Using a romantic processional song can encourage a particular mood for the wedding ceremony. Perhaps your clients want a traditional tone to the song, but want something other than the customary wedding song. Using correct timing and creative editing, the song “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri is perfect for the bride and groom looking for an intimate song without foregoing their personal style and preferences.

Paint this picture for your clients as you describe the timing and scene for their ceremony: The guests are seated and the wedding party begins to walk down the aisle as the music plays. The flower girl scatters rose petals down the aisle. Bridesmaids beam as they carry small bouquets. Groomsmen look stately as they take their place next to the groom. Finally, it’s the bride’s turn to walk down the aisle. The doors open and she approaches the aisle just as the following lyrics softly play:

I have died every day waiting for you

Darling, don’t be afraid

I have loved you for a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more

Goosebumps form on guests’ arms and a shiver goes down the groom’s spine as he watches his bride continue down the aisle. The groom beams as his eyes meet the bride’s. Guests sigh as their hearts swell. The bride and groom look radiant and full of hope for their future together. Then, the song picks up with the following lyrics:

And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more

The song swells, creating the perfect moment where the bride and groom stand face to face, seeing each other for the first time that day. Cameras click and grandparents sigh, dabbing their wet eyes with white handkerchiefs as the ceremony begins.

Using timing for this processional piece is crucial. Professional disc jockeys can advise their clients to practice with the music and, if necessary, cut it down or splice it together in different ways for the timing to work just right. For example, the lyrics above are near the middle to end part of the original song. A disc jockey can easily cut the song down so the wedding party does not have to walk too slowly and so there are no lulls in the ceremony.  The symbolism in the song is quite touching and can work great for an intimate wedding ceremony.

In contrast, you might change the atmosphere once the ceremony ends with an up-tempo song. One way to do this is using an upbeat recessional song! This chart-topping hit by Stevie Wonder is a great idea for a cheery segue to your clients’ receptions.

Here I am baby

Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours

(You got my future in your hands)

Here I am baby

Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours

(You got my future in your hands)

This song is perfect not only for the meaning of the lyrics but can get folks feeling relaxed and ready to let loose on the dance floor. Their nuptials are “signed, sealed and delivered,” so why not get ready to have a good time?

One way professional disc jockeys can use their musical expertise is to edit unrelated lyrics from the song. For example, the following lyrics of this song might not be best for a wedding recessional:

I’ve done a lot of foolish things

That I really didn’t mean, didn’t I?

While these lyrics work great in the original song, they don’t fit within the context of a wedding ceremony. Using music editing software, a disc jockey can tailor the song to fit the couple’s event better. Cutting these lyrics out can leave more room for the couple to dance away to the chorus and get excited for the upcoming wedding reception.

There is a number of music editing tools available on the market. Some are quite user-friendly for beginners, whereas others offer more features. Some software that is commonly used to do this includes:

Cakewalk Sonar – This easy-to-use music editing software enables disc jockeys to professionally mix and edit songs. A number of packages include professionally recorded music loops and instrumental sounds for the perfect music mixes.

Ableton Live – This software tool is perfect for disc jockeys who need a large sound library and numerous instruments for song mixes.

Adobe Audition – High-quality video and audio production software for the DJ proficient in other Adobe products.

Pro Tools – Industry-standard software and hardware-based system for audio and MIDI recordings. Perfect for editing music for your clients.

Taking these extra steps can make your clients’ experience with your services stand out. Offer a number of song options and share your expertise on timing and music editing for the perfect moments for their big day.

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Mobile Beat Staff Writer (228 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.


Filed Under: Issue #143, Music, Sales & Marketing, Weddings