Trends in Wedding Music and Planning

Written by Stan Wiest
A. Stan Wiest Music

This article will explain some recent trends in wedding planning and wedding music. Some recent trends include:


1) Theme Weddings - These theme weddings include some of the following:

A) Multiple bands at a wedding reception combining American as well as authentic Ethnic dance music: Some examples of Multi Bands receptions are an American Band and Greek Band with Bouzouki and Greek Singers, or an American Band and Latin/Salsa Band, or perhaps an American Band and Portuguese Band.

B) Big Band Swing Weddings- Jazz, Swing and Ballroom Dance Music makes a big comeback:

  • Jazz Weddings
  • 50’s wedding-guests invited in 50’s attire-only 1950’s music played
  • At one wedding the bride and groom dressed in attire from the movie “Gone With The Wind”. Music for the first two hours was only from that era.
  • At another wedding the music was completely from The Great Gatsby era.
  • Bride, Groom, Bridal Party and Guests were all attired in Great Gatsby era attire.

2) Destination Weddings:

One bride and groom rented the Wadsworth Athenium Museum in Hartford, Connecticut for the wedding. A chamber ensemble played for the wedding ceremony in one location of the museum. A jazz trio played the cocktail hour in the outside exhibition pavilion. Formal dinner was served in the sculpture gallery with the music of Cole Porter and George Gershwin. Dancing to a full Orchestra in the main exhibition room –among the paintings of Picasso and Monet.

Brides and Grooms are searching for exotic, out of the way places such as Country Inns, Country Bed and Breakfast locations and old Mansions.

Some weddings have become two and three day events. For one wedding the bride and groom arranged for a multi day stay at a hotel. The guests spent one day at a golf tournament, another day on a fishing excursion. The pre-wedding dinner (night before the wedding) was for all the guests with a jazz band. The wedding reception the following day was with a full dance band performing everything from swing to the latest hits on the radio.

3) Return To Elegance

Brides and Grooms are taking Ballroom Dancing lessons. There’s a dramatic increase in requests for Ballroom Dance Music. The trend is away from anything gimmicky such as give-aways, light shows, fog machines etc. The trend is also away from throwing the bouquet and garter. The trend is to present the bouquet to someone special (bride’s mother, special friend, relative).

A recent wedding had the need of an additional coordinator due to the multiple musical groups and arrangements. A string quartet performed for the wedding ceremony 6 PM to 7 PM (one hour-music as guests arrived and then the ceremony).

The cocktail hour was 7 PM to 8:30 PM with a Jazz Trio. The wedding reception was 5 hours (including Viennese hour) 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM with a full dance band. At 12 Midnight an 8 piece Mariachi band in full Mariachi attire was brought in to serenade the guests.

The elegant trends for wedding ceremony music have been towards String quartets and Harp-Flute-Cello ensembles.

Cocktail hour trends have been for Steel Drum Bands, Strolling Mariachi Bands, Jazz ands, Strolling Violins as well as elegant piano music of Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

After the wedding reception guests retire to a Cigar Room with a Jazz Pianist, Jazz Duo or Jazz Trio.

There is also a noticeable increase in Black Tie weddings – both in the catering establishments and country club settings.

Written by Stan Wiest
A. Stan Wiest Music

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