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by Michelle Martinez & Christy Matthews
The Big Wedding Planning Podcast

#269 Live Music At Your Wedding


Live music gives weddings big energy and meets the moment by elevating everything. It has the power to impact your guests in a way they will enjoy and experience a variety of emotions with. When Stephen and Kevin got married they knew live music would be a huge part of their wedding day. For this reason they decided to include a cello trio, a 16 piece orchestra including vocalists, a saxophonist, and a wedding band that sang a large majority of Whitney Houston songs. They wrapped the night with a DJ, giving their guests and themselves the best of all words. Christy connects with Stephen and Kevin as they share what they learned from the experience and what you can do to experience something as dynamic on your wedding day. About the Couple Stephen Lawrence currently serves as the manager and violinist of the Piedmont Strings Quartet and has performed for 100’s of weddings since he was 16 years old. Stephen also serves as the Director of Orchestral Activities and Department Chair at North Atlanta High School’s Fine and Performing Arts Department and on the Atlanta Public Schools Arts Resource Team as the District Orchestra Lead. Kevin Carroll currently serves in a Senior position for an international auditing and accounting firm and is the creator of Carroll Candle Co. and Carroll Real Estate Investments in St. Louis, MO. Kevin is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he earned his Bachelor’s degree at Park University in Human Resources with an emphasis in Finance and an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. Big Takeaways * Through Covid, and having to reschedule, the number of guests changed from about 120 to 80. * The guest list was definitely different than initially imagined, but it was okay, because everyone that did make it was there to party and have a great time. * Live music was such an important part of the equation, especially for Stephen, that they didn’t even want to really consider recorded music. * They went for the wow factor. * Live music from the moment you walked into the space. * Musicians and DJs don’t want a full list of every song they have to play in exact order. They were able to set particular songs for particular moments of the day, and then the musicians had free range to work within the set parameters/mood. * When you are looking for your musicians and choices of certain songs, make sure you go on YouTube and find a version played by strings and see if you actually like it. Sometimes, the song just doesn’t sound good with a string quartet or sung in the style of the musician you have. It helps to have an idea of what you are going to get. * If you are hiring someone to be the expert on something, let them be. * Use the music to set the tone of the wedding. * Just because your friend is a great singer, or guitarist, or etc, doesn’t mean they are trained or able to perform in the wedding space. If you want to hire a friend, and a professional group, you will need a rehearsal. * Best Practices: 1. Choose a performing group that is cohesive with your music style. 2. Be clear about your expectations and allow the musicians to speak on what is comfortable to them. 3. Consider your audience/guests. 4. Find music that speaks to you both. 5. Consider the number of songs you would like to include during the ceremony 6. Considering timeline: build in time for the musicians to set-up and sound check. 7. LOCATION: if your wedding is outdoors or has outdoor elements that you plan the live musicians to use, have a plan b location. Avoid direct sunlight or precipitation. Consider amplification and the way sound travels. Links We Referenced instagram.com/sandkforeverandaday (https://www.instagram.com/sandkforeverandaday/) piedmontstrings.com (https://www.piedmontstrings.com) instagram.com/carrollcandleco (https://www.instagram.com/carrollcandleco/) Quotes “We had a celebrity saxophonist there, and he put on a whole show.” - Stephen “The quartet and the orchestra were making sure they were playing music that people would enjoy. We’re just about to have Bach.” - Kevin “Our wedding planner, Chris, he was like, ‘we have to always play around with the five senses for every part of the wedding.’” - Stephen “Make sure you have fun at your wedding. Have fun. Please. When the day comes, leave it to your planner or whoever you have in charge, and enjoy the day. And actually become the people that the day is for.” - Kevin Plan your wedding using The Big Wedding Planning Master Class (https://www.thebigweddingplanningmasterclass.com/). A self-paced digital course created with love for you by Christy & Michelle. The Big Wedding Planning Podcast is... * Hosted and produced by Christy Matthews and Michelle Martinez. * Edited by Veronica Gruba. * Music by Steph Altman of Mophonics (https://www.mophonics.com/). * On Instagram @thebigweddingplanningpodcast and be sure to use #planthatwedding when posting, so you can get our attention! * Inviting you to become part of our Facebook Group! Join us and our amazing members. Just search for The Big Wedding Planning Podcast Community on Facebook. * Easy to get in touch with. Email us at thebigweddingplanningpodcast@gmail.com or Call and leave a message at 415-723-1625 and you might hear your voice on an episode * On Patreon. 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by Michelle Martinez & Christy Matthews