Live Reception Music Options

Live harp music for LDS weddings
Photo Courtesy of Effervescent Media Works

When choosing music for your wedding and/or reception, don’t forget that your choice extends beyond the question of DJ versus live band. There are many talented wedding music professionals that will make your reception one to remember.

Wedding Harp Player

When you walk into a room with a live harpist playing, you feel that you are instantly at an upscale soiree. The harp is classical and delicate, romantic and elegant – nothing transforms a wedding or reception more. If your wedding is held outside the temple, consider harp music at your ceremony. And no matter where your reception is, hiring a live harpist while the guests arrive and eat dinner sets ambiance for the evening.

Wedding Singer or Wedding Soloist

Wedding singers
Photo Courtesy of Whitney Lewis Photography

Adam Sandler jokes aside, today’s wedding singers put on a truly impressive show. They can perform all styles of music from Frank Sinatra to Shania Twain to the Beatles.

Some wedding singers sing to recorded backing tracks, while others travel with their own accompanist or will sing to the accompaniment of the musician you provide. Most wedding soloists keep track of accompanists they’ve worked with in the past, so don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations.

Wedding Piano Player

Pianos are one of the most versatile instruments, able to switch from jazz to classical to pop and back again. Their ability to play easy listening music during dinner and break out dancing music for the rest of the evening makes them great for a reception. They can also perform classical music at the ceremony, if desired.

Live piano music for LDS weddingsSome wedding pianists even sing while they are playing, meaning that you get double for your money. If your pianist doesn’t sing, you may want to consider hiring a wedding soloist to round out the dancing music with some lyrics.

Dueling Pianos at Your Wedding Reception

In “dueling pianos” or “piano wars” groups, two players on separate pianos play together, against each other, and off each other. They take guest requests and invite audience participation in an interactive, fun, and spontaneous environment.

Dueling pianos is funny and engaging, and because there are two pianists you get continuous music without the need for a break. Most people who have seen dueling pianos say that it’s more than just music, it’s a show.

Live guitar music for LDS weddings
Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Hale Photography

Wedding Guitarist

Hiring a wedding guitar player provides a sound that is a little funkier and hipper than the easy listening piano music you hear at the grocery store, but still traditional enough for a wedding.

Acoustic guitarists can play traditional wedding ceremony music, jazz standards for dinner at the reception, and rhythm and blues, Latin, the Beatles, and any of your favorite songs for the dance floor. Wedding guitarists may sing in addition to playing. Some provide the option of appearing with a trio or quartet of other instruments for more sound variety.

Wedding String Quartet

live string music for an LDS wedding
Photo Courtesy of

A typical string quartet consists of two violinists, a viola player, and a cello player. Of course, those with a non-temple wedding will love the sophisticated sound of a string quartet playing their prelude, processional, and postlude music at the ceremony; but a quartet can also set a wonderful tone for your reception or open house.

If you have dancing at your wedding reception, do you need a band or DJ to provide the music? Of course you can, but most string quartets are actually quite good at playing not just 17th century Baroque but fully dance-able jazz, rock, and pop – of course, it’s a lighter and more sophisticated sound. Sort of a classical take on modern music.

As you can see, there’s a lot to decide when choosing who will provide your wedding music. DJ’s are a great option, but if you want something a little different then consider hiring a talented individual or group to sing or play the guitar, harp, piano, or strings. Plan ahead, most groups and live entertainers need to be booked 3 to 6 months in advance, and as always, make sure you sign a contract.

♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for
Copyright © 2011 All rights reserved.

LDS wedding music, LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses
LDS weddings, LDS reception, LDS open houses

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