Hitting the right notes
So many factors make a great wedding: a couple in love, beautiful venue, superb food, smooth run-down, gorgeous weather and stunning decorations. Another important element is music, which can enhance an already fabulous wedding. Wedding music specialists Justin Siu and Pearl Lo share some top tips on how to choose music that will make your wedding sing.
'First, you need to work out which part of the wedding needs music,' says Siu, director at Innonation Productions (www.innonation.com.hk). 'And, when choosing music, try not to choose too much. You can overdo it. Music is more about creating an ambience, instead of directly entertaining guests.'
In general, weddings can be divided into four parts: the ceremony, reception, banquet and after-party. 'Couples need to consider the different parts of the day and how this affects the choice of music,' Siu says. 'If it's dinner music or ceremony music, the choice of band would be totally different.'
As many couples provide a long list of song requests, Siu points out this approach is not effective. 'We monitor the guests' reactions and how receptive they are to the music. Most couples choose far too many songs. My advice is to leave it to the pros,' he says. 'But for certain parts [during the wedding day] that are meaningful to the couple, we will spend a lot of effort in selecting what the songs should be.' Another common problem in planning the wedding music, Siu notes, is a strict music schedule. 'Some people overdo the rundown by trying to produce a wedding as if it were a corporate event or television programme,' he says. 'It never works out because you want the music to be relaxed. Weddings are organic and shouldn't be too precise. Trying to match the band to a fixed schedule doesn't work, it'll kill the vibe.'
According to Lo, director at Unison Pro (www.unisonpro.com.hk), she agrees a live band is the best judge of atmosphere and song selection. 'If you want to play a list of songs at your wedding, then just use an iPod. You don't need a live band,' Lo says. 'But with professional musicians you can see a change in the atmosphere, and then you will know what song to play next.'
Depending on the size of the banquet venue, Lo advises a five- to six-piece band for large, 30-to-40-table banquets. However, smaller weddings may only require a four-piece band, such as a keyboardist, bass player, drummer and singer.