We believe a marriage ceremony is a sacred occasion, and the music should be appropriate for a worship service, focusing attention on God. If a song that you like is not fitting for a worship service, please reserve it for your reception instead. All music in the wedding must be performed live; we do not allow taped music.
The wedding organist, Brenda Portman, maintains the right-of-first-refusal to play at all weddings involving HPCUMC’s organ. If you prefer, instead of or in addition to the organ, Ms. Portman may also play on the church’s Steinway grand piano. If you request—and Ms. Portman agrees—the use of an outside professional, full payment of organist’s fee is still due. While the Chapel does not have an organ, Ms. Portman may play the piano in the Chapel.
Ms. Portman must approve all musical pieces, including those performed by soloists. You may bring your own soloist, or you may request assistance in hiring one. Final musical selections must be submitted at least six weeks prior to your wedding. Soloists (instrumental or vocal) must also be contracted at least six weeks prior to the wedding. The officiating minister maintains the right to reject unsuitable pieces.
A note to soloists: You should contact the church organist at least two weeks prior to the ceremony to discuss certain technical details (use of microphone, musical arrangements and keys of selections, number of verses, etc.) and to schedule a time to rehearse (usually one hour prior to the service, although this can sometimes be done at another convenient time).
As you plan the music for your wedding, here is a brief guide to the different places in the ceremony where music is involved, and what you will need to select.
PRELUDE – The organist will play prelude music for approximately 20 minutes before the ceremony as guests are being seated. You do not need to choose specific music for this; the organist will play appropriate selections but you may provide input if you wish.
SEATING OF MOTHERS – This happens at the end of the prelude. You may select a piece to be played as the mothers and/or grandmothers are being seated. If you do not choose something, the organist will still play during this time.
PROCESSIONAL – This is when the bridal party enters. Most people choose one piece for the bridesmaids and flower girls, and a separate piece for the bride. You may also elect to have the same piece played the entire time.
VOCAL SOLOS (optional) – If you would like a soloist to sing at your wedding, it is typical to have one or two pieces during the service – during the lighting of the unity candle and/or after the Scripture readings. Too many solos can make it seem more like a concert than a wedding. If you would like more than two solos, they can be used as prelude music or during the seating of mothers.
LIGHTING OF UNITY CANDLE – If you do not have a soloist singing during this time, the organist will play quietly as you light the unity candle and finish playing when you are back in your places.
RECESSIONAL – This is when the bridal party exits at the end, following which the guests are ushered out. Depending on the time it takes for guests to exit, there may be time for more than one recessional piece. If you wish to select additional music, you are welcome to do so.