Hey ya’ll! Amber here. I’m the owner and violinist of Cobalt Strings, a string trio in Atlanta. I started Cobalt Strings not only out of a love for music and performing, but because I wanted to expand what people think about when they think of strings. Sure, we play classical music. But we also play Adele, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Bruno Mars, The Lumineers, Coldplay, Beyonce, and pretty much anything else our clients can dream up. We specialize in customizing each client’s set list to their personalities and tastes. Gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings. Nowadays, weddings are designed and personalized down to the smallest detail, and I believe that the music should be no exception. That’s why we pride ourselves not only on having a diverse repertoire list, but on our ability to write custom arrangements for whatever songs our clients request. We have hundreds of weddings under our belts, but we also have decades of performing experience playing in symphonies, arenas, and everything in between. I believe that this level of diversity is what makes us unique, and it definitely makes music more fun!
Photo: Vic Bonvicini Photography
The biggest thing that I’m always trying to communicate to Cobalt Strings clients is the importance of putting the music selection process into their wedding-planning timeline. I believe that the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception music really do create the soundtrack for the wedding. Music is the auditory backdrop for the wedding, the same way that the venue is the visual backdrop. And as such, I think that choosing your music should be built into the planning timeline!
Tips for Choosing Music For Your Wedding from Cobalt Strings
The first and most important step in the music selection process is to decide on the “vibe” that you want for your wedding, and to pinpoint styles of music that you want. Don’t be afraid to mix genres! Maybe you want elegant classical music, but you also love The Beatles and John Legend. We can do that! Or maybe you want your ceremony to consist of modern love songs and fun, upbeat tunes. Wonderful! If you’re having a religious ceremony, perhaps you want to highlight sacred tunes that are important to your religious traditions. You’ll also want to think about whether or not there are any songs that are important to you and your fiancee. If so, you might want to consider incorporating them somewhere in your ceremony. The songs and the styles of music that you choose will set the tone and the vibe of your wedding, so it’s important to be thinking about your music early in the planning process.
Next, you’ll want to work with your wedding planer to get a rough outline of the order of the ceremony. This is something that you’ll inevitably tweak as the day gets closer, but the goal is to simply get an idea of how many songs you’ll need for your processionals and the actual ceremony. We have a full guide on our website that lists how many songs you might need for your prelude, processionals, etc. There are lots of ways to lay out your processionals and your ceremony, and there’s no wrong answer! What is important is that we simply decide how many songs you will need to choose.
The next step is to begin selecting your songs. I always tell our clients that they can be as specific or as general as they’d like. Some clients like to choose every song for their wedding, while others prefer to simply let me know what styles they want to stick with, and they leave it up to me to put together a set list that they will love. The most important thing is to decide early on if you want your musicians to learn any new songs that aren’t already in their repertoire list. We have a full list of the songs we already know listed on our website, and many brides are able to pick out their songs from the existing repertoire list. However, we love learning new songs and we can often write custom arrangements for our brides.
Like I mentioned before, I think that weddings should be personalized, and if there is a song you’d really like to have played at your wedding, then Cobalt Strings can make it happen! However, writing and/or learning new music takes time, so we advise clients to plan ahead and make sure to give their musicians ample time to prepare all of the music for the big day. We like to have all of the music selections for a wedding finalized by at least 4-6 weeks in advance. And if a client requests new songs, I like to have at least 8 weeks notice so that I can have enough time to write the sheet music and make sure that we have time to practice and prepare!
We love music so much and think that it’s such an important part of any wedding. And when music selection is built into your wedding-planning timeline, you can be sure that your wedding music sets the perfect backdrop for your big day!