Musical Memories: Choosing the Right Music for your Wedding

Music. One of the most integral elements for any wedding or event, but one that tends to be overlooked.  Music not only sets the tone for the day and creates a subtle ambiance for the bride to walk down the aisle; it entertains guests while they are arriving at the ceremony and waiting for the bride, accompanies the signing of the register and brings a romantic feel to the day.

Music, at its essence, is what give us memories ~ Stevie Wonder

How to choose the right music for your destination wedding in Barbados“Music makes the wedding and creates the atmosphere for the event,” explains David Collins, classically trained guitarist and the only musician in Barbados who plays classical and finger-style guitar, providing not only instrumental music but vocals as well.

A one-stop shop, David supplies all the sound equipment needed, as well as visiting the venue in advance to find out where he will be setting up and meeting the bride & groom to make sure all details are taken care of. “When playing, it’s important to consider the location – will it be too loud if I am close to the guests? How will the space convey sound to the back of the room? It’s not just about sitting down and playing – there are many angles to take into account.”

Taking great pride in his musicianship, he practises often and is dedicated to providing a professional service from the first contact through to the actual event, taking performing at weddings very seriously: “it reminds me of the close link music has with creating memories. I feel lucky to be able to share these special moments in people’s lives.”

“It reminds me of the close link music has with creating memories. I feel lucky to be able to share these special moments in people’s lives.”

Rather than apply a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to the music choices for a wedding, David likes to consult with the couple to find out more about their taste in music, their favourite artists and special songs that have meaning to them and makes recommendations to the couple.

Classical Guitar and vocals provide a romantic music for destination weddings in Barbados

Most weddings have a general format with music playing a part throughout; as guests arrive at the ceremony, the procession down the aisle, the signing of the register, a sand or candle ceremony and the reception. Different pieces are chosen for each, and David can make suggestions for a DJ or a band that suits the couple’s taste if required.

Classically trained musician David Collins plays finger-style guitar

While many couples that choose to get married in the Caribbean may want something very ‘island-style’ such as a steelpan band, David explains that a guitar can be quite versatile and adds a level of sophistication: “Entertainment is an integral part of any event; the sound of a guitar is much softer than the harsh tones of steelpan, and can be altered to suit all the different elements during a wedding. It’s also the perfect choice when space is a premium such as churches or more intimate venues.”

Having invested in a mobile sound system that can easily fit into small spaces but still produces a high-quality sound, David has a flexible and can-do approach as a recent experience at a wedding held at The Lone Star on the west coast shows: “I was supposed to play on the beach but when I got there it was pouring rain! A last minute decision was made to move everything upstairs to the balcony. Thankfully my equipment is easy to move and it took me no more than 10 minutes to set up; then I was asked to move and play in the actual restaurant!”

David explains how his style of musicianship comes into it’s own: “brides really enjoy the cocktail hour, the time after the ceremony and at the early stages of the reception before dinner. This is where my guitar playing works beautifully! As the evening progresses, and the party really starts, then the DJ or band takes over.”

One of his favourite moments is after the ceremony or event “when the bride & groom tell you how much they appreciate what you’ve done.”

Featured in brideLIFE Magazine Issue 5