FAQ: Ceremony Music

If you’ve booked your wedding ceremony with Backthird Entertainment, expect more than music. We want to help you throughout the process from first song selection to first kiss – and the walk back down the aisle.

Here are some common questions brides and grooms ask us during the ceremony planning process.

How do I request my ceremony music?

1. For now, tell us the songs you want by writing them in your online ceremony planner. You can find your online planner at backthirdplanning.com - just login with your email and wedding date. Click “my online planner,” and then look for the ceremony planner under “other planning forms.” (Not sure about music? You can totally skip this step - we'll make suggestions when we call you to talk details.)

2. About a month before your wedding, your lead musician or DJ will call you to discuss your ceremony requests. If you filled in the planner, we'll already have an agenda based on your requests so far - but we'll want to review and finalize it with you. (If you DIDN'T fill in the planner, no problem - we'll make suggestions and work out song ideas with you.)

At this time we'll also go over details like who's walking down what aisle, so we can be on the ball when we discuss things with your ceremony officiant.

3. After talking through the plan with you, your lead musician or DJ will email you an agenda to approve. This is the actual document we'll work from at your wedding ceremony, so you can confirm that we've got everything right - and share your music plans with others if you need to.

Where do I get song ideas?

You’ve got from now until about a month before your wedding to add music ideas and requests to your online ceremony planner. When you login and look at your planner, you'll find a link on top to our song lists - that's the best place to start.

If you booked a traditional ceremony, check out our traditional ceremony song list. You can pick anything from the list - or simply wait and talk it out with your lead musician first.

If you booked a pop strings ceremony, check out our pop strings ceremony song list. You can pick anything from that list, or even choose from our more upbeat list of reception music. Or, you can simply wait and talk it out with your lead musician first.

If you booked a custom arrangement ceremony, check out our pop strings ceremony song list and the more upbeat pop strings instrumentals list... or feel free to write in anything else you want. If we don't already know your song, we'll arrange it just for you. Since this takes more time, expect a call about two months before the wedding. We'll want to get a head-start on your music ideas, and make sure the songs you have in mind will actually work well with the instruments you've booked.

If you booked a DJ ceremony, check out any of the lists above - or feel free to go off-book. If your DJ can legally obtain a recording of it, your DJ can play it at your wedding.

Can my musicians play a song that’s not on their list?

If you booked a custom arrangement ceremony, probably so! We'll arrange and learn any piece of contemporary music, just for you, with one proviso: Your songs have to be suitable to the instruments we're using at your wedding. For example, a Beatles song probably works great for our violin/cello/piano ensemble - but a Jay-Z song, not so much. Every wedding is different, so we’ll call you about two months before your ceremony to allow time for these conversations.

If you booked a traditional ceremony or a pop strings ceremony, you'll need to stick to the list of songs we already know for the most part. Our ensembles are unique and we create all our own music - which means adding new songs is a very intense process. (The good news: our songlists are deep! And you can always call the office at 630-264-2366 if you want to change to the "custom arrangement" ceremony approach.)

If you booked a DJ ceremony, your music choices are unlimited - just like at your reception. If your DJ can legally obtain a recording of it, your DJ can play it.

Can my friend/relative sing with Backthird ceremony musicians?

We’re usually happy to accompany your friend or family member if you’d like them to sing a special song! Here’s what you’ll need to know:

  • We’ll check in with the singer by phone about a month in advance, to discuss the song and to make sure we’ll be playing in a key he or she is comfortable singing in.
  • It won’t be possible to rehearse with the singer on a different date, but we can arrive at the ceremony a little early and run through the song together at that time. For most experienced singers, this is enough.
  • If your ceremony ensemble includes a piano or a guitar, accompanying a singer is usually no problem. If you’ve booked only strings, accompanying a singer will probably be very difficult.

FAQ Ceremony Music Backthird EntertainmentFAQ Ceremony Music Backthird EntertainmentCan my friend/relative play an instrument with Backthird ceremony musicians?

Sorry, no. It’s extremely difficult for us to perform with musicians we’ve not met and never worked with before. You might not be happy with the result. And happy is what we do!

What if my wedding schedule changes?

It’s pretty common for your wedding timeline to shift a little between the time you book music and the day you actually walk down that aisle. If you need us to play for a longer time there may be an additional cost, but if you need us to play at different times we can usually accommodate. In either case, we’ll update your contract so that we always have the correct details on file.

We reach out to you about 6 weeks before your wedding to double-check your timeline and other services, so you needn’t worry about this at all for now! It’s our job to make absolutely certain we know what you need from us – and when.

Will I need sound amplification?

For an outdoor wedding or a hotel wedding, probably yes - but you might have booked it with us already.

For a church wedding, probably yes - but it's already built in at the church.

The only ceremonies that don't need sound at all are very intimate - think 50 guests or fewer.

Here's the deal: Your music will usually carry okay without amplification in most settings (though we’ll still need electricity if you’ve booked an electric instrument like a keyboard). But your voices - and that of your officiant - will probably NOT carry so well. If they're seated more than 10 or 20 feet away, it can be hard for your guests to hear what's being said without microphones and a sound engineer.

The good news is, if you need sound amplification at your venue we probably already included it on your contract. We do our very best to find out everything you need on the first day we meet you, so there aren't any surprises. Check your contract - or call us at 630-264-2366 - to see if you've already booked ceremony sound. See what's in our sound systems right here.

If you think your needs have changed, we can add a ceremony sound system to your contract with as little as 6 weeks’ notice. Call our studio at 630-264-2366 and we'll take care of it.

What if I need more live music?

It’s easy to extend the music services you’ve already reserved – for example, ask the ceremony trio you booked to stay and play during cocktail hour as well – with only a month’s notice. We’ll check in 6 weeks before your wedding to make sure your contact is still correct. You can ask us then about extending your music, or call 630-264-2366 to take care of it right now.

If you’re thinking of adding more musicians – for example, making that trio into a quartet, or adding live jazz or strings to a DJ-only package – you should take care of this as soon as possible. We can’t guarantee our musicians will stay available for your wedding date unless they’re already listed on your contract.