Wedding Reception Music

Moore Photography

Wedding receptions at The Caldwell House are held under the West Garden Pavilion on the opposite side of the home from the East Garden Ceremony Site.  While the East Garden is well-suited for the ceremony, the West Garden Pavilion provides a perfect place for the reception, along with the inside of the home for food and beverages.  The reception music may be the same or may be different from the ceremony music.

The choices for reception music are extensive and should be totally dependent upon the personality and choice of the bride and groom.  Perhaps a bride and groom like jazz and desire to have a jazz band for the reception music.  Jazz music adds an elegance and sophistication not found in other music, however, it may not be the type of music family and friends will want to dance to.  Consider your guests and what type of reception you want to have.  If you prefer a low-key reception where guests mingle rather than dance, a jazz band would be a wonderful choice.  However, if the majority of guests are young people who like to dance, they may be bored and feel out of place at a reception with jazz music.

A large band can provide a “big party” atmosphere and make your reception an extremely fun event.  If this is what you envision for your wedding reception, you will probably have many bands to choose from.  While bands with 10 or more members may be expensive (compared to small bands), and may also require staging, tenting, lights, etc., they certainly can make your wedding reception “the talk of the town”.  However, if cost is a consideration, there are other bands which are composed of only a few musicians and their cost and requirements will be much less.

Some bands are now using technology to produce natural-sounding electronic music which is combined with live musicians and instruments.  This allows small bands to create sounds that they could never come up with using only a few instruments.  The Caldwell House has had such a band play at various events and the customers were extremely pleased.  We expect to see much more of this in the future.

DJ’s are the most popular choice for wedding receptions in our area, probably for two reasons:  (1) the cost is easier on the budget; (2) many brides and grooms have friends who DJ.   While the first reason is certainly a consideration, we advise caution on the second reason, particularly if the DJ is not a professional and is not familiar with playing for wedding receptions.  DJ’s are not only expected to provide music, but they must make announcements at the reception, which should be done in a professional manner, and they are often responsible for coordinating the events that take place during the reception, such as the first dance, parent dances, money dance and the bouquet and garter throw.  Not knowing what to say or how to say it could make for awkward moments at a reception.

Music may be the most important consideration when you plan your wedding reception.  Shop early so that you will have your choice of music and give it a lot of thought for a wedding reception you and your guests will enjoy and remember fondly.

Wedding Ceremony Music

Moore Photography

Brides and Grooms who choose The Caldwell House for their wedding ceremony usually do so because they desire to have an outdoor garden wedding. The beauty of the East Garden provides a lushly-landscaped and magical area for that special event.  The East Garden, however, is on the opposite side of the home from where the reception will take place, so a separate music setup is required.  Most DJ’s can provide two setups, a lighter one for the ceremony site, a larger one with speakers and other supporting musical equipment on the reception side.

Rather than recorded music, however, many brides and grooms choose to have live musicians perform at their ceremony, even if a DJ provides the music for the reception.

JLang Photography

Besides the ambiance and uniqueness live musicians can provide for a ceremony, there are two major differences between live and recorded music for a ceremony, particularly concerning the bridal walk.  Live musicians can “follow” the flow of the bridal walk and will usually have a smooth transition between songs selected for various parts of the bridal walk.  Recorded music provided by a DJ means that the bridal walk must “conform to the music” (rather than the music conforming to the walk).  If the music is recorded and various songs are selected (one for the family, one for the bridal party, one for the bride), there is often a silence as one song is faded out and the next song is selected and begins to play.  Professional DJ’s know how to make this transition smooth, however, many DJ’s who play for weddings are not professional DJ’s and never is that more apparent than during a bridal walk.  Sometimes it causes an awkwardness as everyone waits for the next song to begin.

Music at outdoor ceremonies requires careful planning.  There are many choices for live music.  A harpist can provide elegant and soothing music for your ceremony.  Guests will enjoy watching the harpist play the type of music you select.  Harpists can provide classical, folk, Celtic or pop music.  The East Garden, where the outdoor ceremonies are held, has a beautifully landscaped inset next to the ceremony site which is a perfect spot for your harpist to play within sight of your guests as they wait for the ceremony to begin.  You may also choose to add other instruments to be played along with the harp, such as a flute or violin.

A trumpet can provide a dramatic effect and add a memorable touch to your ceremony.  You would definitely want to make sure that the trumpet player is a professional in wedding music and not your cousin who plays the trumpet in a school band.

JLang Photography

A cello is another instrument which offers a rich and unique type of music for the ceremony.  A keyboard is another popular choice.

Perhaps you prefer to have a soloist perform prior to the ceremony, during the bridal walk or at various times during the ceremony.  A good soloist will add a very memorable touch to your wedding ceremony.

Regardless of what type of music setup you choose, give it a lot of thought so that what you choose will enhance your wedding ceremony.

The Caldwell House One-Pot Cajun Breakfast

½ pound of bacon, cut up
Olive oil
½ onion
½ bell pepper
1 large potato, sliced thinly
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. Cajun seasoning
6 large eggs
½ cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
4 slices Provolone cheese
1 cup of half-and-half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put a little olive oil in bottom of skillet and add bacon.  Brown bacon, drain and set aside.

In same skillet, sauté onion and bell pepper.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add a little more olive oil in skillet and line the bottom with the sliced potato.

Put onion and bell pepper mixture on top of potatoes.  Add garlic powder, salt and Cajun seasoning.

In a bowl scramble the 6 eggs with the half-and-half and add the cheddar cheese to that mixture.

Pour the eggs and cheese mixture into the skillet and cook till firm.

Put 4 slices of Provolone Cheese on top and put in oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked throughout.