- Solo musicians are chosen for wedding ceremonies for several reasons. It is usually cheaper to hire a soloist than a group of musicians. And a soloist takes up less physical space at your ceremony and can typically provide ceremonial music at a suitable volume level to be heard by all guests in an indoor venue or at a small outside event. Some common solo instruments for wedding ceremonies include harp, piano, cello or the marimba, a keyboard percussion instrument with wooden notes.
- Ensembles of musicians are typically booked as a group. Some common ensemble choices for wedding ceremony music include string quartets or an instrument with piano, such as a clarinet and piano duo. Ensembles can play pretty much any style of music you want, ranging from jazz music to spiritual tunes or the classical repertoire associated with weddings. Pachelbel's Canon is a common choice for wedding ceremonies and is included in the repertoire of many string quartets that book for weddings.
- A solo singer, small vocal group or even a massed choir can be an effective choice for wedding ceremony music. Most wedding professionals who are singers will have a range of repertoire to offer, ranging from secular to sacred music and in classical or popular styles. In an indoor venue, such as a church, a singer or group of singers will likely be heard without electronic amplification. Outdoors, or in a very large venue, singers may need microphones and a public address system to be audible to your wedding guests.
- Using pre-recorded music for your wedding ceremony is perhaps the cheapest option. Many venues have a built-in playback system for recorded music; civil-ceremony venues may have a library of recorded songs available for you to choose from. Disadvantages of using recorded music include the lack of a visual presence to your wedding ceremony music --- a CD player will not look as enticing in wedding photos as a live cellist, for example. Additionally, the use of recorded music may depersonalize the musical atmosphere of the ceremony, as the music used is not unique to your wedding.