To help set the mood of your wedding, I normally play 5-20 minutes before the wedding is to begin. This is called prelude music. While your guest are arriving at the wedding venue, they are greeted by music that is melodic and reflective. This prelude music helps everybody to relax and remove the anxiety that can easily occur before such an important event. Weddings without prelude music can feel tense and are awkwardly quiet while wedding guests wonder when the ceremony will begin. Additionally, prelude music makes it easier to transition in to the all important precessional music.
This is an important period of time when the wedding party and the bride makes their entrances in to the ceremony. Music is obviosly a must for this. Walking to the sound and beat of melodic, live music is much more desirable and feels more natural. Sometimes the wedding party enters while one song is being played and then a different song is played for the bride and her escort. In smaller ceremonies, the same song is often used for both wedding party and bride. Either way, precessional music adds to the ambiance and signifies the begining of the wedding ceremony. One could say that the precessional music holds together the entire wedding ceremony!