If you are looking for alternative wedding music, you might want to go for something very personal to call in your guests. This following wedding ‘processional’ was unique and a joy to listen to and be a part of.
The excitement of guests gathered at the house was palpable. Their laughter and conversation was interrupted by the sound of a few loud sharp beats of a djembe drum from about 300 metres down the hill.
Out of sight and down by the river the groom, his friends and myself had been preparing the ceremony site and when we were ready the men sat down and played their djembe’s. A few loud staccato beats in a particular rhythm.
From up at the house, a few friends came out onto the veranda with their drums and the same rhythm was echoed. This was the prompt that it was time!
The men at the river offered another ‘call of welcome’. The drummers at the house responded in kind. As the guests made their way down the hill, across a small bridge and into the ceremony area the drummers played back and forth.
Once the guests were settled the groom picked up his flute and played a sweet call. The bride responded on her flute. In the silence of the forest the sound of the two flutes calling and responding created a sacred space of a special meeting about to unfold. They played to each other for a while until the forest became silent once again and she walked down the track into the ceremonial space.
Music is a powerful tool at any ceremony whether it is live music or prerecorded. Many times it will stir within us deep emotions and touches us at levels that we cannot begin to fathom.
At another ceremony, held on a rural property, a group of musicians serenaded us back to the wedding reception venue from the ceremony area. As we walked back, the cows in the adjoining paddock ran to us and lined the fences curious about the music, liveliness, joy and festivity.
If you are curious about what a ‘call and response’ on drums sounds like this lesson can give you an idea. In the first story above, there was a silent space between the call and response which added a deep sense of bringing people into the present moment.
You can find more stories like these in the book, Create Your Own Inspiring Wedding Ceremony‘, available as a paperback or an e-book.