I recently played for a wedding in a Catholic church. The bride had asked a friend to sing and assured me that she sang professionally and knew all of the music. In preparation for the wedding I exchanged several e-mails with the singer, going over the songs, how many verses, etc.
Well, the bride’s friend was VERY late for the rehearsal. We were supposed to start playing prelude music at the same time that she arrived and ended up doing our rehearsal while guests were being seated. As we started going through the songs, it became evident that she didn’t know some of them. The bride had carefully chosen the music with the singer way ahead of time, so we couldn’t figure out why she was so unprepared and had to play several pieces without her.
If you’re not going to use a professional cantor for your ceremony, you need to be SURE that your singer knows what she’s doing and check with her several times before the wedding day. Don’t assume that she’s on top of things.
Happy wedding ceremony music planning!