Help! My wedding is rescheduled because the COVID crisis!

Hi–yes of course!!! We are rescheduling all weddings without any fee where we can, giving priority to current bookings so that we can fit in your reschedule as the venue is able to accommodate you.

For new bookings: note our rates of 20% discount to help make live wedding music affordable when income is down. YES our income is down too. As live musicians and private teachers, we are very vulnerable to economic downturn. But definitely, we are doing are part to help support you during this crisis. Please contact Rosanna anytime to discuss.

Love and hope to you and your families!
Rosanna & Aleks

Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Music

Music is a pivotal part of most weddings, and really helps bring out your personalities and establish connection between you and your guests. Here are the categories you need to figure out, and we can help you with this!

#1: Pre-Wedding Events – wedding shower,  bachelor/ette parties, rehearsal dinner. Live music makes your offering very elegant and sophisticated.

Alchemy Rose Live Wedding Music Calgary - How to choose wedding music checklist
Alchemy Rose Live Wedding Music Calgary – How to choose wedding music checklist

#2: Before the Ceremony – this plays while your guests get seated and wait for the arrival of the wedding party. Very important to keeping your guests patient yet excited! Music should start about 20-30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony start time.

#3: Processionals – these play during the walk down the aisle. You need more than one selection:

  • One song for the groom’s family and other family members,
  • One song for the bridesmaids (useful when the wedding party is just, well, really big!
  • One song for the bride.

#4: Instrumentals / ceremony music – this fills longer periods of silence such as the signing, or appropriate spiritual selections for religious weddings.

#5: Recessional – This is the music for the wedding party’s exit after the ceremony. Generally more upbeat now that the pressure of the vows is off. Music should continue to play until after your guests have left.

#6: Cocktail hour music: low-key, fun music to set the mood for your guests. Important to set the tone for the evening, keep your guests energized and happy; patient, yet not overstimulated.

#7: Reception entrance: this is to mark the bride and groom’s entrance into the reception, usually with the wedding party in tow.

#8: Dancing: the first dance of bride and groom, and next the father/mother of the bride and groom.

#9: Reception music: your playlist sets the party and dancing atmosphere!

#10: Bouquet and garter toss: a fun and saucy part of the wedding ritual!

Thanks! Alchemy Rose

Would Alchemy Rose play for my outside wedding ceremony in the autum?

Outside Wedding Ceremonies in the Autumn – Alchemy Rose Policies

Can we play outside wedding ceremonies in the autumn? Yes, we have many times. We have a small extra fee of $25 per musician, with minimum temperature requirements; we can’t play outside if it’s under 12 degrees.

Alas, autumn in Calgary is fickle; we can have snow and sleet and rain and cold at any moment without notice…so you will need to plan ahead to make sure just a few things are in place:

  1. Cover – we’ll need a tent, building vestibule, or covered deck etc just in case the weather is not cooperating. While we are happy to play outside even if it’s cool, the instruments & electronic gear are not as tough as we are, so a bit of cover will take care of this problem.
  2. Electricity – for the digital piano, microphones, or amplifying a guitar at outside wedding ceremonies, we need access to electricity and cooperation with the facility manager to make sure extension cables can be run & placed safely.
  3. Site Walk Through
    This is a must; we must meet with you prior to the ceremony at the outside wedding ceremony venue. We will be looking for where we can take cover, where we can plug in, and how to be out of the way so that your guests can move fluidly through the venue.
  4. Advance arrival to set up & assistance from facility manager
    We’ll need to test everything about an hour before the ceremony. We will need to test the speaker system, set volume levels for all instruments and the voice, etc. The facility manager should be onsite with us for the set up to help with gear connections and level testing.

And that’s about it! If you are able to work with us on these reasonable policies, we will have no trouble performing outside. We are very flexible and versatile and want to support you to make your dream day the most magical it can be.  Contact us today to get a quote for your outside wedding ceremony.

Thanks & kind regards,

Alchemy Rose – Your Live Wedding Musicians in Calgary & the surrounding area.

Communicate important wedding ceremony details with your musicians!

What are the wedding ceremony details that musicians need sorted?

Yes, there are often hidden wedding ceremony details that your musicians need you to make obvious! And, importantly, we cannot replace the function of a planner or an onsite helper that provides cues and smooths out hiccups. It is vital that you have a planner, person in the wedding party or friend not in the wedding party who might be feeling calmer and can dedicate time and thought on the day-of to smoothing through the days’ potential hiccups.

Often we sort out our cues with the officiant, and if this person is accustomed to cuing the musicians very clearly, we always have success. If this person is confused, then we can’t get an accurate cue of when to start, for example, the processional. This is because, seated and stationary, we don’t often have line of sight to the start or finish of the processional!

Selfie of Aleksandra and Rosanna at St. Luke's on Aug 5
Selfie of Aleksandra and Rosanna at St. Luke’s on Aug 5

What are some examples of wedding ceremony details we need to know about? How does communication get overlooked? Sometimes the officiant, bridal party and planner are so used to sharing details with one another that they forget to pass on important details to the musicians. Usually it’s just a simple oversight. These important ceremony details are just taken for granted by those on the inner circle, since these parties are so immersed in the process.

Wedding ceremony music does a lot to smooth out glitches. Wedding ceremony details…well, if the bridal party is late, if there is an issue with the signing of the registry, if there is a need for liturgical support, and to set the mood for your guests: your music takes care of all this. That’s why we need to be a part of your inner circle. If you want us to help make your dream day go as smoothly as possible, we will do our best to coax these important wedding ceremony details from you!

For example, don’t forget that sometimes we, at the front of the church, can’t see the back of the church once the congregation stands up to honour bride’s entrance. For this reason, we need to get our cues and timing straight for the processional. Sometimes the bridal party is gathered in the church vestibule, with groom and his parents looking ready to go, but the bride hasn’t arrived yet, so we can’t start the processional yet.

Basically your musicians need a very obvious visual signal for when the bridal party’s processional should begin. This signal should be agreed upon at the rehearsal and practiced a couple times so the bridal party doesn’t forget in the heat of the moment.

Then, in case we can’t see very well once the congregation stands up, we need someone in the bridal party, like the maid of honor or a groomsman (who is already up at the front of the church or ceremony room and has great vantage), to cue us in an obvious manner when the bride is ready to go. Usually the cue is a deep nod, especially if the person signaling is already up at the front closer to us, or an arm upraised and lowered. The person giving the cue can cue us again to cease the processional in case we can’t see at all; just a deep nod will let us know that the bride has arrived at her destination!

If we are doing liturgical music, and you have lectors that are not very familiar with the ceremony liturgy (yes, this is pretty common now!), it’s important that we communicate during rehearsal with the lectors (readers) to let them know when we’ll be helping, and when they are supposed to go. That way there is no confusion during the ceremony. At any point that we will be playing, we and your celebrant/officiant need to have agreed upon exactly what and when.

Finally: have you asked your guests to wait in the ceremony room  / church rather than follow you out after the recessional? If so, you must let us know, otherwise we won’t know to stop playing your recessional music. If there are photographs in the church after the ceremony, would you like us to play for this? Would you like us to exit quietly? All of this must be agreed upon ahead of time.

These are some key wedding ceremony details your musicians need to understand in order to make your day go as smoothly as possible! We are there to support you and to make everything perfect!

Thanks, Rosanna from Alchemy Rose

What is the best wedding ceremony music for me? Part 2

What is the best wedding ceremony music for My Wedding? Part 2

Thanks for checking out part two of this article, where we talk about what the best wedding ceremony for YOUR wedding might be! Here’s how most ceremonies work:

What is the best wedding ceremony music for MY wedding, part 2
What is the best wedding ceremony music for MY wedding, part 2

1. Pre-Ceremony music: This is music guests can listen to while being seated, before your ceremony begins and while waiting for the bridal party to arrive. Why is pre-ceremony music a must? Well, in our experience, the bridal party is always, ahem, a wee bit late getting to the ceremony location! Music for the pre-ceremony wait period is essential to keeping your guests from getting antsy. It’s also great for soothing children who might easily get restless during even a short wait in a formal, adult environment.

Your pre-ceremony music can be romantic, anticipatory; it can be a mix of pop or other arrangements, and classical music, or either genre! You get to pick. Basically, whatever music speaks to who you are as a couple is the right music to present to your guests during this time. If you pick several of your favorite songs or love songs, then this sends a special message to your guests, letting them know you are communicating an important part of your personality and your hopes for the future. It is an excellent way of communicating intimately with your guests, and also entertaining them with beauty while they wait for the big moment, your walk up the aisle!

We would recommend choosing selections that are thoughtful, romantic, and not too rip-roaring; save this for the recessional / post ceremony music!

2. Processional – this is the bridal party’s walk up the aisle. You can choose one song for the entire party, or have a unique song just for the bride, such as one of the traditional wedding marches (there is the “Here Comes the Bride” version by Wagner, and there is also the Wedding March by Mendelssohn). Please go to our Listen page for samples of both of these famous bridal processionals.) Most couples who select classical music for their ceremony choose the beautiful, elegant and romantic Canon in D by Palchebel, to play for the entire bridal party’s procession, including the bride. It is truly a perfect selection for the processional and we never get tired of playing it!

3. Liturgical selections / hymns – if your ceremony is religious, you may wish us to accompany or provide the music for various parts of the worship service,  such as psalms and hymns at appropriate moments. For example, an Ave Maria during communion, or providing an accompaniment for the family member singing the responsorial psalm. No problem. We know a lot of sacred music and will definitely not have any problem providing hymns or liturgical components for your ceremony, whether just instrumental or with vocals. Using Alchemy for the entire ceremony provides a consistent, high quality presentation that will help make your day perfect.

4. Signing of the Registry – there are about 5-7 minutes where you need to take care of paperwork during the ceremony with your officiant, and this is a great opportunity to provide your guests something extra beautiful! Popular instrumentals for the signing are the Meditation from Thais and Ave Maria. What’s the best song for your wedding ceremony? Well, a selection about which you feel really strongly, whether it’s classical or pop / western / rock! It should be a piece of music you find very beautiful. Generally the signing is an opportunity for a slow, lyrical piece of music with a big, beautiful melody.

5. Recessional – this is the opposite of the processional; it’s when you walk back down the aisle, this time hand in hand with your newly wedded life partner, with a spring in your step and beaming from ear to ear! The recessional is an opportunity for selections that are more upbeat and totally joy-filled, whether classical, pop, or other genre. This is your way of saying, PHEW, it’s over, and aren’t we grateful, aren’t we excited, let’s get ready to party! A very common classical recessional is the Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, which is more celebratory than the Wagner “Here Comes the Bride.” There are many other classical selections we can recommend for the recessional, as well as pop songs.

6. Post- ceremony music – to accompany your guests recession from the ceremony space, we recommend about 5-7 minutes of music following the recessional. Usually this is celebratory and upbeat; the time following the ceremony is joy-filled, wondrous and really sweet! We love being a part of it.

We hope this helps guide your wedding ceremony music selections; we would love to help you choose the best wedding ceremony music to make YOUR special day perfect!

Thanks! Rosanna of Alchemy Rose.

What is the best wedding ceremony music for me? Part 1

What is the best wedding ceremony music for My Wedding?

Many couples come to us wondering what music to choose for their weddings. They might have some songs they like, but they are sometimes not sure what is right for which part of the ceremony. There seems to be some common belief that there is a list of best wedding ceremony music that they SHOULD follow to make the wedding as beautiful as possible.

Actually, our position is that the best wedding ceremony music for your wedding will speak to who you are as a couple. Music is your opportunity to communicate in a very intimate and subtle way to your guests. Whether you want pop or classical music for the ceremony, some couples prefer very soft and elegant arrangements, some prefer more stately arrangements, and some prefer more upbeat arrangements.

What is the best wedding ceremony music for me?
What is the best wedding ceremony music for me?

Our first advice is to think of the mood you’d like to set for the ceremony: soft and inviting, elegant and sophisticated, lively, or a mix of moods. This is the first thing to talk to potential musicians about. Sometimes couples don’t even know, but we can figure out from the list of samples they might refer us to.

The first observation we make is the “tone” of the pieces, and then we are ready to give you an additional list of suggestions, whether pop and classical. You listen, bounce ideas back to us, and the list is further refined to produce the “best wedding ceremony music” for your very unique dream day!

You don’t need to use classical music for an elegant ceremony! There are so many beautiful love songs in the pop repertoire that can be elegantly arranged by Alchemy’s piano trio (piano, cello, violin, voice, guitar) that are very striking and moving. For example, we’ve played weddings where the couple has picked their favorite romantic songs of all time, and we’ve arranged them either instrumentally or vocally. Elton John’s My Song, Time in a Bottle, I Know I Love You, My Endless Love, Thousand Years, Time after Time, Halo and Close to You are some examples of super lyrical romantic music.

Which parts of your ceremony require music? Check out part two of this article, coming soon, for a comprehensive list of the ceremony sections, along with a description of the kind of music and some sample classical selections you might include!

Alchemy Rose

Our most popular wedding music requests

Top Summer Wedding Music Requests

What are couples most interested in this summer? So far our top picks are as follows:

Pre-Ceremony Music – this is a mix of classical and pop. If classical, usually the couple will let us pick music that is appropriate for the mood. We especially love Tartini’s Cantabile and Vivaldi’s Largo from Winter. For pop, our top requests for pre-ceremony are Ed Sheeran’s music (Perfect, Thinking out Loud); Bruno Mars (Just the Way You Are), Elton John’s Love Song, Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle, Somewhere over the Rainbow, and Beyonce’s Halo.

Wedding Music Requests
Wedding Music Requests

Processional – this classic remains top of our request list! Pachelbel’s Canon in D. When the wedding couple wants just this one piece for the processional of the entire bridal party, we save the big part for the bride’s entrance, pausing for a quick cadence to announce her presence so the guests can stand. Then the strings or piano will take on the quick moving high passages of this lovely piece!

Signing of the Registry – top piece for classical is the Massenet’s Meditation from the opera Thais; it has a gorgeous soaring melody for violin or cello that is really striking. For pop music, our top request is of course…Thousand Years by Christina Perry. We do this with vocals or with instrumentals (piano/violin/cello).

Recessional  – For classical music, couples usually ask us to choose something that meets their mood, and we usually choose an upbeat Handel selection, like Hornpipe or La Rejouissance. For pop music, the most popular request is Somewhere over the Rainbow.

Regarding wedding music requests, you don’t have to do what other couples are doing! It’s most important that you pick songs that you feel represent who you are as a couple, or that set the mood you want to establish: romantic, elegant, sophisticated, intimate and so on.

We hope this short summary of wedding music requests helps you choose your own ceremony music! We are happy to help guide this process and offer suggestions!

Kind regards,

Alchemy Rose

Wedding Songs 2018 – The Hottest New Picks

Wedding Songs – The Hottest 25 Picks for this season

Wedding Songs 2017
Wedding Songs

Wedding songs on the brain? The fashionistas and the DJs have spoken, and the top wedding songs for this wedding season have been proclaimed! Some songs seem to stay on the playlist year after year, like Christina Perri’s Thousand Years, and some only stay on the wedding playlist one season.

Here is a list of 25 songs that are found on the dance floors this wedding season, and we can do custom arrangements of these pieces for you if you desire!

  1. Beyoncé: “All Night”
  2. Emeli Sandé: “Breathing Underwater”
  3. Sigala & Digital Farm Animals: “Only One”
  4. Zayn Malik & Taylor Swift: “I Don’t Want to Live Forever”
  5. DJ Snake & Justin Bieber: “Let Me Love You”
  6. Bruno Mars: “24K Magic”
  7. Rihanna: “Love on the Brain”
  8. John Legend: “Love Me Now”
  9. Dua Lipa: “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)”
  10. The Weeknd ft. Daft Punk: “I Feel It Coming”
  11. James Arthur: “Say You Won’t Let Go”
  12. Tory Lanez: “Luv”
  13. Train: “Play That Song”
  14. Fetty Wap ft. Nicki Minaj: “Like a Star”
  15. BigBang: “Fxxk It”
  16. Childish Gambino: “Have Some Love”
  17. Rae Sremmurd ft. Gucci Mane: “Black Beatles” 
  18. Solange ft. Common: “Cranes in the Sky (Remix)”
  19. Ariana Grande ft. Nicki Minaj: “Side to Side”
  20. The Chainsmokers ft. Daya: “Don’t Let Me Down”
  21. Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna: “This Is What You Came For”
  22. Andy Grammer: “Fresh Eyes”
  23. Fitz and The Tantrums: “Handclap”
  24. Ellie Goulding: “Still Falling for You”
  25. Justin Timberlake: “Can’t Stop the Feeling”

But what about for your first dance? Here are a list of songs that top the first dance charts!

First dance wedding songs… a few suggestions
  • I Never by Rilo Kiley. …
  • Love on Top by Beyonce. …
  • God Gave Me You by Blake Shelton. …
  • You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne. …
  • Amazed by Lonestar. …
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perri. …
  • Make You Feel My Love by Adele.Thanks! Alchemy Rose