Let me set the scene: a canopy of trees shading the August sun; guests seated on either side of a circular fountain; the groom in a khaki suit waiting for his bride to walk down the stone staircase. And what do you hear? A musician strumming melodic chords on an acoustic guitar, of course.

We found said musician, Susan Savia, on Gig Masters. I highly recommend this site! It’s easy to use and offers a multitude of music genres — from Classical to Motown to Irish — for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and any party that needs some entertainment. You can search for performers, book them, and pay them online.

Susan plays the acoustic guitar and sings with a sweet, serene voice. (She also plays ukulele, harmonica, and piano.) She performs both original and familiar songs. She’s a bit vintage and a bit folksy; she’s just what we wanted for our ceremony! {Listen to Susan’s original music.}

Susan will play an acoustic mix beginning about 1/2 hour before the ceremony starts, while guests are being seated. Her list of love songs includes The Carpenters, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Sarah McLachlan, Van Morrison, Natalie Merchant, and others.

We haven’t yet decided what songs we want to use for the seating of the mothers or for the procession of the bridesmaids, but I do know I’ll be walking to Pachelbel’s Canon. It’s absolutely traditional, but with that acoustic sound I love oh so much. {Listen to “Pachelbel’s Canon.”}

My father is a big Beatles fan, and Nick and I adore the movie, “Love Actually,” so we hope to incorporate “All You Need Is Love” into the ceremony, as well.

And our absolute favorite ceremony song choice is “We Are Man And Wife” by Michelle Featherstone. Susan agreed to learn it especially for us! We first heard the song on the website of a potential photographer (and later heard it on an episode of “One Tree Hill”). It’s lovely, and the lyrics are very appropriate; here’s a snippet:

All the things you will do
You know I’m standing next to you
And darling I will see you through
The rest of our lives

You are the love of my life
And now we’re man and wife

{Listen to “We Are Man And Wife” — with slides from One Tree Hill.}

We’d like to hear the song immediately after we’re pronounced man and wife, but we have some logistical concerns. We want our guests to be able to hear the words, but I think it may look awkward for us to stand still during the entire song. Should we listen to the first 30 seconds or so, or ask Susan to play just a selection, before making our exit? Anyone encounter a similar situation?

{photo courtesy of friends, Doug and Cari}

What other ceremony music recommendations do you have?

Next Up: We book Wild Bill for our reception.