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As the trend toward personalizing your wedding continues, one idea that our grandmothers would never have considered is starting to catch on: brides taking to the microphone and singing at their weddings. This desire for brides—and grooms—to inject as much of their own unique personalities into their special day and the undeniable and fascinating power of the latest onslaught of American Idol-type reality television have come together to make this trend a reception “do,” but not without some guidance and plenty of preparation. Not all brides who boldly opt to sing are necessarily trained singers. But all brides, whether having any performing experience or not, will benefit from adequate preparation. One of the first things a professional coach will help you with is the all-important song selection. You’ve got to know yourself and your limits to choose a song that will emphasize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. And six months of weekly or biweekly lessons and practice would be ideal. It’s not just about memorizing the song; it’s learning how and when to breathe, something many nonprofessionals take for granted.
1. Choose your song carefully. Don’t choose something too “big” for your voice. 2. Save the trendy songs for the dance floor. Think of your grandchildren watching the video in 50 years…we’re thinking Gershwin, not Lady Gaga. 3. PRACTICE! Six months is not too long to prepare. 4. Hire a voice coach. Their input on everything from song selection to arrangement to breathing properly, will be invaluable. 5. Get your band to back you up. Or download a karaoke-style arrangement for your deejay. 6. Consider cutting the song down a bit…even the wedding bands don’t always sing every verse of every song. Stick to the memorable parts. 7. Look into your groom’s (or bride’s) eyes. The emotion will carry you through, and your guests will be touched by the incredible connection between the two of you (and all will be forgiven if there should be any tiny flaws in your voice!). 8. Make sure the song…and your performance…are wedding-worthy. You are not on The Voice, so resist the urge to vamp or glam it up! Be sincere and “in the moment” of your wedding. 9. Gift it! If you do sing, consider a one-hour voice lesson as your bridesmaids’ gifts. At $50 to $85 per hour, it’s truly a unique thank you and reminder of your wedding.