Live music will contribute immeasurably to the mood of any wedding ceremony as opposed to "canned music" provided by a DJ, no matter how large or small the ceremony or number of guests. Typically, the classical guitar is ideal for smaller, more intimate settings. A DJ or band is generally hired for the reception, although the classical guitar is quite appropriate for more intimate receptions as well.
The main parts of the ceremony which require music are:
1) Prelude/seating music
2) Bridesmaids/Wedding Party Processional Music
3) Bridal Processional
In addition, many couples request additional music for certain points of the ceremony, such as candle lighting.
The Prelude/Seating Music
Prior to the ceremony, generally a period or 20 minutes of light classical music is performed as guests are being seated. It is generally best not to schedule this segment too long, as many guests start seating themselves once they hear the music begin. In my experience, 20 minutes is an ideal amount of time.
Entrance processional of the wedding party and bride. Generally very stately, elegant music at a walking tempo. The bridal processional should be a separate piece of music from the bridesmaids' processional. The bridal processional is the most personal and important piece of music in the ceremony. Aaron plays most of the popular wedding choices or can arrange a classical guitar version of your favorite song for guitar. Aaron will require a very clear visible cue from someone not in the wedding party, generally the wedding coordinator, assistant or guest. A clear hand signal with clear eye contact, worked out in advance, is best.
Departure of the wedding party from the ceremony site. Generally celebratory, jubilant music. Guests normally depart immediately or very soon after the wedding party to reception area or site. This is the last piece of music for the ceremony.
Additional Points and Requirements
It is very rarely necessary for the ceremony musician to attend the wedding rehearsal.
Aaron requires dry, level ground, access to power for amplification, shade, and a chair without arms. It is best to arrange to place him to the side of the ceremony area and away from food and beverage tables to avoid spills and distractions. In addition, musicians should not be placed next to heaters, fireplaces, drafty windows, or doors.
It is very important that Aaron receive clear directions to the ceremony site and as much information regarding parking and set-up in advance as possible. Aaron always arrives very early, and double-checks directions with MapQuest or a GPS.
Applause is not necessary or encouraged at any time during Aaron's performance. The ceremony musician is there to serve the client and enhance the mood of the gathering.
The classical guitar is a physically demanding instrument, and as such Aaron takes a 10-15 minute break every hour on longer engagements. The breaks can be coordinated in advance or, more commonly, left to Aaron's discretion. For a wedding ceremony only this is not applicable.