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Hard Rock at Your Wedding? Yes, but Maybe Not How You Think…

How you can have a hard rock song performed during your wedding ceremony and gain the approval of your beloved, your family, and your guests

Hey John!

I want to hear “Forever” by Kiss at my wedding but Sarah said no to hard rock. I suggested this power ballad by Kiss and she said no again. Help me!

–Tyler in Tualatin

Rock singer on stage

Hey, Tyler, I hear you.

As a long time married man, let me share that marriage is an opportunity to find win-win scenarios.

The great news is that there are several win-wins I can suggest. 

For the last several years, I played guitar at the friends’ weddings. From my experience, I can share that you can take a hard rock song such as “Love Walks In” by Van Halen  or “White Wedding” by Billy Idol and then rearrange either for a mellow, solo guitar.

What I did was I “unplugged” the song.

 Let me explain: Several instruments—including guitars—are available in both acoustic and electric. Electric guitars come with great, big, huge speakers which amplify the volume so the music is played with more intensity.

Good news! You can unplug most songs.

 Here’s an example: Eric Clapton, “Layla” unplugged

Same song with electric guitars:

Unplugged, the song is slower, gentler, and softer than the louder electric rock song.

Man fretting a C chord on guitar

If you are absolutely in love with a rock song, you can still use it in your wedding…with a few changes. As both a husband and a musician, here are my suggestions:

1.   Pick an acoustic song from a heavy metal band. For instance, “More than Words” by Extreme, the hard metal band could be an unbelievably beautiful processional or a solo performed as a blessing over you two during the wedding ceremony.

2.   If there is a rock song you want to walk up the aisle to, then have your musician arrange the song so that it is more of a ballad than a rock song. You can slow the music down. Your bride might appreciate this slower pace–especially if she is wearing really the high heels.  

disapproving old lady

3. There are some rock songs which are fabulous but the lyrics would make your Great Aunt Mathilda, the retired Sunday School teacher, blush three vibrant shades of crimson.

We don’t want that. Have a solo guitarist play the melody but not sing the words. Hopefully, Great Aunt Mathilda hasn’t heard it and won’t be blushing any time soon.

Images courtesy of and

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