Ah, wedding harp music! It can really add a touch of elegance to a wedding.
Many people associate the harp with classical music----and rightly so. However, it doesn't stop there. The harp is quite a versatile instrument and is thus capable of handling various musical styles such as classical to jazz and a lot in between.
Another element of the harp that makes it great for weddings is that it is a stand-alone, or solo, instrument. Since the harp plays more than just a melody line, it does not need another instrument to accompany it in order to give a complete, full sound.
Obviously, a harp does sound wonderful with a flute, violin, or piano/organ, it's just not necessary. This differs a bit from other instruments---such as a violin, flute or trumpet---as they are often accompanied by another instrument or orchestration in order to produce a more complete sound.
At first glance, harp music looks just like piano music. After all, printed wedding harp music has a treble and bass clef---just like piano music. But don't be fooled! It isn't exactly the same. One big difference? The fingering. Piano players use all 10 fingers, but a harpist only uses 8 fingers. The little pinkie is just a long for the ride! Therefore, the music arrangements are different.
So where am I going with all of this? Read the following and you'll see how it can figure into the picture.
Tip: The fact that the harp can be a solo instrument may save you money. Remember, the more musicians involved in your wedding, the costlier things can get. For example, want a string quartet? Wonderful. Just remember that you'll need to pay for the time and talents of 4 people and more people usually costs more money.
Tip: If you do decide to hire a harpist, be sure to ask up front about any specific songs you may want. As mentioned, harps are very versatile and harp arrangements are available for loads of songs, so in all probability there will be no problem. Rarely, though, a harp arrangement for a particular song may not be available, and the harpist will have to create one.
Depending on what's involved, this could result in an extra fee. Remember that piano music doesn't automatically equal harp music. So check with the harpist during your early contact about specific song requests to make sure your requests don't adversely affect your wallet!
Regarding some wonderful harp music available on CD, one recording harpist I listen to is Bronn Journey. I think his recordings showcase the harp nicely and have some beautiful orchestrations that accompany the harp. The following CDs are not just meant for weddings, they are "any-time" music--which makes them particularly useful!
Other CDs that are good sources for wedding harp music are: