While some dread receiving that wedding invite, others never fail to feel uplifted by the happy occasion. Local singer Lorraine Tan takes her love for weddings a step further; she’s made a career out of it.

In just five years, Lorraine has performed at over 500 weddings in Singapore; that’s an impressive average of one wedding every three days. To date, the wedding singer has written over 100 original tracks for newlyweds. Yet Lorraine is far from being weary of wedding music. In fact, these weddings keep her inspired to pen even more original love songs.

This November, Forever, the third album of Lorraine’s Original Love Stories collection, chronicles more of these romantic tracks.

Singapore wedding singer Lorraine Tan

While Lorraine has been singing semi-professionally since her teenage years, wedding performances started becoming a big part of her life only in 2005, after her own big day.

As a singer, the music selection for her wedding felt particularly important to Lorraine. If she had one regret, it would be this: Lorraine wished she could have distributed compilation albums of the music played at her wedding.

To Lorraine, the personalised album would have made a memorable wedding favour. It would be adorned with the couple’s blissful photos, filled with handpicked tracks and even an original song or two. The key attraction would be an original song with lyrics inspired by the couple’s courtship and years together; an incredibly romantic notion that she could not let go of.

Any other bride may have left it at that but Lorraine saw a business opportunity in this one regret. The unfulfilled wish inspired her to set up Wedding Harmony, a wedding music company with her husband in 2006. Since then, she’s been writing love songs for Singapore couples and singing to their matrimonial happiness.

It’s been a busy five years juggling with wedding performances, songwriting and album production; Lorraine has now four albums to her name. Along the way, Lorraine has also acquired a ton of guidelines on wedding music and even wedding planning advice for the panicky bride.

A well-selected wedding music set list creates a lively atmosphere when your guests start singing and dancing along to their favourite tracks. We interviewed the petite and bubbly wedding singer for tips that brides-to-be can keep in mind:

Choose 30 songs to be played at your wedding
One set typically lasts about 45 minutes; a wedding typically consists of two live music sets.

An average of 10 songs will be performed per set, to fill in the gaps in between the dishes served, the table games and the wedding speeches. A selection of 30 songs would be ideal as the live band would have some other tracks to fall back on, in case the crowd is less keen on certain tracks.

Mix up music genres and eras for your wedding music to cater to all
Although oldies by Teresa Teng and The Carpenters are easily hits with the older crowd, it’s always good to have a range of genres to keep your guests entertained. Switch between songs of different tempos and intersperse duets with solo numbers and group performances where possible.

Sing out your love: write or commission an original song for your wedding
Lyrics are a great way to share the heartfelt story of your courtship to your guests; this track will truly be your couple song. Creative couples can try making a storyboard or a scrapbook of their most treasured moments together and look to that for inspiration.

Too stressed out by wedding planning to write a song of your own? Hiring a professional musician is of course, an option. Lorraine often works with the couples closely; brides-to-be would share the sweet text messages, letters, booklets, gifts and other personal souvenirs that they’ve collected with Lorraine.

Don’t know where to start? Lorraine typically organises a question-and-answer session with the couple to prompt them about the finer details of their loving relationship. Lorraine is also open to singing songs in languages other than English and Mandarin as well; she has learnt and sung tracks phonetically at weddings. Lorraine’s wedding music company will also coordinate album production and printing for couples keen on distributing music compilations as wedding favours.

More ideas for your wedding music selection

  • Popular songs: Johann Pachelbel's “Canon in D major” for the march-in track, “Always” by Shania Twain, the much-covered “You are the Love of My Life”, “Fly Me to the Moon” and the Barbara Streisand-Bryan Adams duet, “I Finally Found Someone Like You”. Lorraine’s personal favourites include The Carpenters’ sentimental tracks and the jazzy tunes of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Chinese crowd-pleasers include: Sandy Lam’s 至少还有你 (zhi shao hai you ni) and Teresa Teng’s 月亮代表我的心 (Yue liang dai biao wo de xin).
  • Unusual wedding tracks: Lorraine recalls how a quirky couple chose to walk down the aisle with a Hokkien song, “Ji Ki Sio Hor Sua” (One Small Umbrella). Another couple planned a Celtic-themed wedding and had asked for an original song that to fit their theme. Lorraine then composed “Anam Cara” (“Soul Friend” in Irish), to a tune inspired by the songs of New Age Irish singer Enya; she included the chanting beats too.

Lorraine Tan Forever vol 3Lorraine’s album, Forever: Original Love Stories, Volume 3 is available in stores. Visit Lorraine’s official website at www.lorrainetan.com for more information.

Three autographed copies of Lorraine’s album are up for grabs. To stand a chance at winning, simply send an email to magherworldonline@sph.com.sg now, with the subject: "Lorraine's Forever: Original Love Stories album giveaway" before February 2012.