Choosing the music for your wedding can be a really daunting task – after all, there could be twelve hours or more for which you need to not only create the right ambience for your special day, but also keep your guests happy and entertained. As your music is going to set the tone and be the soundtrack for your entire day, your choices are going to have a dramatic effect on how you and your guests remember your wedding. But with so much music to choose from and so many people to keep happy, where do you start?
The easiest and most effective way of planning your wedding music is to break your day down into a series of smaller events and think about the atmosphere you’d like to create during each one. Do you want your wedding to be traditional or contemporary? Fun or romantic? Upbeat or relaxed? Perhaps you’d like a combination of them all, varying the style of music between each stage?
For the ceremony itself, you’ll have four different stages to think about:
- The pre-ceremony music – when your guests are arriving.
- The processional music – that all important moment when you walk down the aisle.
- The interlude music – to be played while you’re signing the register.
- The recessional music – the magical moment when you walk back up the aisle as husband and wife.
Regardless of whether your ceremony is taking place at a church or your reception venue, the choices of music are almost endless. The most important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong choices. This is your day, and as such, the music you choose should reflect that. So, if you want your favourite love song instead of the Wedding March, have it! And if you want an upbeat party atmosphere to dance your way back up the aisle, you should have that too! It’s perfectly ok to mix traditional, romantic music during the first half of your ceremony with contemporary, celebratory music towards the end, if that’s what you want. Whatever you do, don’t feel coerced into choosing music that just isn’t you because the chances are, you’ll live to regret it.
The Wedding Breakfast
At the reception, many couples choose to have background music playing before the start of their wedding breakfast because it puts people at ease and sets the tone for the rest of the afternoon. This is the time when all of your guests are mingling and usually when the majority of the wedding photographs are taken, so there could be an hour or more to fill before you’re ready to sit down for your meal. Unsurprisingly, the music you choose will have a huge effect on how your guests behave. Instrumental music – especially songs played on the piano or harp – is very popular, as is swing and jazz, which will create a very formal atmosphere. In this kind of environment you’ll probably find that your guests will be chatting quietly and perhaps not really paying much attention to the music. On the other hand, if you choose modern, well known chart songs, it can create much more of an informal and lively atmosphere. Again, there are no hard and fast rules; you should choose whatever you want to create the ambience you’re looking for. If in doubt, you can certainly mix things up and have a combination of all styles and genres to keep everyone happy, entertained and relaxed.
The same rule applies to the music you choose for your wedding breakfast. There’s nothing worse than the jarring sound of scraping knives and forks or uncomfortable and awkward silences, so this is the ideal time to let your personalities shine through and choose a playlist that not only reflects you both as a couple but accommodates the musical tastes of all of your guests.
The Evening Reception
Whether you’d like a band, a DJ, or both, this is the one segment of your wedding where there should be just one mission on your mind….to create a fantastic party atmosphere! You obviously need to choose the song for your first dance as husband and wife, but your choices don’t end there…there will still be four or five hours ahead of you where you’ll want the dance floor to be full and for everyone to be having a fantastic time. The entertainment you choose can make or break the entire day, so make sure you choose wisely.
Your Wedding DJ
An experienced and professional Wedding DJ will be able to cater for all of your needs and provide the music of your choice from your ceremony right through to your wedding disco. He’ll ensure there are no awkward moments, that everything happens when it’s supposed to and that the transitions between each stage of your wedding are seamless. You only get one chance to get it right, so whatever musical choices you make, make sure you choose a DJ who is willing to work with you to personalise your day. It could well be the most important decision you make.