A staple of any wedding? The music of course! In addition to the traditional "dun dun dah-dun" bridal chorus we all know, you have so many opportunities to customize your wedding with the perfect music. Choosing the music for your wedding is a way to showcase your personal taste in your wedding, but also share beautiful moments with your nearest and dearest. Some of our favorite wedding moments (the father and daughter dance get us every time!) are only enhanced by the soundtrack. Our Marketing Coordinator Sam is back with a little helpful advice for when you're ready to choose the music for your nuptials!
Image via Style Me Pretty
1. Determine Tone/Theme:
The first step in choosing your wedding music is considering who will be at the wedding and the tone you want to set. You may love a certain band or genre but you want to make sure that the music you want people to associate with your most special and romantic day is what fills the atmosphere of you venue. For instance, my favorite music is 90's Rock Alternative and Country - but that is not what I want exclusively playing the whole night. There will only be touches of these styles when it's appropriate. Will you have lots of family and older guests or be mostly inviting your friends? Consider your guests because the wedding is something to be enjoyed by them too - especially when it comes time to hit the dance floor. You don't want your grandmother to leave early because she can't stand the blaring sounds from Nirvana! Balance is key.
2. Band, DJ or iPod?:
Most of this decision will be determined by two thins: how much you value the music at your wedding and your budget. Live bands are beautiful and produce amazing sounds - but they can be very pricey. Don't fret! You have options. For example, you could also just hire live music for the ceremony or reception. DJs can also be expensive, but typically not as costly as a live group of musicians. Personally, I decided to go with a DJ because I wanted to have someone who could react to the guests - and change the music if needed. I didn't trust relying on an iPad or MP3 to play the right songs at the right time. In the end, if the music is not important to you or you don't have it in your budget for a band or DJ, an iPad is the next best option. You can always create your own playlist or download a premade one for your celebration!
3. Specify Your "Moment" Songs":
Like we mentioned before, it's important to pay special attention to the songs you want to play during a special moment in your ceremony or reception. Here are some suggestions based on the "moments" I chose to have, but every wedding is different and you can tailor your wedding to include other moments or not include certain ones too! The other songs that I specified were for while the guests were arriving at the ceremony.
Here's the standard "moment" songs that you need to pick specific music for:
Processional Of The Family, Processional Of The Bridal Party, Processional Of The Bride, Recessional
Grand Entrance, First Dance, Bride & Father, Groom & Mother, Cake Cutting, Bouquet Toss, Garter Toss, Grand Exit
I found that the hardest songs for my fiance and I to pick were the ceremony ones. We didn't want to resort to the traditional wedding march, but it was difficult to find appropriate, romantic songs that matched the mood of a ceremony. Here's some suggestions I've found in a variety of genres:
A Summer Song by Chad & Jeremy, And I Love Her by The Beatles, Ara Batur by Sigur Ros, Beautiful by Phil Wickham, Case Of You by Joni Mitchell, Clocks by Cold Play, Colours by Donovan, Crash by Dave Matthews Band, Dance Me To The End Of Love by Leonard Cohen, Down To The River To Pray by Alison Krauss, Dream A Little Dream by The Mamas + The Papas, Emer's Dream by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Everlasting Light by The Black Keys, Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez, Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles, Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I Will by The Beatles, La Vie En Rose + Sea Of Love, Lake Yarina by Josh Garrels, Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan, Over The Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Pachelbel's Canon In D, Sea Of Love by Cat Power, Stay Alive by Jose Gonzalez, Stoned Me by Van Morrison, Thank You by Led Zeppelin, The Ludlows by James Horner, Til Kingdom Come by Cold Play, Valium by Lisa Mitchell, Viva La Vida by Cold Play, We Are Going To Be Friends by The White Stripes, Where Is My Mind by Maxence Cyrin, Will Ye No Come Back Again, You’re The One That I Want by The Lennings
All You Need Is Love by The Beatles, At Last by Etta James, Baby by Devendra Banhart, Crazy In Love by Beyonce and Jay Z, Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen, Good Life by Onerepublic, Happy by Pharrel, Heroes by David Bowie, Home by Edward Sharpes, I Want To Love You Madly by Cake, International Players Anthem by Ugk (Instrumental), Let My Love Open The Door by Pete Townshend, Making Time by The Creation, New Life by Jim James, On Top Of The World by Imagine Dragons, Perth by Bon Iver, Shenandoah by Tom Waits, Sleepy Time by Fialta, Smash The Windows, Tender by Blur, Today Is The Greatest by Smashing Pumpkins, Turning Pageby Sleeping At Last (Instrumental), You & I by Ingrid Michaelson, You Know Me by Air Traffic Controller, You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oates
Dead Leaves and The Dirty Ground by The White Stripes, Excuses by Morning Benders , Friday I’m In Love by The Cure, Harvest Moon by Neil Young, Hysteric by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I Found You by Alabama Shakes, I Was Made For Loving You by Kiss, Isakov Morning Lady by Gregory Alan, Love by George Burns + Floyd Huddleston, Magic by Coldplay, Sea Of Love by Phill Phillips and The Twilights, Second Star To The Right by Doris Day & The Four Lads, Silent Spring by Massive Attack, Sing To Me by Walter Martin, Sleepwalk by Santo + Johnny, That's What's Up by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, This Winter by Cass Lowe, Today by Joshua Radin, You and Me by Penny & The Quarters, You On My Mind In My Sleep by Richard Ashcroft, You Send Me by Sam Cooke
4. Cocktail Hour, Dinner & Dancing
Cocktail hour, dinner and dancing. What is the flow of your wedding going to be like? Music plays a huge part of setting the tone and mood. Do you want the whole day to be upbeat, smooth and soothing or a mix of both? What do you want your cocktail hour feel like? I decided to make mine a little more classic by playing lots of big band and old school swing music. My dinner will have romantic songs, both modern and old, and my dancing part will only feature upbeat music.
In short: Start your evening off with songs that will be appreciated by all your guests. Older people will be the first to leave so start the night with music that wont have them begging to go home. Have your music progress throughout the night so that you have fun party dancing music for the last half. Don't forget your dancing shoes!
-- Sam, Marketing Coordinator
Ready to see more of Sam's helpful wedding advice? Take a look at her Registry Recommendations, Wedding Website and Working With Your Vendors posts!