Creating the soundtrack to your wedding is for many, an exciting prospect, but for some, it may be the opposite. Though the days of cheesy wedding singers might be behind us, the choices for wedding music can still seem as overwhelming as an over-styled 80s perm. But, it needn’t be stressful. Choosing your wedding music is an opportunity to let your personality shine and add emotion to your day.
Music plays an important role in many relationships – with many couples already having a special song. Or, maybe you met at a music festival? Or had your first kiss at a gig? Music has the ability to emote, spark joy and set fire to the dance floor!
Here is our guide to picking and planning how, when and where to use music at your wedding. From start to finish, music will enhance the festivities – and play a starring role when the sun goes down and the lights come on!
1. Making your entrance
Probably the most secretly-guarded and greatly anticipated music of the day. The processional music sets the tone for the rest of the ceremony. Be it lighthearted, or graceful and majestic, pick a number that means something to you both. One that you will feel most confident walking down the aisle to.
Delivery via organ or string quartet is traditional, and we’ve seen soloists deliver the most beautiful renditions of more modern classics. Asking a musically-talented friend to sing a number as you enter can add a truly intimate touch.
Tip: If you’re a bit #extra when it comes to emotions, try to avoid super meaningful songs unless you want to bring yourself and guest to tears straight away. (Hands up – who’s always first to reach for the tissues?)
2. Ceremony exit walk
Congratulations, you did it! After you’ve said your vows and the ceremony has concluded, many couples choose a celebratory song to walk back down the aisle as newlyweds. These songs tend to be uplighting, joyous and energetic, this is the start of the rest of your lives and this song marks that point. But, it could also be a sweet, romantic ditty that you’ve been dying to share with friends and family. As mentioned before, a friend and a guitar might be your perfect exit music.
If you’re saying ‘I do’ in church, your choices might be more traditional, compared to if you’re at a venue – you may have the ability to be a little more creative. Choosing to play a modern song on the organ, is one hack many couples choose to take if in a church setting. Consider the acoustics of your location – if you’re outside you can have a louder and larger setup.
3. Cocktail hour and dining
As your happy guests leave the ceremony, you may have some cocktails and an intermission before you move to the formal reception and dinner. Many couples choose to have live music, such as a string quartet or solo violinist, pianist or harpist. This gently sets the tone and acts as light background music, for family chats, and mingling whilst congratulating the newlyweds.
Moving into dinner, consider the ambience you wish to create during the courses, think about how are you serving your meal, you might like to have different styles of music for each of the courses. Strings for starters? Melodic mood for mains? Are we getting carried away?
If you’re having a sit-down dinner, consider a quartet or two-piece, or use the venue AV to spin a homemade playlist.
4. The first dance
The traditional option: If you’re choosing to have the first dance together as a couple, then it is usually most fitting to choose the most personal song to you both – one that you’re happy to share with the rest of your guests. Same as if you’re taking the first dance with a family member – choose a song that is meaningful and memorable for your guests.
The entertaining option: as social media has taught us – many bridal parties opt for a big number, making the first dance a raucous team event. If you’re up for it, learning a routine and performing to your guests can be very fun, and a gratifying way to get the party started.
5. After dessert, comes the dancefloor
Once the dessert has been scoffed and the lights have been dimmed – it’s time to get guests on the DF.
Big band, DJ or streaming a playlist? This is totally dependant on you. We’ve seen it all. Whatever the delivery – your playlist should be a mixture of classics, meaningful moderns and songs to uplift. Don’t forget the older guests, the best playlists are a mix of songs that appeal to all ages. Don’t feel pressured to succumb to a “wedding playlist” – if you want to play the Star Wars theme, play it!
Tip: Ask your guests to suggest a song for the party during the RSVP process, this way you make a playlist that everyone has personally invested in – making it immersive for your guests!
Whatever the vibes you choose for your day, make them personal and be true to your own vibe. If music isn’t your major area of interest, you can find many vendors at One Fine Day Wedding Fairs who will gladly guide you through how to best find music for your day. We hope this helps you create your own musical signature for your one fine day.