For many couples, the music played at their weddings is one of the most important aspects of their whole day and a lot of effort is placed on choosing the best DJ or musicians. Your wedding music has the power to set the mood and character of both the ceremony and reception, and you will always associate the songs that were played at your wedding with the wonderful memories that were made. Working closely with your DJ or wedding musicians in orchestrating your musical choices throughout the day will allow you to create the perfect atmosphere for your special day.
There is a lot to consider when selecting the music for your walk down the aisle. There are no specific rules on the music that should played, although certain venues do have restrictions, so have it be a reflection of who you are as a couple. The wedding tradition for many brides is Wagner's "Bridal Chorus", better known as "Here Comes the Bride", which has become the epitome of the classical bride's walk down the aisle. If the ceremony is taking place in a religious or cultural setting, then there are often certain songs that are customary to be played. Always check with your officiant and ceremony location if there are any rules regarding the music that can be played. Modern brides have plenty of options to choose from and there is a great opportunity to show a couple's creative side when choosing the ceremony music.
Another consideration when selecting the songs for the ceremony is the style of music you would like played. There are many musicians available to play the music at wedding ceremonies that reflect the overall vision of your wedding. A steel drum band is always a great option for a beach wedding, while a string quartet will provide a graceful and classic sound to your ceremony. If you opt for a DJ, then he or she should have some great ideas to set the mood and make your ceremony music personal and memorable. There are also parts of the ceremony that could have background music played simultaneously, so speak to your officiant about incorporating music.
There are so many parts of the reception where the music should be used to set the right mood and when the time comes, get all of your wedding guests boogying down on the dance floor. Make sure that your wedding musicians or DJ will already have the music going as your wedding guests enter the reception location. Another way to get your guests in the right mood at the start of the reception is by having the newlyweds make a grand entrance to a fun song. Some couples even have their family and wedding party join in to really make a memorable entrance, dancing and singing along to a fun song.
Once the guests are seated, a lovely wedding tradition to start the reception is to have the bride and groom dance for the first time as husband and wife. The song that is played should be something that is personal to you as a couple, but make sure to check with your musicians or DJ that they are familiar with the tune and will be able to play it. There are also many cultural wedding traditions that involve playing a special song or performing a special dance. These are often performed towards the beginning of the reception before the party really gets rolling.
As the reception continues, dinner is served and the couple should discuss beforehand with your musicians or DJ about the music that will be played during this time. This is often a good time to give your musicians or DJ a break, but ask them to have some background music playing while your guests enjoy their meal.
Once the meals are eaten and the toasts are made, it is time to really get the reception rolling. The music that is played now should be a reflection of the couple's taste and be appropriate to the time of day when the reception is occurring. Another important consideration is that the music played is appealing to all of the age groups of the wedding guests that will be at the reception. If it is mostly the couple's close friends looking to party and dance, then the music should go all out. But, if there are many elderly and children present, then the song choices should be more appropriate. Some options of music styles that could be played are oldies, Motown, top 40's, jazz, rock, pop, country, really whatever your tastes are, the music should be a reflection of that. Particularly spontaneous wedding guests may want to get up on stage and serenade the crowd themselves, so check with your musician or DJ if they allow that. Some other wedding traditions that could be enhanced with some fun songs include the bridal bouquet toss, removing the garter, and the cake cutting. If your wedding musicians or DJ have performed at weddings before, they should have some great song options that could add character to these wedding traditions. The last song is also an important wedding tradition that will be the final note (literally) before your wedding guests say their good-byes. There are endless options for the last song and the style could be anything from an upbeat dance song to something slow and romantic. Some popular options are "Last Dance" by Donna Summer, "At Last" by Etta James, and Michael Buble's version of "Save the Last Dance for Me".
You may have some songs that you absolutely do not want played during the reception. Many couples create a do-not-play list with all of the songs that will make you cringe if heard during your wedding. Give this list to your musicians or DJ ahead of time so they can make sure that the songs are not part of their playlist.