As luck and life would have it, I’ve attended four weddings recently, and I couldn’t help noticing the differences in the styles of wedding music chosen at each one of them.
The type of music you and your fiancé select for your special day carries the mark of your personalities so that the occasion remains unique in your friend’s minds.
There is no right or wrong style. But the one you choose should reflect your tastes, both musically and emotionally.
If you prefer a specific type of music, then most of the music chosen for different parts of the wedding and for the reception should reflect your preferences.
Popular classical songs for the wedding processional include:
- “Salut Da Amour” by Sir Edward Elgar
- “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven
- “Canon in D” by Pachelbel
- “Wedding March” (Here Comes the Bride) by Wagner
You also want something special to play as you exit (Wedding Recessional) the wedding place:
- Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opus 61” is the best-known recessional.
- “Badinerie” by Bach.
- Or something more modern-day: “Till There Was You” by the Beatles.
- Something up-tempo: “Everlasting Love by either Natalie Cole or Robert Knight.
For the wedding music at the reception, you must remember that your assembled guests reflect a diverse group of people who have varying tastes. You should sprinkle songs from several genres into the primary playlist of chosen music.
Plus, a change in musical styles keeps it interesting!
Hiring a DJ
One of the most important decisions is whether you hire a DJ or a band. Cost, size of the reception, and space available all influence which you choose.
Either way, you need to seek a professional who has a playlist geared to your taste. You probably need to book the entertainment six months to a year ahead of time.
You should be certain to sign a contract with the entertainer. Read the contract to see if it specifies how many people will perform at your wedding and how many hours they will play. Be sure to understand when your deposit is due and when your balance is due. Will they accept a check or cash only?
Does this include the dinner hour or not? They should not expect to eat at your event, but be sure this is understood. You can check over a suggested playlist ahead of time to make certain it meets with your approval. Keeping in mind your entertainer will have some wedding standards and your guests will make requests, you only need to suggest about two or three dozen songs.
Disc jockeys typically play a mix of oldies and current popular songs. But some DJs specialise in genres, such as rap, blues, country or other types. My co-worker hired a DJ recommended by a vendor and discovered at the last minute that the DJ’s standard playlist was all country. He had other music available, but switching it up at the last-minute generated a little tension. Ask the DJs you are considering whether they have an online website with a video available so that you can see them in action before you hire them.
A DJ will charge $800-$1,500 for four to six hours, depending on where you live and the quality in which you are looking for.
Bands this means anything from a solo performer to a fix- or six-piece ensemble or even a small orchestra will usually be known by the style of music they favour. Ask ahead of time if they want a playlist from you, or if they have a pre-assembled list of songs they will perform. The amount you pay will vary on the time of year, the number of players in the band, and the number of hours they play. Four players playing for two hours could run $2,000, again depending on prices in your area.
Ultimately, the wedding music will set the tone for the reception. The entertainer can mix it up with some of your favourites, some old standards with widespread popularity, and some dance music. Music is a way to entertain and relax people, and by following these guidelines you can be entertained and relaxed at your reception along with your guests.
Picking Your Songs for the Reception
You have made a list, you’ve checked it twice. You are ready for the big day, and the party afterwards. At least you thought so until someone asked you about the wedding reception song you were going to dance to? Okay, not just the song you and your new spouse are going to dance to… what about the music that is going to entertain your guests at the reception.
One of the most important and often overlooked factors of the wedding day are the wedding reception songs. There are three different ways that you can handle this. I am not going to try and tell you which way is best, because ultimately it is really what works best for you that matters most.
Most couples out there will do one of two things. They will either choose a disc jockey to come in and play music or they will hire a band. There isn’t anything wrong with either of those choices.
I have been to wedding receptions that have used a disc jockey. It was fun; the DJ interacted with the crowd and overall played decent music. I have also been to wedding receptions where the bride and groom chose to use a band. Again, it was entertaining to a point.
Of course it brought to mind the movie “The Wedding Singer.” My favourite wedding reception though was handled a different way, and it said a lot about the couple that was just married. They filled an iPod with all of the music that meant something to them and two songs from those in the wedding party. It was awesome.
There are a few things you have to think about when you are deciding on the wedding reception songs and the way they will be played. Every couple has “their” song that will be the first song they dance to as husband and wife. What about the rest of the songs?
Having a DJ
If you chose to go with a disc jockey you will be able to request some songs, but then you will be at the mercy of the DJ. Most DJ’s have a knack for playing music that crowd can get into, and they tend to read crowds really well. DJ’s can be really fun and they can take away a lot of the stress of coming up with a play list that will please everyone.
Hiring a Band for Your Wedding
If you opt for a live band, you will be more involved in the types of music that is played but not really the songs that are played. Most bands are genre specific. So you wouldn’t want to pick a jazz band if you are looking to play 80’s music at the reception. The couples that I have talked with that have opted for the live band auditioned a couple of different bands before settling on one. So you will put in a little more time then if you went with a DJ. Which isn’t a downside to a band; I have seen a number of really good wedding bands. (No pun intended there.)
Filling Your iPod
The final option, which I mentioned earlier, is the more current way to handle your wedding reception songs. That is to fill your iPod or other MP3 player with music that you and your new spouse want to celebrate to. The couple that I spoke about earlier had about 150 songs on the iPod.
What they did was put songs on there that meant something to them. They had the song that they heard together on their first date, they each had a song that they dedicated to the other that summed up their feelings… they had the wedding party pick songs as well. Each person in the wedding party was to pick their favourite song and then a song they wanted to dedicate to the couple.
Which ever option you chose to use for your wedding reception songs, with the right research, your wedding reception can be as amazing as your wedding will be!
For the biggest list of wedding music ideas on the planet, make sure to check out our home page to get started!