Choosing music for the wedding ceremony is not as easy as it may at first seem. It’s more than just picking all your favorite songs to play at the party. It’s wise to think about a few different things when preparing the musical part of your perfect day. Here are some things to consider. . .
1) Live band, or DJ only?
This is a major decision that basically comes down to what sort of feel you want your wedding to have. Live musicians have a much warmer, personal and human feel, where a DJ might feel a bit sterile and pre-packaged. However, finding a talented, quality band that you would be happy to have play at your wedding is going to be more difficult to find, and in some cases more expensive, than a DJ. Even professional and experienced wedding bands will have a far more limited amount of material than a DJ, and will want to take breaks throughout the night, and you will need some sort of recorded music to play while they refresh themselves. There are pros and cons that come with either choice you make, and neither choice is bad. It all depends on what you want your wedding to feel like, and how the logistics will work.
2) Wedding Music Basics
It might be a good idea to get familiar with the basics of applying music to weddings in order to choose the right songs. Remember that your wedding will need a wide range of musical moods that will play to set the tone for all the activities you plan on having. The walking-down-the-aisle music, for example, will be far different from the rowdy dance party music after the ceremony.
Be sure that if you choose to go with live musicians that you and the band are on the same page with the songs that are to be played. Come up with and write down a specific set list you expect them to play so they know exactly what their job is. If you need them to play a song they don’t yet know, give them plenty of time to learn the song well enough to make it sound good. If they are experienced, they will have a large repertoire covering a wide range of moods and styles.
3) Important Songs First
Nail down the most important songs first. Make a decision and stick with it. Once the aisle walk music, the first dance music, and all the other major highlight moments of the night are set, the rest will fall into place pretty easily.
4) Think About Wedding Style
While you don’t have to follow any rules, there’s no harm in keeping things cohesive by matching the music to your wedding style. For instance, if you’re going for a country-style wedding, adding a few country songs to the playlist will go a long way toward adding a little more cohesion.
5) Vet the Lyrics
Don’t forget to look through the lyrics of the songs you choose. It may be your favorite, but if the lyrics are a soliloquy on infidelity, you might want to skip that one. It is always helpful to consider the lyrical content when it comes to activities they will be playing over. Maybe don’t select R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts,” for the father-daughter dance. Just sayin’.
At the End of the Day
Obviously you and your partner need to agree on the music being played. It’s always a great idea to include tunes that you both love and remind you of the positive aspects of your relationship. Go with what is going to make you both happy and show all your guests a party to remember. There really aren’t any wrong choices as long as those things are in place.