How to Choose the Best Wedding Music EVER!

Make The Moment Unforgettable With A Wedding Song You'll Fall Freshly In Love to

Music can make or break the mood of an event, and this is especially true for weddings. Selecting the right music to walk down the aisle to is one of the most exciting decisions you’ll have to make in the planning phase. Choosing the right song will vastly enhance your memory of this incredibly special moment and it will also let a little slice of your personality shine on your big day. Also, when it comes to showing your guests a good time, a great band or DJ at the reception can mean the difference between a fab or drab wedding.

So whether you’re looking for something timeless and elegant to wow your guests, a first dance track that your dad will love, or something that will make your lover’s heart skip a beat as you walk towards them, here are a few tips from our wedding planners.

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1. What feeling are you trying to convey or create?

It’s a given that the day is going to be emotional and romantic. And of course, the main focus is love. But what kind of vibe do you want to convey? Something upbeat and fun to signify the adventures ahead? Or something a little calmer and subdued to honour the gravity of your commitment?

2. New school vs Old school

Don’t get us wrong – something traditional and tasteful is always going to be a winner. But please don’t hesitate to select something a little unexpected that your guests will enjoy bopping their heads along to. If you’d like to choose a song but think it’s a little too much, you can find an acoustic or instrumental version that’s not too offensive or wild.

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3. Consider the three big moments

Obviously, you’ll be picking music for both the processional and the recessional but also for the first dance.  So that’s three songs in total. It’s a good idea to choose songs that have a similar style and feeling so everything fits together nicely. You might want to consider choosing something joyful and upbeat for the recessional since it signifies the beginning of the festivities! This will help to get your guests in a jolly mood after all the serious sitting. Try to make sure there are no swear words or rude lyrics though, you don’t want to offend people or ruin the moment with unexpected crudeness.

4. Timing is everything

There’s just so much build up leading to your walk down the aisle! For many brides, walking down the aisle is when the wedding really begins. You’ll want this moment to be absolutely perfect, so ensure that the “best” part of the song is synced with your walk. Whether it’s a slow, progressive build-up or a powerful chorus, make sure you’ve timed it right so that your favourite part plays during your moment.

On the day, it is important to have someone there to help guide you with the timings and tell each Bridesmaid when they need to set off down the aisle. It will be important to practise this beforehand as each aisle is a different length. It’s best to do it at the venue. If you are getting ready at the venue on the wedding day a good time to do it is that morning before you get your hair and makeup done.

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5. Run everything by your wedding venue

Before you start building playlists, remember to double check with your ceremony venue. Some venues, in particular, the more strictly religious ones, have some limits on the type of music they allow. That could mean that you are limited to choosing from a traditional list of songs. Or you could choose your own music but limit it to instrumentals.

6. The ‘in between’ and background music

Music is always going to make the moment so think about the times in between the three big moments. Do you want to have a specific song play as guests arrive, or before the main aisle song or even when the Groom and Groomsmen are taking their position? Curating the sound throughout the day will make the atmosphere even more special for you and your guests.

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(Image gratefully credited to: Studio Impressions)

Let’s Get The Party Started

Choosing the right music for your party is going to be a little different. There's no better way of gauging how fun a wedding is than by looking at the dance floor. A packed dance floor indicates that your guests are having a ball, and with all that money spent, that’s probably what you’re hoping for. You can ensure that they dance all night long if you pick the best music. Whether you choose to have a DJ or a band, here’s what you need to know to ensure that everyone’s grooving.

1. DJ, band or string quartet?

If you’re thinking of taking the music up a notch and want someone in charge of the tunes, you’re probably considering hiring a band or a DJ. Your budget may end up being the deciding factor. DJs tend to charge around $100 per hour, while a (good) band could cost you around $2,000 to $6,000 for a four-hour performance. You might be able to save some money through negotiation or if you opt for a smaller ensemble like a jazz or string quartet. The great thing about live acoustic performance is that it really adds a sense of glamour. Some couples (with UK heritage) choose to have a Bagpiper play to lead the Groom into the ceremony area or lead the Bridesmaids down the aisle.

2. Finding “the one”

If you’re trying to track down a good DJ or band, you could begin by asking your wedding planner or reception site manager. They’ll probably have some experience with past musical acts. You could also ask some managers of clubs and bars in your area. If you’d like to do a wider search, check out the listings online and in wedding directories.  You might also have success in checking websites like or put an ad out on a social media. A simple google search for your area might also yield useful results.

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3. Live Auditions

Never ever agree to a band or DJ before you’ve heard them live. Regardless of all the great reviews, even if they’re by trusted friends and family. Musical tastes differ wildly and you don’t want to end up forking out lots of money for a musical act that you can’t stand. Not to mention it might ruin the whole evening for you. Just no.

Meet with the band or DJ and if they can’t provide a live rehearsal, ensure that you have recordings of their band playing LIVE. A video from a previous event would be useful.

Take note of the sound quality and overall performance, but also pay attention to the performance style and appearance. If you don’t like the gaudy outfits, bad jokes or if there’s too much rambling in between songs, move on.

4. Contracts

When it comes time to sign make sure you arrive at the meeting with some questions like:

  • How many breaks do you take, and how long do they last?
  • Will you provide recorded music to be played during these interludes?
  • Do you have a backup plan in the event of a problem?
  • What type of equipment do you bring and what should the venue supply?
  • Consider offering to pay a deposit early but the rest on the day.

Make sure you have all of these particulars documented in your contract and share the contract with your wedding planner. There may be some anomalies he or she can draw your attention to.

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(Image gratefully credited to Playback Studios)

5. Sound Check

Depending on your venue, there could be limitations such as power supply and sound amplifications that could drastically alter the kind of musical performance you’ve chosen.

It’s wise to check things early with your venue regarding their on-site audio equipment. If you’re having a band do they have the right speakers and connections? If you’re using a device, make sure they can plug into your iPod or computer.

6. Involving Your Guests

Why not consider taking suggestions before the day for any guest requests? It will make your family and friends feel involved as well as help out the DJ on the night. Not only will the music master be able to come prepared, they’ll also be saved from song requests being shouted over the top of their booth.

Classic Song Choices Your Grandma Will LOVE

Though most of the couples we work with choose contemporary songs, it’s important to cover off some epic classical choices too. If you’re into tradition and want to cast an elegant, timeless feel over your ceremony consider one of these beautiful songs.

  • Bridal March from ‘Lohengrin’ (Here comes the Bride) – Wagner
  • Canon in D – Pachelbel
  • Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke
  • Arrival of the Queen of Sheba – G F Handel
  • Ave Maria – J S Bach/C Gounod
  • Adagio – Albinoni arr. Giazotto
  • Panis Angelicus – C Franck
  • Wedding March – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ – Mendelssohn
  • Toccata from Organ Symphony no 5- C M Widor
  • Alla Danza / Hornpipe from ‘Water Music’ – G F Handel

If you’re an engaged couple who is planning a wedding, get in touch with us here. We’re expert wedding planners and are looking forward to dazzling you with our exquisite venues and first-class service. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but you don’t have to go through it alone. We have some of the best wedding planners in the business that are looking forward to easing some of that stress! From pre-quoted events at our current venues to bespoke villa weddings in whole new locations, we’ve got your big day covered.

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