Music has become a really important part of our daily lives, and the way we have fun and celebrate. Weddings are not exception to this. As a matter of fact, the music which you will choose, can set up the mood for the whole event.
Over the years, I've noticed that when I mention the wedding playlist, most couples think I'm talking about just for the music that will be playing at the reception party. I believe, this is not the correct way to think about your wedding playlist. Since weddings consists of more than just the after dinner party, your wedding playlist should do so as well.
What are the parts of a wedding? To begin, we have the half an hour or hour before the ceremony, when your guests will be waiting at the wedding venue. Next, is the processional and recessional music. After that, we have the cocktail hour, followed by the dinner. After dinner we have the party music. This brings us to at least 5 or 6 different playlists to think about, not to mention the cutting of cake, first dance, entrance songs etc.
Your prelude music playlist, the music which will be playing while your guests will be waiting for the ceremony to begin, should consist of soft, melodic songs. You could choose to have acoustic music, instrumental music, or even classical music playing. It should be music which won't distract your guests from getting to know each other and explore the venue and the set-up. It is also good for the music to produce positive emotions… so avoid any requiems.
You could have a live band playing, although I find it not to be necessary at this point. Better keep the live music for after the ceremony and/or for the party. Let your guests mingle, rather than focus on the live band.
For the processional music, choose anything that you believe represents you. No reason to stick with classical music, as a nice rock ballad could do just fine. Try to avoid any songs with explicit lyrics though… no need to make your parents uncomfortable. You could also have two different songs for the entrance: one song playing for your bridesmaids' entrance, and a different for you, the bride. In this case, to avoid any gaps between the songs, find someone who will mix them into one song, so that there will be a smoother transaction between them.
The recessional music, should be something cheerful, a song which will better represent your feelings at the moment. You are married! You are happy!! Show it through music as well!
For the cocktail hour, you can choose anything you like - popular, happy songs, or something classical. If you go with mainstream music, don't use songs which you plan on having during the party. Better to avoid repeating songs. When preparing the playlist, keep in mind that the cocktail hour is a chance for your guests to get to know each other better, meaning there will be a lot of chatting. The songs that you will choose, should be more of a background music, rather than the main attraction.
The cocktail hour is also a good time to have live music. You could hire a harpist, a pianist, a string quartet, an acoustic duet, anything you like. Something pleasant, and not too loud. Even if you have live musicians during the cocktail hour, make sure to run through their playlist and choose the songs that you would like them to play.
It is quite likely, that between the cocktail hour and dinner, you will have the couple's entrance, especially if you were away for a photo shoot. It's time to go crazy! Don't be afraid to choose upbeat music for this part. Make your entrance memorable. Throw a show if you feel like it! Not too lengthy of a show though. The length of the couple's entrance should be around 3-4 songs. Just the right duration to make everyone enjoy it without getting bored.
For the dinner, melodic jazz music or Bossa Nova would be a good choice. From my experience, a wedding dinner lasts for one and half hours, maximum two hours. Make your dinner playlist three hours long, just to be on the safe side.
Dinner is a good time for your DJ to start playing. Not because he or she will have to mix your dinner music, but because your will most probably need someone to turn the music on and off for the speeches. It is also good to have a DJ for the couple's entrance, especially if you plan on putting a show, as mentioned above.
Once the dinner, the cake cutting and the first dance are over, you can start the party. You can finally have upbeat dance music playing. When having a DJ, which is highly recommended, make sure to discuss with him your music preferences, as well as your guests' music preferences. Send your DJ a number of songs, around thirty the least, which will better show your music taste. Don't forget to mention which songs you would absolutely want to play at the party. Don't be shy to ask your guests about the songs they would like to hear at your wedding! It's not only you, who will be dancing after all.
Don't send the songs to the DJ a day or two before the wedding. Do it a month before, so that he or she will have enough time to prepare your playlist. Like you, he is a human being, and needs time to organize himself properly.
Should you decide not to have a DJ for the party, you can instead have a playlist on your iphone or tablet. When preparing the playlist, don't forget to include songs that will act as a "breather" between the crazy dancing. It could be slower, romantic songs. You don't want everyone running out of energy after a 30 minute non-stop dancing session.
Don't be afraid to add songs to your party playlist from different decades. Not only the 80's and 70's had some amazing dancing hits, but it will also be a great way to get the older generation to the dance floor to do that twist!
Whatever your music choices will be, be sure to have fun!
Thank you very much for reading! I'll see you again on Thursday with my top 10 wedding trends of 2017!
Photos in this blog taken from Oceanids Estate - http://oceanids-estate.com/