Planning your wedding requires lots of choices. You have to find the perfect cake, centerpieces, flowers, venue, dress, music and so much more. Choosing the right music for your ceremony and reception is very important because it will set the tone for the day and will have a hand in creating memories for you and your guests.
You want your guests to have a great time, you want to enjoy yourself, and you want it to be a spectacular event that you’ll never forget. In order to create the celebration you imagine your wedding will be, you’ll want to choose the perfect wedding music. Here are a few music tips you can add to your wedding to do list.
1. Think “Theme.” Do you want your ceremony to have modern or classical feel? If you are picking instrumental music, remember that the ‘feel’ of the music is most important. If your choice is modern instrumental, many songs (unless very popular) may be unrecognizable to the audience. Keep in mind that a pretty melody is sometimes better than a song your guests do not know.
Try and create different ‘feels’ for each portion of the wedding. Modern acoustic or classical for the ceremony and jazz or tropical for cocktail hour offer great contrasts that compliment the mood. For dinner, opt for classic jazz, smooth jazz or modern soft pop. Whatever your choice for dinner, remember that instrumental music is much easier to talk over, so you may want to avoid vocals at dinner time so your guests can talk and understand each other. For the dancing portion, you may want a specific theme (motown, R&B, 80s, modern). These themes can work at times, but generally you will have guests with many tastes. For this reason, keep in mind that many different styles of music will probably make your guests happiest and keep the dance floor consistently full.
2. DJ vs. Band. Once you’ve taken a look at your themes, you should have a pretty good idea whether you want a DJ or a live band. The one you choose will influence the energy of your wedding. Live bands typically have more energetic performances–plus there’s just something special about having live music. On the other hand, DJs can offer a wide variety of music. Wedding bands typically do as well, but their music selection is more limited to what they know how to play and perform. This is something to keep in mind as you choose between the two options.
To decide what works best for you, you can ask both bands and DJs to offer advice on songs they have or can perform. Often, if given enough notice, bands will be able to learn and rehearse a must-have song or two on your list. If a band claims to be able to learn many songs for you, that might mean that they are a ‘karaoke’ band that plays with laptop computer music. You do not want this, as this defeats the point of hiring live talented musicians. You should also see a performance before you select a band or DJ so you can envision how they’ll fit into your wedding. Live performances are the best way to get a feel for a band. If you are able to see a live performance, that is the best option, but always expect many live videos of their performances and look for testimonials. You can usually find both on a band’s website.
WARNING: If a band does not offer you a selection of live videos, they are usually hiding something. Anyone with a cell phone can record a band and put it on YouTube. Reviews are helpful, but many people may not share your taste, and great to them may be bad to you.
3. Pick the Big Songs. Weddings are known for a few important songs–there’s the song that plays as the bride walks down the aisle, the first dance song and the father-daughter dance song (just to name a few). As you’re deciding which music you want played during these important moments, consider your personality, the personality of your fiance, your wedding theme, and how much you like the songs. The songs you select should fit with each of those considerations. It’s also really important to pick songs you love, because for the rest of your life, any time you hear that song it will have a very important meaning to you.
4. Name the Best and Worst. To make sure you hear music you and your fiance like, you may consider making a couple lists. One list should name some songs you really love. The other list should name some songs you don’t like–this is your Do NOT Play list. Once you have these put together, you can give them to your band or DJ so they can prepare the music you want. The lists do not need to be long, but naming a few songs will be helpful.
As you’re picking reception songs, you should also think about your guests.You can get an idea of what your guests want to hear by having them write their favorite style on their RSVP.
5. Book your band. Once you find the band or DJ you love, hire them right away. Top talent goes fast in the wedding world, so make sure you reserve your wedding band or DJ before they’re booked elsewhere. If you don’t, you may have to settle for your second or third choice band.
Finally, remember to have fun while you’re choosing your wedding music and checking things off your wedding to do list! Taking the time to finding the perfect band or DJ to make it happen will play a big role in making your wedding reception and ceremony fantastic. If you’re still narrowing down your search for a fun, experienced wedding band or DJ, contact Wiley Entertainment.