CHOOSING WEDDING SONGS FOR YOUR MEMORABLE DAY
Nothing is quite so special as your wedding day! Hopefully, it will happen once in your lifetime and naturally, you want it to be perfect. But even a perfectly planned wedding can become a dead squib if your choice of wedding songs is not well considered.
Let’s face it, organizing a wedding is not for sissies! Planning and organising any wedding can be a daunting task for those who are not so inclined. It becomes even more so if you’re on a tight budget and unable to afford the proverbial wedding planner.
Choose Your Wedding Music Wisely
During any wedding, there are salient moments that you are likely to savour for the rest of your life. These are the super special moments, like the traditional first dance wedding song and wedding entrance songs and of course, the good old ‘professional’.
The average wedding is made up of separate activities and wedding songs should be carefully chosen for each of these. While there are no set rules, your choice of music should reflect the meaning and intention behind each of these moments.
You need to give thought to three main activities, namely the service, the reception and even the after-party. Each of these activities has special moments to consider and that influence what wedding songs you choose.
It is common practice at Irish weddings for the service to be traditional, while the reception is more modern and upbeat. Certainly, there is no shortage of traditional music to choose from for the service. Ireland has a long and enviable history of traditional music.
The reception becomes an open book, with many factors affecting the choice of music, from the required atmosphere and ambience to guest profile.
And as for the after-party … well!
What is most important to remember, is that all separate facets of your event must work together in synergy, each reflecting the intended image, atmosphere and ambience.
Your choice of wedding music is what underscores everything. It affects the overall mood, the sense of excitement and the level of meaning behind each ceremony. The music is what holds it all together like glue!
Moments That Affect Choice of Wedding Songs
As we’ve said, choosing the appropriate songs for your wedding takes thought and can be as detailed as you want to make it. Perhaps the starting point would be to think about the sequence of events that occur from beginning to end and how this affects each moment and the people involved along the way.
Here’s a short list of meaningful moments for you to consider in your choice of wedding songs:
- The bride and groom prepping, when nerves are frayed
- The arrival and seating of guests at the ceremony venue
- The bridal procession walking down the isle
- The wedding party exiting the venue
- Cocktail hour (during bridal party photographs)
- The wedding party arriving at the reception venue
- The newlyweds arriving at the reception venue
- First dances for the newlyweds, family and guests
- During dinner service
- The tossing of the bouquet and garter
- Cutting of the cake
- Departure of the bridal couple
- The late-night party and activities
- Possibly for the morning ‘recovery’ breakfast
Guide to Choosing Wedding Music
Here’s a simple guide for choosing your wedding songs, suggested by the experts:
- Work to a budget – having U2, or the Cranberries playing at our special wedding would be nice, but popular artists are expensive.
- Consider your guestlist – we don’t want uncle Gareth with his pacemaker, dancing inappropriately to Led Zeppelin. The demographics of your guest list should dictate songs for the wedding.
- Think about ambience – do you want it wild and woolly, or smooth, calm and sophisticated. You could have it both ways of course, but timing is critical.
- Plan proceedings carefully – the more detailed the itinerary, the easier it will be to match appropriate music
- Adapt your musical entertainment – decide on a live band, individual singer, or even a DJ. It’s all down to budget and what is practical for the event. You could even consider a singer or musician for the ceremony and a DJ for the reception.
- Brief your artist or DJ carefully – a comprehensive briefing session, together with a detailed order of activities prior to the event, will ensure an enjoyable evening of music for all.
- Ignore your ‘mother-in-law’ – no seriously. And any other family influences for that matter. Music is about personal feelings, memories and that which is important to you. Choose accordingly.
Wedding Song Mistakes You Should Never Make
We all make mistakes. But perhaps our special wedding is not the ideal place to do so. However, there are some common mistakes that you need to be aware of when planning songs for your wedding.
Making your own playlist – we’re all music experts. Not really, but you understand our drift. Trust your DJ, brief him properly and let him do his job.
Running your own show – this is not recommended, unless absolutely necessary. Again, leave it to the experts, you have enough to think about during the evening.
Playing only what you like – just because you love the Macarena, doesn’t mean that others will agree and probably won’t. Remember to think of the guest list and mix it up a bit.
Ignoring the crowd – sure, it’s your evening, but you don’t want to ignore the reaction of the guests. If you sense that they are not enjoying the music, speak to the DJ and let him work his magic.
Bending the rules – most public places are subject to laws relating to decibel levels and cut-off time. Read the rules before booking the venue.
Sticking to one genre – again, this applies to the audience mix. Play a little of everything. Even uncle Gareth has his favourites.
Cranking up the sound – there’s always one. That person who wonders over to the DJ with instructions to turn up the sound. We suggest that you try and avoid this. Let the DJ judge the crowd and turn up the volume as it goes.
Most Inappropriate Wedding Songs
Finally, we all have a sense of humour and the Irish are particularly famous for it. Irish weddings are festooned with sharp-tongued best men and hilarious Guinness inspired father-in-law speeches. It’s all part of a long tradition.
Just because it’s your wedding and the intentions are very serious, does not mean that you can’t have a bit of fun. Music, or shall we say ‘inappropriate music’ can serve to lighten the atmosphere and encourage a lot of mirth and laughter during the reception.
To help any aspiring MC, or best man, here’s a shortlist of five inappropriate songs that should not be played without good reason at any wedding, unless you have a sense of humour of course:
- Let’s Get it on – Marvin Gaye
- If You leave Me Now – Chicago
- You’ve Lost That Lovin Feeling – Righteous Brothers
- Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden
- Unfaithful – Rhianna