Tips for Picking your Wedding Music

Posted at 08:53 pm Wednesday November 30th 2011

One of the most important parts of your wedding will be the music - it sets the tone and ambiance.  As a former disc jockey, I've been to hundreds of weddings.  As well, I've been to a lot of weddings as a guest and have witnessed a lot of bad wedding music!  Here are some tips..

Take the style of your wedding into consideration.  If your wedding has a specifice theme, be sure to choose music to match.  Remember that you'll need music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception.  The music should set the ambiance for each of these so you should consider whether the mood will be formal or casual. (I once played a very nice, formal wedding and the groom wanted Black Sabbath played during dinner. Didn't go over well with most.)

When choosing music for the ceremony, check with your officiant - some religious instituations have strict rules over what can and cannot be played in church.

Whether you pick a live band or a DJ, audition your choice.  You can ask if you can make an unobtrusive visit to another wedding to scope out your prospective choice.  Make sure you go a little later in the evening to make sure you can see whether or not they can "get the party started".

Don't just pick music for you, think of your guests.  You may really like "house" music, but it usually doesn't go over well with everyone.  Just because it's your favourite, doesn't mean it's everyones.  Yes, it's your day, but you want your guests to have a good time.  I once played a wedding where the bride and groom were INSISTENT that I stick to a specific playlist and that "oh yes, their friends will dance".  About 90 minutes in, they told me to drop the playlist - once I adjusted the music, the crowd got up to dance.

First song - pick something that has meaning for you.   But remember to listen to (and maybe look up) the lyrics. Just to be on the safe side.  Also goes for the father/daughter song, etc.  At one wedding the bride asked for a specific song for her and her father - when she told me I pointed out that the song was about a girl who's father had died. She hadn't caught that in the lyrics, and so quickly picked another song.

Make sure you let the DJ or band know what is on the DO NOT PLAY list.  SOMEONE at the wedding WILL request "Mony Mony", for example.  I used to explain that I would not play it unless I had the EXPRESS PERMISSION of the bride as there are "additional lyrics" that crowds like to yell out.  This way, if they DID do it, I was not at fault and wouldn't get yelled at by grandma.  Nine times out of ten the crowd DID yell the expletives - the one time they did not was a Christian wedding and they yelled "hey there buddy, drink milk, get a job". Too funny!

Whether you go with a live band, a DJ or just record your own music and play it, the most important thing is to relax and have fun!

-Beth Warren

 

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