Wedding Songs; Advice from a Wedding Venue Owner: Where to Start

The songs you choose for your wedding will set the tone of the wedding for you and your fiancé (and soon to be spouse!) as well as the guests. Most couples have not really thought about how proper attention to the music can make their wedding and reception uniquely theirs. What you pick can both add to the enjoyment of the day and create life long memories. But because there are literally an infinite number of combination’s of songs to have during the 4-5 hours, choosing them will be quite and adventure!

One of the biggest trends in weddings is to move away from traditional songs to those unique to the couple. But this trend makes selecting songs even more time consuming. Who would have thought that this part of your wedding planning may well become one of the more time consuming parts!

Your band or DJ should welcome your suggestions to create a custom song list. If he or she is not interested, you should look elsewhere! But remember to trust his opinion as these professionals must be able to somehow mesh the songs together to make sure the entire play list “fits” together like an intricate piece of art, not a chaotic mix of noise.

Remember that songs have lyrics, rhythms and beats. They should go together. One place to start is to match your music to the maturity rating of the audience…Think G, PG, PG 13 and R. You will not be thanked by the parent of tweens in the room for having Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” played during dinner!

The wedding day is essentially divided into two parts: the ceremony and the reception. Each of these is further divided and each part can have its own special music. One other thing to think about is to have special music available for the time you (and the groom of course) are getting dressed ready for the ceremony. Of course, the “getting ready” part can be assigned to the Maid of Honor (and if interested the Best Man if there is not a football game to compete!) The rest belongs to you and your fiance!

The basic components of each in chronological order include:

THE CEREMONY: All songs in this portion should be rather solemn and most people do well to stick to the rather traditional selections including the classics.

Entrance of Minister and Groom
Entrance of the Parents and Grandparents
Bridal Party Processional
Lighting of the Outside Candles by the Mothers
Rolling of the Aisle Runner/Flower Girl
Entrance of the Bridal Attendants
Bride’s Entrance
Lighting of the Unity Sand Ceremony

THE RECEPTION: Many more options are available for this as this is PARTY TIME!

Cocktail Hour
Introduction of the Bridal Party
Introduction of the Bride and Groom
First Dance
Father-Daughter Dance
Mother-Son Dance
Bridal Party Dance
Dinner: soft slow love songs, instrumentals or low amplitude songs with singers
Party Time: variety of songs to appeal to the entire list of guests
Cake Cutting
Bouquet Toss
Garter Removal
Garter Toss
Last Dance
Final Songs (guests leaving)

The proper way to start is to pick songs for each part of this list. Write them down, listen to them and make sure they flow well. You can even build an entire disc of them by purchasing them on line and creating an entire play list for your enjoyment for years to come! Future blog entries will include specific comments on each of these areas and findings from our research!

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