Music is a crucial part of your wedding day. It evokes emotions, links you to your past and ties you to your future. Whatever you choose to play on your wedding day will be etched into your mind and whenever you hear the songs that were played on your special day, you will be transported back to your wedding. Your music will set the tone and will add to your personal touch.
The first decision that needs to be made is whether you’re going to go with a band or a DJ. Having a live band creates an energetically authentic and magically personal atmosphere for the music of your big day but often limits you to a singular sound and genre of music (depending on how versatile the band is). Having a DJ allows you to pick exactly what songs you’d like featured in the playlist and allows a much larger variety of music to be played throughout the course of the event. When making this critically important decision, it is essential to communicate your desires and expectation to either the band or DJ to ensure that both parties are on the same page with regards to the music that will be played. If your budget allows it, having both a band and a DJ can cover all bases and allow the ambiance of live music to flood your ears during and after the ceremony while still keeping your guests dancing late into the night at the reception.
After you’ve decided the type of music you’d prefer, it’s important to communicate your expectations with the band or DJ in advance. Make sure you know what they’ll be wearing and that they have backup equipment on standby in case of a technical glitch. Be sure to give them an idea of exactly when they fit into the programme and when setup and sound checks will be appropriate. Drafting a playlist of essential songs to be played allows a DJ or band to ensure that they’re adequately prepared to play your selected songs but give them some freedom to include music that they know will keep the dance floor going. If you opt to have a DJ, a fun way of tailoring the music of your wedding to your guests is to get everyone invited to send you the name of a song that gets them up and dancing. Add this to your playlist and make sure you get it to the DJ in advance so that he/she can make sure he/she has access to all the tracks on the day.
The music for your ceremony will be especially moving so try to choose music that means something to you, that has sentimental value and most importantly, that you both like. There are no rules regarding your choice. You can go traditional and classical or more contemporary. Many couples choose to have the accompaniment of musicians at the ceremony. Whether you choose the soothing sound of a string quartet, the trendy vibe of a saxophonist or the alluring voice of a soloist accompanied by a guitar, there is nothing quite like live music to accompany you down the aisle. A live musician will add something very special to your ceremony and will enhance the atmosphere.
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The musical elements of a wedding
The prelude music is the music that will play as your guests are arriving and being seated for the ceremony. The selection will be 15-20 minutes with a few extra songs, just in case you run late. The music should all be selected from a similar mood – this is a happy occasion, a celebration and this is what you want to create. You can incorporate a blend of classical and contemporary numbers.
Once you leave the ceremony to have your photos taken, your guests will probably move to an area for tea or cocktails before going into the reception. If you have a musician for your ceremony, he/she will be able to play for your guests at this time. Discuss the repertoire with your musicians – they will be able to guide and advise you on what will create the best ambience.
For the reception, you can choose a live band, a mobile disco, or both. The music will determine the mood of the reception and will determine whether your guests stay and party down till all hours of the morning or leave when they deem it politely acceptable to slip out! The entertainment is a key aspect in the success of your wedding, so spend time on the details and take advice from the musicians or DJs who have had experience.
When choosing your DJ, make sure it is someone with a good reputation, professional equipment, and plenty of experience with weddings. Communication with them is essential and you should meet with them before your wedding. You will need to discuss your order of events, the songs you love as well as those you’d prefer to avoid and, of course, your first song, your walk-in song, and song for cutting the cake. You can give the DJ a list of songs to play but remember that this will be a guideline only as the mood of the evening will only be determined during the event. If you have hired a professional, you can relax – just let him do his job on the night and he will ensure that the dance floor is full, and your guests are having a great time.
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