The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Wedding Music
Music is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. From the moment the bride and the bridal party walk down the aisle right up to the last dance of the night, the music you have on the day really sets the mood and gets everyone going for a fun day.
It can be pretty daunting trying to plan your wedding music especially when there are so many areas to plan for your dream wedding.
But, what’s a wedding without entertainment? Don’t you love the idea of having a live musician sing their heart out as you dance the night away?
The best wedding music will set the tone, reflect your taste, and get everyone up on the dance floor for a boogie. Music is one of those elements that can add an air of sophistication or even just amp up the energy, so making sure that you are both choosing the right music for the right moments is really the key to having a flawless evening.
If you are currently planning your wedding and are at the stage of planning your wedding music, here’s our ultimate guide to planning your wedding music. Hopefully this will help you find the perfect musician for your special day.
Outline The Day
Every ceremony is unique in its own way. The way that you plan your day will determine the events that will require music. You need to have a think if you want an entrance song when you and your partner arrive at the reception. Perhaps, consider all the special moments and make a note so that you can select where music needs to be played.
Choose music that is meaningful
First discuss where you and your partners musical interests lie and match? There may be songs that are ‘your songs’ so that’s perhaps a good starting point. Decide together what style of music you want for the ceremony, drinks and canapé reception and the evening reception.
So, you may want something that’s going to be a meaningful for the two of you and that you and your guest are going to enjoy. You want to look back and remember how amazing your music was and not look back and cringe at the entertainment you chose. Perhaps choosing a wedding singer may be a good idea as not only do they keep you entertained throughout the night but they can adjust their act accordingly to suit the crowd and you, the couple.
Choose between a midweek or weekend wedding
You may find that when you’re searching for your ideal musician, they may offer midweek discounts but it’s often found that this isn’t really worth it in the long run. This is because having a midweek wedding means that your guests may have to leave early because they have work the next day and they also have to watch how much they drink because of these work commitments but also driving. In a way this can really affect the overall atmosphere so we’d always recommend a weekend wedding so that everyone can really enjoy the music to the fullest and overall have a great night.
Wedding ceremony, drinks reception and evening reception
You may find that if you’re hiring a wedding singer for your evening reception that you also want them there during your wedding ceremony and drinks reception too. Whether you want your ceremony to be on the traditional and romantic side or even more unique, a great place to start is by having a wedding singer perform in the back during the bridal party entrance. It’s a nice touch to the ceremony that not only counts beautiful but adds to the emotion flying around the room as you, the bride, makes your grand entrance.
A few key tips are:
Plan a live trial or watch YouTube videos I always recommend that you do a live trial with the musician if possible or even watch some of their videos of previous performances prior to signing on the dotted line. Their music may be right up your alley or it may not so, to be on the safe side always do your research and check. If you really love their work make sure you get in touch with the musician to book them in for your date before it’s too late.
Consider space and practicalities It’s really important to know that when you hire a band, a wedding singer or pianist they need space for their equipment and also during the performances where they may move around slightly. There is usually a full PA and lighting system to be set up and often the musician you hire can require a lot more room and time than you might imagine. So it is always best to liaise with them beforehand as well as liaising with the venue in advance to get dimensions for any staging and to also find out any space requirements for a chosen act. If you're finding that your tight on room to hire an entire band, perhaps opting for a solo singer is a more practical solution to live music. Easy access to a reasonable amount of power sockets however, is a must!
Be aware of sound restrictions When you’re looking at potential venues, it's wise to mention that you’re planning to have live music for your reception party. It’s really important to find out if there are any noise restrictions, and how they’re enforced. Some of the older hotels may have restrictions in place for an undisturbed night's sleep for other guests staying there, whilst the inner city hotels or venues have close neighbours to be mindful of.
Music rentals Always ask your venue what type of sound system they have in place. Even if you don’t understand the fancy terminology, it will be helpful to let your wedding DJ or the person in charge of running the sound know what you’ve been told. If you are going the DIY route such as an elopement, it might mean you’ll need to rent out a PA system with speakers, microphones, and other key equipment to amplify the sound. This is important for those locations that are off-the-grid so thinking about electricity and mobile reception is important. If there’s on on-site event coordinator at your venue, communicate with them as they will guide you when you’re planning out these details.
Create your playlists Sit down with your partner and create a playlist for the day. From getting ready with your bridal party to moments after such as guests arriving. By crafting your own playlists, you avoid having to deal with any sort of issues such as those ‘do not play’ songs and you also get to personalise your special day.
So finally, you need to decide between:
DJ or DIY
Whether you’re eloping or having your wedding in a beautiful venue, its important to make sure that you’re choosing the right option for the evening whether it’s a DJ or DIY’ing your playlist. Whichever option you choose, you can still go ahead and create a definite list of songs for your DJ to play to best understand the type of party you want for you and your guests. If you’re planning on having a first dance, I’d recommend you have those tunes selected beforehand.
Either way, when selecting your musician for the night, I highly recommend selecting a friend or industry professional to take charge of the music. This way you won’t have to keep worrying about keeping the evening flowing if anything goes wrong.
Perhaps you would like to have live music played at your wedding. From a funk band to a classical string quartet, having live music can really capture the mood across the spectrum. As a London and Essex wedding singer and pianist, it’s really important for me to perform in a way that captures the spirit of the evening and fulfils your ultimate wedding vision whilst allowing you to truly enjoy your night but also remember it’s for many years to come.
It’s important to do your research and find what fits your style and to really theme. Perhaps you can create a playlist of any specific songs you’d really like them to play so they are aware ahead of time. Live bands often know popular songs or can even make arrangements to accommodate your taste so are sure you ask in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.
The ultimate goal is to... Keep your vision.
Don’t stress yourselves out over the thought that you need to make everyone happy with your wedding music. Anything from Jazz to Classic hits are appropriate as long as you know it makes you happy. After all it’s your special day. Plus, your guests are at your wedding because they love you and your partner so they’ll be happy to celebrate no matter how you’ve have planned it.
If you’re looking for a wedding singer and pianist in the UK, I'd love to help! Feel free to say hello so we can discuss your wedding plans further :)