Let’s dance! Your wedding music is responsible for getting the party started so here are some tips to make sure you make the perfect choice for your day
Music can make a wedding. From a string quartet belting out All You Need is Love as you walk down the aisle to a first dance song, get it right and the day will certainly go with a swing. So how do you go about choosing the tunes to hit the right note with your guests?
While guests are arriving and taking their seats, it’s good to have some background music to help set the tone. Classical is always a good choice for a traditional wedding, but there’s also no reason why you can’t choose more modern songs too. It’s your choice after all. Recorded music can be played on the day or you could opt for some musicians to play live throughout.
2. Wedding procession
The traditional bridal march still remains a firm favourite with wedding couples, but a song that reflects your relationship or conjures up good memories also provides a great personal touch. The same is true for when you walk back down the aisle after the ceremony. A fantastic upbeat song to celebrate the fact you’re just married will work well and get everyone in a happy mood ready for the reception – and to smile for the photographs.
Background music is also great for while people are sitting down to eat the wedding breakfast. Live music from a pianist is great for this and you can put in some requests for what you’d like to be played.
4. Cocktail time
There can often be that slight lull in a wedding day when the photos have been taken, the meal consumed and speeches given, but there’s still time before the evening reception begins. Music is key at this time as you want to create energy without encouraging people onto the dance floor too soon. Think about uplifting sounds but try not to go for anthems or party favourites. Save those for later.
5. Band or DJ
This is a big decision for any couple and really it depends on the type of wedding. Is it going to be traditional or alternative? Do you want a specific type of music or just some party classics like YMCA or Wham? Does the atmosphere provided by a live band get you excitedly onto your feet? Budget might also play a part in your choice too so take that into consideration. However once you’ve worked out what it is you want, then it’s a case of either finding a band that fulfils your criteria or a DJ who will work with you to select the songs you want on the day.
6. First dance
Aside from whether to have a band or a DJ this is probably the ultimate decision music-wise. If you’re the kind of couple who has a “special” song then the choice is easy. But what if you’re not? The thing about first dances is they don’t necessarily have to be a slow. Upbeat and fun is fine and if you’re both fans of heavy metal what’s to stop you head-banging on the dancefloor?
A growing trend has been for choreographed routines, such as the last dance from the movie Dirty Dancing, or Strictly Come Dancing-style affairs. These are certainly a great treat for wedding guests and will get everyone in the mood to throw some shapes themselves. The main thing is to be comfortable. Lots of people feel self-conscious so pick a song that you can sway happily to in front of others.
7. Readers’ choice
If you still can’t decide on your last dance why not take inspiration from some of our readers, who shared their first dance choices on our Facebook page.
- Jill Porter and her partner went with classic soul song Let’s Stay Together by Al Green, while Chrissie Woodward took inspiration from Elvis Presley, with the beautiful Can’t Help Falling in Love.
- Fred Astaire was the top choice for Sarah Parry and her fiance, singing the song The Way You Look Tonight, and Kelly Clarkson’s Make You Feel My Love was the song du jour for Sarah Challinor on her big day.
- Julie Harding went for Maybe Tomorrow by the Stereophonics, while Basim Al-Baker and his partner opted for Can you Fill Me in by Craig David.
- Theresa Louise Cooke went for Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Roses, and Nothing Else Matters by Metallica was Penny Jayne’s first dance choice.
- Laura Dalgarno and her partner selected the powerful I’ll Wait for You by Atreyu, and Linda Szymichowski chose Amazed by Lone Star.
- Cassie Gerrard went for When You’ve Got a Good Thing by Lady Antebellum, Yvonne Woodward chose Everyday by Slade, and Caroline Roberts and her partner went for Ten Storey Lovesong by the Stone Roses.
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