Music is a great way to set the mood for various parts of your wedding day celebration. Using carefully selected music throughout the day is a great way to express yourselves, personalize your wedding as well as entertain your wedding guests.
The use of music, or rather the stopping of it being played, is also a good way to get your guests attention at various times of the day. For instance, if you have music playing during the pre-reception and it is now time to move you guests into the reception area a sudden halt of music can let your guests know something is happening.
Music during ceremony
You will most likely want special, emotionally driven music being played when the bride and other members of the wedding party are walking down the aisle. It is important when selecting your venue and you want music to be played during the ceremony that the venue can accommodate your desires. Many venues likely can accommodate this request, but it never hurts to confirm this.
Music during reception
If you are planning on having a dance during your reception, you are definitely going to need music for this part of the day. See the section below Options for the reception music section for more information.
Other music options
While all your guests are arriving and being seated, it is a good idea to play some music before the wedding ceremony. This music can be used to set the mood of the wedding ceremony about to commence. If you are going with a very drawn out very emotion filled wedding you can play softer, classical, emotion filled music. If you ceremony is going for a more fun and funky style, play fun and funky upbeat music to entertain your guests.
This is one of those times when suddenly halting the music will quiet down your guests as they know something else is going to begin. Then when the music begins next, the wedding party will begin their walk down the aisle.
Another time to consider adding music to your wedding is after the bride and groom have been pronounced man and wife and walk out of the ceremony. What better way to start off your married life together than playing some fun, happy music? Having a few songs queued up here is a good idea, as all your weddings guests will be exiting the ceremony shortly after you.
If you do plan to play music for when the wedding party walks down the aisle, and when people leave the ceremony, you will need someone to turn on and off the music. Make sure there are easy instructions for them to follow to help ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Musical performance during the wedding ceremony can also be very entertaining for your guests. The performance will likely draw a lot of emotions out of the crowd, so hopefully they have their tissues ready. Playing music during the ceremony is a nice way of breaking the monotony of spoken word. If you plan to include music during the ceremony, be sure to coordinate it with your musicians as well as the priest or justice of the peace to decide when it would be the best time to include it.
Another time that you might consider adding music to your wedding day is during the pre-reception. Having some background music will always fill the background and help set the mood for rest of the evening. As mentioned before, stopping this music will also get the attention of the guests to make it easier for them to know when to start filing into the main reception venue.
Options for the reception music
If you are planning on having a dance during your reception, you are definitely going to require some great dancing music. There are a few different options that you have for playing music for your wedding guests.
Don't forget that the first few dances are reserved. You can read more about weddings songs here.
This is probably the most common way music is played at weddings. Most wedding DJs are equipped with a wide variety of music to please all musical tastes. Don't forget, weddings often mean that people of all age groups will be attending and usually that means that they have different likes and dislike when it comes to music. One of the major benefits of hiring a wedding DJ is that you don't have to do very much work once you have decided upon a DJ, except of course, to pass along a song request list if they offer that service. DJs also have experience with keeping a dance floor packed with people and know how to mix up slow and fast songs. Just make sure that your venue can accommodate the space that setting up a DJ table and equipment will require. When hiring a DJ be sure to ask about their rates, their comfort with talking on a microphone, if they have all of their own equipment and ask to see their music collection lists.
This is the most traditional type of music at a wedding. But be careful that you choose a band that is capable of playing various types of music to please all your guests. Arranging a live wedding band can be more difficult that simply hiring a DJ and potentially more expensive, but it might be worth it; live music seems to just burst with energy and is certainly more entertaining than watching a DJ. Some things to consider when having a wedding band are that they take up a lot of space. So make sure that your wedding venue can accommodate them. Also, the band is going to need to do a sound check at some point, so make sure that is put into the schedule for that day as your guests shouldn't have to listen or watch the band doing their sound check and setup.
Do it yourself
Another option that technology has made possible is the do it yourself DJ. Through the use of burned CDs, computers, iPods or other mp3 players you can play the music. If this is going to be your plan, make sure that someone is assigned the role of DJ, just so you have someone to look after the controls and the dance floor. If the dance floor is empty, maybe it is time to prematurely exit the song and play a new one.
The benefits of handling your own wedding music are of course costs savings, but it also means you can choose all your own music. It will also take up a lot less space to hook up an iPod for instance. One of the negative aspects of doing your own music, is the fact that you will need to locate all the music yourself and set up all the play-lists etc. This can be extremely time consuming.
If you plan to handle your own wedding music, then ensure the system at the wedding reception venue works and does a test run of the sound system earlier in the day.
Depending on where you live and what the laws are, you might be faced with extra fees for playing live music or having a DJ. The fees are not that expensive, but as you already know (or will soon find out) the wedding fees just keep on growing!
If you are using online RSVP or even regular paper RSVP, it is really nice to let your guests make song request, they are the ones who are going to be dancing, so it is good to take requests from all guests. Expect a very wide array of different songs, for all your different guests.