Creating the soundtrack for the happiest day of your life is a big deal. Before you start trying to curate the perfect list of tunes, there are a few things to consider. From hunting for inspiration to making the whole thing sound cohesive, it’s a touch more complicated than throwing all of your favourite songs into a Spotify playlist. But don’t get stressed! We’ve made you a list of everything to remember when choosing your wedding songs.
Here’s how to pick all of your wedding music.
Decide on a DJ or Band
One of the first details to sort out is who will be controlling the playlist on your big day. This may be a DJ, band or combination of both. Some people choose to use live musicians for their ceremony but opt for a DJ at their reception. Others choose to have a DJ all the way through. It’s up to you, but whatever you choose will affect your bottom line and song choices. Keep in mind that some bands will only play in their own genre while DJs are more open to variety.
Start your search by looking for some musical inspiration. Watch wedding videos on YouTube, rent a couple of rom coms or search Spotify for love playlists. You may find some hidden gems you never would have known about.
Familiarize yourself with the basics
You’ll want to get to know the foundations of wedding music before hitting up iTunes or Spotify for suggestions. Each of the major songs - from the guests arrival down to the last dance at your reception - should be carefully thought out to match the mood. For example, for the processional track you’ll want something romantic that matches your pace as you walk down the aisle. Of course, you’re always free to break the rules (it’s your party, you can do what you want to).
Start with the big songs
When you move on to crafting your playlist, begin at the beginning - by hashing out the all the songs you know you’ll need. From the processional and recessional at your ceremony to the first dance and cake cutting at your reception, there’s a lot to think about. Get the important songs figured out first and then work on filling out the rest of your playlist.
Think about your wedding style
While your music doesn’t necessarily have to match your wedding style, it’s a nice way to keep things feeling cohesive. If you’re hosting your soiree in a Gatsby-style historic home, consider going with a playlist that’s full of oldies, or heavy on the jazz frontier. If you’re doing a barn soiree, why not throw in a few extra country tracks? Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley have released more than a few love songs.
Go with a mix
Variety is the spice of life, so take advantage of all the different genres and eras of music for your big day. Not only will this please the many generations on your guest list, but it’ll also set the tone for different parts of your reception. Having your band or DJ put on slow, jazzy jams during the dinner will allow your guests to talk without being distracted by the music while throwing on some Top 40 will help hype up the crowd to dance.
Make sure it sounds cohesive
Having an eclectic mix of songs is important, but you don’t want your playlist to sound disjointed or awkward. Once you’ve figured out exactly which songs you want to include, try putting them into an order than makes sense. You don’t want to shock your guests’ eardrums with a sudden switch from Etta James to Metallica.
Sample it out
You’ll want to keep embarrassing moments to a minimum on your big day, so remember to take your tunes for a test drive before setting anything in stone. Give the playlist a run through from start to finish to make sure everything works; practice walking to your processional song, dancing to your first dance song and letting loose to your reception soundtrack. If anything doesn’t seem right, swap it out - there are plenty of songs to choose from.