Music is arguably the most overlooked item in a wedding checklist, yet the one that can make or break a celebration. It is the crucial element that either makes your wedding “just another wedding” or the party of a lifetime!
Here’s our guide to putting together your very own wedding playlist that not only enlivens the wedding atmosphere but also one you can listen to after the celebration and reminisce the moments.
Separate Playlists for Different Parts of the Wedding
A wedding consists of a sequence of events, starting from the ceremony, to the cocktail hours, to the dinner reception and sometimes even the after- party. Each event is unique and calls for different genres or types of music to fit the nature of its activities and programs.
Building individual playlists made to suit the dynamics of each events is a sure way to get your guests into the heat (or hit 😉) of the moment. With the right kind of music, you could easily lure them to join you on the dance floor or to sit back and enjoy the dinner. (We provide some tips on how you could do this in the segment below)
Furthermore, you spare those who joined you through all the events from listening to the same songs again and again and again…
Look Through the Lyrics
You might want to add your favourite or well-practiced karaoke song into your wedding playlist but be mindful as not all songs are wedding appropriate. Take some time to look through your selection to filter out any songs that has bad connotations or invokes negative emotions. You might have to scrutinize it as sometimes they are not as obvious as you think. For example, the uplifting beats and chorus to Michael Buble’s “It’s a Beautiful Day” may sound like the perfect celebratory song but it is in fact a “happy” break-up song!
If you’ve gotten a live band, work to their strength to engage and entertain your guests. They have undisputable talent to appeal to the crowd! It is almost always the case that you have different demographic groups in your guest list. By considering the dynamics of the band and requesting for duets or songs in a different language or even dialects, you can reach out to different specific groups of guests.
Delegate the Task
Some of us are publicly known (or self-proclaims) to have good taste in music. Yet there are also some of us who just can’t get it for nuts. Times like this, do not underestimate the role of music and delegate this noble task to a trusted friend; one who is well-versed in this area and whose job in a different life (or in real life!) is a DJ.
If you can’t find someone who could take up this important role, try building your own wedding playlist with the tips below!
Building Playlists by Wedding Segments
Common ceremony music ranges from instrumental classics to romantic pop songs, and even modern or indie options. There are no restrictions! Most couple only focus on the song which the bride will march in to. However, that is not the only important part of the ceremony. There are also other historic moments when you can “kiss the bride” and when you’re officially announced as “Husband and Wife”, just to name a few! Let these moments be accompanied by your chosen song during this one of a lifetime event, here are some suggestions to get you started:
Bridal Party March-In and Bride March-In
Some couples choose the same song to be used for the bridesmaids as well as bride’s march-in. However, if you have a large bridal party, consider having two songs.
For the Bridal Party, you can consider songs that are of a slower pace compared to that used by the bride so that there is a gradual build up as guests anticipate the bride’s arrival.
Kiss the Bride
A celebratory upbeat song would be perfect for this long-awaited moment!
Signing of Marriage Papers
The signing of the official marriage papers is a process that may take some time. Instead of having guests watching in silence as you and the witnesses ink the certificate, have some music playing in the background to maintain the celebratory atmosphere and keep love in the air.
Presentation of Husband and Wife
This is the moment both of you are officially announced as Mr and Mrs! Choosing an uplifting song that is representative of the both of you or your relationship will be the best way to start the journey together as one!
Don’t forget the photo-taking portion! Photo-taking with your family and friends (not forgetting your Justice of Peace) can take some time. To fill the void as guests are waiting for their turn to take pictures with you, play some popular light-hearted song in the background. It is a bonus if they could sing or hum along so the wait does not seem too long!
For Cocktail Hours
Cocktail hour is the time where most of your guests would arrive at your wedding venue. It is also a time of mingling and catching up. For that reason, cocktail music can be of any genre, but should ideally be kept to instrumentals. You want to avoid too much interruption to conversations and to keep noise level at a reasonable level especially if your cocktail hour takes place in a confined space.
To provide a nice transition from cocktails to the reception, instrumental jazz or instrumental wedding pop makes up an ideal playlist during this time.
For Wedding Reception
Wedding reception music tend to be romantic love songs and can range from classic oldies to Billboard’s latest top hits. Don’t hesitate to run wild with your playlist and show off your great sense in music! This is after all your celebration.
From the musical standpoint, the key moments during which choice of music is pivotal is the first and second march-ins.
While this remains highly dependent on the type of celebration you’re hosting, typically, music used for the first march-in tend to be grander and more romantic as you enter and meet your guests for the first time. As for the second march-in it is common to go with an upbeat tune as you reach the later part of the celebration and guests have had a glass or two!
We hope these tips can get you started but with the plethora of music out there, we know it can get intimidating. We got you covered – check out The Wed Mag’s Spotify account for some inspiration! There, we’ve handpicked wedding-appropriate songs in different genres and broken them down into lists for you to pick and build your own. We’ve included two of our favourite playlists below!