Music selection for your wedding day
In my role as an experienced Disc Jockey and Master of Ceremonies with Prodiscos I field a lot of questions regarding the selection of songs for a wedding day. Music is such an important part of the occasion, from the emotionally charged moments of the ceremony when couples say “I do” through to the Canapés and onto the fun filled celebrations of the wedding reception.
I have found over the years that many couples can tend to over think the process of song selection and spend countless hours pulling together lists from which in many cases only a fraction of the songs will actually be played. So I wanted to quickly run through the process of music selection as I see it, and hopefully make my couples job a little less daunting.
From a music perspective a wedding day can be broken down into three sections. They are the Ceremony, Canapés and Reception. Within these sections there are some key songs which couples need to give some deeper thought to as they are what I call the formal songs. These songs impact special moments in the day and should have some meaning to the couple.
This is what the day is all about and music you pick will in part reflect your feelings for each other or the day itself. You will need to select four songs for the key moments.
- Processional – depending on the size of the bridal party this should be long enough for the bridesmaids and the bride to comfortably walk from the entrance up to the waiting Groom and Groomsmen.
- Signing of the registry – I suggest selecting two songs to allow time for the signing and all the photographs that go with it.
- Introduction of the newlyweds – This is where the party starts. Everyone wants to cheer and celebrate your marriage so let’s pick something upbeat and fun.
Canapés normally last for about one hour. The photographer will have whisked the bridal party away for photos so it is nice to have a selection of easy listening background music playing while the guests chat and mingle during pre-dinner drinks. Prodiscos offer this as an additional package along with Ceremony music if couples wish. We can select an appropriate list of songs or play your own requested selection. I always suggest something easy to listen to with a bit of rhythm to maintain a nice vibe for the guests.
This is where the rest of the formal songs come into play.
- Introduction to reception – This can be handled in various ways which every couple should discuss with their DJ and MC. However, at minimum I recommend a song for the bridesmaids and groomsmen and a separate song for the Bride and Groom. Keep it up beat and fun to set the tone for the evening. You may wish to have a song for each couple individually and also the parents. This can all be done and pre mixed by us.
- Cake cutting – One song will do for here. It is really more about filling the air while guest gather around and celebrate with the happy couple as they cut the wedding cake and toast each other with Champagne.
- Bridal Dance – After the “I do’s” this is probably the most memorable moment of the day. I suggest to my couples to spend a bit of time on this and find that special song that feels right to them. It can also be a fun moment with a pre prepared dance routine. Whatever suits your personalities and feelings for the day.
- Optional Father Daughter or Mother Son dance – This is very common and a lovely moment for all concerned. Usually Brides or parents select a song that reflects a special time in their lives with each other.
- Bouquet and Garter toss – This is a fun part of the night and he guests love to participate. Couples can pick a couple of songs themselves or leave it up to their experienced DJ to choose on their behalf.
- Final song – Generally this is played before the farewell or as the couple leave the reception to the acclaim of their guests. Some couples like to leave through an archway formed by the guests or on very rare occasions, choose to have a farewell circle. Again the DJ can select here if you wish.
- Dinner Music – A nice mix of slightly up tempo easy listening is always a good option here. Always discuss with your experienced DJ as they will have plenty of ideas to share with you.
- Dancing – This is the fun part of the night. It is also the section that couples can spend more time on than they need. Remember you have engaged an experienced DJ so talk to them and listen to their input.
We all love to receive requests, especially songs from the bride and groom. However, I strongly suggest giving some thought to all the age groups attending. It is a family celebration so perhaps allow a little for everyone. Guests requests are also welcome from our perspective but not every couple wants this. I do suggest asking the DJ to vet them to ensure suitability to the occasion.
Remember that at most receptions 1.5 – 2 hours is generally as much time as you will have for dancing. So you really don’t need to select too many requests with only about 17 songs on average per hour.
So there you have it. My tips for music on your wedding day. But every wedding day and every couple are different, so take the time to chat to your DJ to ensure your wishes are met.