Your wedding music is the soundtrack for your day, from the music when you walk down the aisle to the first dance to the last. Of course, if it is an Irish wedding, the last few tunes on the soundtrack might be sung by the guests long after the band has left.
When you think of arranging music for your wedding, you probably think of what you want to dance to at the reception, but first things first – what about music for the ceremony? You will need at least two songs, one for your entrance and walk down the aisle and another for when you and your spouse are walking back down the aisle together. It’s nice to have a third song for when your guests are arriving, greeting each other and taking their seats. You can stick with tradition and arrive to Wagner’s Bridal March or pick something else that appeals to you. If you want to incorporate an Irish theme from the start of the ceremony, a harpist is a perfect choice for an elegantly Irish sound.
Whatever the style of music you select for your ceremony, remember that you are hiring professionals and you need to pay attention to the same details you do with your reception music. You need to have a contract with the specifics of exactly when, where, what and for how long you want the musician to play. You need to specify what equipment the musician will provide, and what type of clothing the musician should wear.
From the First Dance to the Last
One way to approach your music choices for your reception is to think about what fits with your theme. Do you have special songs in mind for your first dance and dances with parents? That’s one music decision to make, but the biggest is whether you want to have a live band or a DJ. Each option has advantages and disadvantages to consider.
A live band can add enormously to the theme, especially if you have a vintage theme. A 1950’s theme can really be brought to life by the right band. On the other hand, a band can take up a lot of space, so you need to plan for that selecting your venue. While nothing is better than a great band, a bad band is complete disaster. While you need to listen to both bands and DJs and check reviews before making any decisions, the stakes are higher with a live band. A good band can also be very expensive and needs to be booked well in advance.
A good DJ can offer some real advantages over a live band. A DJ usually has a much wider range of music to offer and can shift styles to reflect or influence the mood as the night goes on, transitioning smoothly from high energy numbers to more mellow tunes. A DJ also takes up less space, which means more room for dancing.
Whichever choice you make, remember that you can provide a list of songs you absolutely do not want played. Whether a tune was your song with an old flame or reminds you of sad times or maybe it simply annoys you, you can ban it. Likewise, if there are songs you really love, make sure whoever is providing your wedding music can include them.