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Choosing Your Wedding Songs

Updated on July 14, 2014

Picking your songs

When choosing music for your wedding ceremony you have to think long and hard about the actual songs that you are going to select. The first thing to think about is what music will be playing when your guests first arrive at your ceremony. It's all about what sort of atmosphere you are trying to create. Think of jazz and classical music to set a sophisticated tone, or maybe a folk song/live acoustic musician for a more organic/hippy wedding. Think about the ambiance that you want to create and what music will project those feelings. Remember that sometimes you want your guest singing along and conversely at other times you want them chatting to each other!

Picking the right songs

The next port of call should be establish which song the bride will be walking down the isle to. If you are having a traditional white, church wedding then "here comes the bride" might be the obvious choice, but this isn't the only option. I have heard many people using repertoire as varied as Bach to Metallica for their wedding processional. The most important thing is that your song has a kind of "fanfare" feel to it so that your guests know that something important is about to happen and they should stop talking to each other and concentrate!

Choosing a good band or musician

There is so much choice out there at the moment when it comes to actually finding a musician or live band to perform at your wedding ceremony or reception. A good choice for your pre-ceremony drinks would be a Harpist (for classical) or solo guitarist. People generally want to talk when they first arrive so it best to save your most involved entertainment until later in the day. Perhaps after your ceremony when your guests are hanging around waiting for photos you could book a larger band like a String Quartet or Jazz Ensemble. Have a look at these recommended Wedding Bands to get an idea of what is available at the moment.

How much does it cost?

Typically a solo musician will charge around £200 for a 1 or 2 hours performance. This is generally the rule for working out how much a band will cost as well. A string quartet for example includes four musicians so will cost somewhere in the region on £800. Obviously, there is always room for negotiations when dealing directly with the musicians but you do get a bit more reliability with an entertainment agency. An agent will have contracts and will give you someone to call if everything goes wrong and the band doesn't turn up. We hope that you will be able to find the perfect music to accompany your weddings ceremony.

Top 5 Wedding Songs

The songs

Picking the songs for your wedding can be a truly difficult task. Here are our tips to help you plan the perfect playlist. Most of our suggestions are classic choices but we think that this is where people are struggling to find the right music.

For the ceremony

The wedding ceremony is perhaps the most difficult part of the day to choose the music for. Their are many more traditions involved than with planning song for the evening reception or party. As with most things, it becomes easier when you divide it up into different sections.

First would be the prelude music, this is what will entertain your guests as they take their seats and mingle before the actual marriage takes place. Next comes the processional, this is where the bride walks down the isle. There are also other sections including signing the registers and interlude music.

Here are our top 3 songs for the ceremony:

1. Bridal Chorus ("Here comes the bride") - Wagner

2. Trumpet Voluntary - J. Clarke

3. Voi Che Sapete - Mozart

For the evening wedding party

The evening reception party is a little easier to plan for. However, your guests will probably be of completely different ages and tastes so the key thing is to choose repertoire which will please a wide ranging audience. Try to pick material which is well known and upbeat. If you want your guests up dancing then think about the classic dance floor fillers coming up at the right time in your playlist.

You should also make your list of songs quite flexible, often it may seem like a great idea to spin that Dizzee Rascal tune which you love but you could easily come unstuck. Make a long list of songs which are divided into categories and make sure you keep an eye on the disco to make sure it has not faded. Be prepared to completely alter your playlist on the fly and don't be afraid to tell the DJ exactly what you think.

Another important part of the evening event is the first dance. Couple don't usually need much help with this one as they often choose a song which is most special in their relationship. However, if you can't think of something then just get onto youtube and start having a listen to as many songs as possible.

Here are our top 3 wedding reception songs:

1. I saw here standing there - The Beatles

2. Lets Stay Together - Al Green

3. Cant Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli

Recommended Live Music

Recommended Band - The Royal

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