Guide To Wedding Music
Music is an integral part of a wedding celebration and can be the difference between fun and disaster. The big question is: do you love live music and have a big budget, or do you have a tighter budget and prefer your songs to be played perfectly just like on Spotify? If it’s ‘yes’ to the last question, then a DJ is the answer.
Do lots of research, whether it is for a classical quartet at the ceremony or for a tribute band, barbershop quartet or DJ at different stages of the reception.
First, book your ceremony musician or musicians so that guests won’t have to wait around in silence for 20 minutes or so before the ceremony starts. Upping the volume or tempo of music also signals to guests that it’s time to be seated or to be quiet.
Solve any acoustic problems
It is best to check with the officiant about what musicians are able to play in a place of worship. Many churches, synagogues and other religious buildings have rules that could affect your choice of music. It’s a good idea to find out from the venue manager what type of music works best for the space.
Check out the power supply, sound amplification or time-of-day restrictions. If possible, plan for the band or DJ to visit the space if they haven’t worked there before. A pro can hopefully spot and solve any tricky acoustic problems with a sound check.
Go to a live performance of a band you are considering and gauge what their music sounds like in a venue. Listen to their repertoire and how well they get on with the audience, whether they take requests and how they get the audience going. If possible talk to the bandleader or DJ to set up a meeting.
Importance of volume control
Talk to the DJ or band about your favourite music before you book; ideally, you want to have an easy rapport with them so they will be open to suggestions. If you use a band, give them plenty of time to review your selection of music, as they may have to learn additional songs.
Bear in mind that your reception isn’t the place for nightclub-level volume, as it’ll make it tough for people to talk to one another. You don’t want your guests to wake up with a sore throat from having to shout at each other all night.
Ask your DJ for low volume – ¬instrumentals and soft ballads – during drinks at the start of the reception and louder levels for dancing in the evening and the final song at the end of the night. Ask someone to keep an eye on volume levels and alert the band or DJ is there are issues.
Work out favourite songs
Do a run-through of your first dance song and avoid anything too long – think of your guests standing around watching you!
Work out with your other half your favourite songs for the DJ and create a must-play and do-not-play list.
Ask the DJ or band to keep their repertoire to PG-13 during the reception, as blatant swearing may not go down so well with older and younger guests.
You are sharing the day with family and friends so save your obscure music favourites for the iPlayer, car or honeymoon. Let the DJ or band play a mix of songs that everyone will love and enjoy.