You absolutely need music at your wedding. From the moment guests are seated, there should be calm background music, to your processional and the end of your ceremony, and on in to your cocktail hour and reception.
To Hire A Pro Or Not?
If you plan on having more than 40 guests, if your venue doesn’t have a sound system, if you don’t have a trusted family member or friend who can do this without error, you need a DJ. If these do not describe your situation, hire a professional DJ! They are not a huge expense and they are worth more than they ask for.
You have so many decisions to make. What songs do you want your bridal party to walk down the aisle to? What’s your song at that moment while all eyes are on you? What’s your “hell yeah we’re married” song?
You can and should choose any songs you love from “Moon River” by Frank Ocean as you’re walking down the aisle song to “Concerning Hobbits” from LOTR.
For your recessional, choose a fun song that matters to you and is a celebration of your new life together. Nbd. That’s easy for one song, right?
At your cocktail hour soft background oldies but goodies and jazzy fun, works. The level should be conversational. Nobody wants to shout over the music.
Everybody loves a great grand entrance. This tradition made a ton of sense when people got married in a house of worship then joined you with their bridal party at the reception, but it can be weird now. If you do first looks, join everyone for the cocktail hour after about fifteen minutes of full family pics, and signing the marriage certificate, you can still do a grand entrance. Have your DJ or emcee announce that it’s time to find your seats. The bridal party should go to a staging area determined during your rehearsal. The couple might “disappear” fifteen minutes early for golden hour shots with their photographer. Then rejoin the bridal party once the guests are seated. If you really want to wow your guests make this song choice a key decision. Choreograph something big, goofy, spectacular or simple. It can be modern or a throwback. Whatever you want.
This piece of advice is important! If you want everyone to have fun, hire a great DJ or band. Somebody that plays music your guests can’t help but dance to. DO NOT GIVE YOUR DJ A “PLAYLIST”!!
Seriously, the most fun group will not dance to the songs you think they will. Pick genres. Decide on a “Do Not Playlist” and a short must play list, that’s it. Trust your DJ! They know how to read a crowd and flow in and out. That’s what they do! The songs you think are great hits may not be. Requests are fine (as long as the DJ can flow them in if they fit and the song isn’t on your do not playlist. This is also why you shouldn’t use your own Spotify playlist if your guest list is more than 40 people.
We all think we have the greatest playlist, maybe for a dinner party. Not for your wedding!
Have your DJ mix it up for a surprise Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance. Start with something sweet and predictable (and stay there if that’s you) or surprise everyone with a surprise change and choreographed dance. The best mother/son dance I ever saw was performed by a band. They started with soft jazz music, then softly lead in to a wild rendition of jailhouse rock. It was amazing, and it showed this was a son and mother moment they had lived out before in life. It felt like we were in their kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner watching a loving family let loose and have fun.
Is there a song you and your father have always enjoyed together? A ridiculous dance you do to celebrate good grades (seriously my husband does a goofy good grade dance for my kids)? Do something important and meaningful to you.
Your first dance. It can be fun. It can be cute. It can Showcase your mad dance skillz or it can be a sweet nice slow dance to a song you love. My husband and I danced to Cake’s “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” James doesn’t like to dance in front of others, so we went with a combo of funny, cute and simple.
It’s your wedding, add your favorite songs in the mix and enjoy!