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Wedding Music for the Party and the Marriage


Wedding music can make or break your big day’s ceremony and reception. The question for a couple is always choosing between a DJ and live talent for their wedding music. There is no right or wrong, as wedding music is always a matter of opinion, as well as money.

Wedding Music
Whether your wedding guests groove, twist, hip hop, salsa, do the Bossa Nova, Appalachian or the Cincinnati, you're likely to forever remember the music from your special day.

By Todd McFliker

From Elvis’ unequaled Love Me Tender and I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You to the magic of Al Jolson’s You Made Me Love You or memorable hits like Shania Twain’s From This Moment On, Maxi Priest’s Close to You, Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You, Ronan Keating’s When You Say Nothing At All, Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are, or the Bee Gees’ How Deep is Your Love, wedding music that creates just the right mood will be one of your most important decisions.

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing the music for your special day. Wedding music boils down to a matter of taste. Picking the best wedding music for both the ceremony and the reception are vital to creating just the right mood to make your memorable day ideal.

While money is an issue when it comes to whether you’ll have a band or DJ purveying your chosen tunes, it helps to look at a variety of options.  Hiring a DJ to handle your wedding music can work out great.  The talent can play just about anything for hours of cost-effective and entertaining tunes.  And there will be no surprises when it comes to the sound of your carefully crafted play list.

Wedding Band
A band tends to interact the most with the crowd, and may offer a wider variety of song versions to the overall party.

A live musician or full band can be much more energetic than a DJ for wedding music.  There are choirs, individual singers, instrumental music and full ensembles to choose from.  A band tends to interact the most with the crowd, and may offer a wider variety of song versions to the overall party.  They can make a song slow elegant or extremely hopping, setting the room’s atmosphere.  Of course, a live band is more expensive than a DJ or individual singer for wedding music.  At the same time, a live act’s wedding music may sound a whole lot better on their demo tape than it does at your ceremony and reception.  It’s a must to see and hear them perform in person before you make a decision.

Once an engaged couple decides if they want recorded or live wedding music at their ceremony, they get to choose a style.  Are vocals preferred over instrumentals?  Folks often get traditional sounds for their ceremonies, including the Here Comes the Bride march.  Other brides and grooms prefer jazzy wedding music.  If you’re not sure what to play, ask the person officiating for their opinion of appropriate wedding music.

Wedding Dance
Your first song and dance as a married couple will be one you'll always remember.

After the bridal party and guests move from the wedding ceremony into the wedding reception, there should already be wedding music to set the party’s mood.  Some husbands and wives want something romantic for their wedding music.  Other pairs prefer fun dance music for their wedding reception.  Besides the wedding music, there are a number of factors to complete the reception.

On top of the important reception’s wedding music, there are refreshments, dining options and seating arrangements to consider.  Along with these important considerations, the bride and groom will have to pick what wedding music will be used.  When deciding which songs will be heard, it helps to consider individual tastes and overall wedding style.  As long as the wedding music touches the newly married couple’s hearts, there are no incorrect options to play.

With all that goes into putting on the wedding of your dreams, after the guests are gone, gifts are packed, and bills are settled, the real work of marriage begins. Working together as a team to plan the wedding, negotiate differences, and host your closest friends and family is good preparation for the communication, collaboration, budgeting, and understanding that will be part of your new life together. While you’re thinking of the theme song for your wedding, it’s a good idea to pick one for your marriage as well.

A newlywed, Todd McFliker is an award-winning reporter, photographer, and the author of All You Need is Love to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. He earned his Masters in Communication from Lynn University.