Let’s talk about music!
For a lot of us, in everyday life, music matters. Whether it’s a song that spurs you on to run your 5k, the one you remember from your crazy teenage years (00s Emo/ Pop-Punk will always have a special place in my heart…) or the one you use to sing your babies to sleep, music can really mean a lot.
Some of my favourite memories are of being at festivals dancing and swaying to beautiful music, from road trips to see my bucket list bands and from evenings spent with friends bundled into a room jamming with acoustic guitars.
And every couple has “their song”, right?! I guess that’s why choosing the right music can be a big decision for your wedding. Whether you’re trying to create a special moment with sentimental pieces or you’re determined to get your guests on the dancefloor and give them a night they’ll never forget, picking the right music will be key!
When you're planning your own wedding, I only have one piece of advice and that is: do whatever you want to do! Don't worry about whether your choice of music (or anything else for that matter) is everyone else's cup of tea; you just do you! But, that said, it's still worth thinking about a few details when choosing who's going to play for you.
For instance, if they're playing through your ceremony you might want something soft or mellow. For your drinks reception, you might want something that people can nod along to but that still allows your guests to chat and mingle. And perhaps you want to wait until the evening to bust out the big tunes - but when you do, do you want to go all in?!
Firstly, research your musicians and make sure they're going to bring the sort of vibe you're after. Let's face it, there's nothing more awkward than someone playing to a room full of people who could not be less interested. Make sure they're appropriate for the tone of the day - and don't forget this may change as the day goes on.
Strings or harps are a good choice for your ceremony, as you can play classical or modern but it always gives that sense of grandeur and romance. For your drinks reception you might want jazz or soft piano music to fill the room as your guests chatter, or maybe some acoustic folk songs that inject a little life into proceedings and that people can hum and sing along to. Maybe for the evening, you want to go for a DJ or a full on party band. Your day may go from formal to relaxed to a bit of a pissup, so you need something different at each turn!
A good piece of advice is to try to find a person/band who can do more than one style. You may find a duo who can play something chilled during the afternoon and then come back with a full band later on to turn it up a notch. Or the people who play at your ceremony can stick around while you have your photos done to entertain the rest of your guests - and they may alter the song choice accordingly. Chat to your musicians about what they can offer and how it can work for you.
Don't feel compelled to go in any one direction (these are only suggestions after all!), and as with everything - don't be afraid to try something different if it's what you really want! Your guests might even appreciate something a little less traditional. Just have a think about what will make the most sense and give you the kind of atmosphere you're looking for.
Secondly, you might also want to give some thought to any specific songs or genres that you want them to do. As obvious as it sounds, if you want dance music and energy, pick someone that will deliver just that. If you want refined, laid back cocktail music, some performers do that better than others. If your choice of music as you walk down the aisle or that first dance is really important to you, then you should choose someone who can do your preferred thing, and do it well! The same way I say to research your florist or your photographer - it makes sense to choose people who specialise in the kind of thing you're looking for.
Finally, what is the theme or the style of the day overall? You'll want to choose music that's in keeping with the rest of the goings on. There are some things that work brilliantly in a tipi in a field that may not go down so well in a church - and vice versa! So think about how it fits in with the other things you've chosen. Consistency in a wedding is key - it works best when everything comes together.
But most importantly - make sure that when all is said and done, you're happy with your decisions! Your wedding should say something about you as a couple and the music is no exception! It is a really key part of the day, and can make the most wonderful, hilarious and sentimental moments all the more important.