As most people know, the music you choose for you wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and reception is one of the main ways you can set the mood for your special day. But, unfortunately, many couples with good intentions make bad decisions because they just don’t know enough about selecting music, selecting a band or ensemble , or selecting a DJ. To help make sure you make good decisions when it comes to choosing music for your wedding, we offer the following to help you avoid the most common mistakes.
Common wedding music mistakes:
- Ruling out live music or a DJ before you actually research the options in your city. Most people assume that hiring live musicians will be more costly than hiring a DJ. Some others may assume that having a DJ will automatically come across as tacky. Neither is totally true, of course. If you plan ahead, and shop wisely, you can find small ensembles that can bring an intimate, romantic mood to your wedding and won’t break the bank. Alternately, skilled DJ’s can bring energy to a crowd and lead the evening through a lively celebration. We recommend that you contact a variety of live musicians and DJ’s and really spend the time to consider your options before making a decision on which to book. Also, you can get the best of both worlds by booking live musicians for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour and a DJ for the rest of the celebration.
- Not consulting your wedding venue regarding music suggestions and restrictions. Some venues have restrictions regarding music – such as not allowing live musicians to be amplified, so it’s always best to consult with your venue to find out if there are any such rules. Additionally, you should ask if they have any suggestions regarding the appropriate ensemble size (solo, duo, trio or quartet) for your wedding ceremony venue, cocktail hour venue, dinner and reception venue. If you’re hiring live musicians, you can also speak with them, as they may have experience and advice about playing in your venue.
- Having no music as guests arrive at your ceremony. Whether you choose to have live musicians or a DJ playing recordings, be sure to have some music playing as guests arrive for your ceremony. This music, referred to as “prelude music” is often more on the romantic side, either contemporary love songs or more traditional classical wedding music. When you hire live musicians, you can work with them to select just the style of music you’d like to set the mood for your wedding.
- Not mentioning your favorite songs. Whether you choose a live ensemble or a DJ, don’t be shy about requesting your favorite music or songs. Professional ensembles should have a large repertoire and should be able to play the standard wedding music and popular weddings songs, so don’t be shy about asking. If they don’t have your favorite song in their repertoire, they can often make arrangements especially for you for a nominal fee. When using a DJ, they should have access to most every popular recording, so be sure to give them your “must play” list as well as your “do not play” list.
- Allowing the music to overshadow the conversation. Whether it’s during the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner or reception, it’s important that the music volume balances well with the other activity. Never should the volume be so loud that it makes it difficult to hear the officiant, the couple or your guests’ conversations. For the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, the volume should be fairly low, but once the reception starts, the volume can be kicked up to drive the party atmosphere.
There are so many considerations when choosing music for your wedding, so be sure to take the time to talk to experienced, professional musicians and DJ’s who can help make the music and integral part of your wedding day.