Everyone knows you need a first dance song and most couples already know what they want – ‘their’ song. But did you realise there are around seven other opportunities to put your musical stamp on your wedding and personalise it with some memorable and fun tunes?
Whether you choose a live singer, put it all on a CD or have a string quartet there are probably more opportunities than you might realise to add music to your wedding. Take a look at our list and see if you’ve got a song for each part. Be warned, the musical track for my wedding is referred to here and a lot of it is 80s…
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♥ Mingling music
While you’re busy getting ready your guests are busy mingling in the bar or, weather permitting, outside. Or sometimes in the ceremony room itself. It’s nice to plan a bit of music here if your venue allows it. You’ll usually find if you’re in a church that there’s some background music playing so why not if you’re in a different venue! We put together some amusing 80s songs for our guests and the very last one, when everyone was seated, was Looking out for Linda by Hue and Cry. Not everyone caught it but those that did were suitably amused!
♥ Walking down the aisle
The most important thing to be aware of here is how long you have. Walking the aisle might be 20 seconds or a whole minute (which doesn’t sound like a long time but it is in wedding times!). So you need to walk your aisle with your bridesmaids and time it. You also need to decide if the music will be playing when your groom walks in or if it’s just for you – if you’re being very formal your groom will walk in with his mum and your mum will walk down with the best man.
When you record your music to give to your venue give them exactly what you want played, so they don’t have to worry about an intro or stopping it at a certain point. And if possible, do a quick walk through prior to the actual ceremony so everyone knows what’s what.
I’ve been told my aisle music was super emotional (the Piano Guys – I get shivers thinking about it!) and brought people to tears before I even arrived! Job done!
♥ Signing the register
Again you have choices here – a live singer (perhaps someone you know is a great acoustic singer and will perform for you), a special song or just some background music. We had Groovy Kind of Love played acoustically very well by a young man that had literally just learned it that day as we had been let down by our singer, but he did an awesome job and it’s a great memory of the day. Note to self – if you’re planning to have a live singer, have a back up plan and get them to record the song in case they can’t make it or have lost their voice!
♥ Walking back up the aisle
Going the other way, now you’re married, a good fun piece of music can get the party started. Stevie Wonder is top of the list with Signed, Sealed, Delivered along with Isn’t She Lovely or You are the Sunshine of my Life and we commonly see things like I Can’t Help Myself by the Four Tops (sugar pie honey bunch!) or All you need is Love, the Beatles. Higher and Higher (your love keeps lifting me) by Jackie Wilson also features quite a lot. Of course there are some more modern choices – Florence and the Machine for example, or my favourite…I predict a Riot! We had the Bay City Rollers version of I Only Wanna Be With You which I danced up the aisle to, and we let the whole thing play out while everyone followed us!
♥ Line up
If you’re having a line up (we just had the two of us and gave everyone a cuddle but it’s customary to have your parents to introduce them to the guests) a nice light piece of music in the background will suffice. There’s talking and laughter, anything meaningful will likely get drowned out.
♥ Presentation of the Bride and Groom
Once all of your guests are seated you will be announced into the room to take your seats. We chose Bring Me Sunshine because it’s such a lovely fun song that everyone knows, it’s not too long and it has beautiful lyrics. I recommend you play it loud and get everyone to clap (and maybe sing) along as you come in! This was the first song on a CD that carried on with the rest of the Piano Guys during our wedding breakfast, subtly in the background.
♥ Cutting the cake
I’m not sure if I’m just pushing it now, but hey, why not have some fun music while you cut your cake. Shanks and Bigfoot…Sweet like Chocolate comes to mind!
Of course all of this is rounded off with the First Dance. We were again let down by our singer for this and so the personal version of our favourite song didn’t happen but lucky for us, in the short time we had to figure something out, How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding had recently been released and we both loved the lyrics. Thanks for the save Ellie!
No matter what you choose, wherever you are playing your music PLEASE, please read the lyrics before putting them out there to represent your marriage. Much as I love Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You‘ to dance to, I can’t get past the fact that he says he’s ‘looking for something dumb to do’ while on ‘dancing juice’ and believes that marrying fits the bill! ♥