What music do I need for my wedding?

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Wedding music

What music do I need for my wedding?

What type of music is best suited to your wedding reception? How long is a piece of string? It’s a good question but not an easy answer. You could simply say that the type of wedding music you should have playing should reflect who you and your partner are – what you mean to each other and what you want to say about each other to your guests. So you may wish to go down the traditional route of having a slow first dance that will allow you and your loved one to have a moment together that you can look back on and will look good in wedding photos, or you may want something a little more fresh and unencumbered by tradition – in shot, you may just want a really good party!

Wedding songs

Don’t feel pressured into doing something you don’t want to do! It’s your big day and you get to decide what happens and what doesn’t. And in terms of music, you get to decide on the style of wedding entertainment music you would like to have played, be it played by a DJ or a live band. So the question should really be “what music would I like to have played for my wedding?” Let’s break that down for a minute – regardless of whether you may be planning to have a relaxed, chilled out wedding reception or a full on party, at some stage your guests will be wanting to dance, which means that upbeat music will need to be played.

“Upbeat” – what a great word. Upbeat music can be classic rock, indie, soul, pop, dance or any subgenre of these. But how do you choose what type of upbeat music is best suited to getting your guests on the dance floor? There’s a great answer to this but it may not be immediately obvious – ask them! Some brides and grooms ask their guests to request a song when they send out their RSVPs. If you do this, it may take you a while to sort through the song requests (and you may find yourself ruling out quite a few of the songs!), once you have gotten a list together, not forgetting your own favourite songs of course, you can hand them over to your band or DJ.

You’re the boss!

Essentially, you need to do it your way. As a busy live wedding band, when we call brides and grooms in advance to run through their song requests, we sometimes hear “oh, we don’t particularly like this song but we included it anyway because some of our guests love it”. While that’s an admirable sentiment, if your friends and family are requesting songs that you are either in two minds about or would rather not have played, don’t feel that you have to include them in your playlist – it’s likely that when you hire a professional live band who are playing dancefloor friendly music, there will be plenty of other songs that your guests will be happy to dance to. Trust us, we know how slightly prickly some invitees can be, and we also know that once the dancefloor is heaving with guests loving a particular classic anthem, they’ll forget their prickliness and want to join in!

However, it’s also a good idea to not get too hung up on which of your guests’ song requests to include and which songs to lose – you will have already gone through that kind of stress while trying to sort your table plan. Think of it this way – if your evening wedding reception starts around 7.30pm and finishes at midnight, that’s four and a half hours of entertainment from your live band and / or DJ. Are your guests really going to spend all that time listening out to see if you included their request in your playlist? Of course not! In that respect it’s far better to give your band or DJ your lost of songs and (apart from the absolute must haves) let them choose broadly which to include.

Band songs, DJ songs

…which all brings us to the crux of the matter – how will you play the music you have decided on for your wedding reception? This all depends on the type of music you have chosen: if your playlist of favourite songs is mainly EDM (electronic dance music) then clearly a DJ will be your first call. But as it’s likely that the music you have chosen will encompass a broader mix (rock, pop, indie, something to suite all of your guests) then if you can hire a band to create live wedding entertainment AND DJ you will be in a much better position to have more of your requests played.

There’s one more thing that in our humble opinion is just as important a consideration as the type of music you have chosen. If you hire an experienced professional band / DJ combo, you will also benefit from them being able to sequence your playlist in a way that allows the music to flow, creates a party vibe and keeps people on the dance floor all night. It’s something that a band like HARD TO HANDLE BAND can advise on.  As professional musicians, we put together playlists for brides, groom and other party planners on a regular basis and we have the ability to squeeze ever last drop of entertainment value from your songs, both in our live band sets and the DJ sets courtesy of the FREE DJ we provide with every band booking. For more information, call us on 0796 433 5657 or just fill in the form on our contact page – don’t forget to include your email address – and we’ll get right back to you.

So however you go about choosing live music for your wedding reception, think of what you guests would like to hear but remember to add your own favourite songs, too – after all, this day is all about YOU!