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Planning The Music, Steps to Take

So you have booked your entertainment. Now you have 12 months or more to communicate your musical preferences to the Band or DJ. To many, it seems like an overwhelming task, but when broken down into just a few steps, it will not only be more manageable but more fun! So where should you begin?

1) Use a music list. A good, generic music list is a great way to start. Most entertainment companies can or will supply you with a hard copy of a list of music that is commonly played at a wedding. My opinion is that it’s better for this list to be shorter than longer.

Too many songs can make the process of circling and crossing out songs seem monotonous. The advantage to starting with this step is that it will get your mind thinking in wedding mode… you will start to think of songs that don’t appear on the list and you should note all those ideas on a separate page or in the margins. Again, it’s best if this list is not too elaborate and if the songs are made up of popular wedding songs. This can be an excellent tool for your entertainment to know you threshold for “wedding music”.

2) Start a running list of music you like. Keep a pad of paper anywhere you listen to music… the gym, the car, at work. If you hear a song you like, jot down the name and/or artist. Don’t worry too much about whether the songs you are writing are wedding appropriate.The idea here is to give the entertainment a good sense of what kind of music you like. Make sure you write down the songs because it’s been proven that your memory becomes less useful as the date of your wedding approaches…. really, ask any bride planning her own wedding. ;-) A few months out from the wedding date, collect all of your notes, and make one list of songs you like… if you feel the list is too long, it would be helpful for your entertainment if you prioritize the list. If you wanted to go a step further, you can indicate where you thought the songs would be most appropriate.

NOTE: if you feel confident you have hired a true professional to provide the entertainment on your wedding day, you should leave the song placement up to them. Make it clear that your markings are just thoughts so as to not restrict them from doing what they do best!

3) Think about the special songs for the wedding day. From the processional music to the last song of the night, there are many songs that stand out as being more important or special. These songs can significantly impact the mood of the wedding. My opinion is the special songs I am writing of (introductions, parents dances, cake cutting songs) should reflect your taste in music and personal style. Since these songs accompany such important parts of the wedding day, they will be heard and noticed more than others so take some time to select songs that are meaningful and again ask your entertainment professional for guidance when possible.

If followed, these steps will help you choose music for your wedding day that is appropriate and unique. I also recommend asking your friends and family what they’d like to dance to at the wedding. Planning the music shouldn’t be a chore, it can often be a fun conversation piece at the diner after the bar or over Thanksgiving dinner.


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