Where do you start your wedding music planning? There are so many things to think about and so many choices in wedding music, that it can be a little overwhelming.
In order to find the wedding music that will be right for you, your budget, your theme and the formality of your wedding you have to understand a few things about music: Wedding music has two aspects -- functional and aesthetic.
The functional aspect of wedding music is to fill in the spaces between important events on the wedding such as the actual ceremony, speeches etc. It also helps to set the appropriate mood or feel that you want to create.
For example, in the ceremony, the processional music helps the wedding party keep their steps in time etc. The function of wedding music at the reception for example ranges from relaxing background dinner music to up to date party music to get your guests partying the night away.
On the other hand, the aesthetic part your wedding music will play in the overall event is probably the most important. This part of your wedding music planning will also take up most of your time.
Your aesthetic music choices will obviously be dictated very much by the functional aspects of the different parts of your wedding. But it will most importantly reflect your music tastes as a couple, overall style, and any particular theme you have chosen.
The aesthetic aspect of your is what you and your guests will remember about the wedding long after the meal has been forgotten. This is where your special choices will make or break the event.
1. What, Where and When
It is important to know where in your wedding you need to choose songs for. Most people think about wedding songs and immediately the walk down the aisle and the first dance comes to mind, but there are many many more wedding songs that you need to think about.
Knowing this is important because it will give you a better idea of the function or reason for a certain song in a wedding. For example - during the recessional (coming back down the aisle with your new spouse while your guests shower you with confetti) you should have an uplifting, celebratory song.
It does not matter if you are choosing to go classical or up-to-date modern, the function of the song is the same. To celebrate the fact that you are now married. Whatever song you choose should fit into that description.
To know what music to play when in your ceremony, click here.
Click Here for a rundown of a typical wedding reception soundtrack.
2. Keep a Notebook
Don't leave your wedding music planning to the last minute or set aside one evening with your other half to quickly choose your wedding songs. Music is very much a mood thing. You need to make these choices when the inspiration strikes, and you never know when that will be.
So, the best tip I can provide here is to keep a notebook (especially dedicated to your wedding music planning) with you from the moment you get engaged. Keep a record of songs you would consider for every "scene" of your wedding.
Write down the titles of songs when you hear them playing in a movie, on radio or TV, at other weddings and parties, or just when you remember a song you are particularly fond of.
When you write down a song, make a note of the feeling it gives you or the mood it evokes (upbeat, happy, romantic etc). This will give you an idea of where you can incorporate it later, when you start putting things together.
3. Use Technology
If you have an Iphone or Ipad, then planning your wedding music can be a real breeze if you download an App to help you with it.
Some applications are better than others of course, some are free and some you need to pay for. I am planning to do a review of all the available apps, but for now here is a list - be your own judge:
4. Consult The Professionals
Wedding music professionals (band leader, organist, DJ) will be able to help you select the best functional music to fill in the spaces and create the mood of any particular aspect of the wedding day.
in most cases also be able to provide you with a list of standard
choices to help in planning your wedding music. Some even have extensive questionnaires to help you plan your ceremony and reception.
5. Use The Internet
When it comes to crunch time and you still have some music choices to make, consult your friend the internet.
Use this site (bookmark it now or subscribe to our RSS feed) or other sites like it, forums and sites like Youtube to get ideas for the songs you still need to decide on.
6. Get A Pinterest Account
If you don't like the idea of an app, but you still want to keep organized, then sign up for a Pinterest account if you don't already have one and start pinning images from sites with ideas for wedding music.
You can even pin Youtube videos and browse other people's boards for ideas, re-pinning things to your own boards to keep everything together. Check out our Wedding Music Planning Pinterest Boards:
Start planning your wedding music by having a look at our song suggestions and tips for every part or "scene" of your wedding.
So, are you planning the music for your ceremony or your reception?
Click on the images below to be taken there:
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Have you ever wondered what songs the rich and famous used for their million dollar weddings? What wedding music played when Demi Moore walked down the isle to marry sexy Ashton Kutcher? Or what did Eva Longoria and Tony Parker use as their first dance song? Click Here to take inspiration from your favorite celebrities and find out what songs played a part in their special day.
Wondering what the most popular wedding songs of 2013 were? Check out our top 10!
Choosing your first dance wedding music? Whether you want something low key and simple or an elaborately choreographed first dance, Click Here for some tips on how to make the most out of this special moment!