Wedding Music Do’s and Dont’s – Part 2


Sit down with your FI and go through your music to create short must-play and do-not-play lists. You are each allowed veto power, of course. Give your DJ or your bandleader a quick phone call to review your list. Band leaders know which songs work really well in their repertoire. Go ahead, ask them for their input of what they think might not work so well and why. If your must-play list gets too long (say, more than 10 songs), create a third list. This can be more of a wish list of songs you’d like to be played only if your guests respond positively to them.

Don’t micromanage, avoid saying thinks like ‘I want the girl in the band to sing ‘Moves Like Jagger’ at tempo 122.76 BPM in the key of Eb and I want your drummer to sing the Christina Aguilera female part, but without using his falsetto voice’.

Sounds too loud

Despite the presence of alcohol and all your college friends, a wedding shouldn’t resemble a frat party. Club-level volume at all the time during the reception will frustrate older family members.

When your band promises to keep it ‘Low’ for chatting during cocktails or dinner, make sure they are not talking about the Lo Rida song. Once everyone is in a dancing frenzy, there is nothing wrong for the music to sound full and rich on the dance floor. Clever bands achieve this by placing and aiming the main speakers there. A good band always watches the guests and directs the sound where it is needed. The days of just two speakers on sticks to the left and right of a band are long gone. Modern sound systems contain multiple sets of dedicated speaker systems for different zones. Some of the older folks and relatives still might need a little time to catch up, holding small conversations with each other throughout the evening.

Inappropriate songs

Sure you want to hear everything in your iTunes collection, but don’t destroy your sit-down dinner because you had to fit “Nine Inch Nails” in there somewhere. Music should fit the mood of the moment.
Stick with instrumentals or soft ballads during your cocktail hour and then transition into the dance party with whatever suits you. An expert band will know what songs fit each moment. Work with them to pick an appropriate number of dinner-friendly selections so your guests can digest without Sammy Hagar trying to scream over Eddie Van Halen’s guitar “Right Now!”


  1. Great article.

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