Music is a very important component in the majority of weddings: it sets the tone, entertains the guests, and cues everyone to let their hair down and dance!
Yet picking the right music for your wedding can feel overwhelming at times, as there is quite a lot to consider. Are you supposed to have music for everything? What vibes do you want to set? Is it okay to play that punk song you really like? Putting together the perfect wedding playlist can start to feel quite daunting. It’s enough to make anyone want to chuck their wedding checklists out the window.
If you want to select just the right music and prevent any wedding faux pas, keep reading our tips on how to avoid the worst wedding songs ever.
1. Divide and Conquer the Wedding Into Manageable Sections
Remember, your wedding is about many pieces coming together as a whole. Don’t let the idea of planning music for the entire wedding get to you. Instead, divide each stage of your wedding and reception into more manageable parts. Consider stages such as the pre-ceremony, processional, bridal entrance, recessional, pre-reception, first dance, and reception dinner.
By breaking the whole into more manageable pieces the task at hand can start to feel much more doable. Also, keep in mind that you don’t have to tackle it all yourself! This is a great opportunity for you and your partner to practice some partnership and compromise skills. If they really want to be in charge of creating the wedding playlist for the processional, and you already have the perfect idea for the first dance song, then let your partner have a say.
2. Pick Themes for Each of Your Sections
Now that you’ve divided your wedding into stages, try assigning a theme or category to each one. Think about what atmosphere you want to create, how you want to feel in each of those moments, and assign themes based on those feelings. The themes can be as simple as a single word or emotion (joyous, romantic, slow and ethereal, etc.) or as complex as you want.
If you’re having trouble assigning a theme, try selecting a song that you think fits well into that stage of your wedding. Think about why you like that song, why you think it fits into this stage of your wedding so well, and then build your playlist from there.
3. Research The Songs You Like to Find Great Wedding Music
Some of us just aren’t as musically inclined or well-versed as others, and that’s perfectly okay! Stick to songs you enjoy and search for potential playlist music selections in genres you’re familiar with. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your wedding playlist:
- If you have an iTunes, Spotify, or Pandora account these are great places to start.
- Take a look at what you’ve listened to in the past and see if there are songs that might be appropriate for one of the stages of your wedding.
- Take note of the artists you like and see if they have additional songs you enjoy.
- If you’d like more input, you might even try sharing your playlist with friends and family, and voting on the best songs. It’s a great way of getting everyone involved.
Want to go a step further? Take note of the artists you like and see if they have additional songs you enjoy. Additionally, apps like Spotify are great about making recommendations and have a plethora of wedding playlists already made. As a word of caution, keep in mind that someone with specific tastes that may differ from your own created each of these playlists. Be sure to research and listen to each of the songs before deciding to include them in your own playlist.
4. Don’t Forget Your Playlist Should Reflect You, You, You
When brainstorming for playlist ideas, it can be hard to remember that the music you select should be a representation of you (and your partner’s) specific wants, tastes, and needs. The music you select should create an environment where you both feel comfortable and special: this is your day, after all. So, while it’s important to keep others in mind, try not to lose sight of the purpose of your wedding playlists. Create expressions of love and celebration for you and your significant other.
5. Remember Your Audience and Those Supporting You
Following that point, it is important to keep in mind the people who will be attending your wedding and supporting you. Therefore, avoid inappropriate weddings songs that might make your guests feel uncomfortable.
- Avoid songs about sex, drugs, or that have a lot of swearing in them.
- Ask your trusted friends to screen your music.
- When in doubt, look up the lyrics!
This can be fairly subjective; however, depending on who is attending your wedding and at what stage you are playing certain types of music. Try to keep in mind family members and friends who might be offended by certain songs and what parts of the wedding they will be attending.
6. Remember the Lyrics: They Can Be Sneaky!
Some songs sound absolutely wonderful but are actually quite inappropriate for weddings. Consider Adele’s “Hello”: a beautiful song but ultimately one about break-ups and infidelity.
- Remember that you want your playlist to sound beautiful but also convey messages of love and optimism on your wedding day.
- Don’t just take others at their word that a song is good: listen to the lyrics as well as look them up.
- Have a trusted friend or family member perform a “spot-check” to make sure none of these beautiful, but ultimately inappropriate songs snuck onto your playlist!
7. More is Better When it Comes to Music
Time management is a must. A good rule of thumb is to try to have roughly thirty additional minutes of music than you need for each stage of your wedding. This ensures that your music won’t start looping, that bands or singers won’t start improvising, and you don’t have to worry if your timeline goes awry.
8. Be Selective About Who Runs the Show
When deciding who is going to be in charge of your wedding playlist don’t relegate it to someone you don’t have utter faith in. Whether this means deciding which band you’re going to have, the DJ who is going to keep things rolling, or which relative is technologically capable enough to operate Spotify, make sure whomever you pick understands and will stick to what you want. This shouldn’t be someone you will have to worry about having one-too-many drinks or anyone that thinks they know what’s better for your wedding playlist than you do.
9. Enjoy Every Single Second!
On your big day it can sometimes be hard to remember to live in the moment. Remember that the music you selected you did so because it makes both you and your partner happy. Live in that moment, dance, and let your solid wedding music choices usher in the start of a blissfully married life!
Do you have any other tips that you would like to share with us? Let us know — we would love to hear from you! If you’re still in the process of wedding planning, why not check our article on 10 Effortless Decor Hacks for a Bride on a Budget?