How to Choose your Wedding Music
What should we choose for our first dance song? Should I have music during the cocktail hour? Brides-to-be come to me for musical advice. In this blog, I will give my tips on these questions and more for couples planning their big day!
What song should I choose....
For my ceremony?
A lot of brides ask me, "What should I choose for my processional and recessional songs?" There are no right or wrong answers here! It is however you envision your first moments seeing your family and husband-to-be. I often recommend a more classical choice for the ceremony, to create an elegant atmosphere and transition into the vows easily. Nerves are high before the ceremony, and soothing music helps to calm the nerves. Plus, then we save the upbeat music to celebrate after the "I Do"s! Strings can sound so beautiful during the ceremony, playing "Pachelbel's Canon," "La Vie en Rose," "All the Way," or perhaps a special song from a movie that you love. "A Thousand Years" and "Bittersweet Symphony" are more modern choices that sound great with strings, too.
For my Cocktail Hour?
For many weddings, including my own, it works out perfectly to transition from the ceremony into an upbeat jazz trio or quartet for cocktail hour. An instrumental group allows for conversation, while picking up the energy level. It can be a nice touch to have a vocalist singing during the cocktails, and I recommend a lively mixture of jazz standards, swing tunes, and a ballad or two. It is a chance to incorporate some favorite tunes, but I recommend saving the ones you want to dance to for the reception. Cocktail hours are always a busy time of catching up, congratulating, and bustling the wedding dress!
For my First Dance?
This is the number one most asked questions by my wedding couples. Traditionally, the couple will share their first dance, followed by the father/daughter, then mother/son dance. There are a lot of different ways to do this: Sometimes, couples want a full song to enjoy the moment and allow the photographers to capture multiple shots while the crowd makes way on the dance floor. I have also done shortened versions of first dance songs, and even combined first dances if the thought of dancing terrified the newlyweds! The most important thing to remember is everyone there is so happy for you and busy taking pictures that they are NOT judging your dancing technique! So choose the songs that mean the most to you and your family, and get out there and have fun! I have had many couples choose from my recommended tunes, "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "Besame Mucho," "Can't Help Falling in Love with You," "La Mer," "Cheek to Cheek," "Fly Me to the Moon," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Embraceable You," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "Manhattan," "L-O-V-E," "Unforgettable," "It Had to be You," "Sabor a Mi," "La Vie en Rose," and "Zou Bisou Bisou." We have done some pretty epic Horah medleys for traditional Jewish weddings, so don't forget to include that portion of the night!
For my Dinner?
After an energetic set from the band to follow the first dances (and perhaps the Horah), it is a good idea to ease back into the jazz lounge vibe so guests can sit, place their dinner orders, and enjoy the food and conversation without feeling like they should be dancing. A vocal/piano duo can be nice or a small jazz combo with vocalist to croon jazz standards over dinner. Some of my favorites include, "As Long As I Live," "C'est Si Bon," "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas," and "The Glory of Love." This is also a good time for any announcements and photos to be taken.
For my Reception?
Now, it is time to dance! This is the time to change into your flats (I am in LOVE with Rescue Flats) and cut a rug. I like to get the band swinging with horns and great 1940s tempos. I toss in some Latin tunes to spice things up and keep your family grooving along. The reception is usually a wide range of music genres, and we are able to reach into 1950s Motown and Doo Wop, 1960s Franki Valli and Elvis, and even some 1970s Hustle and Disco hits to appeal to the very diverse range of ages and musical tastes that are present on your special day. It is a good idea to have a mixture of upbeat tunes, with an occasional slower tune to allow guests to catch their breath and give the newlyweds another romantic moment on the dance floor.