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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Connelly

How to Select the Music for your Wedding - Easy Steps to Follow

Selecting the right music for your wedding is essential to setting the right mood for you and your guests. (You agree, right?) In this blog post, we'll discuss music for different parts of your day to find the perfect songs. I will take the time to understand your spirit and curate a playlist that matches your style and personality.

Wedding music is important
Wondering how to select music for your wedding? Read on!

Using Spotify - My favorite streaming service

Spotify has a library of songs from different genres and eras. It's an excellent resource for finding the right music for your wedding. Need to become more familiar? You can create playlists, browse curated playlists, and use the search function to find specific songs or artists. Spotify also has a "Discover Weekly” feature that suggests new songs based on your listening history. Best of all, it's free if you can handle a few commercials.

Your next step should be to follow me on Spotify with this LINK and search some playlists I've curated, broken down into popular wedding categories. I also have a bunch of non-wedding playlists you might like for a car trip or a Sunday morning coffee session. Do you want to talk specifics and share ideas? Overwhelmed? Don’t be. We’ll talk about your music in detail. Please continue reading to get into the mindset of music curation and to understand my process. I hope this helps you select your wedding music.

Playlist breakdown

1. Pre-ceremony Music

The pre-ceremony music sets the tone for the rest of the wedding and creates a welcoming atmosphere for guests as they arrive. You can choose a mix of instrumental and vocal songs that are relaxing and calming. Here’s one of my favorite pre-ceremony playlists. This is great because it’s all recognizable music but the acoustic cover version. Love “Hey Ya” by Outkast? This playlist has a chill guitar and vocal cover. Link - Acoustic Covers (clean)

2. Ceremony Music

The ceremony music is one of the top five most important playlists of the wedding as it accompanies the procession, the vows, and the exchange of the rings. You can choose traditional or contemporary songs that are meaningful to you and your partner. When we talk, we’ll discuss the transition vibe from pre-ceremony music to your wedding party procession. If we go for instrumental music for your pre-ceremony playlist, I’d love to introduce lyrics at the start of your ceremony. Here’s a maybe too-big playlist to begin your search. Link - Walk Down the Aisle

3. Cocktail Music

The cocktail hour allows guests to mingle, sip on cocktails, and enjoy light snacks. I’m down with keeping this genre specific. Maybe some 2000s throwbacks, an all-Motown playlist, or a modern eclectic mix with Gramatik, Børns, and Big Wild. Here’s one of my favorites. Link - Modern Cocktail (Electric & Eclectic)

4. Dinner Music

The dinner music should usually be mellow and relaxing to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere. You can choose instrumental or vocal songs that are romantic and soulful. What’s the vibe? Lots of options. Check out this sophisticated and jazzy collection of my favorite *bossa nova tracks HERE.

Does it have to be sophisticated? Maybe we want a BBQ vibe? I did a wedding where the couple said, “we want a party atmosphere during dinner.” We decided on some yacht rock classics. People were dancing their way through the buffet line. Looking for some yacht rock Inspo? Here’s one of mine right here. Link - Yacht Rock Music

*What is bossa nova music? It a genre of music that began in the late 1950s that combines samba and jazz. It means "new wave" in Portuguese.

5. First Dance as a Married Couple

This is the most important selection of the evening. It’s your first dance as a married couple, so let’s spend some time on this one. What are you thinking? Maybe you want the same song as your grandparents. I love it. We can also flip the script and choose a track that doesn’t fit the traditional sense and choose something your partner and you love. Does it have to be a slow jam? No way. Here’s my collection of non-traditional first dance songs you’ll find inspiring. Link - Formal Dance Songs (non-traditional)

6. Dance Party Music

The dance party music is the highlight (I hope you agree) of the wedding reception and should be fresh and energetic to get everyone on the dance floor. We generally kick off the dance party following your formal dances (parent dances, etc.). I’m a fan of playing a slow song and inviting everyone to the dance floor. I mean everyone, including your college friend, who “never dances unless he’s had 12 beers." BTW, anyone planning on having 12 beers at your wedding might be a bad idea. I’ve seen this on a few occasions, and it’s generally not a great style. Back to the first slow dance. It’s for everyone. I’ll begin playing your selected slow song and invite everyone to the dance floor. After that song is complete, it’s party time! Are you wondering about the music selection? Let’s talk, as I need to know the music you love, the music you don’t love, the music your guests want to dance to, and so much more.

Bonus! What do you think about requests?

I love them, and have an ultra-modern request system your guests will love. And don’t worry. A request does not mean I’ll play the song. It has to vibe with the soundscape we designed together. Here’s the link to check it out. Link - Music Requests

In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed my advice for how to select the music for your wedding. Did you really read everything? That means the world to me, and I hope you take music selection as seriously as I do. (it's my life) Need that Spotify link again? Here it is. Link - Spotify


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