The ceremony is the most beautiful part of a wedding, but everybody knows the party starts with the dance. In both cases, music plays an important role. Whether it’s traditional, ethnic or contemporary, you and your intended need to figure out which music best suits both of you on your special day.

Leading the Way

If you’re taking the classic route down the aisle, simply follow the lead of brides before you. A traditional tune like Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus”(aka, “Here Comes the Bride”) can set the perfect tone for a classical wedding ( although Wagner’s hit is not welcome in some religious services). You certainly can walk to a different beat, too. If the wedding takes place in a house of worship, be sure to check with the officiant about approved music, because some may not allow secular works. The walk down the aisle isn’t the only musical interlude. There’s plenty of music to orchestrate throughout the day, from the ceremony to the reception.

For the ceremony, consider music for:
• The Prelude: the arrival of guests as they’re ushered to their seats.
• The Processional: the bridal party’s entrance. The Bridal March: the moment of your dreams.
• The Recessional: the walk up the aisle with your new spouse.
• The Postlude: the departure of guests.

Sound Options

Band or DJ? It’s one of life’s tough questions and can lead to great debate. Some couples sidestep a confrontation by saying yes to both.

A good way to do it would be just live music for dinner and cocktails, and then a DJ later. It’s a nice way to have live music. Another trend is a band taking center stage during the reception with a DJ filling in during breaks.

Whichever way you go, it’s important to meet with the DJ or band leader more than once. This person will be the emcee that orchestrates the pace of entertainment and must be able to follow a detailed timeline. They should be able and willing to adapt to time changes, and your personalities should mesh.

Stay alert: The person you hire should listen to what you want, not dictate want he thinks you want. The best band leaders and DJs come armed with great ideas but always defer to your wishes. Provide them with a list of music you want played and any music you do not want to hear. If you don’t want to hear the “Cha Cha Slide” at your wedding, speak up – and write it down.

For the reception, consider music for:
• Cocktail hour (if necessary)
• Bridal party entrance
• Dinner music
• First Dance Other notable dances: father/daughter, mother/son, bridal party
• Special events: Cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss

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