You can go to a half-dozen different wedding receptions, and you’ll discover that each one has its own unique wedding music flavour and style. That owes in large part, to the creativity of your wedding entertainment professionals.
Your wedding actually comes in two parts. In the first part you plan your attire, chose your attendants, decide on flowers and other decorations, and take your walk down the aisle.
“Part Two” begins when the bride and groom arrive at the reception. The musical selections and styling of your entertainer—let’s say a disc jockey—set the tone for your celebration.
Throughout the reception there will be specific moments that you want to highlight, and your song choices can do that for you. Let your music tell the story of your love!
The Bride and Groom Arrive
Your entrance to the reception marks the first of these highlights. How do you plan to arrive?
Do you want to be there before your guests arrive, so that you can greet them in a receiving line? Typically, the bride’s parents, then the bridal couple, and then the groom’s parents form the line.
If room and time permit, honor attendants and even grandparents can be included. Guests love this opportunity to have a quick one-on-one moment with the bridal couple.
Modern day situations dictate the need for variations. Divorced parents can be interspersed among the honor attendants. Or, with the bridal couple and their mothers only attending the line, the fathers roam throughout the crowd to greet individual guests.
Soft background music encourages a social mood, or your disc jockey can play some traditional standards.
Perhaps you’d prefer to arrive grandly. Your guests will be milling about, and the DJ will cue your entrance with whatever song you choose.
The opening bars of the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” offer a trumpeting fanfare to announce your entrance. Other songs like Barry White’s “You’re the First, Last, Everything” gives guests the chance to applaud and whistle as you join the festivities.
The Bridal Waltz
Once the entire bridal party has entered and been introduced, it is customary for the bride and groom to have their first official dance. You can choose a traditional waltz for this number, or you can simply select something that is meaningful to both of you.
This dance represents your first steps into the world as a couple. It also symbolizes the official end of ceremonial procedure and the actual start of celebration.
Bridal Couple and Parent Dances
The next dance is the bride’s turn on the floor with her father – referred to “The Father Daughter Dance”. This is another symbolic action; the bride is saying a fond farewell to the man who raised her, and that man is saying good-bye to her as she joins her mate. “Wind beneath my wings” by Bette Midler is a wonderfully expressive song.
The groom’s dance with his mother says that he will always respect and love the woman who raised him, but now he is joining with his wife. “Sweet Child O Mine” by Guns N Roses is a favorite.
Genres of Music
People like a variety of music at weddings! Even if the bride and groom share a love for just one genre, let your wedding entertainer mix up a variety of songs to satisfy all guests. And guess what—at weddings, if nowhere else, people actually love to hear other types of songs than the ones they usually listen to.
Your wedding entertainment provider will want you to provide a list of your favorite songs as well as a list of songs you hate.
On average, 20 to 25 songs per hour will be played. You only need to provide a portion of these; your DJ can use his expertise to choose the remainder, and your guests will have requests.
What will you decide about traditional wedding group dances? Many of today’s couples express a dislike for them.
But people have fun getting out on the dance floor for their favorites, and it’s a surefire way to get the crowd moving during a lull. If you really don’t want them, let the DJ know ahead of time.
During dinner, it’s best to have easy listening sounds playing as a backdrop to people’s conversations. As the tables are cleared, then, the DJ has full clearance to pump up the party volume!
Cut the Cake
This is a tradition that dates back to Roman times, when the man crumbled bread over his bride’s head to signify his intent to claim her virtue and dominate her. Over the years the bread graduated into fancier cakes, and brides protested against cake in their hair.
The tradition evolved to signify their first task performed as a married couple. You need to choose an upbeat, romantic song for this occasion! “How Sweet It Is” by Marvin Gaye or “That’s Amore” by Dean Martin are well suited for this fun. Visit Secret Wedding Songs for more Cake Cutting Song ideas.
Another activity for the DJ is to honor the longest-married couple present with a song. Or, the bridal couple can choose this occasion to honor their grandparents.
The bridal couple’s parents can also take the floor at this time, if they haven’t danced together after the bride-father and groom-mother dances. These songs can be slow or fast, something like “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole or “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain. This is known as the Anniversary Dance.
The DJ will call for all unmarried ladies—old and young!—to gather for the bouquet toss. Traditionally, the bride turns her back to the crowd and tosses her bouquet. It’s great to use a substitute bouquet so that she can preserve the one she carried down the aisle.
Whoever catches it is said to be the next in line for marriage! Choose something fun and upbeat, something that gives the ladies a chance to jump around and shake their booties.
Next comes the moment when the groom removes his bride’s garter—some men do this with deadpan seriousness and others make it a racy bit of fun. Then the groom tosses the garter to the single men present, and just as with the bouquet toss, the one who catches it will be the next married.
At many receptions these tosses are carried further: the man who has the garter puts it on the lady with the bouquet, for fun and a photo op only. For this entire process your entertainer should play some wild and masculine tunes, like “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood, or “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred.
The honour attendants can organise the guests to form a circle or an archway to send the bridal couple off on their honeymoon.
This is a nice way for everyone to say farewell to one another as the reception draws to a close. You can choose something soft and romantic like “Sea of Love” by the Honeydrippers, or something more traditional such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
Secret Wedding Songs is also great resource for wedding music ideas.
Wishing you easy planning and a great wedding day,
Goldbass DJ Entertainment
Professional DJ Hire for Events & Weddings in Perth, Broome, Margaret River & WA