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Whether it’s a classical quartet, choir, big band, marimbas ensemble, or mixture of all the above, be sure to give your guests an unforgettable evening’s entertainment. And if your chosen venue has limitations on how late and loud the entertainment can be, then why not host a silent disco or rave? The idea here is for your guests to put on a pair of wireless headphones and dance to music broadcast via a radio transmitter rather than a speaker system.

Be mindful of selecting the right accompaniment to each stage of the wedding; from the inspiring compositions of the ceremony, to the background melodies or live music of the reception, the emotion of the first dance, and the entertainment of a dance party thereafter. A new trend is to opt for a live band during dinner, followed by a party with lively dancing and a DJ, accompanied by club-style lighting and props.


For background music at the reception, it’s a good idea to put together a wedding mix with the songs that best capture your relationship. The compilation could include the music that has been the most important to you in the course of your relationship, as well as lyrics which best articulate what you mean to one-another. Perhaps think of it as the soundtrack to the story of your romance.

During the reception, it’s customary to have a live band or DJ to entertain your guests. This will depend on where you’re getting married. A pianist wouldn’t be appropriate for a beach wedding, while a rock band would be out of place in a small and intimate venue. Bear in mind that it’s best to select music that appeals to a broad range of tastes. Some wedding bands are able to play contemporary songs in a retro style, thus appealing to young and old.

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Another option is to select music to fit your theme. The sounds of the jazz era would be great for a Gatsby-style wedding, while songs sung in a particular language, such as Italian or French, would be appropriate for a destination-based theme.

Spotify’s list of top 50 wedding songs for 2017 includes the likes of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’, Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking out Loud’. When it comes to the first dance, why not something along the lines of ‘At Last’ by Etta James, ‘It Had to be You’ by Harry Connick Jr, ‘Marry Me’ by Train, or even the evergreen Elvis tune, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. The current popularity of ballroom dancing is also reflected in wedding music, so a band that plays tango, waltz or foxtrot arrangements might also be just the ticket for your first dance!

Musicians and DJs

To find the best live music or DJ, start by getting referrals from friends or family members, and obtain recommendations from venue managers. Once you’ve narrowed the list down, listen to a demo audio clip or video. Many will have examples of their work on a website or on YouTube.

If opting for a DJ instead of a musician, find a professional who is technically proficient, has an excellent knowledge of music and a good selection of different music genres. Find out what their specialty is and if they are familiar with your favourite style of music. It also helps if you strike up a good rapport with your prospective DJ and find them easy to get along with. Before signing the contract, make sure your DJ has a contingency plan in the event of equipment failure or ill-health.

Tips for the best wedding music on a tight budget include:

  • Hiring a talented amateur band instead of the professionals
  • Not holding your wedding during peak season or on a Saturday
  • Hiring musicians to play for a limited period only, opting for pre-recorded classical or contemporary sounds for the rest of the reception