Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

August 2016

8 Ways to Create the Perfect Soundtrack for Your Wedding Day

Choosing your wedding songs is no easy task. These 8 tips will help you make the soundtrack to your big day absolutely perfect.

With so many wedding plans to remember, choosing the music for your wedding might be the last thing on your mind. But this seemingly small detail is actually very important—music helps to set the tone for your special day, and will leave a lasting impression on both you and your guests. Not sure where to begin? Read on for 8 tips that will help you choose the wedding songs for your big day.

1. Make a list

Yes, you’ll need to make a playlist, but that’s not the list we’re talking about right now. First, you need to make a list of each moment of your wedding day that needs a song. You’ll need processional and recessional songs for when you and your wedding party enter and leave the church or solemnisation venue, of course, but that’s not all.

You’ll also need songs for your wedding banquet’s first and second march-in’s, as well as for your first dance with your husband (if you plan to follow that tradition). Listing out these moments in order might seem a little silly at first, but it will help to ensure that you have a special wedding song for each special moment.

wedding day music Anna and Joshua’s Beautiful Wedding in Tanarimba Janda Baik by Joshua Chan Studio

2. Don’t feel boxed in with traditional choices

While Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” and Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” (more commonly known as “Here Comes the Bride), are two classic songs that are typically played as the wedding party and bride enter and leave, there’s no reason that you have to choose these or any other traditional wedding songs for your processional and recessional.

The key is choosing songs whose tempo aren’t too fast, so that no one is rushing down the aisle. Not sure if the song you want to use works? Put it on, and pretend to walk as you would on your wedding day. You’ll get a good idea of whether or not you’re moving too quickly. Songs like “Marry Me” by Train and “Overwhelmed” by Tim McMorris are both good options.

Who knows? Maybe your entrance will be so memorable that you and your husband will become YouTube sensations!

3. Decide if you want live music

There are a million different directions to go in when it comes to wedding music. Do you want a live band or a DJ? Would you like a string quartet accompaniment as you walk down the aisle, or will an mp3 player work just as well?

Budget and personal preference will play the biggest roles in determining whether or not you go with live music. If all you need is for someone to hit “play,” then you’ll save some money. Then again, maybe you think live classical music is the perfect finishing touch to a beautiful wedding, and that it’s worth the expense. There is no right or wrong way—as long as you do it your way.

4. Make a playlist for the reception

If you decide to hire a DJ for the reception, be sure to make a playlist. It doesn’t have to be four hours long—but it should give the DJ an idea of the kind of music that you like, and provide a few must-play wedding songs. Be sure to give it to him well in advance of the wedding to ensure that he’ll have that music available.

If you’ve decided to hire a band, be sure you know exactly what kind of music they play, and if they cover songs by other artists. If they play only original music, or don’t feel comfortable covering the song you’ve chosen, say, for your grand entrance, you’ll need to know that beforehand. That way you can be prepared ahead of time with an iPod or thumbdrive that has those specific songs on it.

wedding music live band Vivian and Josh’s Parisian Garden Wedding at Grand Hyatt by Bloc Memoire

5. Get your guests involved (if you want to)

Getting your guests involved in making a playlist for the reception is a great way to get them excited about your wedding. If you have a wedding website, you can usually add in a widget that allows guests to submit song requests.

This is, of course, completely optional—it’s your wedding, and you can make the playlist entirely on your own. Or, if you’re not comfortable with letting guests submit songs directly to your DJ, you can ask to review them ahead of time.

6. Consider hiring an emcee

Hiring an emcee for your wedding is a great way to keep your reception running smoothly. It’s also an excellent way to ensure that the songs you’ve chosen are all played at the appropriate times, without you having to worry about it yourself. If you do decide to go this route, have a conversation with your emcee beforehand to go over the order of dances and which songs should be played when.

wedding music first dance Weddings in Pictures: Jesreen and Karan’s Singapore Celebrations by Tinydot Photography

7. Consider going solo

You’re not locked into hiring a band or a DJ, either. More and more couples are opting to play their own music at their receptions now. It can be as easy as plugging in your mp3 player and letting it play. Just keep in mind that for your special dances, you’ll need a trusted someone to queue up specific songs.

Another option is using Spotify. This music streaming service is becoming increasingly popular, because it allows you to access an enormous library of music and make customised playlists. Be sure to use an mp3 player rather than a phone, though, so that your wedding music is not rudely interrupted by a phone call.

Looking for somewhere to start? Spotify recently revealed the most popular wedding songs in Singapore and on global wedding playlists:

Top tracks in Wedding Banquet playlists in Singapore

1. Wang Lee Hom – “The One and Only (唯一)”
2. Jolin Tsai – “Say “I Love You” (說愛你)”
3. Wang Lee Hom – “Another Heaven (另一個天堂)”
4. Joanna Wang – “Lost in Paradise (有你的快樂)”
5. Rainie Yang – “Ideal Lover (理想情人)”
6. Joanna Wang – “I Love You (愛很簡單)”
7. Jerry Yan – “I Will Love You (我會很愛妳)”
8. Evan Yo – “My Baby (我的寶貝)”
9. Alan Ko – “Love Exercise (戀愛演習)”
10. Deserts Chang – “Like (喜歡)”

Top tracks in Wedding Banquet playlists globally

1. Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’”
2. The Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
3. Bruno Mars – “Marry You”
4. Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean” – Single Version
5. Outkast – “Hey Ya!” – Radio Mix / Club Mix
6. Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”
7. ABBA – “Dancing Queen”
8. Whitney Houston – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”
9. Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars– “Uptown Funk”
10. Van Morrison – “Brown Eyed Girl”

Top tracks in First Dance playlists in Singapore

1. Etta James – “At Last”
2. Lonestar – “Amazed”
3. Ray LaMontagne – “You Are the Best Thing”
4. Michael Buble – “Everything”
5. Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
6. Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
7. Andy Williams – “Can’t Take My Eyes off You”
8. Jason Mraz – “Lucky”
9. Tony Bennett – “The Way You Look Tonight”
10. Train – “Marry Me”

Top tracks in First Dance playlists globally

Ed Sheeran – “Thinking Out Loud”
Etta James – “At Last”
Ray LaMontagne – “You Are The Best Thing”
John Legend – “All of Me”
Christina Perri – “A Thousand Years”
Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
Jason Mraz – “I Won’t Give Up”
Michael Bublé – “Everything”
Jack Johnson – “Better Together”
Lonestar – “Amazed”

8. Talk to your fiancé

None of these decisions should be made without talking to your fiancé first. Even if he has been minimally involved in the planning process, choosing the music for your wedding and reception is deeply personal and should reflect both of you equally.

Perhaps the most important song that you’ll choose for your wedding music is the one played during the first dance with your new husband. When picking this song, reflect back on all of the wonderful memories you have together, and what brought the two of you to this point in your lives. This dance is one you’ll both remember for the rest of your lives—but as long as you choose it together, you can’t go wrong.

Credits: Feature image of The Greatest Adventure of John and Sher by Jonathon Ong // Visual Storytelling