Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love Birds and Songbirds: How to Have Fun with Your Wedding Day Music

Have you ever been to what you expected would be a really great party? On the surface everything seemed in place. The food was good. The host was generous. The crowd mingled well. But something was missing. You weren’t sure what it was … but something wasn’t “right.”

If this has ever happened to you, chances are your hosts forgot one little detail that could have transformed their party from drab to fab.


That is right. Music sets the scene for any great event, from a child’s birthday party to your grandfather’s retirement bash and everything in between … including your wedding.

The Internet is full of websites offering suggestions for Wedding Ceremony and Wedding Reception music. Here are some of my favorites.

Our Wedding Songs
Our Wedding Songs lists 16 categories of wedding day songs, from ceremony interlude and unity candle song, to first dance and garter toss. Some of my favorites from their lists include "Another One Bites the Dust," by Queen for the bouquet toss, "How Sweet it Is," by James Taylor for the cake cutting and "Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton for the last dance.

Wedding Music Central

Wedding Music Central lists dozens of articles and descriptive lists to help you get started planning your wedding music-or you can hire them to create your music lists for you. You can even sign up to receive a free newsletter-and a 10% discount-from their site.

Some of the best advice they offer is “what to play and when.” It can be daunting to try and decipher all of your musical needs. Read the full article for tips and ideas on how to best proceed but some of my favorite tips are to include:

- a specially-chosen song to play during your receiving line
- a family dance song just after the “first dance”
- a special song dedicated to stepparents

Wedding Wire
Wedding Wire lists a dozen categories of songs, including my favorite category, “Anniversary Songs.” The website offers a forum, as well as a place where brides can save songs, upload guest lists and seating charts and build a wedding website ... and the best part? It is all F.R.E.E.

Wed Alert
Wed Alert features over 1,200 songs broken down into dozens of categories and sub-categories, such as Style of Music (jazz, contemporary, country, big band, etc.), Ethnic Varieties (Italian, Jewish, Irish, etc.) and Group Dance specialty songs.

I am a firm believer that music sets the tone for your event and keeps the party moving. Since I was married in a Catholic church, my ceremony music options were limited but I still chose to have fun with the music.

Since my husband is 100% Italian-from the Bel Paese-we hired an opera singer to sing "Ave Maria" in Italian for our processional. We also had a long-time family friend and church member sing a communion song he had written with a fellow congregant called “Love is More.”

We had a keyboard player pounding live jazz music throughout the cocktail reception and guests entered the main dining area to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”

The Bridal Party was introduced to the Right Said Fred tune, “I’m Too Sexy,” and we cut the cake to The Archies’, “Sugar, Sugar.”

I even had a special dedication before the Anniversary Dance to my mother, Jeanie where all married couples danced to Elton John’s, “Little Jeannie.”

To kick the party off, we did the Italian-version of the Chicken Dance and had the Italians teach the Americans the Tarantella.

Choosing the music was one of the most satisfying aspects of planning my wedding and I was excited each time I found a song with a new hidden meaning. So get out there and start planning your wedding music-you’ll have the time of your life!

Have you chosen your wedding music yet? What did you choose? Why?

Photo courtesy of azzaroni


Neesh Q said...

WOW! What a helpful site. I am definitely going to be following your blog. Thanks for the tips!!!

Hope you check out mine sometime:

Cherrye Moore said...

Thanks, Neesh. I am glad you like the tips. I'm heading to your site now!