Beyond the First Dance: Wedding Music Ideas

If you thought the most important music for your wedding was the first dance song, it’s time to rethink your preconceptions. Chosen with thought and care, wedding music can perfectly compliment your chosen theme, venue, and format for the day. From the ceremony right through to last orders, music can completely transform the atmosphere of a wedding; turning a previously staid ambience into an air of celebration and festivity. From magical to romantic and all-out rock ‘n rolling, here are some wedding music ideas to get you started.

1. Music for the Ceremony

If you’ve seen the now classic romantic comedy Love Actually, there’s no forgetting the wedding scene featuring the wonderful Keira Knightley. Turning to walk back up the aisle after saying her vows, she is greeted by a spine-tingling gospel rendition from Lynden David-Hall of the Beatles classic song-All You Need Is Love – chosen by her secret admirer and Best Man, played by Andrew Lincoln. With brass instruments blaring, there’s no denying the power of music at that precise moment in time, even if that other-worldly level of romance is not your style!

Many couples forget that the wedding ceremony – whether held in a church, event space or even outdoors – can be given an extra dose of magic with a carefully selected track or two. For an injection of soulfulness, you could choose At Last by Etta James, or First Day of my Life by Bright Eyes  for a little indie-inspired charm.

2. Entering the Reception Venue

Arriving at your reception venue, all eyes will be on you as you step from your wedding vehicle, bathed in a newlywed glow. As you enter the reception space, mark the occasion with a special piece of music – it can be fun, tongue-in-cheek (think Another One Bites the Dust!) or majestic – whichever style you prefer. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson is a great choice, as is Marry You by Bruno Mars. But as always, it is your choice!

3. The Cake Cutting

When it comes to your song selection for the cake cutting, there are many tracks to choose from, from the sugar-inspired James Taylor How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) to the less obvious You and Me by Dave Matthews Band. If you have a themed wedding cake, take inspiration from this – or simply use this moment as a chance to reflect on the day so far, as you and your guests relax in the transition from daytime to evening celebrations.

4. The Last Dance

With the right entertainment, you’ll have plenty of guests left standing as the music comes to a close. Don’t forget that the last dance can have just as much of an impact as the first – so choose a tune that summarises your wedding as a whole and leaves your guests with a lasting impression of your magical day. If you can’t think of an ideal outro, ask your DJ to read the crowd throughout the evening and opt for the most popular choice to wrap up the celebrations.

What musical ideas do you have for your wedding day? Please share!