The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Music 2021
By Raashka Mannie

25 August 2021

It's the soundtrack to one of the greatest moments in your life. You want it played to perfection, don't you?

Wedding music is a crucially important part of wedding planning. It can be the greatest influence on how well your wedding goes – from the way you and your partner walk down the aisle to the first dance as a couple.

One absolutely vital thing is to make sure that you plan out all of your wedding music correctly. That means not only what is played, but when, why and how. With the help of Find A Band, in this handy checklist, we touch on all those important moments, including ceremony music, wedding anniversary songs, wedding music ideas, wedding party songs, dance music, romantic music, wedding song choices, wedding reception songs, wedding cocktail hour songs, wedding entrance songs, and so much more.


Image by Alex de Freitas

 

Pre-wedding parties

Engagement party music

It's the very first celebration of your upcoming big day - three cheers! With this playlist, you will set the tone of what everyone can expect during your very own wedding season, so choose wisely. Your closest family and friends are going to celebrate with lots of enthusiasm. Mirror this and make sure they have a great time by choosing songs that match their moods with upbeat tracks full of life and fun. The best way to ensure a memorable event is by selecting music that includes something for everyone, including a variety of genres, instruments or even funny tunes too. Have a ball with this!

We recommend: Jumpsuit

Bridal shower music

This includes the moment you enter and the rest of the bash. The atmosphere of these celebrations can vary from person to person, but the message you send with your music remains constant throughout. A bridal shower is an event that inspires excitement and deepens friendships. Your loved ones will have planned nearly every detail, including what you'll be jamming out to as you indulge in canapés. You'll spend time opening presents with everyone at your bridal shower, which is sure to make your wedding day more memorable. When you add in some moving wedding music, things get magical.

We recommend: Daniel John

Bachelor and bachelorette parties

A defining moment for couples that choose to celebrate it, bachelor and bachelorette parties are toasts to their upcoming wedding and a golden farewell to singlehood. When it's time for these festivities, make sure drinks flow freely, and good jams are playing on repeat. You'll want tunes from all eras with funky, fresh beats so everyone can enjoy themselves as much as possible. The perfect soundtrack will get everyone dancing until they're ready to pop another bottle open.

We recommend: Neo Trio

Wedding week music

As the day approaches, the heart quickens. You're dizzy with joy and twirling around. Why not add a backtrack? Put together a playlist that makes you happy. Choose songs that make you think of your partner or a bubbly collection that has you dancing in the kitchen as you make breakfast. The big day is on its way, and we know that you're ready to sing your love all the way to the moon and back.

We recommend: Kid Radio

Morning of the wedding music

Let's keep that energy going with songs to keep you energised and excited! Weddings can mean stress and changing plans - but that doesn't mean any of that has to get you down. Let all your favourite, fun songs blast in the background as you get ready with your loved ones. Slide on socks, sing into your hairbrush and have the best morning ever - it's totally what you deserve.

We recommend: Blue Steel


Image by Bayly and Moore

 

Wedding ceremony music

Processional song

Music can be overlooked in a wedding, but the processional can be one of the most important moments before your vows. When you're walking down that aisle with all eyes on you and everyone waiting for those words "I do," having perfectly selected music that sets just the right mood will help make sure it's a sterling moment.

We recommend: J. Coynash

Bride entrance song

As you walk down the aisle and into your future, a wedding processional mixes with tradition to create an atmosphere of pomp and circumstance. The music sets the tone for what's to come; it is so crucial that your entrance song speaks volumes about who you are as a couple - even before exchanging vows in front of all those teary eyes.

We recommend: Whiskey at Midnight

Wedding interlude song

You can add a natural pause to the ceremony into an opportunity for some light-hearted entertainment. As wedding ceremonies tend to run the gamut, having this musical lull in between adds a touch of something different while also tempering the emotions of the room. It's as smart as it is fun, so keep that in mind when planning your wedding music.

We recommend: Belle Isle

Recessional song

Choosing a fitting wedding recessional song is important because it's a momentous slot in your big day as you move past all those loved ones waiting on either side. You can choose a sentimental song to remind you of the day or something upbeat and celebratory that will get everyone excited. The options are endless.

We recommend: Bang Bang

Wedding postlude and exit song

Is your wedding over, or is the reception just beginning? The second, of course! You want to keep the energy going and have the most fantastical time at your upcoming reception. Make sure that your guests know this with a fun-filled tune.

We recommend: Arcade Avenue


Image by Zahn

 

Wedding reception music

Cocktail hour playlist

The cocktail hour is the perfect opportunity for guests to unwind and enjoy some appetisers before dinner. They may be a little relaxed as they chat. However, it would be best to play music with enough volume so people can still talk easily while also transitioning into more upbeat tunes when everyone starts taking their seats at dinnertime.

We recommend: Goody 2 Shoes

Grand entrance song

Make an entrance not with a fizzle but with a bang! Your entrance into a wedding is one of the most exciting moments of your wedding reception. Why not make an impression and set the tone for what's to come with a grand song that reflects you both as a couple?

We recommend: The PepperJacks

First dance song

This is a more personal one. Many couples have their song - their go-to, fuzzy-feelings, sugar-sweet song that just encapsulates them. Dancing as a married couple is like making your own ritual. It's a beautiful way to reaffirm the love and commitment you have for each other on such an important day. Go with your heart and play something that means the most to you both.

We recommend: Daniel John

Parent dance song

When choosing the perfect song for your dance with your parents, you want to make sure that they reflect who you are and what style of music will be best suited to both of you. Creating an emotional connection between you and your parent or loved one during this time can make for lasting memories.

We recommend: The Pickups Duo

Wedding party starters

It's time to light up the dance floor! Make sure you have a variety of music so that all your guests can enjoy themselves. A great way to do this would be through popular playlists and consult with your wedding band or DJ. You can mix new hits with oldies and give everyone a taste of something that gets them going.

We recommend: BSA

Wedding anniversary songs

The Longest Married Couple Dance Off is a fun way for couples to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, weddings or any other event that needs some extra spunk. You'll need your wedding band leader or DJ, who must ask all of the happily wedded guests onto the dance floor and excuse them one by one. In no time at all, there'll only be one couple left: the ones married the longest.

We recommend: Sam Allen

Bouquet toss song

The tradition of catching the bouquet is supposed to predict who will be next in line for marriage. You don't have to follow any set ideas as you throw out your flowers to a lucky person - but making it fun is a tradition to keep in mind. Any wedding song to match the vibe will be a hit.

We recommend: Bang Bang

Cake cutting

It's one of the best parts of any day, including your special one: dessert. Keep the mood playful and light with a well-chosen tune as everyone gathers to watch you and your partner slice into your wedding cake. Everyone will be applauding as you enjoy the sugary goodness - and waiting for their slice, too!

We recommend: The Goods

Slow dances

Dancing doesn't just mean jiving around the floor. It also means holding someone you love close and looking into their eyes as a dreamy song swells in the background. Your wedding music should have at least some of these romantic selections, especially when the moment calls for something softer, gentler and downright sweet.

We recommend: Soul 9 Yards

Grand exit wedding song

It's time to wind down, so let's wind down right. With the party ending, it's time to end on a high note. What better way than with your favourite dance song? Think about what you want people to feel after such an amazing night of celebration and find that perfect tune for them.

We recommend: The PepperJacks


Image by Bayly and Moore

 

Wedding music experts

When it comes down to it, you've got to leave it to the wedding music experts. Alongside professional input, dreamy lyricism and more, Find A Band gives us a little sneak-peak of their talented wedding musicians, ready to make your special day as radiant as can be. To browse through the experts' selection of perfect wedding music choices, check this list out.

You can download Find A Band's complete wedding music checklist here.


Image by Peter Letu