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Wedding Music IdeasWedding Music Ideas

published May 7th, 2014

With the formalities of the wedding ceremony now over it’s time to kick off your heels, let your hair down and dance the night away at your wedding reception. No doubt that after all the stress of preparation and planning you’ll want to grab that metaphorical party bull by the horns and ride it until the early hours until it staggers into a bush and falls asleep.

There’s no party without music (unless it’s an exceedingly dull party) so hopefully you’ve got that playlist provider ready and waiting to strum that guitar… spin those discs… or press “play” on the iPod (if you happen to live in the 21st Century).

Yes, it’s a musical minefield selecting the method that’s right for your event, let alone choosing what music you’d like to be played. Especially if you’re attempting to please everybody (Please note: no matter how hard you try, you won’t please everybody).

So where do you begin? Well, it really depends on your taste in music and whether or not you want a “cheesy disco” or live music, possibly in the form of a band or solo singer with a guitar. With that in mind here’s a few musical avenues you may wish to explore…

The Band

If there’s ever a good opportunity to have a band play exclusively for you (and your close friends and family) then it’s at your wedding reception. The only downside is that hiring a live band can be rather expensive… and if it’s not expensive then that may be reflected in their performance! The average cost for a (good) band is around $3,000, but you can probably find one cheaper… if you’re not so worried about the lead singer being tone deaf and the music being akin to a bunch of cats playing violins.

The cost also depends on how many people are playing, how long they’re playing for, and how far they’ve travelled to play. Obviously if they’ve come all the way from Timbuctoo they’re going to demand more money as they would have incurred travel expenses and hotel accommodation fees. So a guy with a guitar is going to cost a lot less than a five-piece band. Unless the guy with a guitar is Eric Clapton.

The DJ

If you find a good and experienced wedding DJ then you’re laughing. They can handle the music, announcements and timing of all the events with ease.

Some DJs might make a pig’s ear of the entertainment if they’re given free rein on the playlist, so it may be wise to draw up your own playlist of songs to play and songs-to-not-play-under-any-circumstances. As you have so many people with varied tastes in the room it may be difficult to get everybody up and dancing, but most DJs are experienced enough to know what works and what doesn’t… and in what order.

You can also instruct the DJ as to whether they should accept requests from drunk guests, or leave it up to their discretion. Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers may be appreciated by one of your guests, but this doesn’t mean that everybody wants to hear “Rock & Roll Party Mix” on multiple occasions.

DJs are also rather technical creatures, so they can handle any gremlins in the machine. A good DJ will also have the foresight to bring back-up equipment in case anything fails on the night. For example a guest spilling wine over the sound desk may prove problematic.

They’re certainly cheaper than bands, though not as unique. Every party you go to has a DJ so none of your guests jaws will drop and say “Wow, a real live DJ!” whereas they may be more impressed to find a band is playing. Nor will guests be impressed if the DJ has had a few too many JD’s and decides to hijack the reception with his own brand of truly dreadful music. The dance floor probably wouldn’t empty quicker if someone set off the fire alarm.

iPods, Pads and Laptops

If your venue has sound equipment and you have an iPod then that’s a marriage made in heaven (pun intended). Now all you have to do is plug it in and you’re good to rock and roll!

It is perhaps the cheapest and simplest option, but also the option that could go disastrously wrong very quickly. For example if your venue doesn’t have sound equipment. So check this out before the day and don’t just assume! Also, it’s not just a case of press play and leave it sitting in the corner all night. A responsible guest should be designated “DJ” and stop, start and adjust the volume when required.

Remember your iPod alone isn’t a great judge of vibes in the room. So if the dance floor isn’t doing a great deal of dancing (just standing there looking bemused) then your iPod isn’t going to automatically compensate for this by moving on to the next track.

Technical difficulties may also leave you in a bit of a pickle if the iPod controller isn’t very technically minded. Although it doesn’t take an Apple genius to work an iPod you really need someone with at least a basic grasp of Apple products.

Windows aficionados need not apply.