No matter what type of wedding you’re having and whatever the size, one thing is for sure: music will make it better. Whether it’s classical from a string quartet or a DJ mixing current hits, music sets many tones for your event and it’s a detail you should not overlook. We talked to area experts to get the lowdown on what should be a part of your 2021 wedding song guide.
PREPARING YOUR PLAYLIST
One way to make sure you like the music at your wedding is to prepare a playlist for your DJ or band. Thomas Kling, Manager of Operations at Northern Sound Entertainment advises how to start a playlist, “Go through chronologically. Processional, recessional, grand entrance, first dances, and any other important music cues of the night. A good DJ company provides a DJ form where the wedding couple can easily select their music and all of the wedding events of the night. Also, being able to sit down with their DJ ahead of the wedding can make all the difference in the world! Listing your preferred music genres and ‘do not play songs’ is also a must.”
Aaron Strawn from DJAA suggests submitting at least 10 songs for your wedding song guide, “Giving your DJ at least 10 must-plays does a couple of things. It lets us know what kind of music you’re into so then we can build a solid playlist of songs that we feel you will also love.” But where to start? “Think about the songs that you sing out loud in the car with your friends or the song that makes you think of your fiancé. Then, check in with your parents, see what they want to hear, songs you know will get them moving. We can take it from there.”
COVID MADE COUPLES CREATIVE
As Kling explains, couples are getting creative with their music choices, making it personal and less cookie-cutter than in years past. “Couples are more willing to create a unique soundtrack for their wedding that steers away from anything traditional. If traditional music is played, it’s usually relegated to the ceremony. After a year of COVID, formalities are being checked at the door and fun is being emphasized!”
OTHER TRENDS IN WEDDING MUSIC
Strawn points out that how music is played is key to keeping the vibe fresh and keeping everyone on the dance floor, “I think a big trend in wedding music is not the songs being played, but how they are played. Playing out the entirety of a song should be something a DJ is doing less of. For example, ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ still slaps with the right crowd, but that song is almost 5 minutes long. By the time the last bit of chorus kicks in, everyone has had all the sugar poured on them. Verse Chorus – Verse Chorus, then out and mix to the next song. I believe this is what will keep your dance floor hot all night long. BUT there are certain songs you better play all the way through, especially those on the ‘must-play list’…Or ‘Sweet Caroline’. I don’t want to get punched by the bridal party for cutting that short.”
Strawn points out the influence of social media on wedding music selections, “With social media, especially Tik Tok, we are seeing some old classics come back into rotation, which I think is awesome.” But keep in mind, your DJ should be flexible and with his eye on the guests, “Every wedding is different. ABBA may be a banger at one wedding but that doesn’t mean ‘Dancing Queen’ will work at the next. Make sure your DJ is watching that crowd, and if a song isn’t working, don’t play the whole thing.”
Another trend in wedding song guides, according to Conor O’Brien, Violinist & Artistic Director, Loring String Quartet, is thanks to all of the Netflix and chilling we’ve been doing in the last year, “In terms of music selections, Bridgerton is going to be BIG this year. We watched this series as soon as it came out, and the juxtaposition of period drama with contemporary music was so cool we just had to add it to our library.”
Josh McClure of Harmony DJ Entertainment breaks down what’s been popular, based on the general ages of his clients, “Couples in their mid 20’s are absolutely loving Punk-Pop sing-a-longs late at night like ‘Mr. Brightside’ – The Killers, ‘All the Small Things’ – Blink 182, and ‘Ocean Avenue’ – Yellowcard. Couples in their mid 30’s are absolutely loving EDM Hits late night like ‘Le7els’ – Avicii, ‘Higher Love’ – Kygo, and ‘Feel So Close’ – Calvin Harris.”
McClure acknowledges that older generations still enjoy the classics, “Parents and older generations are still loving the Classic Wedding Hits like ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘We Are Family’ however they are also requesting 70’s Disco, 80’s NuWave, & 90’s Pop.”
Other songs that have been around a while that are still popular include music from Lizzo, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, and Pit Bull. According to Kling, those artists “should get anyone to the dance floor. If not, they’re a robot!”
So how do you please everyone? McClure says, “Many couples are looking for ways to unite the old and the young so we’ve discovered that during Social Hour & Dinner, some of the modern covers for classic hits are a great way to cater to both demographics.” Harmony DJ has a Spotify playlist of Modern Covers and you can check it out here.
Stay tuned for more additions to our wedding song guide! But for now, follow The Wedding Guys Spotify for all of your pre-wedding and wedding day playlists like “Wedding Dance Songs” below!