Music For Your Wedding Day


Bride & groom dancing with their guests | Essex wedding planner

Image Credit: Weddings By Anesta

The music choices you make for your wedding day will add to the emotion of your ceremony, set the tone for your drinks reception and wedding breakfast, as well as ensure a good time is had by all throughout your evening celebration.

And whilst most couples will remember they need music for their first dance (if you are including this tradition in your wedding day), or as the bride walks down the aisle, known as the processional. But what about music as you sign the register, throughout your drinks reception and the small window of time following speeches whilst you are waiting for your evening guests to arrive and your evening entertainment to begin.

With so many elements to consider when planning music for your wedding day, it’s easy to see how some couples can overlook parts of their special day which will require music of some description. So today I’m delighted to share with you the what, when and why of music for your big day which will help you plan your wedding day music to perfection.

Timings & requirements

Not always considered by couples, but it’s essential that your musicians timings & requirements are established prior to your wedding day. When confirming musicians arrival times couples will often forget to consider the time needed by the musicians to unload and set up, as well as the time the musicians should actually begin playing. You should also consider your musicians requirements and pass these onto your venue. Important information such as their electricity requirements, the footprint they need to set up and their refreshment requirements are all important factors which should be relayed to your venue or wedding co-ordinator prior to your wedding day, allowing any issues to be addressed in advance.

Before your ceremony

Guests will begin arriving for your ceremony up to an hour before it is due to begin. So, if you have booked musicians to perform throughout your ceremony consider asking that they are set up ready to begin playing as your guests arrive. This is a fabulous way to entertain your guests and helps to build the excitement for your ceremony.

If live music is not an option consider putting together a playlist which can be played as background music whilst your guests are mingling waiting for your ceremony to begin. But be sure to confirm your venue or church have the correct equipment to allow this.

Band setting up on a wedding day | Essex wedding planner

Image Credit: Hannah Phipps Photography


When choosing your ceremony music you would normally need one song for the processional, one song for the recessional and three songs to be played whilst you sign the register.

Your ceremony music can be played via a playlist or live musicians, with string quartet’s/trios and acoustic musicians being a popular choice for many couples.  If you are marrying within a church then you will probably also have the option of choosing the churches organist and choir to provide their music for your ceremony.

If you decide to play your ceremony music via a playlist you will need to appoint a responsible person to be in control of this for you and remember to download the songs to a device rather than relying on Wifi or 4G signal. You should also confirm there is electricity available and that your venue has a suitable PA system to allow for this option, especially if your ceremony is taking place outside.

Drinks reception & wedding breakfast

If you would like live music for your drinks reception & wedding breakfast then you could consider booking the same musicians to play to your guests throughout your ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. Or, you may decide to change the mood completely and book a different style of musical entertainment for each element of your special day.

If live music is not your style and you would prefer background music then you can put together a playlist to be played on a PA system. Just make sure your venue has this facility available. If not, or if you are hosting your wedding reception within a marquee at home or a dry hire venue then you can hire a small PA system to connect to your iPad, phone or similar. This will also be useful if you require microphones for your speeches.

Evening celebration

Every bride & groom wants the grand finale to their wedding day to be a huge success, so it’s important that you make the correct choices, starting with the set up. If your hosting your evening reception in the same space as your wedding breakfast you should consider paying for an early set up from your band or DJ. This is essential if you would like the afternoon celebrations to flow into your evening party with no interruptions. Of course this may not be possible due to lack of space within the venue or your band/DJ may not offer this service. If this is the case make sure you have a space were your guests can go whilst the room is turned around and that you have a suitable playlist to play whilst the final preparations are put in place for your evening party.

You should also make your evening band/DJ aware of your venues sound limiter, if they have one. This will allow them to plan accordingly and minimise the possibility of exceeding the sound limit.

Although you would probably have booked your evening musicians because of the style of entertainment they offer, it’s still important that you discuss your wishes with your band or DJ. Telling them a little about your guests, your preferred style of music, any songs that you would love to hear as well as any that you definitely do not want to hear will ensure that your evening party ends your wedding day on a high.

Of course each wedding day is different and each will have varying musical requirements, but I do hope this guide has helped you to plan the music for your big day. If however you require further advice or guidance then please do get in touch to discuss the planning services I offer.

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Essex wedding planner Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events in garden

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events trained with the UKAWP