Yesterday, I posted a list of the most frequently requested classical music for wedding ceremonies. Today, I get to talk about my most favorite topic…Contemporary hits for wedding ceremonies!! Now, I must disclose that I often recommend that our clients select a mix of classical and contemporary hits for their wedding ceremonies, but for the purposes of this article, I wanted to just give a few options that work well for each part of the wedding ceremony.
Family/Bridal Party Processional:
What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
The Prayer – Andrea Bocelli
Pro Tip: If you are planning to have a large bridal party, (over 2 pairs of family members or over 5 couples in the total bridal party) I recommend that you select one piece for your family members and a different selection for your bridal party.
All Of My Love – Led Zeppelin
Marry Me – Train
Pro Tip: Select a piece of music that has special meaning to you and your fiancé. Pick something that you love! If you are hoping to have a specific part of the song performed for your entrance, please make that specific to your ceremony music planner/provider/string quartet leader, etc. I will often ask couples what part of the song they are hoping to hear and then plan for a 4-6 bar introduction so that the bride hits the ceremony space right on cue. This is something that should be discussed with your ceremony musicians in advance.
Middle Of The Ceremony:
You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf
XO – John Mayer
Pro Tip: If you are planning candle lighting, sand, ring warming, wine box ceremonies, etc. It is always appreciated when couple’s select a piece of music to be played softly while these events are taking place. Even if you have decided not to include any of these options during your wedding ceremony, it is still acceptable to have a short musical interlude if desired. If you do decide to have music performed during this time, please understand that unless specified, you are not going to hear the song in its entirety. You musicians should perform one verse and one chorus of the selection unless they are told differently. For this reason, please do not pick something that you have a burning desire to hear. Save those songs for your cocktail hour so that you have a better chance of hearing them in their entirety.
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
Pro Tip: Pick an upbeat selection that suits both of your personalities. We have had everything from “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics, to “I Wanna Be Your Lover” by Prince used during this time. Just be sure that you select something exciting that gets your guests ready for cocktail hour.
Bonus Pro Tip: A wise wedding music planner will base prelude, postlude and cocktail hour selections around your chosen ceremony music so that nothing gets duplicated and will ensure that all of your requests flow nicely from one to another. If you do not receive guidance from your wedding music provider, they are not really doing their job. Make sure to ask questions and be certain that you feel good about your planned music.
Double Bonus Pro Tip!:
While it is very easy to be swept away into wedding planning land, always remember that ultimately your guests are there to support you, and therefore you should be keeping them in mind as well. When selecting cocktail hour music, (in particular) try to select music from each time period so that all of your guests can connect to something that they like. It is your big day, but your big day may include 200+ people. Everyone loves a fun wedding and fun weddings typically include awesome food, a cool venue and amazing music.
As Luminous Sounds has well over 150 contemporary hits to select from and we customize each ceremony to our client’s needs/requests, it is impossible to tell you the “best songs” to use. The selections listed above simply represent the most frequently requested songs for each moment of the wedding ceremony. If you are planning a wedding in the New York, NY or Long Island areas, please feel free to reach out to us. I would be happy to customize a music plan for your big celebration.