23 August 2014

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Wedding music: Pitch-perfect music


Can't bear the thought of watching your family flailing around to Is This the Way to Amarillo? This is how to bring harmony to your wedding reception.

Wedding music DJFrom Scott and Charlene’s soft rock anthem to The Wedding Singer’s faded classics, wedding music has more than a whiff of week-old Cheddar about it. They say love is blind, but it might also be deaf.

Of course, it’s your big day. But this is not the time to explore the far reaches of your electronica collection – the last thing you want is an empty dancefloor. The main conundrum, when it comes to reception music, is: band or DJ? Live music will undoubtedly add personality to your event but at £250+ per band member for a professional outfit, it is also pricier.

Logistics are more complex when hiring a band. Oliver Warshaw of Vitali Music (tel:020 7127 4115) has some sound advice: ‘Think about set-up times. If the band are playing in the same room you’re havinga meal in, they’ve got to be set up before the guests arrive. A band which sets up at 3.30pm but doesn’t play until 10pm will need to be paid for “hanging around time”.

The standard format for live performers is two one-hour sets, so even if you’re having a band, you’ll need to consider what you’re going to play once they’ve left the stage. An iPod playlist is a good budget option, but a live DJ has the added advantage of being able to sense the mood in the room and keep a few ‘power tracks’ in the locker for dancefloor emergencies.

Any DJ worth his Sennheiser headphones will want to sit down and discuss your musical preferences before the big day. Online catalogues like Spotify make putting together and discussing your playlist a cinch and then you can broach the subject of between-track chat, or not.

Remember, before you blow your budget on a Glasto-esque line-up, to keep your entertainment in perspective. Like your food, your dress and your reception venue, your wedding music should enhance your enjoyment of the celebrations, not take centre stage.


Hey Mr DJ

Dan Willis of Sound Bookings selects five tracks guaranteed to get any wedding crowd moving:

1. Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris – We Found Love
2. Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire
3. The Killers – Mr Brightside
4. Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse – Valerie
5. Stevie Wonder – Superstition

WORDS: Adam Beresford

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