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How to plan your wedding day music

Vanessa Wakeman is the driving force behind Indulgence, a wedding planning and event management resource. She is the host of The Wedding Coach cable television program; editor-in-chief of The Wedding Coach Playbook; Creative Director for...

Music to their ears

It's the biggest party of your life, people are coming from all over the world (OK, maybe just from the two neighboring towns) to celebrate your big day. You are nervous and excited and want your wedding day to be full of memories and fun.

Bride Dancing

One simple way to achieve this is with music. There is no other element of your wedding that can make people laugh, cry and perspire all in the name of love, like music.

Good music can have guests talking about your wedding for months, long after the last dance. Bad music can have them talking about the wedding as well -- but for all the wrong reasons. Whether the two of you are traditionalists or modern day trendsetters, the same rules apply.

Keep these quick tips in mind as you plan your wedding day music:

1. Play music for the masses

If you are a salsa lover, you should definitely play some songs that you enjoy but if the majority of your guests aren't into it, too much of this will be a turn-off and guests won't partake in the festivities. Do consider your guests when planning the music.

2. Can you hear me now?

Every ensemble will sound different at every venue as the acoustics will vary from place to place. Do ask your musicians to give their feedback about the acoustics of the space you have selected for your reception. Will the music be clear and crisp, for an outdoor affair do they need special equipment (at an additional fee to you). Are there any other considerations?

3. They're playing my song

Create a partial play list and give it to your deejay or band leader at least two to three weeks before your wedding day. The play list should include a short list of songs that you would like to be played throughout the day. Don't overdo it, let the musicians read the crowd and see what they respond to within the parameters you defined.

4. Oops

Depending upon the age and tastes of your guests, perhaps the latest song by Eminem may be just a tad bit offensive.  Play it safe and tell your band leader or deejay not to accept any requests from anyone except the two of you and your wedding planner. Also, if there are popular songs that you really want to hear, ask the deejay to bring a clean version to maintain a respectable atmosphere.

5. Have fun

Remember this is a party! You want a lively, exciting environment for your guests. Do mix classics with current hits so that even the biggest wall flower will find him/herself on the dance floor.
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