Whether you consider yourselves a music person or not, the music at your wedding is super important, and a great band can be the difference between a pretty fun wedding and an unforgettable one. Avoid these mistakes and you’re guaranteed to have truly amazing wedding music.
Dismissing the idea of a band before doing some research.
This is your first music decision to make and it’ll narrow down your options by half. Love live music and have a bigger budget? A band might be your best choice here.
Starting the ceremony in silence.
Most guests will arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the ceremony starts, but the wait will seem a lot longer if they have to wait around in silence. Don’t let this happen! Having music before and during the ceremony will also help signal to guests that it’s time to be seated or get quiet by upping the volume or tempo.
Skipping a sound check
Depending on your venue, there may be limitations to the type of music you can have. Even without regulations, it’s still a good idea to ask your venue manager what type of music typically works best for the space (for example, a soloist may feel tiny in a grand ballroom, but may work well for an intimate garden party).
Plan for your band to do a walk-through if they haven’t worked in the space before. While you might not realize that crashing waves could easily drown out a string quartet or trio of flutes, professionals like Around Town Entertainment can help spot and solve any tricky music situations with a sound check.
Forgetting to talk through the must-play songs.
Don’t assume your band is going to play every one of your favorites. If it’s a band, make sure you talk through your plans about this list before you decide to book—they may have to learn a song or two and need enough time to prepare.
Choosing long songs for the wrong times
Make sure to keep songs like the First Dance, Father/Daughter Dance, and Mother/Son Dance shortened to about 2 minutes. Do a run-through and you may realize four minutes can feel like forever if you’re just rocking back and forth. Yes, it’s about you two, but keep your guests in mind too!
A little choreography goes a long way, so make sure you decide to take a few lessons. Or if your heart is set on a certain ballad, work with our bands to cut your song down to a reasonable length, or talk with us about performing a shorter version.
Leaving out a do-not-play list.
Sit down with your soon-to-be spouse and go through your favorite songs together to create the must-play and do-not-play lists. Make sure you give your band plenty of time to review your picks, in case they have to add a song to their repertoire. Once you’ve handed over the lists, leave the rest up to the pros. And be careful not to micromanage (that’s why you hired them).
Playing explicit songs
You won’t be able to please everyone, but ask that your band keep it at least PG-13 during the reception. When it’s just you, your college friends, and adult cousins at the after-party, feel free to play the songs that weren’t appropriate while your grandparents and baby nieces and nephews were around earlier in the night. Beyond blatant profanity, consider the song’s lyrics and meaning. There may be a very innocent inside joke behind your choice of a raunchy song, but most guests will be on the outside—including your cute little flower girl.
Sticking to one genre.
You both may truly love ’80s pop, but six full hours of Whitney Houston might drive some guests to leave early. You’re sharing this day with family and friends, so save your more obscure favorites for the honeymoon playlist and let your band play a mix of songs that everyone can enjoy.
Letting the Speeches and Toasts Run On
Making guests sit through speeches and formalities for the first 30 minutes to an hour can ruin the party atmosphere. We’ve seen so many brides, grooms, and guests roll their eyes and nearly doze off by the fifth wedding speech! There have been times when toasts took up to an hour to get through because so many people were allowed to say something. Give each toast-maker a specific time limit to help them stay on track.
Waiting Until the Last Minute to Select Spotlight Dance Songs
We see many couples that don’t think about their parents’ dances until a few weeks before the wedding and then they rush to select songs. They should have some sentimental significance but if not carefully selected, then they’ll have minimal meaning and proper time to prepare. Start the process at least ten weeks before the big day so it remains fun and productive.
Not Choosing a Cake-Cutting Song
Not having a cake-cutting ceremony? Bad idea! We always advise selecting the background song in advance. It takes some time for the cake to be brought out, for the couple to figure out how to cut it, eat it, kiss, take photos, etc. Those minutes tick by with your guests focused on the moment. And when you have no music, this can be very boring!
Not Scheduling Breaks or Feeding Your Vendors
Not only will your musical entertainment need to use the restroom but they’ll also need to eat and rest their vocal chords. If you’re using a live band, this is especially important. Discuss breaks with your band in advance so that you know what to expect and avoid any potential upsets!