Trying to pick a Wedding Soundtrack which will create an atmosphere that all of your guests can enjoy can be extremely difficult. That’s why we asked The Cairn String Quartet recently what advice they had for our Brides when it comes to solving this problem. This is what the experts had to say:
‘You like strutting your stuff to Beyonce. He loves nothing more than rocking out to AC/DC. Your mother dreams of you gliding down the aisle to a traditional wedding march. You were thinking more classic Adele on strings. Your dad’s never even heard of Adele. You’ve got 100 guests who need to be entertained throughout the day, but how are you going to make sure there’s something for your Great Aunt Margaret, as well as Mad John from your H2b’s 5‘s team.
One of the most emotive weapons on the planet, music can be the make or break to those tears as you walk down the aisle, to helping your guests break the ice while you are whisked away for photographs, and to really get the party swinging in the right direction. As purveyors of Wedding music for everything right up until your first dance, and having provided the music for over 500 Weddings, we’ve really seen it all. The Good, the Bad, and (once in a blue moon) a little bit Ugly. Heres a breakdown and some of our best hints and tips on how to pick your Wedding playlist.
The main event. The most important moment of your day (and life,) this is about you and your partner. It should be about the personal things in life – the music you dance to in the kitchen, the song who’s lyrics just hit the right chord, the music that really pulls your heartstrings, or simply the music that you both genuinely love. The different parts to be soundtracked are:
Your guests getting seated: Atmospheric and scene setting. You could go for a traditional classical feel, or go for heart-wrenching modern songs, such as Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros, or Eva Cassidy’s Songbird. Getting married in a castle? Why not go for traditional Scottish tunes, and Braveheart is always a winner no matter what!
Walking down the aisle (Processional): Your moment. You should always choose this yourself. To really make it your very own moment, why not give your bridesmaids their own song too – a favourite of our Brides is to have their bridesmaids walk into Here Come the Girls, or Beyonce’s All the Single Ladies, and then when it’s your turn to walk, the music turns into the tear-jerking song that you have chosen just for you. Alternatively, let the music slowly build during your bridesmaids entrance, and you walk in at a climactic moment. Most of all, take your time and enjoy every second!
Does your mum have a favourite song? Why not let her have her very own walk-in to her favourite song (this is a sure fire way of keeping her happy!)
Signing of the register: Choose 3, as this can sometimes take a few minutes while you, your witnesses and minister/registrar sign the documents, the official photographer gets some nice shots, and your guests have a chance for a photo-op. Go for both you and your new husband’s favourites – you have just got married, and should be something meaningful for the moment. A popular choice from our couples is Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder!
Walking back out (Recessional): Always go for upbeat and celebratory. One of our favourites is to play a small snippet of the traditional Wedding march, to give it that classic Wedding feel, and then change it into something else – we regularly get asked for All You Need is Love by The Beatles (like in Love Actually) and always getting a few giggles is Another One Bites the Dust by Queen!
Hymns: Always go for ones that everyone will know. Think hymns you sang at school, like One More Step, or Morning Has Broken (there’s a great version of this called Come to a Wedding).
Go wild! This really is the time to throw in the wild cards and get the party started with all those things that you know you’re guests will love and chat about while you are off getting your snaps done. Something a little different and unique will really get them chatting, perhaps something that they’re not expecting. A good starting point is to pick a group that do lots of different styles to ensure there’s something for everyone. Alternatively, why not get your guests involved and send them a link to your chosen musicians’ website before the big day, and get them to pick some favourites from the playlist that they can enjoy.
Choose your very own tracks to walk into the room to, while everyone is on their feet. This could be a funny moment, and should be something really upbeat – a popular favourite is Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Frankie Valli.
Also choose something for the rest of your top table’s entrance. This should also be upbeat, though once we did The Imperial March from Star Wars for the mother’s entrance…luckily everyone laughed!
For the actual munching part, be sure to stay upbeat to get everyone in the party mood. By this stage everyone has really relaxed and are in anticipation of the night ahead. It’s really important to have some music at this point, as when everyone’s got their mouth’s full during the main course, it can get a but quiet…
Whatever you decide to do, try and keep it live. Live music is always a lovely added visual touch, and really adds the extra wow factor. There is nothing better than enjoying a great group of musicians do their thing well, and for many, it’s not that often that you get to hear a live string quartet, or jazz trio, or soul singer. You’re only going to have the chance to book the music and musicians you love once in your life, so if budget allows, it’s something that could change your experience of your most memorable day.’
We hope this can help anyone who is struggling to pick their Wedding Soundtrack and are ever so grateful to The Cairn String Quartet for sharing their extensive expertise with us. Do not hesitate to get in touch with them if you need some advice.