Wedding Planning Ceremony Tips
- How long do wedding ceremonies usually last? This is the very first part of wedding planning, and typically, the hardest part for most couples. The ceremony is a big deal and you want to choose the best songs that fit you as a couple. Here are some tips:
Wedding ceremonies typically last about 15-20 minutes, depending upon the officiant and what will be included in the ceremony. Remember, your guests will be arriving before the ceremony begins, so you’ll need your DJ or live performer to begin approximately 15 – 30 minutes before the ceremony starts, to play the prelude (songs we play before the ceremony) music.
Choose 5-10 songs to be played for the prelude, which will help in the event that not everyone has arrived on time, dressing time is taking longer than expected, etc. Most songs typically last about 3-4 minutes, so this will give you 15- 30 minutes of prelude music if needed.
- How many songs do you need for the wedding party entrance? You should choose your favorite wedding party entrance song(s). One to two songs should be sufficient, depending on the song length and the number of people in the wedding party. Prelude and wedding party entrance songs are typically classical music, but feel free to make your wedding unique and choose songs that you love.
- Next, is the bridal party entrance song! Choose the traditional bridal procession song, or choose your own favorite song. Be sure to check out our non-traditional wedding processional/recessional songs article for great song ideas! There are dozens of different versions of the bridal procession and recession song, so be sure to research the options to choose which song/version you like best.
- Do you need a candle or sand ceremony song? If you’re doing a candle or sand ceremony, feel free to choose a background song for this moment, too. You don’t have to, but it will help you feel less pressured and relieve the awkward silence. 🙂 It only lasts up to 1 minute, but 1 minute of silence feels like 1 hour! Finally, we have the couple’s recession song!
- What wedding recessional song is best? Most couples like to choose their favorite “couple song” which also makes your wedding unique. This is a great, memorable moment, so choose a song that defines the moment for you! Be sure to check out our article “Non-Traditional Wedding Processional/Recessional Songs” for great song ideas (link is above).
Cocktail Hour Tips
- What songs are best for the cocktail hour?After the ceremony is complete, Cocktail Hour begins, to allow the couple and the wedding party to take pictures. Most couples choose soft, background music to be played for the hour (sometimes 1.5 hours).
- Cocktail hour is the perfect time to play all of your favorite songs that perhaps may not be “danceable” or slower songs. Many people choose their favorite songs, but acoustic versions, Country love songs, Bluegrass remakes, Jazz, Big Band, etc. Be sure to check out our Country Wedding Songs article, or our Cocktail Hour Wedding Songs article for more great song ideas.
Grand Entrance & Dinner Tips
- The Grand Entrance
Once Cocktail Hour is complete, the wedding party and newlyweds will make their grand entrance. Some couples choose to announce their parents and the entire wedding party, while others choose to introduce the newlyweds, only. A song can be chosen for the wedding party and usually, a different song is chosen for the couple’s introduction. Some couples choose to just use the same song as the wedding party. Either works fine.
- Wedding Dinner Tips & Playlist Ideas
After the couple has been introduced, dinner usually begins. Some couples will choose to do their first dance as soon as they enter, while others may wait until after dinner. We see about an even 50/50 split of couples doing this.
For dinner, most couples play a mix of soft, background music, but any music/genre can be played, depending upon the couple’s taste and preferences. Check out our 21 Awesome Wedding Dinner and Cocktail Hour Song Ideas article, for great song ideas. Toasts are usually done towards the end of dinner, as well. Most couples do this so that no one is missing or has to find the person doing toasts. Other couples may wait until the cake cutting time to then do toasts.
Wedding Planning Reception Tips
- Now the fun begins! 🙂
Of all the wedding moments, this is the easier part of wedding planning! These will be the songs you love and you can easily use your Spotify list for examples.
After dinner concludes, the dance floor will open. As we mentioned earlier, some couples will then do their first dance, and parent dances at this time. For the couples who already did their first dance after the grand entrance, they will then do their parent dances after dinner.
Couples should choose the genres of music they wish to hear, along with other genres that their family and friends may enjoy. A good mixture of music works best, to ensure everyone will have an enjoyable evening. Be sure to check out our Top 200 Wedding/Party Songs article for great wedding reception song ideas! Other moments where songs will need to be chosen are cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, the last dance, and the send-off song.
This is the basic wedding planning timeline of how most weddings are planned, but of course, every wedding can be changed, according to the couple’s needs and wishes. We hope to have provided you with some helpful advice. Please feel free to email us, if you have any additional planning questions and we’ll be happy to help! Congratulations, and happy wedding planning!
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