Wedding planning can be quite challenging, since there’s so many details to consider. Luckily, we’re here to help you and save some time, too! Wedding ceremonies typically last about 15-25 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 10-15 minutes before the ceremony starts, to play the prelude music. Choose 5-7 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.
Next, choose the wedding party entrance song(s). One to three 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. 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.
If you’re doing a candle or sand ceremony, feel free to choose a background song for this moment, too. Finally, we have the couple recession song! 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!
After the ceremony is complete, Cocktail Hour begins, to allow the couple and wedding party to take pictures. Most couples choose soft, background music to be played for the hour (sometimes 1.5 hours). Once Cocktail Hour is complete, the wedding party will make their entrance. Some couples choose to announce their parents and the entire wedding party, while others choose to introduce the bride and groom only. A song can be chosen for the wedding party and usually, a different song is chosen for the couple’s introduction.
After the couple has been introduced, dinner usually begins. Most couples play a mix of soft, background music, but any music/genre can be played, depending upon the couple’s taste and preferences. Some couples choose to be introduced and then do the first dances (bride and groom, bride and father, groom and mother dances) immediately after. Most couples choose to eat dinner, first, then after dinner, do the first dances. There are many song choices for these dances (examples of common song choices are listed on another post on our blog). Toasts are also done, during dinner.
After dinner concludes, the dance floor will open. 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. Other moments where songs will need to be chosen are: cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, and the last dance/send-off song. Please see our blog for common examples of songs used for these moments.
This is the basic timeline of how most weddings are done, 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!
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We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!