If Music Be The Food Of Love, Rock On.

Music is my life, outside of wedding blogging of course!

I listen to music all day long, usually alternating between Spotify and 6music. Sometimes I even play a bit myself (badly I might add).

So if it came to planning my own wedding day, you could guarantee that music would play a big, big part in the festivities.

I guess the first thing to say is that music is a very personal thing, so I’m not about to make any recommendations on whether you should be having a live music or a DJ or choosing this particular genre over that one. That is not what this post is about.

On a very generic “advice” level I would strongly advise you to see your potential wedding entertainment in action, if at all possible – going on a few minutes of MP3 played from a website could be a risky business. But that is where the advice ends.

Hey Mr DJ

It is becoming really popular to ask your guests to contribute to your wedding playlist – it’s a good way of ensuring you cater for everyone and a great way to get feet on the dancefloor.

You could make a little space for song suggestions on your Save The Date’s or if you are feeling particularly technically minded (and your guests are switched on) you could even set up collaborative playlist online. Online music applications like Spotify allow for your guests to simply drag and drop their favourite songs into your playlist at the click of a mouse.

Of course – this could lead to some dodgy suggestions and you may prefer to create your own playlist without compromise – don’t feel the need to try and please everyone. If the party is in full swing no-one is going to notice the lack of Aunty Maureen’s favourite Simply Red track.

If you are looking for some playlist inspiration you could always have a peek at Charlotte’s iPod Playlist.

Play It Again Sam

If you are the musically creative type, you could always get up and have a go yourself. Natalie joined her husband Jez and close friend Mike to perform a few songs for their family and friends on their wedding day.

If you want to avoid the limelight but you have a budding Ed Sheeran or Adele in the family then you could always give them a nudge and see if they will perform. Families do love that sort of thing. Nan’s especially!

At Chris and Joe’s Cotswold Wedding a young family member sang a few impromptu songs with an acoustic guitar and we heard via the photographers that it was one of the most moving parts of the day for everyone there.

Your musical entertainment can be as informal and relaxed as you like, Stephen and Julia decided to have a really chilled open mic set-up at their reception, in between sets by a hired musician, anyone was free to get up and have a go.

I love this idea, a little bit hippy and a little bit geeky but definitely very cool. And I imagine this sort of set-up could get rather more interesting as the ale starts flowing.

Theme Tunes

You might let your musical tastes slip out subtly on your big day, or you could let them dictate the entire wedding theme. It’s up to you how far you go.

A really nice subtle concept that goes back (all those years!) to the O’Shea big day is the idea of incorporating music into your wedding stationery. You could name each table after your favourite bands or give every table it’s own musical genre. Or, as Charlotte did, you could name the tables after your favourite songs.

The Table naming did cause a little controversy…

Charlottes Nan: Charlotte! your father tells me you are naming your head table sex something or other! is he joking?!

Charlotte: It’s Sex on Fire Nan – after the song… You know, don’t worry though you won’t be sat on that one, you’ll be sat on Mr Brightside… Not literally obviously, I mean the table named Mr Brightside….

And if subtlety is not your bag then just flippin’ go for it! Stage the whole shebang around your musical interests if you want, Tom and Leila did. They wanted a Spanish Fiesta so, for their outdoor wedding with bright mismatched colour scheme, they choose to have a traditional Flamenco dancer, singer and guitarist who provided the perfect mix of passion and flair.

Similarly, George and Harriet embraced their passion for music and basically staged their own bonkers festival in place of a traditional reception. We are talking bands, welly boots and overnight camping!

If you have hit the wedding planning brick wall, and you’re not sure which direction to go down for your theme or décor, your musical interests could provide some inspiration to get your thoughts off the ground again. You don’t have to turn your wedding into Glatonbury, it can be as simple or as all encompassing as you like.

The Finale

A final thought. If you are stuck for wedding favours, this idea could literally be music to your ears. It’s really easy and very cost effective to create your guests a mix-tape (or CD as it would probably be now, but tape sounds so much better). You could base the mix tape on your favourite songs or a selection from your wedding playlist.

With a bit of D.I.Y skill you can make your mix CD favours look pretty presentable. And if you personalise each one you have your table name cards sorted too.

If you haven’t seen my D.I.Y tutorial on how to make these with a single sheet of A4 paper, then check it out. And yes – these were made for the (currently) imaginary wedding of Adam and Kylie… I have held on to them though, just in case…

Big “I should be so Lucky” Love,


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

18 thoughts on “If Music Be The Food Of Love, Rock On.

  1. How strange that this post came up today – I’ve been sat listening to our hastily created ‘wedding playlist’ for the first time whilst I’ve been working today.

    This has been the go to file whenever we’ve heard a song on road-trips, days out, nights out etc that we’ve heard and quickly popped into that playlist so we don’t forget it. It’s an odd mix I have to say… definitely might need some editing!!

    Does anyone know of a ‘dj app’ or anything similar that sort of blends one song in to the next to stop the inevitable gap in between? Does such a thing exist?


  2. Oh yay a music post! We sent out cards with our invites asking people to rsvp with their top 3 dancing tunes and then created a playlist for in between the bands sets. Its resulted in an epic, but very eclectic mix!! Every time I hear it now I’m reminded of all our guests (and some terrible taste in music!!) And yes I did veto YMCA…

    Ruth – I left this task to my husband who fiddled with all the controls in itunes. We (aka he) got rid of the gaps and also made sure they were set at the same volume. You can do some fancy shizz too like decide on the genre and it adapts the base etc accordingly (I’m afraid that’s as far as my knowledge goes!)


  3. @Hollie –
    Oooh thanks very much for that, I shall have a play around with iTunes later and see if I can get it to do what I want! Many thanks x

  4. We have just booked 1 of our 4 music acts! (yes you read that correctly, 4!! and not including performer friends who are singing!)

    Lovely Mr A is rather into music, as am I, I guess, and we have seen our fair share of naff function bands over the years – add to that the fact Mr A is himself a singer (in the TestostaTones – a RMW sponsor!) we are rather picky!

    So we are doing a bit of everything, friends singing, friends playing, friends dj’ing, a band playing after our ceremony, another band kick starting our evening festivities and another DJ finishing off the night!

    The one question I am constantly getting asked though is: “Oooh are the TestostaTones singing at your wedding” – erm no.

    Poor Mr A can’t even bear the thought of singing at his own wedding (he gets rather shy, crazy considering this is what he does all the time!), but I guess it’s different when it’s your own… plus I think if he did sing to me I would actually die, and cry and ruin my make up…

    Hmmmm proofing this makes me wonder have we gone overboard in the ents department??!

  5. I can’t agree more about how important your playlist is. We put so much effort into our playlist was all 50’s swing and rock n roll music which we both love, but so did our guest, we had everyone up on the dance floor, later we moved on to dance music through the ages and it was fab when we got to the irish rover and everyone was up and I mean everyone got up and took there turn at spinning around.

    It was a magical evening and help so much by our choice of music, working in the wedding industry I’ve attended a lot of weddings were the dance floor is empty all night because of the choice of music….. rock on

  6. Adam – when I click on the link for Charlottes ipod playlist, it seems to bring up a search page on RMW. Please please pretty please can we see Charlottes list as I need some major inspiration for our ipod playlist that we’re trying to compile at the moment!!

    PS We also asked people to choose a song to dance to but most people have sent their replies back without anything written in the gap. About 8 people have replied with random stuff like ‘anything from the 80’s’ or ‘any abba song’ …. help!

  7. We wanted to go and see the ceilidh band we want to hire for our wedding. Well, we can go and HEAR them – by loitering outside the room they’re playing in at another wedding in an hotel! My fiance said “If they’re any good, we can get them to play in the next room while we all dance in the main one” – to replicate the experience!

    I feel a bit furtive about the loitering; I may have to wear a hat, dark glasses and a moustache…

  8. Music is so important, I’ve probably spent more time on our playlist then any other aspect. I’m totally going to do the favours, thanks Adam!

  9. I’m definitely going to have to point some people in the direction of this post. Music is SO important for a wedding party – it can completely change the mood and atmosphere and I reckon it should never be an after-thought. Mr Dav and I we went for the DIY approach at our own wedding as we are Muso geekheads and knew it should be an important part of the day. Luckily we’re friends with some top-notch DJs who relieved us to go speak to guests throughout the night but I had a go and managed it (and knew nothing before!). Also, it got us out of having to dance as we did a “First Set” instead of a First Dance.

    On a side note, our friends used your CD Favours for their wedding in November. I thought they were just super clever figuring out how to Origami-up the sleeve. They didn’t say they’d got the idea from you – errr..busted! The favours became a bit of a conversation-point and we all agreed Wilkos do the best brown paper for things like this.

  10. Music was a hugely important part of our wedding, it was the one area that literally took from the start of planning to the morning of our wedding when Chris was still putting our song list together!

    I think it was the one area we both put 100% into the planning!

    It is such a personal part of our day, it really is all about your own taste! It also helps having a great band!
    We had a swing band play throughout the night, during the breaks we had an ipod song list, once the band heard our style they starting singing songs that were more indie! It was great!


  11. Evening all! Love a bit of music, it is amazing how a bit of music can completely alter your mood and things. Take mundane gym session, add a bit of ‘banging’ (yes I did just use that word) tunes and your away!!!

    It is also amazing how much music plays a big part of the day from when the bride walks down to the aisle, to the ‘last dance’ the day is full of serious tunage.

    I am constantly keeping an ear out for possible songs to play at the Church / reception / weddding DVD soundtrack etc. In fact this post has inspired me to do a bit more research………..

  12. Crazy to see that today is music…I was on the laptop last night researching songs for the ceremony! I’ve got them all but for the processional which I’m leaning towards if you run by the boxer rebellion. We arent keen for a ‘traditional’ song but my fiance is so blase about this part…any ideas out there?

  13. I know Mrs. Dav has already comment above, but I just had to nip in a quick comment about Wedding DJs (a topic close to my heart since I DJ as well as taking photos) ..

    A lot of people spend ages recruiting photographers, embarking on tasting sessions for the food, finding the perfect wedding favours for guests, but the DJ is just bolted on the end, either on venue recommendation or just going through the phonebook. This strikes me as a bit odd, as you’re effectively handing over several hours of your day to their control… why not make them jump through a few hoops first to make sure they really fit the bill?

    OK, its not always possible to see them all in action. And getting them to turn up in your living room and give you an impromptu set could prove impractical and… well.. a bit awkward (if fun)… But rather than give them a playlist of songs you like, turn it on its head. Tell them the sort of music you’re into and get them to provide *you* with a playlist indicating the sort of thing they’d play. You’ll soon get an idea if they know their musical onions, or if they’re just likely to turn up on the night and bosh out 101 variations on the Black Eyed Peas all night…

  14. Love this post, Adam! I’m the same as @Lynette in that I work in the wedding industry and therefore have seen a lot of different acts that haven’t worked and I would completely agree with @Ian Davenport in that you do hand over quite a large proportion of your wedding day to someone who you don’t know well.
    Sending a DJ a playlist of music that you like is really important – even DJs don’t like going to a wedding where they know nothing about the Bride & Groom and know nothing about their music choices. At the end of the day, they are there to keep you and your guests dancing all night!

    On another point – I met a couple who had used homemade CDs as their wedding invites and put all of their favourite music on them – such a good idea!

    Ooh-err sorry for the long message! x

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