How to personalise your wedding music

Your wedding music can reflect your personality and  be crowd-pleasing. Have it your way!

wedding music options
Image: Struve Photography

When it comes to wedding music, you’ll be faced with the realisation that niche interests need to be nudged to the side a little bit if you want everyone to get up and dance.

With that said, you don’t have to lose sight of yourself completely. There are plenty of ways to tread the line between crowd-pleasing and satisfying yourself when selecting your soundtrack.


Personalising your ceremony and reception music

Before you start planning the night-time festivities, think about your ceremony music. If you’re having a humanist or interfaith ceremony, then you’ll not be bound by hymns and will be able to get quite adventurous.

Consider music for both your processional (the music you walk up the aisle to) and recessional (the music you and your partner walk back down the aisle together to).


  • Add an alternative twist

A clever way to include unconventional music while still giving your ceremony the sense of occasion it deserves is to have your musicians play their own composition of a song you love.

Most pianists, harpists and string quartets“ and even some pipers “ have a repertoire that extends far beyond classical music to pop and rock tunes, and can make even the most alt song sound wedding-appropriate.

Older relatives will just think it’s a nice ambient piece, your pals will smile in recognition and you’ll be marking one of the most special moments of your life with music that reflects who you are “ score!


  • Consider your musical options  

Make the unusual element the music act itself “ how about a jazz duo, pop-up orchestra or even a choir? Those of you blessed with musically gifted pals could even ask them to play a song or two, perhaps while you’re signing the register. It’s a lovely way to personalise your day.


  • Hire an alternative music act

If you fancy switching things up a bit, enlist an alternative music act for part of the drinks reception.

This is where you can go big with a real talking point by booking a distinctive artist who you perhaps wouldn’t want to listen to for three hours in the evening.

Consider the likes of pipe, mariachi and oompah bands or even a tribute act to serve as a fantastic ice breaker. This can help bridge the gap between the sentimentality of the morning with the party in the evening.


  • Enlist the help of a music agency

Bamboozled by the amount of choice out there? Get in touch with a specialist music agency.  These agencies have countless acts on their books and can work with you to select the right people for your wedding.

Plus, they frequently hold band showcases. You’ll get a much better sense of their capabilities and charisma than from streaming music online, and can book there and then if you see someone you like.

Here's how to personalise your wedding music
Image: Struve Photography

Personalising your evening music

Typically, in the evening you’ll want to have a band, a DJ or both to keep the dancefloor buzzing all night.

An iPod playlist is an option too if you’re trying to save pennies but in our experience, it doesn’t compare to having the professionals there.

After all, they can gauge the mood of the room and play to it accordingly; hitting shuffle isn’t quite so effective.


  • Have your say

If there are any songs you absolutely can’t stand, let your band or DJ know and they’ll take them off the list for the night.

Equally, if you tell them in advance of any tunes you’d absolutely love to hear on the night (not an exhaustive list, mind), most will be happy to incorporate them into their set.


  • Ceilidh rock

Fancy sticking with a ceilidh band but want to wow your guests with something different? Well, you’re living in the right country.

There are so many ceilidh bands now who do traditional music with a rock spin (check out tar tan rocks and Bahookie for starters), giving you the best of both worlds!


  • First dance choice

Although generally it’s advised to play it relatively safe with well-known songs throughout the night, this definitely doesn’t apply to the first dance, which is fair game for anything at all.


  • Break out half hour

You could also ask about having a break-out half hour for a niche type of music, whether that’s 90s r’n’b classics or noughties trance.

This is becoming increasingly popular at weddings, with many couples opting to have this section towards the end of the night when everyone’s a bit tiddly anyway.


  • Silent disco

Another trend on the rise is that of the silent disco, where everybody has a choice of the music they listen to and dances with their headphones in.

A decidedly antisocial option, perhaps, but it could be fun to incorporate into part of the evening rather than have it as the main event.


  • Rockaoke

If karaoke is a staple of your nights out, your friends will love a rockaoke band “ in other words, a rock band who invite you and your guests on stage to sing along with them.

It’s a great option for a portion of your evening if you’re feeling brave.


Our top tip? Play Toto’s Africa. it’s pretty much impossible not to join in.


From DJs to band, find great options for your wedding music in our directory