Festival Friday Wedding Week Edition

It's kind of a diversion for Festival Friday this week, but in the spirit of wedding week - Wedding Music.

Inspired by friends and their weddings, I wanted our wedding to be made by us as much as possible. My original inspiration for our ceremony music was that we would each write our processionals and then write our recessional together. It didn't happen that way though. That picture? That's me on the morning of the wedding trying not to freak out and write something. So we both ended up writing our own processionals but ended up using a song by Explosions in the Sky for our recessional.

If you're not musically inclined, here are some non-traditional suggestions for the ceremony:

"The Light" - Mason Jennings: Depending on your style of wedding, you might want to fade it out before the build. Mason Jennings has a couple of other songs that would be sweet for a wedding too.

"Imagine" - John Lennon: I looped the intro of this for my friend's wedding. It works because you can make it last long if needed, and it's hard to get sick of that progression.

"Falling Slowly" - Swell Season: Maybe it didn't work out for them, but as long as you don't find that ominous, I think it's still a great song. Glen Hansard is probably one of the most entrancing musicians I've seen, it's crazy. If you ever get the chance - take it. (well, if you like his music, of course)

Erik Satie - Go to the library, open up spotify, whatever you use, and listen to all the Gymnopedies.

Yann Tiersen - his music for Amelie was so enchanting.

"Snow and Lights" - Explosions in the Sky: This is what we used for our recessional. I wanted it to be a bursting forth. "Catastrophe and the Cure" and "So Long, Lonesome" also have a good walking pace to them. And they're long, so if you have to get a bunch of people down an aisle, you're good to go.

For our reception, we used an iPod preloaded with an extensive playlist for dinner and a separate list for the dance. We also had a back-up iPod with the same lists, just in case. If you decide to dj yourself, make sure that you have someone in charge to take requests, perhaps adjusting what comes next as needed, and warding off any guests wanting a change mid-song. With all of the on-demand music options now, it's even easier than ever to create an extensive and diverse playlist.

Honestly, my husband's got a knack for this sort of thing and he did a great job assembling what music we would need. It was a mix of songs he knew everyone would want to dance to, plus music that we enjoy as well. Click here for the songs we put in our playlist. There are some classics in there, songs that were heavy into our rotation at the time, and some personal favorites.

The key to picking out music is to remember your audience. Do you care what songs are played while your grandparents are still dancing? What about children? Would some of the songs offend your guests? Frontload with classics, current hits, and favorites - save some of your own favorites for the last half of the dance. That should help you keep people dancing until it's time to go.