No matter what type of a destination wedding in Croatia you plan, what wedding venue you choose and how many guests you invite, the wedding music will be a key element to create the atmosphere you desire. Therefore, choosing the music can be a real challenge. When choosing wedding music, you need to decide what kind of atmosphere you want to go for. What kind of experience do you want to prepare for your guests? Do you prefer live music or do you prefer the feeling of a disco club? Choosing the right music for your wedding is important as it helps bring the whole atmosphere of your wedding to life. The music will reflect your personality and the personality of your better half.
Wedding music during the reception and cocktail party
Beginning of the wedding schedule is often marked by the guest gathering on the welcome reception, followed by cocktail party and a champagne toast. Guests who just arrived at the wedding and are tired after a long journey gather here. Many of them are meeting each other for the first time, and some already know each other, but have not met for a long time. This is an opportunity for them to get to know each other, talk in person, exchange experiences and get a bit involved in the wedding.
The guest reception is very important, especially at weddings with numerous guests. That is because at this part of the wedding the guests relax a bit, forget all other worries and start to get taken over by the joy of the wedding. Here, guests exchange everything they wanted to say to old and new friends. So later during the party all that remains for them to do is make toasts and have fun.
In addition, the guest reception is the indispensable beginning of the big wedding also because some guests simply have to be late. It is better to be late for the reception than for the ceremony!
The bride is usually not present in this part of the wedding. She and her maid of honor are just getting ready for the wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, the groom is greeting the guests during the reception and toasting with champagne. In a same-sex wedding, both brides or both grooms may be present or absent, depending on their wishes.
During the guest reception, the guests are not yet ready to let loose and let the music take them over. Therefore, the best choice of music for the guest reception is light background music that will only prepare the atmosphere. For example, a cappella performances or a string trio will be exceptionally comfortable to the guests. However, if there is a special song that you absolutely do not want to leave out of the wedding, and it does not fit into any other part of the wedding, then you can fit it here. Moreover, if the song is of a different genre than the rest of the music during the reception, the performance will certainly be intriguing!
The most emotional music should be chosen for the wedding ceremony
The ceremony is the backbone of the wedding. This is the most spiritual part of the wedding. Two families become one. The newlyweds vow to each other in front of their parents and the heavens that they will share happiness and overcome all adversities together. The way to the guests’ hearts is completely open during the wedding ceremony. Therefore, the music for the wedding ceremony should be emotional and without exception will captivate every guest.
It should be noted that during the reception the guests completely relaxed. Now they are completely immersed into the wedding. On top of that, they are still sober and completely focused on you, the newlyweds. The words of the selected songs will resonate in their hearts. Because of this, one can get the impression that it is enough to simply choose any emotional songs, and they will land on a fertile ground in your friends’ hearts. But we advise you to pay more attention to the choice of the wedding music for the ceremony. Because when you re-watch your wedding videos years later, these songs will timelessly bring you back to the altar.
Certain wedding venues have specific requirements for the ceremony music
Before you start choosing musicians and thinking about song choices, you need to choose a wedding venue for the ceremony. Will it be in a church, on a meadow, on a beach, on a hotel terrace or in a registry office…? What conditions and requirements does each venue have for the ceremony? Some venues, such as churches, often have strict guidelines about what music can or cannot be played during the ceremony. Churches might prefer only religious songs. Such churches would allow secular songs only during the newlyweds’ entrance and the end of the ceremony.
Other venues may also have guidelines for you to follow. For example, setting limits on wedding music volume. If the ceremony will take place on the beach, you must not overlook the wind. The wind is a frequent guest on the beaches. Check with the wedding musicians whether a regular loudspeaker will be louder than the wind. Check where the musicians will be performing during the ceremony. It is smart to avoid places in which they would disturb the photographers and videographers. Moisture can significantly interfere with strings, etc.
We highly recommend live wedding music during the guest reception and the wedding ceremony. Live music leaves a much more intense impression. The composition of the performers is completely up to you. It can be only instrumental music, it can be a cappella or a combination of instruments and vocals.
For these moments, the musicians are always willing to learn your special musical wishes. They will always adapt to them. Just announce them enough time in advance, so that they have time to practice the songs before the wedding.
Band or DJ at dinner and wedding celebration?
After the reception and ceremony, your guests will be a bit tired, hungry and thirsty. You probably won’t be any of that, because your first dance is just waiting for you and you’ll only be thinking about it! But your guests will now be ready for the wedding dinner. They will be eagerly waiting for the wedding celebration to begin. In these moments, it is no longer important for the music to be emotional. You have most probably chosen the first dance song months in advance. But it is wiser to leave the choice of wedding music during the rest of the celebration to a professional. Because during the rest of the evening, the music will have the role of guiding your guests.
A good front man or DJ will recognize the conditions of the guests. Everyone is looking at the front man and DJ, but they are focused on the state of the dance floor. When they that the dance floor is emptying, they will perform a series of dynamic and well-known songs to fill it up again. But they won’t overdo it, so that the guests don’t tire too much at once and look for a (too) long rest at their tables or bars. The band and the DJ know when it’s time for the each dinner sequence, as well as the cake. So they will use their music to lead the guests to the dance floor or back to their tables.
Prepare your list of songs
We wrote that the choice of wedding music during the dinner and celebration is best left to a band or a DJ. But that doesn’t mean that you should leave them the song selection too. You choose the songs and hand the list to the band or DJ. They will know the perfect time to perform each song.
You can expect from the DJ that every song will sound exactly as you hear it on the radio and YouTube. You can expect the DJ to play just about any song you want. Besides, a great DJ is better than a mediocre band. But you can expect from the band to deliver an amazing energy, which cannot be achieved by the recorded music. But before you decide on a band or a DJ, consider the pros and cons of each. Only then make your final choice of the one that best suits the wedding atmosphere you envisioned.
Arguments for choosing a band or DJ
A DJ is more affordable, even if he is accompanied by an instrument. Bands have more members and are often more expensive than DJs. The DJ will play the exact songs you want. You can even make a playlist in advance.
A DJ doesn’t require as big a stage as a band. This means that there is more room for the dance floor. This can become crucial when planning the layout of the dance floor, tables, sweet corner, decoration and the stage. If you’re absolutely certain that you can’t give up on the wedding venue and you’ve already whittled down the guest list too much, then you’ll appreciate every extra foot you can free up for the dance floor. Much more space, a stage, additional equipment and time to practice should be provided for the band.
Finally, a significant advantage of DJs is that they are often more skilled as hosts. This is quite important if you plan to have several announcements, different speeches, games, etc. during the evening.
We already wrote that a band conveys a noticeably more intense energy. A well-rehearsed band maintains a more dynamic atmosphere. Their infectious energy has more success in attracting guests to the dance floor. The band also has its own unique personality. Live music is more emotional, but the band cannot fulfill each guest’s musical desire. No matter how great a band is, it cannot have a wide repertoire like DJ.
How to approach a musician for your wedding
If you’re still hesitant about choosing your wedding music, the easiest way to crystalize the answers is to think back of other people’s weddings where you’ve been a guest. You will immediately distinguish where the atmosphere was better, and where you enjoyed tasting wine or cocktails more than joining the dance floor. Also try to remember the performers during the guest reception and the ceremony. If you cannot remember the performers at a particular wedding, it means that those musicians did not manage to leave a lasting impression on you. But the performances of those you remember crystal clear may be something you can consider for your own wedding.
Prepare a list of songs that you want to listen to while sailing into your marriage. But don’t forget to also compile the list of songs you don’t want to hear. Share both lists with the musicians. They will be grateful!
Wedding music budget
Finally, don’t forget your own wedding budget. Wedding music usually does not make up a significant part of the total wedding cost. Some funds can be saved on music if necessary. But an honest advice of an experienced wedding planner is that wedding music is one of the crucial segments at any wedding. Guests will remember the wedding music for years to come. Thus, we advise against sparing budget on music. Especially because wedding music does not require a significant part of the whole budget. Instead, choose your wedding musicians carefully.
Here we have shared some tips about wedding music. If you have more questions when making a final decision or you need help in choosing or communicating with specific musicians, ask us to help. Our wedding planning agency Flammeum has long-term experience in organizing destination weddings in Istria. We will be happy to help you find and choose musicians that suit your taste and are available for your wedding date.