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Creating Unforgettable Wedding Moments Through Music - Just How Significant Is A Song?

A black and white photograph of a bride and groom during their first dance at a barn wedding

Congratulations, lovebirds!

If you are reading this, you are probably on your way to creating a day that will be etched in your memories forever.

Now, when it comes to music, almost everyone has heard about how special "The First Dance" is, but amidst the chaos of wedding planning, one thing that is often overlooked is the power of music in creating something magical.

Believe it or not, music plays a huge part in making your wedding day unique to you. For some it means everything, but for others, it might just be a backdrop to pass the time. (If so, maybe this one isn't for you...)

Music acts as an anchor. It can intensify the emotional aspects of an event and facilitate its recall even years later on. That is why when we hear a certain song or melody that we associate with a meaningful event, not only do we remember that event, but we also remember how we felt in that moment!

With that in mind, how do we choose the music?

Well, this is really up to you. If you have very specific tastes, or songs in mind, then take this opportunity to map out your day by putting together a play list. Feel free to tell your Band and/or DJ things that you LOVE and things that categorically CANNOT be played if you feel that strongly about them. This is your day after all!

Another idea is to invite guests to make 1-3 song choice requests as part of their RSVP process. You can vet their choices if you want to, but it is so lovely watching little faces light up as they hit the dance floor to the songs that they have chosen.

I remember one of my cousins picked a really cool but obscure song and was over the moon when it came on during our drinks reception. Equally, how touched Jon's late nan was when the song that she had chosen to dedicate to his late grandad came on. Neither of them were expecting it and reactions like these live rent free in my mind forever.

It was a gift from them to us because everyone was up and dancing to something they loved; and a gift from us to them because they felt special. Their requests had been heard.

When do we need music?

I mean... when don't you need music is a more appropriate question. But, there are some key musical moments that you could incorporate on a 'typical' wedding day. This isn't to say you need to have all of them; but there may be some here that you have forgotten...

Processional and Recessional:

These are the songs that play as you walk, run or dance down the aisle to your wedding and back into the world as a married couple. It could be a timeless classic - think "Canon In D" - Pachelbel; or a more modern hit like "Marry You" - Bruno Mars. Whatever you choose, pick a song that encapsulates the joy, energy and excitement of your union.

What about your wedding party (if you are having one)? Will they float in slowly creating a calm space; or get the party started and set the scene for your arrival with something upbeat?

Entrance to the Wedding Breakfast:

You are married! Hooray - and all of your guests are waiting for you to enter your wedding breakfast like you are the hottest new thing in town! Maybe choose a song that not only makes a statement, but encapsulates the spirit of your relationship. It's your moment to shine, and the right song will make it unforgettable.

First Look, Signing of The Register, First Dance, Cake Cutting, Parent/Sibling Dances, Fireworks, Last Dance:

These are the moments you'll replay in your mind for years to come.

Pick a song for your first dance that tells your story.

When you cut the cake, let the music be just as sweet .

As you sway to the last dance, choose a melody that signifies the end of a perfect day.

There are so many opportunities to incorporate special music that tells your story into your day if you want to.

So - What Is The Significance of Song:

Selecting the perfect music for your wedding isn't just about having background noise. Think of music as a sort of key to unlock a secret bank of memories. You might choose songs because they mean something special to you; they resonate with your love story, tug at your heartstrings and paint the soundtrack of your relationship; or maybe you choose them because they just make you want to move your body?!

Whatever your reason behind the song choice, it doesn't really matter as long as it matters to you!

For me, music is incredibly powerful. I can hear a song and I am taken back to the significant moments that it was played. Let me share two of my favourite songs of all time & a little back story behind them:

  1. "How Long Will I Love You?" - by Ellie Goulding.

This was the song that we chose for our first dance. It is simple, sweet and hopelessly romantic but it moves me to tears almost every time I hear it. It was made even more significant for us because Jon & I were floating about in a swimming pool on a family holiday singing it; talking about our battle with infertility & making plans for "what if it never happens" - expecting yet another negative test, we found out we were finally pregnant the very next day!

2. "I Loved Her First" - by Heartland.

Funny story behind this one. I don't quite know how I came across this song, but I KNEW the moment I heard it that this was the song that Dad & I would dance to. I am the oldest of three children & the only daughter of an (understandably) over protective father. (I cannot imagine how I will feel when my two are of an age where they talk about partners & big life milestones!?) Although it may sometimes be difficult for Dads of certain generations to express themselves, I knew this would be what Dad would have been feeling. Everything that needed to be expressed in a song. I wanted to keep it a secret & surprise him on the day because if this song doesn't get you going, I don't know what will!

So! Imagine my absolute horror when I told my parents I had chosen the perfect song, only to be told that Dad had chosen a song & he didn't want to tell me what it was!!!

Nightmare! Nightmare for a self confessed detail control freak - even more so for one on her wedding day!

BUT- I could tell it was important to him so I had to trust myself... Fast forward to the big day - I am on a high, we all were (it was a very emotional wedding). Jon & I had just danced to our favourite song and it was time for the father-daughter dance.

Then I heard it... the four distinctive notes of the very song I so desperately wanted but was convinced I would have to play to him at some point after the wedding.

Boy did I sob my heart out! I love re-watching that video and seeing the moment we both realise that we had picked the same song.

To top it all off, one of my brothers had put together a compilation of childhood video's of Dad & I from when I was a baby all the way through to clips of Jon & I together which played on a screen in the background.

Mic Drop Moment! I was a mess.

Emergency tissue anyone?

Music really does make memories come to life, so if I can share one thing with you today, it would be to encourage you to give some real thought into what you listen to at poignant times in your day; and your life going forwards.

I hope the music reminders have been helpful; and that you enjoyed a little insight into what went down at my wedding. If you need some song inspiration, just let me know - I'm always listening to something!

Until next time...

Dani x

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