What should I look for when picking my wedding music?
Not hiring the right wedding music band (or WORSE, hiring some cheap band just to check off the “wedding music” list item) will put a HUGE damper on the big day, when everyone should be on their feet, dancing the night away, and celebrating you and your partner’s love and lifelong commitment!
Of course, you’ll have certain song requests or an idea of what kind of music you want for your wedding. Some couples love instrumental or classical wedding music or opt for a solo violinist or string quartet to play some wedding classics as you walk down the aisle, OR others love to throw their own spin and add some humor or personality with their wedding music!
Where do I even begin with picking my wedding music?
At Alex Levin Music, we work with you to help complement whatever vision you have for your special day. Our roster boasts a talented variety of groups who play a wide range of different genres, and they each would be more than happy to put together the perfect set of live music for your “wedding playlist ” to underscore the bid day.
To help you get the gears turning, here is a specialized guide of wedding music ideas that we love. There are also special tips for picking the perfect band for your special day!
– Wedding Ceremony Music –
What are some traditional processional song and wedding music ideas?
For your wedding ceremony music, there are classic song choices for processional music to walk down the aisle to. First up is the ages-old crowd favorite “Canon in D” also known as “Pachelbel’s Canon.” Our classical string quartet, the Four-ever Yours String Quartet, plays this song frequently for wedding processionals!
For something still pretty traditional but more contemporary, why not go with a song that is an ode to ever-lasting love? “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri still makes both sides of the aisle tear up! The talented Mariela Flor Olivo is a ray of sunshine and adds a warm and intimate rendition of the classical wedding song for you to walk down the aisle to. You could also opt for a piano rendition of the piece by booking Alex Levin of the Alex Levin Trio or having the Four-ever Yours String Quartet play a classical version of it!
With the release of “Bridgerton” and more classical versions of pop songs, we’ve been receiving a lot more requests from couples for pop-based wedding music with a classical twist! Another processional song favorite is “All of Me” by John Legend. The Four-ever Yours String Quartet plays a beautiful rendition of this song, as well as other romantic pop favorites!
What are some non-traditional processional song ideas?
We love it when our couples have a sense of humor and lighten things up! What better way to do that than with your wedding music, or in this case your wedding march? Our FAVORITE non-traditional request by far is the “Imperial March” written by John Williams and featured in “Star Wars!” When your guests hear Ryo playing this classic on trumpet, it will most certainly give everyone a good laugh and start off the ceremony with a smile on every face!
– Cocktail Hour Music And Dinner Music –
What is the best type of band for cocktail hour wedding music?
As you shift gears, it’s helpful for your band to play the music that gets everyone’s toes tapping. The BEST way to do this is by hiring a jazz trio! We’re not talking about “elevator music jazz.” Jazz music is actually the best music to play during your wedding dinner or your cocktail hour since it is scientifically proven to help improve your guests’ moods and help them relax (especially while you all your wedding photos! You do not want to feel like you need to rush through your wedding photos!)
What are some wedding cocktail hour song ideas?
Some toe-tapping jazz classics that will start to ramp things up before part-time include “Cheek to Cheek” by Irving Berlin and played by the Alex Levin Trio, “This Can’t Be Love” by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart sung by Sarah King of The Smoke Rings, or something perhaps a bit more low-key and gives off speakeasy vibes like Chika and the Starry Night’s version of “Where or When” or the Street of Dreams Jazz Band’s rendition of “Too Close For Comfort” by Jerry Bock, George David Weiss, and Larry Holofcener.
Of course, you can also have a string quartet from your ceremony play through your cocktail before everyone heads to the dance floor! If you’re going for that classy vibe, the Four-ever Yours String Quartet’s rendition of “Tales from the Vienna Woods Waltz” by Johann Strauss II is probably what you might have in mind. Again, we’ve noticed people are loving those Bridgerton classical wedding music vibes more and more in 2021!
– Reception Music and First Dance Songs –
Should I have a live wedding band or a DJ for my reception?
Live music creates memories that recorded music just can’t even attempt to. The way the sound quite literally reverberates has such a strong emotional impact that imprints the best and happiest memories. While we have two incredible wedding DJs on our roster, we believe a live wedding band is the way to go! Amy Katz Events (also in NYC) posted a helpful guide to help you decide between wedding band or DJ!
What are some first dance wedding song ideas?
- “It Had to Be You” by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Gus Kahn as performed by Love, Charley
- “Only You” by Buck Ram performed by The Ladybugs at Dizzy’s Club in NYC
- “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King performed by The B# (Sharp) Trio
- “Can’t Help Falling in Love” Elvis Presley as performed by The Lovesome
- “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” by Cole Porter as performed by Chika and the Starry Night
- “Unforgettable” by Irving Gordon performed by the Dreamsville Jazz and Swing Band
We also sometimes will get some special song requests for wedding reception music from our couples! If you don’t have any requests in mind, that’s okay! Leave that up to us. All our groups make guests of all ages are up on their feet and on the dance floor. Some songs that are SURE to have everyone dancing the night away are:
- “As Long As I Live” by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler performed by Chika and the Starry Night
- “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book performed by The Ladybugs
- “That Kiss” by the Fake Tapes is perfect if you’re looking for some more of an R&B and/or Neo-Soul feel
- “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke and J.W. Alexander as performed by The Lovesome
- “Take the A Train” made famous by the legendary Duke Ellington as performed by Sarah King and The Smoke Rings
How do we pick our wedding band?
ALL that being said, picking your wedding band and wedding music does not have to be so difficult! If you’re not sure which group is right for your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, or reception, don’t worry! Give us a call and schedule a complimentary consultation call to share your ideas and what you have in mind and we can help compliment your vision! We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for jazz or classical wedding music, our groups even play Bossa Nova, swing music, R&B, neo-soul, Latin music, blues, and more! A lot of our groups play a variety of styles so you don’t need to commit to just one. (Save the “commitment” for your fiancé!) Let us know what music you love, and we’ll handle the rest!
Want to hear more from these wedding bands?
You can view some more of our live event music favorites on our curated playlist on our YouTube Channel OR you can also check out some of our groups on Spotify! Our groups that are registered as Spotify Artists are the Alex Levin Trio, The Smoke Rings, The Ladybugs, Fakes Tapes, Ryo Sasaki who is part of The B# (Sharp) Trio, and The Vipers.
You can also follow us on Instagram to get updates when we post band features and exclusive content. We also post updates for when our bands and musicians are playing gigs. Stay tuned so you can go check them out in person!
How do you know so much about wedding music?
The Alex Levin Music Agency has provided top-notch quality service for over fifteen years. We pride ourselves on providing an award-winning luxury service to all of our clients and couples. Our roster features the BEST Jazz and Swing Bands that perform nationally, frequenting New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Our groups also have performed Internationally. Alex Levin Music is famous for our elegance, professionalism, and personable support. Whether you’re looking for music for an intimate or large gathering, we can’t wait to add a unique and timeless touch to your event!
You can book any of the incredibly talented bands in this guide, so be sure to reach out to lock in your dream band, and we’ll be sure to be in touch!