So how do you go about choosing the music for your wedding day?

Let’s start with the wedding ceremony music …

The music playing in the background as your guests arrive into the room and as your husband to be waits, probably, anxiously for your arrival, should be for him. By that I mean music that makes him relax and feel calm (he’s going to need it!). Then, once the signal has been given that you’ve arrived, it should be something that he knows means just that. He then doesn’t need to keep looking anxiously at the door. He knows you’re outside.

The ceremony

DJ Stephen Davies of Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment, playing music during the ceremony for a Wedding at Caswell House

Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment playing music during a wedding ceremony

This normally has three musical sections:

The processional, as you enter with your father, or whoever is giving you away. Triumphant type music is great for this, especially if timed that as the crescendo is reached the doors open and you step through.

The signing of the register. Normally two or three pieces to allow for photos.

The recessional, as you leave as husband and wife. Something joyful or really meaningful to you. This is your “we’ve done it” piece.

The tracks chosen for these parts often have to be edited so that the right part, often the chorus, plays straight away. You don’t want to be already at the alter before the track gets going!

The drinks reception

Softer music played in the background as you meet and mingle with your guests. This can be all sorts from classical strings to smooth jazz to more modern, slower songs. A great time if you’re Indie fans to play a lot of the music that you can’t dance to, but love to listen to.

The wedding breakfast

Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment set up to provide music during the wedding breakfast at Caswell House

Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment discrete set up at Caswell House

Again, softer music, played at a level that your guests can still communicate with each other. I like to start slower and more instrumental, gradually moving the tempo  and styles upward, so by time the meal is over people can’t wait to get up and dance.

It’s a great time to play music for the older generation, your grandparents etc. The Rat Pack still add a distinct air to any wedding breakfast and everyone knows the songs. But equally, there are loads of Indie and alternative rock songs that you just can’t dance to, but are great to listen to… Can you name a “dancey” Oasis song?

The evening party

Father/Daughter Dance

Father and Daughter dance. Wedding at Caswell House

Now it’s time to dance!

You may choose to have a father and daughter dance. It’s a great opportunity to have a dance with your dad who will have had a pretty emotional day too. I like to arrange these just before the 1st dance so it reflects on the ceremony, in that your dad will then hand you over to your new husband ready for your 1st dance together.

Your 1st dance can be to something deep and meaningful to you, a track from your favourite film or just a great fun song. If you’re nervous about dancing in front of all your guests, just try to remember that they are all here for you. To celebrate with you, they’re not there to poke fun. Just enjoy it! You don’t have to do anything to elaborate, the “standard” slow shuffle is fine. Enjoy the moment, think about the day and the days to come together…

First dance at Caswell House. DJ Stephen Davies, Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment

First dance as husband and wife

You might like the guests to be invited to step forward and join you towards the end of the song. It’s good to have a 2nd slow song that everyone can join you for. That way everyone is on the dance floor ready to start.

Then it’s on with the dancing! (but that’s another blog post…)

Best wishes


Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment

01235 426333 or 07870 134826

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I run Oxfordshire Wedding Entertainment, based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. I’m a DJ who has the belief that weddings can be so much more… I can provide the musical accompaniment to your whole day, from ceremony to drinks reception to wedding breakfast and finally, the evening reception. I can be your Master of Ceremonies, helping to guide and inform your guests.

I’m so much more than just a DJ…

I’d like to talk to you about your wedding day, to offer up ideas, to help and advise you.

If you’d like to arrange an appointment, then please contact me.