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When Music Tastes Clash: Wedding Playlist Compromise

When Music Tastes Clash: Wedding Playlist Compromise

Key Takeaways:

Communication: Discuss and share favorite songs, and be open to suggestions.
Combine Tastes: Mix genres, blend styles, and create must-play lists for each partner.
Use Technology: Collaborate on playlists and consider guest polls.
Embrace Genres: Tailor music to different wedding stages (ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dance floor).
Creative Transitions: Match tempos, use remixes, and theme transitions.
Work with Professionals: Clearly communicate preferences with DJs or bands and trust their expertise.
Guest Requests: Set boundaries, filter requests, and include surprise elements.
Sound System: Ensure appropriate sound setup, consider venue acoustics, and have a backup plan.

Every couple imagines their ideal wedding day, and music is essential to establishing the tone and sustaining the celebration. But what happens if your partner’s taste in music is very different from yours? Is your ideal playlist a jarring mix of super loud rock and super slow ballads?

This blog will help you navigate the fun (and occasionally stressful) process of making a playlist for your wedding that will please you, your guests, and help avoid any wedding planning fights.

Step 1: Communication is Key

Talk to your partner! Make a spreadsheet or use a music streaming service’s collaborative playlist feature. Discuss the vibe you want for each stage of the wedding. Be open to suggestions and explain why certain songs are important to you. This involves honest conversations and active listening. Here’s how to start:

  • List your top ten songs and share them with each other. This is a great way to share your favourite music. Talk about the meaning behind these songs and why you adore them.
  • Look for any music or performers that you both like. Your playlist may be built around these overlaps.
  • Recognize that tastes in music are subjective and that variances in opinion are common. Be prepared to compromise and have an open mind throughout the process.
  • Revisit songs from important moments in your relationship! Did you have a first dance song? A song that played at a concert you went to together? Including these nostalgic tunes adds a personal touch and brings back happy memories.

Step 2: Combining The Two Tastes

The music selection at a wedding should be a reflection of the bride and groom’s preferences. Here’s how to achieve that balance:

  • Alternate Genres: Mix songs from different genres to keep everyone engaged. For example, follow a pop song with a classic rock track, then add a country hit.
  • Blend Styles: Look for songs that blend elements of both your favourite genres. Many modern tracks incorporate multiple influences, making them versatile choices.
  • Create a Must-Play List: Each partner should have a list of must-play songs. This ensures that both of you hear the music that’s most important to you.
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Step 3: Utilize Technology

Many music streaming services offer collaborative playlists. This allows you and your partner to add songs independently and see what the other adds. It’s a great way to gauge reactions and discover new music through each other’s recommendations.

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Take a music taste together or create a short poll for your friends and family to vote on their favourite potential wedding songs. While this isn’t the final say, it can spark interesting discussions and highlight unexpected crowd-pleasers.

Step 4: Embrace the Power of Genres

Think outside the “wedding song” box. Most weddings naturally flow through different stages: the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and the dance floor. This is your chance to showcase your individual styles!

  • Ceremony: Keep it classy and elegant. You might both agree on a beautiful acoustic version of a classic love song for the walk down the aisle. But perhaps you can sneak in a subtle nod to your personal tastes. Love classical music? Choose a string quartet playing a Pachelbel’s Canon remix. Partner a rock fan? Opt for a soaring instrumental piece from a favourite movie soundtrack.
    • Example: “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel for the processional, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri (instrumental) for the bride’s entrance, and “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles for the recessional.
  • Cocktail Hour: Here’s where you can inject some personality! Craft a playlist that reflects the mood you’re going for. If you’re both fans of a particular artist, create a themed mix around their work (think a Frank Sinatra crooner vibe or a curated selection of chill electronic music).
    • Example: Jazz standards like “Summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald, Bossa Nova classics like “The Girl from Ipanema” by Antônio Carlos Jobim, and modern acoustic tracks like “Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. Live music artists can perform these songs and make the environment unique. 
  • Dinner: Set the ambiance for a romantic meal. This might be a great time to include some slow songs you both enjoy, even if they aren’t traditionally considered “wedding music.” Think about artists you’ve seen together, songs that remind you of special moments, or even international music that reflects your cultural backgrounds.
    • Example: Soft rock or singer-songwriter hits like “Your Song” by Elton John, “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel, and “Someone Like You” by Adele.
  • Dance Floor: This is where the real compromise comes in. Divide and conquer! Allocate a specific amount of time for each of your preferred genres. Partner a dance-floor-filler classic from your era with a high-energy hit your partner loves. You might even create a “request corner” where guests can submit song ideas for the professional live music artists.
    • Example: Dance hits like “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, classic rock anthems like “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi, and pop favourites like “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift.
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Step 5:  Get Creative with Transitions

Creating smooth transitions between songs is key to maintaining a good flow on your playlist. Here are a few tips:

  • Match Tempos and Beats: Gradually increase or decrease the tempo of songs between sections to create a natural progression. Look for songs with similar beats per minute (BPM) for seamless transitions.
  • Utilize Remixes and Covers: Explore remixes or acoustic versions of popular songs that bridge the gap between different genres.
  • Theme Your Transitions: For a more playful touch, use short instrumental snippets or sound effects to thematically link different sections of your playlist. Imagine transitioning from the cocktail hour to dinner with a fun “dinner is served” jingle.

Step 6: Working with a DJ or Live Band

Professional DJs and live bands have the expertise to blend different music styles seamlessly. They can also read the crowd and adjust the playlist accordingly. Here are some tips for working with them:

  • Communicate Clearly: Share your vision and preferences with the DJ or band. Provide them with your must-play and do-not-play lists.
  • Trust Their Expertise: Experienced professionals know how to keep the energy high and the dance floor packed. Trust their judgment and allow them some creative freedom.
  • Ask for Suggestions: DJs and live bands have extensive music libraries and experience with different types of events. Ask for their suggestions on songs that might work well for your audience.

Hiring professional live music artists can elevate your wedding experience. They can offer a personalized touch and adapt to the mood of the event. 


Step 7: Handling Guest Requests

Guests often have their own song requests, which can add to the fun but also pose a challenge. Here’s how to manage them:

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  • Set Boundaries: Decide in advance how many guest requests you will accept and communicate this to your DJ or band.
  • Filter Requests: Review guest requests to ensure they align with your desired vibe. Politely decline any that don’t fit.
  • Surprise Elements: Consider incorporating a few surprise song choices that reflect fun memories or shared experiences with your guests. For even more surprise, you can put disposable cameras on your reception tables.

Step 8: Don’t Stress, Celebrate!

In the end, your wedding playlist is a means of commemorating your union and building enduring memories with family and friends. Avoid being mired in the specifics. Unwind, indulge yourself, and relish the process of discovering music that captures the special trip you two have had.

Bonus Tip: Keep in mind that your wedding music is only one component of the big day. Remember to account for the venue’s acoustics and make sure the sound system is suitable for the area. 

Sound System Tips

Venue Inquiry:

  • Ask about the sound system: Does the venue have an existing sound system, or will you need to rent one?
  • Acoustics check: Inquire about the venue’s acoustics. Are there any known soundproofing issues or echo problems?

Match the System to the Space:

  • Small venue, small speakers: A powerful system in a small space can create distortion. Ensure the speakers are appropriate for the venue size.
  • Outdoor ceremony: Factor in wind and open space when choosing speakers. Opt for weatherproof outdoor speakers if needed.

Test & Confirm:

  • Sound check: Try to arrange for a pre-wedding sound check at the location.
  • Check the loudness levels: Make sure the music is loud enough so that everyone in the room can hear it well without being overly loud.
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Professional Help:

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  • Hire a sound technician: For expert assistance, think about employing a sound technician to manage the sound system’s setup, operation, and troubleshooting throughout the wedding.
  • DJ experience: If hiring a DJ, inquire about their experience with sound systems and different venue types.

Backup Plan:

  • Backup speakers/equipment: Have a backup plan in case of any technical issues with the sound system. This could involve having a spare set of speakers or a portable sound system.

To conclude, a wedding playlist that appeals to both couples’ interests has to be made with cooperation, compromise, and inventiveness. You may create a playlist that keeps everyone happy by getting to know one another’s tastes, establishing the ideal ambiance for various areas of the event, and collaborating with experienced live musicians. Always combine styles, maintain a balance between genres, and have faith in the skill of your live band or DJ. Your wedding music will be a melodic celebration of your special love story if you prepare it carefully.

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