Choosing same-sex wedding music - is it more difficult?LGBTQ+
24 Nov 2016 Meg Humphries (Editor)It takes more than a few bars of a good track to make a wedding special, but choosing a good tune or two at crucial moments in the day will really set it alight and make it extra memorable to you and guests alike.
But is the task of choosing good songs for a same-sex wedding harder? Well, some say yes, but it completely depends on your approach.
For instance, 'When a Man Loves a Woman' may be one of your top singing-into-hairbrush tracks, but would it sound odd coming out of your speakers at your wedding, which just happens to feature a man loving a ... nother man?
In reality, probably no one else will even think about it much besides you, and after all, how many straight weddings played 'I Kissed a Girl' at the disco, right? Some people have asked us, 'Should I play certain gay anthems at my same-sex wedding?'. Well, no – not unless you want to play them because you love them!
See, music, like any other part of your wedding, should reflect you and your partner. The existence of this website is in recognition of the unique challenges that face same-sex couples when planning a wedding, rather than a belief that there is such a thing as a 'typical same-sex wedding' with certain protocols and a playlist and dos and don'ts.
1. Get a playlist on the go!Add songs as and when they occur to you. Listen to them now and then. Which ones could be contenders for the ceremony? What order of tunes works well? Do they all form the same kind of atmosphere? Do they fit into categories – calmer ones for dining, more energetic ones for dancing?
2. Make it personal.Many people get to do this wedding thing just once, so for those key parts of your day, use songs that really have meaning for you and your partner. It doesn't really matter if someone in the room doesn't get it. Failing that, a crowd-pleaser will make everyone feel uplifted, which add to the happy atmosphere.
Remember that songs used in a civil ceremony can’t feature religious references in the lyrics. This can be a bit of a pain, as you’d be surprised what can count, so have a backup list until you’ve made sure your registrar is happy with the choices (they’ll ask for them ahead of time).
3. Get your ceremony music sorted.For ceremony music, you’ll need three kinds: prelude, processional and recessional. Preludes (ooh, sounds so posh, doesn't it?) are music for your guests to listen to while waiting for the ceremony, while processional music is what you enter the room to, and recessional is what you leave to.
Aim to have 45 minutes of prelude music, just in case. For processional music, as long as the track isn’t super-short, you’ll only need one, and then depending on the size of your guest-list, you’ll need anywhere from one to around three recessional songs to allow time for you and all your guests to exit the ceremony room.
Some couples also play a song while they sign the register as an extra point of interest or – if you’re a music lover – as an extra opportunity to squeeze another great track in!
4. Live music?Great! Check if your venue has any rules (some are stricter than others) and have a think about what would work. A huge brass band in a tiny ceremony room would be deafening, but an un-mic'd harp in a huge outdoor space may be lost.
If you want musicians outdoors, consider how you’ll ensure they’re heard – some well-placed microphones and a PA system will do the trick. Also remember that, as a rule, the greater the number of musicians in the ensemble, the higher the price. We've got a post all about ceilidh bands too.
5. Put someone else in charge on the day.Even if you’ve given your CDs to the venue, briefed the string quartet a million times and have made the DJ sign a list of songs not to play, get a reliable friend to keep an eye on things and troubleshoot any last-minute issues.
Music isn’t the be-all and end-all of a wedding, but some well chosen tunes make a huge difference to the atmosphere and spirit of a wedding.
Which song are you most looking forward to blasting at your wedding?
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