Choosing appropriate songs to play or have performed during each part of the day will make sure you hit all the right notes with your guests
If you’d rather your guests arrived to the elegant sound of strings, Beeston Arts String Quartet (beestonartsmanagement.com) has a few suggestions that might strike a chord. “While the guests are arriving, we aim to keep the music quite reflective – nothing too energetic – and we keep the volume down too, as guests are likely to be meeting for the first time or after a long gap. We’re often seated quite close to the front, so it’s good to have relaxing music to keep the groom calm,” says Liz Beeston. “Popular pieces are nice at this point, and we like to keep to ‘classical’ styles like Mozart’s Divertimenti, Fauré’s Pavane, the Salut d’Amour by Elgar and Bach’s Air on a G String.”
“Without a doubt, Pachelbel’s Canon is our most popular bridal entrance,” reveals Liz Beeston. “It’s beautiful – elegant, romantic and perfectly-paced. We never get tired of playing it. Other popular entrance requests are Handel’s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, The Secret Wedding (AKA the theme from Braveheart) or pieces that are pertinent to the couple.”
Roslyn Scoular is often asked for two timeless classics at this point: Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra and Your Song by Elton John. “After all, it should be a song to celebrate love,” she muses.
1. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Andy Williams. “Everyone knows it and it has a really happy up tempo section that never fails.”
2. Everything by Michael Bublé. “A classy song with a nice happy, swingy feel to it. Very romantic lyrics too.”
3. Let’s Stay Together by Al Green. “A timeless classic that will still sound great in 10 years time when you’re watching your wedding video.”
4. Greatest Day by Take That. “Listen to the lyrics – it sounds like it was written on purpose to be a first dance at weddings!”
5. Close to You by The Carpenters. “This song just oozes class and it’s easy to dance to! Perfect lyrics and one of the prettiest songs ever written.”
Take That’s Greatest Day is also one of the most requested first dance songs encountered by Waterfront (waterfrontshowband.com). Stephen Lauchlan of the band also suggests that I’ll Be There by the Jackson 5, Alone by Heart and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol are great tunes to take to the floor for your first time as Mr and Mrs.
Neil Brunton of ceilidh band Furory (furory.co.uk) agrees that Gay Gordons is a guaranteed way to get guests jigging. “It’s especially good as so many different tunes can be adapted for it. We once played the Indiana Jones theme in the middle of it for a movie fan’s wedding,” he reveals. “I’d also suggest the Canadian Barn Dance, St. Bernard’s Waltz and the Orcadian Strip The Willow – it’s so simple and involves everyone.”
The best way to pack the dance floor is by playing classic tunes