“Don't neglect the music. Our hearing is one of our main senses and it can make us feel so many different emotions, so use it. Whether you can only afford a playlist on a CD or can book a 12-piece band, you can make your wedding sound incredible!” - Lucy Beard, Lula Weddings acoustic singer
From the the ceremony to the first dance and the afterparty, music is an integral part of any wedding from start to finish.
The Scribbler has lost count of the number of times that a lump has appeared in the throat when a sweet melody has floated into the air at a wedding, triggering tears of happiness as the bride walks down the aisle... but that's not forgetting the importance of the soundtrack that will spark that all-important push to get everyone on their feet and dancing as the evening goes on.
A dodgy DJ can leave us cringing behind the centrepieces or even worse… encouraging guests to start checking their watches for the perfect moment to slip out. Don’t cut corners when it comes to choosing your music for the day – it can set the tone for the entire event and leave a lasting memory, for better or for worse!
The Scribbler spoke with acoustic wedding singer Lucy Beard from Lula Weddings about what her take on planning the wedding day music takes to make it special and personal to each and every couple.
So, Lucy, can you give us some tips for deciding on music during the drinks reception?
“For the drinks reception and the evening reception especially, I would go with my more upbeat and well-known songs from my repertoire. They don't necessarily have to be love songs, but more easy listening and tunes that people know that make them feel good. The aim is to get people dancing and singing along!”
How do you choose songs that are best suited for each event?
“A mixture of classics and chart songs is a good choice – this keeps everyone happy. My favourites are ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ by Stevie Wonder, ‘Rather Be’ by Clean Bandit and ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.”
Great selection! Now for the biggie… how do you select the first dance song?
“The couple needs to decide together; it needs to mean something to them both. The first dance is one of the most intimate moments of a bride and groom’s wedding day and can be a truly amazing moment. To get that ‘lost-in-the-moment’ feeling, the song HAS to resonate with both of you. I've sung a few upbeat wedding songs too, if the bride and groom aren't that ‘touchy feely’ and it's an AMAZING atmosphere too. So, both high and low tempo songs work for the first dance. However, the lyrics need to have meaning.”
Interesting that you mention the importance with lyrics. What’s your favourite song that you’ve done at a wedding and why?
“I haven't actually sung it yet but a bride introduced me to an absolutely stunning song by Ryann Darling called 'I Choose You'. I recommend everyone listens to this song… it brought me to tears learning it!”
Okay, let’s give it a spin… (The Scribbler clicks here to listen)… that’s strange… I think… *sniff*… I’ve got some dust in my eye… anyway, back to business! What would your recommendations be for the whole day in terms of a plan for the music?
“Not many brides really have a plan for music, because it sometimes comes as an afterthought, but music can REALLY set the tone. Not many people realise how a solo singer can bring that sparkle to a wedding until they've witnessed it themselves. It really gives a unique and special touch to the day.
“In terms of choices – before and during the ceremony – I would recommend slow ballads. Your exit song should always be 100-per-cent upbeat as it acts as a celebration. From there on, keep the feel-good music in the background, but try not to keep the same 12 songs on a loop all day as it gets rather repetitive. If your venue allows it, and you're not having a live singer, I would suggest plugging in an iPod and popping on a Spotify playlist.”
Top-notch advice, Lucy. So, do you work alongside couples in the planning process?
“As most wedding suppliers know, you really get to know your customer, more so than most other industries. A lot of the time I become friends with my brides and grooms due to the amount we speak! But in terms of help, it all depends on the client, some brides are extremely organised and know exactly what songs they want at what exact time, but some come to me without a clue and like recommendations.
“It's ‘swings and roundabouts’, but I always do my utmost for my brides and grooms. I have my own amazing pianist who makes professional piano tracks for me so I can quite literally make (almost) any song a wedding song. No enquiry is too much for me.”
Do you have any last-minute tips for future brides and grooms?
“I would say start big and organise the niceties once you have ascertained the remaining budget. But remember this is YOUR day, you are marrying your best friend so make sure you do it your way!”
A huge LifetimesMAG thank you to Lucy Beard for chatting with us, and if you like the sound of an acoustic wedding performer for your big day – visit www.lulaweddings.co.uk to find out more about Lucy and how she can help you plan the perfect soundtrack!