The music played at your wedding will become one of the strongest reminders of the day. When you hear the songs afterwards, they’ll transport you back to those special moments.

Take your time choosing the key songs (the processional, recessional and first dance). But your wedding playlists for each section of the day can be done well in advance, so you don’t need to rush them when you’ve got hundreds of little tasks to complete closer to the wedding.

This can be a fun task to do together. When we were planning our wedding it was something on the to-do list that we were both equally excited about. For six months it became our evening ritual to play potential songs while we were cooking and then decide if it should be added to our wedding playlists. A kitchen X-Factor, if you will.

Jono Symonds Photography

Begin by asking your venue/planner for some key information.

  • Once you’ve agreed on the order of the day with your venue, ask how long each section will take so you can plan the length of your playlists accordingly.
  • Even if you’re having live musicians, it’s a good idea to have playlists ready, just in case.
  • Agree on who will be responsible for playing the music on the day. Will it be a staff member or someone in your wedding party?
  • Confirm how the music will be played, e.g. downloaded on a tablet. Ask if your device will need an aux adapter. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to stream your playlists as some venues aren’t able to accommodate it.

Decide what mood you want each section of the day to have.

Sure, you could just shuffle your favourite songs all day, but it’s a  great opportunity to set an ambiance. For example, you might want chilled out love songs during your drinks reception, and upbeat songs after your wedding breakfast to get your guests ready for the DJ/band taking over.

  • Consider creating a playlist to play during the meal to keep the good vibes going. Something soft that works well as background music.
  • If you’re providing your own evening music, the same applies. Do you just want to shuffle bangers or do you want to take your guests on a musical journey?

Add and organise as you go.

  • Once your playlists are set up, give them obvious names so it’s easy for someone else to navigate.
  • Curate them over the next few weeks or months. Little and often keeps it enjoyable.
  • When the day comes, write a note to keep next to the device so the person in charge of the playlists know the order and if they should/shouldn’t press shuffle.

This is the document I gave to our venue so I didn’t need to think about the playlists on the wedding day.

It covered the order we wanted things to be played, and what to do in an emergency if our live music fell through.

Don’t forget about a playlist for the morning.

Trust me, the atmosphere is better when there’s a good playlist and a portable speaker (but phone’s are fine too). You might want to hand this one over to someone in your wedding party. Musicals, relaxing spa music, 00’s belters – you name it, I’ve heard it played. Don’t get stuck with a generic wedding playlist or the TV radio (unless that’s your vibe, of course).

Don’t delete them after the wedding.

When the excitement is over, you may find yourself yearning to relive all of those special moments. Put on your wedding playlists, look through your photos or have a dance with your partner.

A song can take you back instantly to a moment, a place or even a person. That one song stays the same, just like that moment.” – Sarah Dessen