Wedding Music: A Step By Step Guide

This wedding music step by step guide walks you through what to expect at each step while you’re working with me.

Step 1: Contact me for my availability and a quote

Please contact me with your date, time, and venue/location and I will respond with my availability and a quote. I always return messages quickly, so if you don’t hear right back from me, please check your “junk mail” or perhaps try a different communication channel. Getting back to people promptly is a priority for me, so it means something is amiss if you don’t get a reply.

Step 2: Contract and 50% deposit to reserve your date

Contract:

Info needed for the contract:

  • your name & contact info (address, phone, email)
  • event date, start time, end time
  • venue(s)/location(s)

50% Deposit

The deposit can be paid by:

  • e-transfer | kim@kimberleydunn.com (note the extra “e” in “Kimberley”)
  • cheque | mail to: 2390 Marchurst Rd., Kanata, ON, K2W 0G9
  • cash | in person (by appointment): 2390 Marchurst Rd., Kanata, ON, K2W 0G9

I will send a “receipt of deposit” for your records.

Step 3: Choosing Your Music

I don’t require your finalized song selections until 2 weeks before your wedding, so in most cases, you have lots of time to decide.

Ceremony and first dance songs are obviously going to be very personal selections, so I encourage you to choose anything that’s special to you. That said, I’m happy to help you if you’re stuck. Honestly, many people need help deciding, and that’s okay, that’s what I’m here for.

For background music for prelude, cocktails and dinner, some couples like to choose every song I will play, and some like to let me decide. I’m happy with either scenario, or a mix of both. I am really good at reading a crowd and deciding what music to play. So you can definitely defer to my expertise. But you are very welcome to select your favourites from my song lists, as well as any special requests you don’t see there.

The following are typical scenarios for a full day of wedding music. But please feel free to have things any way you want, in any order you want. There is no right or wrong in wedding music. Whatever you want is the right way.

Ceremony Music

  • Prelude – 30 minutes of music leading up to the ceremony (5-7 songs)
  • Processional: Bridal Party & Bride (can be same song or different songs)
  • Signing of Registry
  • Recessional

Cocktail Music

10-12 songs per hour – you are welcome to choose your favourites or have me choose

Grand Entrance

A fun upbeat song while you and your bridal party are making your grand entrance. I can perform this song live or play a recorded song of your choosing (“I Got This Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, for example). Your MC can feel free to talk over the song and introduce everyone in the party.

Dinner Music

10-12 songs per hour – you are welcome to choose your favourites or have me choose

First Dances

  • Bride & Groom’s First Dance
  • Father-Daughter Dance
  • Mother-Son Dance

And no, you don’t have to have all 3 first dance songs. Some couples just have the bride-groom dance. Other couples like to start off with a bride-groom dance and then have me invite everyone up to join them halfway through (this can be a great way to get everyone on the dance floor to segue into your DJ/dance).

Also of note, first dances can be BEFORE dinner rather than after dinner. If you ask my personal preference on this, I actually prefer the first dances done right after the Grand Entrance, just before your dinner starts. In my experience, your guests are much more likely to focus on the first dances as a special moment if they are first. I have found that when they are done after dinner, your guests are more likely to talk through them and not pay as much attention. That doesn’t always happen, but often it does. But I never see that happen when they are done first. That said, some couples are shy and dread the first dance, so doing it after dinner might actually be more appealing to you with less focus on you.

Please feel free to customize the first dance(s) however you wish. Again, there is no right or wrong with this.

Step 4: Two Weeks Before Your Wedding

i) Final payment

  • e-transfer | kim@kimberleydunn.com (note the extra “e” in “Kimberley”)
  • cheque | mail to: 2390 Marchurst Rd., Kanata, ON, K2W 0G9
  • cash | in person (by appointment): 2390 Marchurst Rd., Kanata, ON, K2W 0G9

ii) Song Selections

CEREMONY MUSIC

Prelude
Start Time (30min before ceremony):
Venue/Room:
Music Selections (5-7 songs):

Ceremony
Start Time:
List of people walking in processional, in order, first to last:
Music Selections:

  1. Processional:
    a) Bridal Party
    b) Bride (can be same or different song)
  2. Signing of Registry:
  3. Recessional:

COCKTAIL MUSIC

Start Time:
Venue/Room:
Music Selections (10-12 songs/hr):

DINNER MUSIC

Start time:
Venue/Room:
Music Selections (10-12 songs/hr):

OTHER MUSIC & DETAILS

First Dance(s): Bride-Groom, Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, etc.
Grand Entrance:
Microphone for Ceremony and/or Speeches?
Any other special requests?

Step 5: Day of Your Wedding

I will arrive several hours in advance of my start time to set up and sound check. I am ALWAYS early. This is my solemn vow.


You may also be interested in my “Wedding Music: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” which answers many client questions.

Wedding Music: Step by Step Guide First Dance

Wedding Music: Step by Step Guide First Dances

Photos by The Barnett Company from Christina & Dom’s unbelievably amazing wedding at the Horticulture Building this past summer!