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Bridal Club Magazine

Typical Wedding Schedule and Music Requirements

When it comes to your wedding day, always remember that it is YOUR wedding day.  If you want to do things a certain way, I say go for it, and choose vendors that will help you to accomplish what you desire from your day.


With that said, there are certain traditions that should probably be adhered to because they work best that way.  Here is a basic timeline of important events to think about for your wedding day plus some notes about music recommendations, and a few tips that I have picked up over the years.  This is just an overview as I intend to cover each stage more comprehensively in future articles.

The Ceremony

  • guests begin arriving at the ceremony location half an hour before ceremony start time.  Groom, bestman, and groomsmen should be there to greet guests as they arrive - background music already playing.
  • songs are required for the bride's entrance (aisle processional), then signing register (2 songs if less than 4-5 mins), and sometimes a recessional song after ceremony is completed when you join your guests for mingling as a newly married couple.
  • after some mingling, the bridal party will often leave for photos while guests enjoy cannapes - background music.
  • after cannapes, guests make their way to the reception venue - background music already playing at reception.

The Reception

  • bridal party arrives to reception after photos to a grand entrance - individual announcements for each couple with a song for each of them edited to begin with the chorus of the song.

Meal Is Served


  • often take place between main and dessert courses.  If you decide to do speeches before Main course, ensure you allow plenty of time as you dont want caterers trying to keep the main course hot and fresh, if your speeches run long.  Background music off during speeches and mic levels adjusted for speakers.

Cake Cutting

  • often after dessert but can really happen anytime (after speeches before dessert, or even right at the beginning of the meal).  A special song can be chosen for this.

The Dancing

  • usually begins with the First Dance.  There are several ways to handle the first dance.  Most couples only want to be out there alone for a minute just to give people time to take photos before we invite the guests to join in, while others get dance lessons and perform a choreographed production.  Choose a song that means something to you - I will often edit 2 or 3 songs together if you cant decide or need something for a dance routine.
  • the father/daughter and/or mother/son dance in NZ is rare, but it would traditionally happen after the first dance.  I actually recommend you change the rules and do it before the first dance otherwise you will need to clear the dance floor before beginning.  It also think it makes more sense for the happy couple's first dance together as man and wife to start the guest's dancing.

Bouquet Toss

  • fun thing to do later in the evening if you have a few single ladies in the crowd.  Ask your florist to include a cheap bouquet for throwing so you can keep your main bouquet. The popular song for the bouquet toss used to be 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun' but for the past few years it has been 'Single Ladies'.  You can choose any song for this time though.  It is rare for kiwi males to do the garter toss but this can also be fun later in the evening with the right crowd.
  • after the dancing some will choose a final song to farewell the guests and end the evening.

Hope that helps to give you some idea of a typical schedule for a wedding day and the times when your special music selections are required.  Please dont hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all relating to wedding day music or scheduling.


Leigh Williams (Owner - Musical Cheers Entertainment Wgtn)

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