Music is a hugely important part of a wedding video. Just like in a feature film, it affects the mood, pace and atmosphere of the video. The best part is that you can choose all your wedding video songs and music yourself. So if you have a song that is special to you or significant in your relationship, it can help to make your video really personal.

Which Parts of Your Video Will Need Music?

When choosing your wedding video songs or music it helps to look at when it will be used in the video. Obviously wedding video styles differ, but many videographers will use montages for a few sections as they are the best way to show all that went on without turning your video into a four hour epic! The service and speeches usually appear in full (or only slightly edited), while the following parts of your day are ripe for a montage:

  • The opening — the bride getting ready, or shots of the venue/cake/invitations etc.
  • Transition between the ceremony and reception — photos, guests chatting, Champagne, the receiving line etc.
  • The ending — often a ‘highlights reel’ showing the best bits edited down to a few minutes.

There may be others too. Often an evening’s dancing will be shown in the course of a single song, and this may be recorded live. If you have musicians playing earlier in the day, say a harpist or a string quartet, then their music may be perfect for the middle section.

String Quartet Playing at Wedding Reception

Choosing the Right Song/Music

For the rest, obviously you should choose music you both like, and ideally a song that means something to you. Listen to the lyrics too — some songs might not be as happy or romantic as they sound at first!

Bear in mind that you’ll be watching your wedding video in years to come, so you might want to go for something timeless so it doesn’t seem dated. What a Difference a Day Makes, Unforgettable, in fact most of Sinatra’s songs are popular. Or, you might go for something contemporary that will catapult you right back whenever you watch it in the future.

The opening music will set the mood for your wedding video. Therefore, think about whether you want something slow and graceful which your videographer will probably edit to lingering shots, maybe some soft focus or slow motion, or something peppy and upbeat, for a fast, energetic feel straight off. She by Elvis Costello and She’s So Lovely by Scouting for Girls would make two very different opening montages. Your wedding video songs don’t have to have ‘she’ in the title if you don’t want them to though!

Wedding First Dance

The highlights montage is usually where you’ll use ‘your song’ — that is unless you had it for your first dance. If you did, why not see if there are other versions you like? Maybe a cover or an acoustic or live version by the same artist?

Using Copyrighted Music

Speak to your videographer about your choices. They’ll let you know how many wedding video songs they need, and they should have a few suggestions if you’re struggling to come up with the perfect music.

Also, make sure they have the licence to use copyrighted music. These are available to wedding videographers thanks to an agreement with the MCPS and the PPL, who control music copyright in the UK. If they don’t use one they are breaking the law.

Guest post by Jim Cliff

Images from…

String Quartet: Fiona Kelly Photography

First Dance: Lara Hotz Photography