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When choosing the music for your wedding reception there are many factors to consider regarding the style of musician or music:

The age range of your guests
How long you want them to play
Your own music tastes
The type of music you’d like to hear
Any specific requests?
Is it going to be background music or for dancing?
How much you are willing to spend

If the age range of your guests is from 6-96 then you should choose music which will satisfy all ranges. This could mean having a quiet easy listening band (or music) in the afternoon for the older generation and then as it gets later (and the elders tend to leave) you could have more of a dance band/style of music for the younger generation. I’m sure if you just had loud rock music throughout the whole day the elders won’t enjoy it at all, and the same with a younger age group and classical music. It is obvious that you won’t be able to please everybody, but showing a little thoughtfulness will be appreciated.

If you want the music for the whole day, few live musicians will consider playing for you at your wedding. An average for a live band to ask to play would be approximately four to five hours, including short breaks. You would need to use a CD player or some kind of light entertainment for the morning and afternoon.

Think about what you want, too. If you detest sixties music then don’t book it. Having a live band is a good focal point, but if you dislike loud music it will make your day seem less enjoyable.

Most couples opt for a first dance (usually they are the first to dance, this gets others onto the dance floor). For this you obviously need a slow number, often a song which means something to you both. If you hire a rock band you are unlikely to get this (unless you specify when booking).

Popular first dance tunes (usually played by a DJ) which have stood the test of time at wedding are:

Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh
Loving You by Minnie Ripperton
Move Closer by Phyllis Nelson
Tonight I celebrate my love for you by Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
The Power of Love by Jennifer Rush
Three Times A Lady by Lionel Ritchie
Hello by Lionel Ritchie
I will Always Love you by Dolly Parton/Whitney Housten
You Are by Dolly Parton (a not-often-heard tune, but very romantic).

Loud music for dancing is fine, soft music for the background is also fine. But loud music which is too loud becomes noise and soft music which is boring becomes a focus point for all the wrong reasons.

The budget of the music is another factor you should consider before choosing. Generally speaking, for a disco/DJ you are thinking of upwards of about £150 for approximately 5 hours depending upon the experience of the DJ, the equipment needed and your own specifications.

Hiring a band can be more costly. For an average of five hours, a live band would charge upwards of £300. A good way to cut costs if you'd like a live band but didn't want to pay that much is to scout around your local pubs and small clubs and find a local band you enjoy and ask them. If the band aren't professionals (if they have other day jobs) they probably would be willing to play for a considerably lesser sum. This way there also won't be the added expenses such as travelling to and from the venue as they probably live in the same town as you. If you choose this route make sure that you begin looking for your band with plenty of time to spare in the eventuality that you cannot find a band you enjoy or they are unwilling to play at your wedding. This way you'll still have some time to find a professional DJ or live band.