Music is the soundtrack of our lives. Whether you’re jogging down the street with wireless headphones or baking bread in the kitchen, there’s something special about the impact music has on those who can hear it. On the most important day of your life—ahem, your wedding day—how do you decide what should be included in the soundtrack? We’ve got a foolproof set of questions to help you make a wedding playlist as perfect as your day.
Don’t Forget Music Creates Emotions, Choose It Wisely
The music you choose creates and enhances the emotions felt by you and your guests whether you’re on the dance floor or having dinner. “Can you imagine eating a nice meal with a Pitbull song in the background? If the music doesn’t match the moment, things feel off. When you make a wedding playlist it needs to fit what you want your guests to experience. The whole night should have a soundtrack that feels like you as soon as you hear it. If you’re not excited, as the couple, then no one will be,” says Mark Maya Photography, an expert Junebug member.
After you’re officially married, what songs will you want to dance to? Imagine that you are a guest at your own wedding. What do you want to hear? Add some songs that will make you smile, add songs by your favorite artists, and add the songs that are inside jokes between you and your partner.
2. What Do Your Guests Want?
It’s okay if everyone doesn’t love every single song on your playlist. That will help the ebb and flow of your bar line—your bartenders will thank you later—and it will also give your guests a chance to breathe during songs they aren’t familiar with.
Junebug member and wedding planner, Mirabella Weddings, has the perfect suggestion for how to easily pull this off. When you send your invitations, include space on the RSVP for guests to put a song they’d like to hear at your wedding. This is a great way to make your guests feel involved and ensure you always have someone on the dance floor!
If your grandmother is going to your wedding and she sends you a song, you can bet she’ll be ready to boogie to it. Make sure her request is on the playlist.
You know what songs are popular right now, even if you don’t listen to the radio. Even if you think these songs are overplayed on the radio, you want them on your playlist—hear us out. Their popularity will mean that your guests have heard these songs and are familiar with them. When they’re familiar with these tunes, they’re much more likely to hit your dance floor.
4. What Songs Are You Loving?
London-based Junebug wedding planner, The Bijou Bride, had great advice for songs you can’t get enough of. She says, “Set up a shared playlist through Spotify, iTunes, Prime, or Tidal and every time you hear something you love, add it to your playlist. The issue most couples find is that their song selection adds up to more time than they actually have available on the wedding day! This is where starting early really helps as you’ll need to allow time to sort through your lists and allocate to the parts of the wedding day they suit best.”
4. DJ, What Do You Suggest?
Of course, making a wedding playlist will never be as important as hiring an expert wedding DJ. However, creating this playlist can help bridge the gap between your wedding music expectations and reality.
With the experts in mind, we turned to our industry pros and asked them, what does it take to make the perfect playlist? We loved what Junebug members Benjamin T Warner Events had to say, “music can make or break your celebration and helps set the tone and energy throughout the day.”
5. What Genres Must Be Played?
At your wedding, you’ll likely have a broad list of guests. Keep folks from all ages in mind as you load up songs that are going to ignite their inner ‘dance floor is my stage’ fire and be appropriate for everyone to hear.
6. What’s On The Kill List?
Mirabella Weddings, Junebug expert wedding planner, has more expert advice regarding your wedding playlist. She says, “It’s certainly important to think about songs you definitely want to be played—it’s also equally important to make it clear which songs you absolutely don’t want to be played.” You should communicate this to your DJ and band in advance to avoid any panic on the dance floor.
Remember, in the end, that you’re creating a playlist to celebrate your partnership, so your wedding music should be chosen as partners. This means if your partner says there’s no way you’ll be hearing Ice Ice Baby, you’ll need to compromise and keep it off the list.
Make sure your playlist includes a ratio of one slow song for every six songs. Give your new spouse time to slow dance with you while making sure not to neglect the other styles of songs. You’ll want to make sure to include a good mix of cheesy dance songs like Gangnam Style or Macarena to warm your guests up for sing-along songs like Sweet Caroline or We Are Family.
When planning for changes between songs, make sure to add some flexibility. Junebug members, Happy Together Films, advise that couples be prepared for the unknown, especially now. “For example, if the weather changes and you need to move indoors, think about whether your venue will have room for your guest to get loud and dance or if you need to control the crowd once inside.”
Once you’ve answered the questions above, scroll through your playlist and ask yourselves if you want to listen to this playlist—without skipping tracks—for the whole night. If the answer is yes, it’s ready. You’ve made a wedding playlist!
Music creates the mood and ambiance of your wedding. Striking that perfect balance can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help, and we’ve created a wedding playlist guaranteed to please—and get guests on the dance floor. Check it out for inspiration while you’re waiting to hear back from our expert wedding DJs.
Timeless, by definition, is never out of style, and this personal Portland wedding was absolutely no exception—from the bold fashion to the smallest details. Since we brought up fashion, we have to talk about the groom’s custom emerald green suit for a second. The velvety finish is so timeless and classy that it belongs on a red carpet.
Carefully complimenting the suit, Alle’s lace bridal gown and her bridal denim jacket are available on our Pinterest board. The fashion in this incredibly elegant wedding was enhanced by the intimate gathering shared with their families and friends. With a few surprises up their sleeves, this couple brought tears of joy to their guests’ faces.
Get ready to see gorgeous floral arrangements, strung lights, and picturesque table decor. Scroll down for photos captured by Karra Leigh Photo and definitely grab the tissues.
Alle and Scott
The Evergreen, Portland, Oregon
Why The Evergreen Venue?
We toured probably 20 venues and knew immediately when we walked into Blockhouse and The Evergreen that they were exactly what we were looking for. Both intimate settings that are very ‘Portland’ but still gave us flexibility to create the atmosphere we were seeking for both events.
Creating A Timeless Wedding
The most important thing to us when planning our wedding was creating an intimate and timeless wedding that was truly us with the help of our day-of planning team. As an Interior Designer and lover of all things branded, I had very specific ideas about how our rehearsal, ceremony, and reception all tied together with the classic, curated, modern, unique and timeless vibe we were going for. Cohesion and details make or break it in my opinion and working with Mae + Co. Creative gave us a huge sense of ease because we knew that they would implement our plans with utter perfection. Manda and her team are all about the details too and working with them was a dream!
Memories Made in Portland
Hands down when I surprised Scott just after our first look—when we were doing wedding party photos—with his dream motorcycle. My twin brother, who was in the wedding party, snuck away and drove up with it. No one knew what was going on other than our videographer and photographer who captured all the moments leading up to it—he was in total shock! Additionally, we wrote personal vows to one another that we shared during our first look. We wanted to have a deep connection just between the two of us before the ceremony started. It was magical and probably the most memorable single moment other than our engagement.
Wedding Advice From The Bride
As someone who is exceptionally detail-oriented and organized, I would say that it is really important to take care of all the most important planning aspects first. Getting the big things checked off helps the rest of the process be streamlined and calm. Create a wedding folder and save all wedding-related materials in one place to easily reference back to. Sub-folders are always a good idea too!
Let’s Take A Snack Break
Crown Paella was incredible! We had a huge variety of appetizers that were served during cocktail hour at Loyal Legion before the Reception. For dinner, there were three different paella’s and a variety of other yummy foods, but dessert was what I was most excited about. We had Hungry Hero make a spectacular dessert bar full of all different bars, cookies, pie pops, cupcakes, etc. We wanted our own cake for the two of us that Dream Cakes PDX created and it was hands down the best cake we have ever had. Later in the evening, when the dancing and photo booth opened up, we served 1927 s’mores and Ruby Jewel Ice cream sandwiches for late night snacks!
Did you know that we can see what y’all buy on Etsy? I mean, we can’t see who buys what, but if you click an Etsy link here on the website, we CAN see which products get purchased. This is super fun because it means we can see what’s trending with Offbeat Brides!
And when it comes to unique wedding dresses for 2021? Y’all are ON FIRE. Let’s take a look at some of the wedding dress trends that are hot AF with Offbeat Brides this year.
Before we dive in, I want to share a small note in frustration: Apologies in advance for how white-washed these dress photos are. Why do so many wedding dressmakers still only use slender young white models? CAN WE GET SOME INCLUSIVITY UP IN HERE, PEOPLE!? Jeez. Also, for those of you who aren’t planning to wear a dress and want ideas for your masc wedding suits, we gotchoo.
Now, that aside: Do you see your wedding dress here??
Trend: Bold colored separates with unexpected fabrics
We’ve been loving the wedding dress separates trend for a couple years, but this shift toward a boldly colored wedding skirt, with a more traditionally white lace top? Brilliant! It’s like the mullet of wedding dresses — traditional on the top, party on the bottom! And when it comes to unexpected fabrics, can we talk about this LINEN bridal skirt? Oof, the sumptuousness.
Oh and speaking of separates, Offbeat Brides are also loving this body suit to pair with their wedding skirts:
Wedding dress trend: high-low tea-length
Speaking of mullets, who doesn’t love an tea-length gown with a high-low hem? This one’s lower in the back — and yes, it has pockets.
Trend: Backless with sleeves
Yes, it’s a little bit boho with all that lace, but I love how it’s a mix of modest with the sleeves and daring with that open back. Plus, that mermaid silhouette is WOAH.
Trend 3: Big flowy sleeves
How glorious are those tasseled long sleeves? There’s almost a tiny hint of a kimono vibe there. And then there’s these wide lacy boho sleeves on this backless dress:
Trend: Embroidered & floral wedding dresses
We are HERE FOR IT with these floral embroidered wedding gowns. Offbeat Brides are loving them both in their strapless form, as well as with sleeves. The dress below can have long sleeves or short little fluttery cap sleeves. Either way, super cute.
Trend: super affordable floaty tulle
Dude, it’s under $300 and makes you look like a dreamy snow queen who floated over the water from Arendelle. What’s not to love?
Trend: 20th Century Vintage
Wedding dress trend: nature-inspired lace dresses
But did we miss your wedding dress? Share a link in the comments!
Wow! We’re totally swooning over Cara and Shaun’s breathtaking multicultural Marrakech wedding at Le Palais Paysan. The couple’s goal was to make sure their family and friends had a great time—with a drink in hand throughout the entire day! We love the laid-back vibe that’s mixed with touches of glam and gold decor planned by Boutique Souk. If you’ve ever dreamed of a wedding day in Morocco, these photos by Igor Demba are ones to add to your inspiration board!
As soon as I got engaged I knew I wanted a Berta dress. On a trip to New York I visited their new store and I found my dress. I went alone and bought it off the rack straight away. I am lucky that my bridesman and best friend is also an incredible make up artist. He knew exactly the look I wanted and I loved how my make up looked in real life and in pictures.
I loved our initimate ceremony in a hidden riad in the Medina. After the ceremony we went up to the beautiful roof terrace with our guests and everyone was blown away.
We wanted our wedding guests to experience a different culture. Shaun and I are both from London but live in Dubai. I also have African heritage. We felt Marrakech had the perfect blend of Arabic and African culture. We are all about good vibes and lots of fun. We wanted to go on a little adventure with our closest friends and family.
We wanted to make sure everyone had a good time with not too much waiting around. We didn’t want it to be too traditional but also wanted to make sure it felt like a wedding. Making sure people were fed and always had a drink in their hand was very important to us.
We wanted a mix between the culture of the Medina and the scenery of the Atlas Mountains. On a trip to Marrakech we spent the day walking around the Medina, visiting different riads. Everyone was so welcoming. As soon as we walked into Ryad Dyor we knew it was special. Le Palais Paysan blew us away because of the architecture and the Atlas Mountain View’s.
Katie and Lev dreamed of a fairy tale wedding with pure, honest celebration and intention at every turn, so a magical day at Hotel delle Cave was the perfect choice! We’re smitten with the whimsical design the couple created alongside their planning team Style A Wedding. If you swoon over all things floral, just wait until you get a glimpse of the blooming masterpieces by Hanami Atelier, which were inspired by the couple’s love of colors, natural surroundings, and earthy tones. Get ready for stunning bridal style, all the Sicily vibes, and even more captured beautifully by Yeray Cruz!
For a fantasy gown celebrating all the blossoms, there would only be one choice for the bridal gown designer—and Rara Avis did not disappoint. Inspired by the femininity and the uniqueness, the gown blossomed into a celebration of my romantic dreams adorned in tiny handmade Japanese clay flowers and beads. My hair was styled into one side waves to have a clear profile and back. The simple style was complete with a gold hairpiece. The fairytale accessories moved beautifully amongst the fallen blossoms of the surrounding displays, crowned by a headpiece of Hermione Harbutt – Sakura Garland. A dreamy cherry blossom garland with blush mother of pearl flowers, golden blooms, and leaf tendrils.
We had been to Italy twice together and loved the country’s culture, food, wine, scenery and romance. It was a pretty quick decision as it was a good midway point for our family and friends who came from all over Europe, Georgia and Russia, and one we thought people would be happy to travel to. We came across Hotel delle Cave online during our hours of searching and after using Instagram to see more pictures we booked it quite quickly. Our ceremony and reception location were held in a former quarry turned into a beautiful garden. We chose it because it was a unique embodiment of a childhood dream: a wedding under an evergreen tree.
Having an autumnal wedding is all about bringing a sense of coziness and richness to the big day. Fall wedding colors posed a particular challenge. Orange was an obvious choice. We went for a jewel tone wedding decor softened by pastel colors that play up the mysterious and sultry vibe of the season. From elegant mauve and dusty pink to bold fuchsia and burgundy, we thought that it was the perfect time to add a splash of color into the wedding style. Jewel tones automatically brought a sense of opulence to the decor, but also the look was elevated even more by including metallic golden details such as golden chairs and tableware for added luxury.
I was absolutely flattered by the way Marco and his team worked on the preparation and decoration of our sweet table and the cake. They worked on designing the Wedding Cake and the setting of the sweet table including other desserts for the purpose of creating something different from the typical wedding cakes. They created a “tailor-made experience”, from the creation and design of the cake silhouette to the choice of every single flavor with very personal and organic essences and extracts to create unique flavors and scents, creams and filling. The presentation and taste of the creations exceeded all our expectations. Our guests have continuously commented on how delicious it was. We are looking forward to working with Marco again!
Jenn and Martin never thought about their perfect day until the proposal—you wouldn’t be able to tell when looking at the photos of their simply elegant wedding at Club at Snoqualmie Ridge. Photographer Nick Plus Danee captured the essence of the cascading mountains, the personalized touches the couple included (such as the signature drink named after their furry friend and tables named after their favorite movies), and the beautiful first dance that they learned from Youtube. Jenn’s Rime Arodaky embroidered gown is much different than the Hayley Paige ball gown she wore for their elopement a year prior but it fits perfectly with the timeless vibe of their special day. Get your “Pin” buttons ready because this wedding is one to remember!
A year before our wedding, Martin and I had actually eloped on a rooftop – and my elopement gown was a Hayley Paige number that was more of a princess style. I completely loved it, but I also wanted my wedding dress to be very different, matching more the simplicity of our wedding day vibe. During my search, I fell in love with Rime Arodaky’s floral embroidery and backless detail on the Sewell gown.
It’s easy to get caught up in the things that don’t matter. The weather that you can’t control, the difficult parent that you love, the forgetful guests that never RSVPd—and your dog who almost chewed your wedding dress. You get caught up and forget that the day is really just for you and your person. Not gonna lie, I was unexpectedly v-e-r-y nervous that day, all the way ’til I started walking down the aisle. But once I locked eyes with Martin, every ounce of worry I had just melted away
We wanted our day to feel intimate and personal, so we put a lot of our own personalities into details of the wedding. Our guest tables were named after our favorite movie duos, one of our signature drinks was named after our pup, and we put prints of our most loved movie quotes onto each guest’s plate settings. Another big thing about me is that I live for music. We wanted the soundtrack at our wedding to be atmospheric – matching the mood of each segment of the wedding. I loved personally putting together playlists and sequencing the songs; when our guests afterward told me they loved the music at our wedding, my heart sang—and Martin literally sang.