Planning an Indian wedding? If so, then after you figure out your venue and the other vendors, entertaining your guests and creating the right ambiance may be top of mind. Planning a South Asian wedding can be overwhelming, but working with DJs and musicians to create the right playlist from Bollywood wedding songs and other songs to celebrate your cultural heritage can really help bring everything together. Music is such an important part at any wedding and finding the right music for your wedding to set the tone for every event and even specific moments can elevate your wedding.
While there are many ways to create playlists (crowdsourcing from friends and family, using Apple Music or Spotify playlists), we recommend planning each event’s playlist / ambiance ahead of the event. How do you choose the right music to set the perfect mood for your sangeet, wedding ceremony, or reception? Good wedding music makes for a memorable event, so you will want to make sure that you are prepared and have everything you need before the big day arrives. This article offers key wedding music planning tips for Indian weddings to help you create a mood for your guests.
Your wedding music is an important aspect of your special day, so make sure you choose tracks that complement the events. It might get exhausting but making a list of all the memorable moments on the day of events that you want to stand out and creating a playlist suitable for each moment can help you stay organized and set the perfect ambiance. Select music that reflects how you want your wedding day to feel. While you may choose bright, pleasant uplifting music for a cheery moment like exchanging garlands, you want slower, meaningful tracks for other moments like your first dance.
Ankit Patel aka The Shehnai Guy from Atlanta, Georgia says "Remember, as much fun and as exciting as getting married is, the wedding ceremony is first and foremost a religious ceremony. The music should reflect that sentiment. Save the crazy stuff for the reception.“
Make sure to choose the songs with lyrics that fit the occasion. Since the wedding events will have guests from all age groups (from aunties and uncles to your best friends from college), you may want to save some of that R&B for the after-party. Also, we recommend staying away from tracks on breakups or other depressing topics– after all, this is a joyous event! You'll want to make sure that the song you choose is acceptable for each moment of the day so that your guests can enjoy listening to and dancing to it.
Asad Motiwala from the Outspoken Visions says, “Consider your guests. A lot of my clients pick songs that relate to them specifically without thinking of what their guests would like. Although I am being paid by the client, I'm being asked to DJ for everyone so I need to play songs that appeal to the client and the guests.”
There's bound to be a track, a singer, or a type of music that the two of you genuinely relate to. Do you have a favorite song that you both like to sing to while driving? Is there a song that you are constantly dancing to in the kitchen? A song that makes you think about each other? Or perhaps a concert you both attended and enjoyed? Ask yourselves these questions and you are sure to come up with a special song that defines you as a couple.
Ankit Patel aka The Shehnai Guy says "For walk-in music, pick songs that have meaning to you and your significant other.”
It is also possible that you and your partner may have different tastes in music. Consider how your musical tastes will complement each other – or not. When in doubt, look for different versions of your favorite songs to fill the void! Moreover, it’s wonderful to have a few meaningful tracks to symbolize your journey as a couple but it’s okay if not every song has a personal significance.
It's sometimes just great to dance to the music you enjoy! Choose significant songs or selections with emotional lyrics for important occasions like your walk down the aisle to the mandap, your first dance as newlyweds, and so on for extra effect.
Before you start creating the playlist, decide which platform you will use to play the songs (or have your DJ take the lead on this). Apple Music, as well as Spotify, are two of the most popular wedding music apps. Spotify is great for sharing playlists and songs where you can ask your friends, family and guests to add their preferred songs through the link to your playlist. Apple Music on the other hand is another great alternative for couples who want tailor-made playlists which can be extended seamlessly.
For your convenience, our team curated songs to create Desi Bride wedding playlists for all the big moments. Here it is!
Before your wedding day, make sure you save all your playlist(s) and have either a DJ or someone taking the lead on this music. You don't want to play your songs over a shaky internet or a weak cell phone service. You don't want to play your songs over a shaky internet or a weak cell phone service. It's best to do a test run at your venue and take a look at any possible rules and regulations as well some days prior to the day of your wedding to double-check everything.
You can also create your custom music transitions so that there are no uncomfortable breaks or empty air throughout your reception dance party with the help of platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. If any of your songs are excessively lengthy, feel free to cut those down. Finally, you should test your setup and do a complete soundcheck in advance, whether you're organizing your event at home or at a venue.
Dholi Tarak Shah says, “If possible, I will sometimes ask to hear the song in private prior to the actual performance to be familiar with it.”
Your wedding do-not-play list might be just as significant as your absolutely-must-play list, if not more, when it comes to selecting tracks for your wedding events. There may be songs that make you, your significant other, or your guests cringe - make sure your DJ knows not to play these. Before you add a song to your playlist, listen to the lyrics carefully; you want your wedding playlists to be lively and romantic, not dismal and perhaps offending.
While your playlist is in action, ensure early on that the tracks flow seamlessly and there are no awkward silences in between the songs. You can reduce the amount of time between songs and reduce any annoying delays by utilizing the "Crossfade" option on Spotify. Just go to settings, check the "Crossfade" box, and set the time according to your preference (5-8 seconds works well for us!). We recommend not making your guests spend too much time in silence and keep the songs flowing pleasantly. You should also think about how music flows across genres (particularly if you and your spouse have varied musical interests!) from the order of the playlist. It's a great idea to listen to your tracks in advance to check how they feel and make any necessary changes.
DJ Dholi Jag from NachLe DJ says, “We take requests however that doesn't mean we'll play what has been requested. We'll keep it in mind to see where we can fit the songs and if the song will do well on the dance floor in general.”
Check with your venue if there are any limits on the music you will play. If you are getting married at a place of worship, chances are there may be a few restrictions on what you can play. Some venues may allow you to choose from an already-created playlist with traditional songs while some may be more flexible and allow you to select your own tracks. We recommend checking with the venue on guidelines.
You’ve got a lot of different things on your plate as you plan an Indian wedding and let’s face it, selecting a wedding playlist is not something that comes easy to many people. But setting the ambiance with music during your wedding can make all the difference. So take a look at these ideas before putting your South Asian wedding playlist together!
For more articles on South Asian weddings, vendors, and other ideas, visit The Desi Bride today to get started.
To access inspirational wedding song playlists, check out The Desi Bride playlists here.
Find Sangeet Group Dance Songs here
Find Bollywood Songs For Your First Dance As A Couple here
Find Bollywood Songs For Your Solo Bridal Performance here
Find Bollywood Songs For Your Sister’s Wedding here
Find Bollywood Songs For Your Father-Daughter/Mother-Son Dance here
Find Bollywood Songs For Your Bridal Entry here
Find Bollywood Songs For Fun Bride & Groom Dance her
Cover Photo Credit: Mir Anwar
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