Big Band & DJ?


Selecting your music for your big day!

As wedding photographers in Melbourne, we hear a lot of wedding music. A lot! Piano players, guitarists, violinists, singers, band, DJs. From modern music out of a Melbourne nightclub to classic concerts from the Hammer Hall. 8 man bands to just a phone playing music over the venue speaker system – there are lots of options. A wedding can feature it all. The right or wrong music can make or break a wedding. It all depends on your personal choice and keeping your guests in mind. Selecting classic music might not be the right choice for a younger guest list, while the newest party music might not go well with grandma.

Choosing the right wedding music for your wedding in Melbourne will depend on personal preference, the vibe of your wedding, your guests, space at the venue and location & budget. It’s a difficult decision which we hope to make a bit easy with this blog post.

Guitarist at Melbourne Wedding

Watch and hear your musicians before the wedding!

You know your band already? Found you perfect Melbourne Wedding Music band? You have heard them before! This is the best-case scenario. You know what you are signing up for. If you had no chance of listening to them try to find their next gig and see them perform live. Ask for a demo band or a video of their performances. As the images on our website showcase, our work of photography so does a recording of the musicians you are going to hire. Make sure you listen exactly to the ensemble you are hiring – a 4 piece ensemble will sound different to the all-star 10 piece band.

Melbourne DJ or Band?

A live band can get expensive. They usually know exactly how to get the people on the dancefloor but so can a good DJ! It’s a budget decision. You can’t beat the vibe of a live band.¬† But their repertoire will be a bit more limited than that of a top DJ.

A DJ will have a huge variety of songs available – it’s pretty much unlimited. But a Dj with a poor music choice can also kill the party!

Also, consider your wedding venue. Is their enough space for a live band. Would it take too much space of the dancefloor? A DJ usually requires a little less space than a band. take your wedding venue into consideration.

Melbourne Wedding Music - Lead singer of band

The do-not play list!

You know that one of your wedding guests will come up to the DJ to ask for a certain song. Just put it on the “do not play” – list when you are not happy with certain songs or music genres. Easy!

The first dance song!

Select a song which has meaning to you. A song which is timeless and yu still will remember after years. It’s a special song – so select carefully. Don’t worry when you don’t have “your” song! You can make it meaningful by reading some lyrics. Maybe you had an unusual start to your relationship or special events which got reflected in a song. Or you just both love a song. Be careful searching for a song which you can dance to – depending on your style.

Make sure the band knows the song or write it down for the DJ (exact title and singer!). Or maybe burn even a CD or create a USB stick with the song (labelled: FIRST DANCE). We heard the wrong song too often … :-).

First dance in outdoor setting - fairy lights - best photography in Melbourne

The ceremony!

Selecting a song for the ceremony is more than just a song for walking down the aisle. While this is the most important there is more to think about. You want to play some background music during the arrival of the guests at the ceremony and while they wait for your big entrance. Signing the documents is not very exciting for the guests so also think about some music during this time. Pick some unobtrusive background music. Also, a guitar player or violinist is a great choice during this time.

What do your Melbourne wedding musicians wear?

It might be a bit too detailed. But when you are worried about what your musicians will be wearing set a dress code. You might not want the lead singer dressing up in that mini dress.

Photographers on the dance floor

Some wedding websites give you the tip to not allow photographers on the dance floor. We disagree! ūüôā A photographer is even a must on the dancefloor. You get great shots of the atmosphere and the overall vibe of your wedding.

But there are some rules which all professional photographers will adhere to. The photographer should not interfere with the first dance too much – you should enjoy the moment! Documenting form the sidelines is a must. It’s usually enough to hire the photographer for the first 30min to 1 hour of the party. It depends on your timeline but the dance photos can get repetitive – as you need only so many for your wedding album.

DJ at wedding - Wedding Music DJ at Melbourne Wedding

Start creating a playlist early

When you decide to skip the DJ or band (which we don’t recommend) you will just plug in your phone with a playlist don’t organize it last minute. It will save some money but¬† ¬†It’s something which takes some time. When you come across a song which has some meaning to you or you love then put it on your playlist. Sit together and listen to the music you selected and decide when to play it. You will need several playlists for the pre-ceremony, ceremony (walking down the aisle), first dance, background dinner music and party music.

Read the music contract fine print – Overtime, breaks, who plays

Read your music contract. Make sure the names of band members are in it (same as with the photographer – you should know which artist you are hiring!). Specify the weddings date, times, location and venue. Also, look out for the number and duration of breaks and of course the price.

You must get everything in writing! This includes the names and contact information of your performers; the wedding date and location; and the hours the musicians should play. Agree on a total price (minus any deposit you may have already submitted) and costs for overtime. Document requests for the number (and length) of breaks.

Hope this helps you a bit. In our next article, we will specifically mention some popular songs and give you some tips for Melbourne wedding musicians.


Boutique Wedding Photographer

freshphotography by Souri and Andreas loves to photograph emotional, fun and stylish weddings in and around Melbourne.
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We are wedding photographers based in Melbourne. We love to photograph in Melbourne, Mornington Pensinsula & Yarra Valley. We also shoot interstate and internationally. We love to travel!

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freshphotography is a boutique Melbourne Wedding Photographer.

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