Ceremonial Crafting: Mood Music

In August, I started working on our ceremony.

Our celebrant, Jenny, is great and tailors the ceremony to whatever the couple wants. She’s an old friend of Mr. Big’s from his days working at a big retail company when he first moved over to Australia and has since moved from said retail company to working as a full-time celebrant. After looking through her ceremony wording portfolio, I managed to craft something which both Mr. Big and I think suits us well. It’s sincere, funny, and, most of all, perfectly us.

In addition to this, Jenny also added in important facts and qualities about us as a couple which just really personalises the ceremony.

I’ve crafted most of the wording for the important sections: “Introduction,” “Giving Away,” “Exchange of Rings,” “Rituals,” and the “Declaration of Marriage.” I’ve sent these sections to Jenny, who has refined them and written them up in a lovely book which we get to keep!

But guys, I’m not here to talk about the ceremony.

I’m here to talk about the ceremony music.

We’ve had our decision for the processional since late 2012, so that’s all settled. It still needs to be cut to size (it’s a four-minute song!), but it works with the feel of the wedding. However, the other music choices for the wedding were a lot harder to decide!

First off, we needed approximately 30 minutes of background music in the beginning.

Initially, I compiled approximately 45 tracks that I think could be used. That’s over three hours of music, guys! Mr. Big then went through it and culled three quarters of it. Apparently, I’m not very good at musical decisions. We now have about 45 minutes for the pre-ceremony background music.

I also initially had about five possible songs for the signing of the marriage certificate (which is done publically in Australian weddings), but had no ideas for the recessional.

You see, the problem was that we’re very much into alternative and indie rock—and basically rock in general.

We don’t mind other things, but most of the songs selected so far are very rock oriented. For example, “Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons is folk rock, “You and Me” by Lifehouse is alternative rock, and “You Found Me” by The Fray is alternative rock. Having a random pop, classical, or other genre of song may sound a little strange and out of place.

We’ve also got some Linkin Park, Train, Matchbox Twenty/Rob Thomas, The Script, Of Monsters and Men, Coldplay, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Birds of Tokyo. Vampire Weekend, Hoobastank, and Newton Faulkner were possible artists I had listed when formulating a basic plan of attack for the ceremony music.

Essentially, hive, our music isn’t “typical wedding music.”

I had previously heard of other bees using Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ), but it just didn’t feel right to use orchestral versions of songs when we could just use the originals.

Enter Imagine Dragons.

After listening to their very popular song “Radioactive” and then going through their entire album, Mr. Big and I found the perfect recessional song! Mr. Big was also able to cut the humongous list I had made to make it fit all nicely.

Overall, we’re pretty darn happy with our choice. Now all we have to do is ensure that the processional makes sense with everyone’s entrances and we’re all set!

Who else is using offbeat choices for their music?


Mrs. Bighorn Sheep

Sydney, NSW, Australia
Wedding Date:
February 2014
Interesting or Classic
Introducing Miss Phone Booth!
Add a comment


  1. wellies Bee
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:33 pm

    I love Imagine Dragons! Can’t wait to see what song you picked. 🙂

  2. msclover Bee
    Mrs. Clover 123 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:39 pm

    Ha ha! We’re working on our ceremony (including music) this afternoon! We won’t be using offbeat music because I’m pretty sure the organist doesn’t allow that, but I don’t have any clue what we’ll choose instead.

  3. Member
    saragorgon 45 posts, Newbee @ 5:11 pm

    Love it, but I am biased as I am from Vegas and they are hometown guys. And very nice, my friend used to do their PR.

    I’m also a fan of using unusual choices. I got married in a bar. (Now to be fair it was gorgeous with a rooftop patio and chandeliers.) I walked into Dave Matthews Band’s “You & Me” and we “walked back” (basically started the party) with Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie.” For me I had no interest in anything expected or traditional.

  4. msfilly Bee
    Mrs. Filly 85 posts, Worker bee @ 4:47 am

    I don’t know about offbeat, but we’re going with mostly contemporary choices. I have horrible taste in music so Stallion is lucky I’m not pushing for One Direction to be part of the playlist, haha.

  5. pyramid Bee
    Mrs. Pyramid 104 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:18 am

    That sounds cool! We’re in a church so it’s traditional all the way, but these will be awesome songs for you!

  6. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:08 am

    @Miss Filly: I was able to sneak one One Direction song onto the playlist! “Little Things” is such a good slow song, and most people won’t know it’s 1D…I hope.

    The rest of our music is best described as a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. FI loves his 80s hair bands and I’m a sucker for anything with twang. So we’re recessing to a Queen song and our first dance is Kenny Chesney. The rest of our music is just about everywhere else in between.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Jeanne, Guest @ 3:39 pm

    My fiancé and the groomsmen are walking into “Welcome Home” by Coheed and Cambria.

    My bridesmaids are walking in to an instrumental of “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Deathcab For Cutie.

    I am going to walk in to an instrumental of “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton.

    We are still deciding our recessional.
    Also, our DJ is going to mix creatively to get “Welcome Home” to also mix back into the beginning part so that it will transition smoothly into the Deathcab song.

    I love creative ceremony music!

  8. Member
    DBS5127 220 posts, Helper bee @ 4:24 pm

    Do you mind sharing any more of your song choices? My FI and I haven’t started planning music yet, but your taste in music is pretty spot on with ours!

  9. bighornsheep Bee
    bighornsheep 115 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:24 pm

    @DaniLyn: Sure thing! If you’d like, I can send you our entire list? What say you? If you’re comfortable with that, PM me your email address and I can ship it off to you. 🙂

add a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors