Every couple has an endless list of important decisions to make when it comes to planning their wedding: outdoors or indoors, roses or tulips, and of course, live band or DJ. That last decision would be a lot easier if you could get any musician to serenade you and your guests all night long instead of a middle-aged and mediocre cover band. So in case you have the budget of the rich and famous, we have a list of the best bands to play at your wedding. And if you're not so lucky, you can always play the recorded version of their songs like the plebeian you are.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
With a fluctuating lineup that at times has included as many as 12 members, Edward Sharpe is sure to give you that big band feel that you want at your wedding. And with songs like "Home" and "That's What's Up," it seems like these indie folk artists wrote their music with a couple's first dance in mind. So even though it seems that Jade Castrinos has left the band on bad terms, I refuse to believe that the departure is permanent, so you can still hold out hope that she can be there to sing her overwhelmingly romantic and fun duets with Alex Ebert on your special day.
Rodrigo y Gabriela
You may want to forsake a vocally driven band and instead go the instrumental route, and no band is better fit to fill that position than Rodrigo y Gabriela, who make simply beautiful guitar music that is sure to please all of your guests and provide the perfect partner dancing melodies. Or you could just sit and watch how unbelievably talented this pair is. With some songs that feel like rock, others that feel more like heavy metal and some with strong hints of Latin flavor, this Mexican duo will keep their setlist diverse and rhythmic, and will surely give an exciting performance all night long.
The Wedding Band
You might look at the name of this band and think that it's an obvious choice, and though that may be true, that isn't a bad thing. This Mumford and Sons side project, with the help of Nick Etwell, Callum Lindsay, Jesse Quin, Adam Stockdale and David Williamson, is a four song EP that contains everything you need in music at a wedding: a solid mix of fast and slow songs about falling in love, getting engaged and tying the knot.
The Beach Boys
Summer is filled with beach weddings, and there is no better band to help bring that atmosphere to the next level than The Beach Boys. "God Only Knows" is probably one of the greatest love songs ever written, and once you've moved on from the pure romance and are ready to get the party going, "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Barbara Ann," and basically all of their other songs are sure to get even the deepest rooted wallflowers onto the dance floor. But let's be clear about one thing: if Brian Wilson is not present, then you don't really have The Beach Boys at your wedding.
If you want to convince your friends that you're still young and hip even though you're getting married, Jungle is the answer to all of your problems. This seven-piece musical group centered around lifelong friends who boast the effortlessly cool names "J" and "T" have a hyped up soul sound that is the key to a perfectly energized reception.
Admit it — as a child, you and your friends talked about how you were going to play every Backstreet Boys album at your wedding, and some ironic (yet not so ironic) part of you still wants that to happen. So why not bring that fantasy to life by having the iconic boy band perform their dance moves in all their glory in front of your closest friends and family?
Although their meditation on mortality in their latest record is not exactly wedding appropriate, a lot of the songs from Modern Vampires of the City
are so fast moving and fun that people won't stop and listen to the lyrics. Also, Vampire Weekend is always willing to step outside of their repertoire and they've been known to play some really romantic covers, like everyone's favorite love song "Blurred Lines."
The Avett Brothers
All you have to think about is the lyrics of "I and Love and You," and you will completely agree with me that you need this band at your wedding. And if you're getting married in the winter, they have a song called "January Wedding." Enough said.
I have never seen a group of 30-year-olds get more excited than when "Hey Ya!" came on at my cousin's wedding reception when I was a kid. And though in my older age I now realize that a big part of that excitement probably came more from alcohol than from the OutKast classic, that doesn't mean that OutKast isn't a crowd pleaser no matter what your level of sobriety may be.
If you're worried about listening to only one band's music all night, RAC is the way to go. With remixes of everything from Foster the People to Phantogram to The Shins, Remix Artist Collective can infuse a hypnotic dance beat into the songs of any of your favorite artists.
If the bride-to-be has brown eyes, booking Van Morrison is a no-brainer. And if dancing the night away to "Brown Eyed Girl" seems a bit cliche or overdone (which it can never truly be), Morrison has an extensive catalogue of songs to send you on the road to marital bliss — just imagine holding your neo-hippie bride close as you swing along to "Sweet Thing" or "Into the Mystic" and tell me you don't have goose bumps.