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Choosing Music for your Pre-Dinner Wedding Reception

Mary Black, Ed Sheeran, Beethoven, Frank Sinatra, Paul Fagan, PianoMaster


Welcome to the happy couple reading this. Last week, I wrote an article on 5 Reasons To Have Piano Music Before Your Wedding Meal. This week, I thought it befitting to write a follow-on article from that. This post examines the options which you have as to which music your piano player plays during the pre-dinner period of your wedding day. It is worth noting that this applies equally as well to the hiring of a pianist during dinner. So let’s explore the options:


Popular Music

This refers to music that has been aired on popular radio-waves throughout the last 50 years or more. Instrumental renditions of this music on piano cover anywhere from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and Simon & Garfunkel in the 60s, right through to Mumford & Sons, Hozier, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift of the current decade and everyone else in between. This exciting genre makes for all round memorable tunes which everyone at your wedding will know intimately well. It is a failsafe choice. It will certainly be appreciated by people of all ages.


Light Jazz & Swing

Jazz, emerging in the 1920s from Ragtime which preceded it, has spawned a revolution in music in the past 95 years of it’s existence. It begot Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Swing and many more genres besides. This option is particularly classy and its intent is to create a placid but sophisticated atmosphere. When played on solo piano, it lends itself well to background music which requires no particular level of concentration on the part of your guests. Normally, pianists will cover the music of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong but to name a few. It is a classy option and it works as much before dinner as during. 


Irish Traditional

Being an Irish Pianist, I thought that this could not be overlooked. Irish Traditional on piano will generally cover some of the best-loved Irish airs and ballads from antiquity to modern day. There is a broad range of options in this category which can be beautifully covered on piano. The following list is but a sample: 1. Instrumental music of artists such as Clannad, The Chieftans, Altan, Flook and Shaun Davey. 2 Ancient airs such as those of Turlough O’Carolan. 3. The songs of modern Irish balladeers like The Fureys, Celtic Woman, The High Kings, Christy Moore, The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners. There is a wealth of music from this musical tradition which can be adapted for piano. Having an Irish themed wedding is an attractive prospect for anyone who is proud of their natural heritage. I’ve written on this in more detail here: 


Classical Music

The Classical tradition typically refers to art music of Europe from the years 1600 right through to the early 20th century. Therefore it is a huge genre. To refine it a little, the most well known music in this category is that of Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, Listz and Bach. It is a beautiful option for a wedding meal; again, like Jazz, this works well while your guests are actually eating. It may be an acquired taste but it most certainly elevates the atmosphere and adds a fantastically cultured dimension to the day. It is a genre that sounds really great on piano.


Paul is available as a wedding reception pianist.  Get in touch today for a quote for your drinks reception music. He will be delighted to be of assistance. Fill out the Contact Form on the right.

3 Responses to Choosing Music for your Pre-Dinner Wedding Reception

  1. Laura Finn says:

    Do you play for pre dinner drinks ? I am getting married in Seafield, Co.Wexford on 30/04/2016
    With thanks
    Laura Finn

  2. Alice says:

    Hi Pianomaster,

    Thank you for posting these options of wedding music. They really help a lot.

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