A LITTLE BIT LOUDER NOW:
AN ARITST MANAGER TURNED WEDDING PLANNER’S GUIDE
TO MUSIC + WEDDINGS
Music is the secret sauce that keeps a wedding flowing and feeling good. Couples and guests will remember the special musical moments long after a lively round of ‘SHOUT’ at the end of the evening. Nashville provides the perfect setting for a musically focused wedding - venture outside of the country genre if it doesn’t fit your vibe and take advantage of the amazingly diverse and talented musician pool that Nashville offers.
CEREMONY | Music will set the mood as soon as your guests begin to arrive. Whether it’s light and fun or deeply romantic – curate a meaningful and personal playlist that you’re excited to walk down the aisle to. Endless options include hiring steel drummers or a harpist, having a musically gifted friend play the setlist from the first concert you and your partner attended together, or asking a string quartet to cover your favorite LCD Soundsystem album. Dig deep, get creative and kick off your evening in a way that excites you.
SECOND LINE | The second line parade is Beyoncé–approved and hands down my favorite wedding tradition. Native to New Orleans jazz funerals, a second line is traditionally led by a brass band and followed by the couple then their guests as the whole party makes their way through the streets from ceremony to reception.
Working with the city to secure a parade permit and route can be tricky, so start early in your planning. A second line can also bring your guests from the ceremony to a cocktail hour, from a cocktail hour to dinner, or act as your grand exit – get creative, second lines are a blast any time!
COCKTAIL HOUR | Pick your cocktail hour soundtrack with intention. It’s lovely to mingle to the right music. This may be as simple as putting together a Spotify playlist to make your presence felt if you’re busy with photos and regrouping after your ceremony.
DINNER | A jazz trio will keep the dinner mood light and move the meal along amongst courses and toasts. Dedicated dinner music is a thoughtful touch – bonus points if your music and menu pair well together.
RECEPTION BAND | Picking a reception band can be TOUGH. Your planning team will be able to provide recommendations that fit your event and space. Choose a smaller group for an intimate reception area, a bluegrass band for a barn dance, and a big brass band for a large formal affair. I will always suggest a live band whenever possible however DJs can be awesome too – an experienced DJ will be able to adapt their playlist to fit your cocktail hour, dinner and reception.
AFTER PARTY | Keep the party going by heading to a concert, honkey tonk, or low key dance hall in East Nashville after your reception – just be sure to schedule your farewell brunch on the later end.
Nashville Bachelorette Weekend
Hosting a Nashville Bachelorette party as you're planning a wedding doesn't have to be so, well, Nashville Bachelorette Weekend, ya'll! Whether you’re native, local or visiting, there are countless ways to create a weekend that feels more you and will leave your homies feeling excited to reunite and celebrate at your wedding.
Check into your AirBNB and post up at Pearl Diver as the rest of your party makes their way from BNA. Order happy hour food and tiki drinks on the back patio or grab a booth inside the mid-century tropical bar to enjoy the best playlist east of The Cumberland.
No formal dinner (or check/hair splitting) necessary tonight. If you'd like to get dinner, Edley's is casual and delicious and will check BBQ off your list early into the weekend.
Call it an early night - tomorrow is a big day. Your East Nashville Neighbors will thank you for kicking off the weekend with a low-key evening, and your wedding party will thank you tomorrow.
Let those who are dealing with a time change sleep in and take your ambitious guests on a 5.8 mile (paved) hike through Percy Warner Park, or an 8 mile bike on Shelby Bottoms Greenway. Bike rentals are easily available at the Shelby Bottoms Nature Center trailhead - watch for deer!
Or start your day at Hot Yoga of East Nashville: a welcoming neighborhood studio with classes available for yogis of all levels.
Take the afternoon to relax at O.Live Body Bar, especially if the weather calls for indoor fun.
Or, if you're hosting a summer bachelorette, Amazon Prime some floaties, grab sandwiches at Mitchell Deli, and a few growlers from Southern Grist and make your way to Percy Priest Lake for a sun-filled affordable boat day.
If you’re lucky, one of Tennessee’s local farms will be hosting a seasonal farm-to-table dinner. If Kindred Farm in Santa Fe, TN is hosting a Kindred Dinner it can’t be missed.
Cozy up at Urban Cowboy for after-dinner drinks, or catch a show at The Ryman, Basement East, or under the stars at Ascend. Plan ahead if you'd like to purchase tickets to The Bluebird - tickets are available Monday morning week-of each Saturday or Sunday show, and go like hotcakes.
If you can't resist dipping your toes in the Broadway madness, Happy Happy Love approves of Robert's Western World in all of their hot dog + fried bologna sandwich glory.
Sparkle City Disco DJs events throughout Nashville. Check out their schedule for a groovy late night dance party.
Finally, Santa’s Pub (a smokey, cash only karaoke bar in a double wide trailer) serves $2 beers until 2:30am.
Nashville is super sleepy on Sundays so brunch at your Air BNB might be most appreciated, especially after a late night. Use your Maid of Honor’s help in picking up coffee and pastries at one of East Nashville's many donut outfits before you and your guests say their goodbyes and leave more excited than ever for your big day.
Want or need help planning or brainstorming a weekend-long party?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.