• Molly

What Style of Music to Play at the Cocktail Hour

Ah cocktail hours! That time between the ceremony and the reception when guests begin to mingle and the wedding party steps away to take photos. They're a great break for the bridal party to get their photos accomplished and as a breather before the reception. Cocktail hours are fun, exuberent and LOUD.


It's always surprising to me how the sound of a harp penetrates through spaces. Still, amplification is recommended for most venues. Again, cocktail hours are LOUD.


I'm often asked about what styles I play for cocktail hours. Typically, I recommend a mixture so that everyone gets a hint of what they like to listen for. I offer classical styles, popular songs, and a mixture of both.



My cocktail music can be customized to any style or type of event. This can be done by tailoring my selections to purely classical, popular, or a mixture. The most common type of repertoire I play for cocktail hours is a mixture of classical and popular favorites. This is because it has a little bit of something for everyone. I stick to pieces that are generally more upbeat in tempo to add to the ambience of the cocktail hour.


For classical music, I like to choose more romantic sounding pieces (after all we are celebrating love). These pieces often have big, lush chords and delicate sounding arpeggios that show off the harp and add to the romantic ambience of the cocktail hour. For the popular pieces I mix different genres and styles. I often go back to popular standards from Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley. Classics like 'I Can't Help Falling in Love' are among my favorites. A little bit of nostalgia is never a bad thing!


A mixture of older popular songs along with the modern is also a nice touch. Your wedding guests comprise of different generations, as such the popular music they recognize differs. This is why I like to mix my Sinatra tunes with more modern artists from today's current generation.


As long as the feeling of the music retains that fun and exciting celebratory mood, you can't go wrong with the choices.


After all, it is a party!

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