I’ve seen good DJs, bad bands, and one kick ass reception with an exceptional playlist on an iPod. For every success story, there’s a major fail for wedding music. You absolutely need to see your main act prior to purchasing. The music, more than anything, will either keep people dancing or send them packing at 8pm.

I hired a friend that happened to be a DJ in Atlanta. We wanted him at the wedding, so we paid his expenses plus a bit more, and he made the 10 hour drive up. I saw him DJ for a wedding in back-country Virginia for a mutual friend, and he was absolutely amazing. We were rocking well into the night, and everyone had a blast. Usually a good DJ at a bar will equate to a good wedding DJ, but I would absolutely never hire someone just because I heard them play a few techno tracks at the local club. What’s good for the girlfriends won’t necessarily get the mother-in-law to let loose.

And while I love my DJ choice, I admire the work one bride took to take her wedding up a notch. She had a soloist, singing with a soulful voice, belting out an incredible piece as her father escorted her down the aisle. It added a little something that I haven’t seen at a wedding since. It was, quite frankly, straight from the movies. I don’t have a video of it, but it replays over and over in my head.

I’m a little obsessed with The Voice, and Matthew Schuler’s rendition of Hallelujah has been on repeat for more days than I care to admit. I’m not sure if that song is depressing or uplifting, but either way I would be a happy girl if he could serenade me while my hubby and I drank bubbly right after praying over supper.

An established singer will cost you big bucks, but you can also scout local liberal arts schools for undiscovered talent looking to make a couple hundred bucks for performing a few songs. The more people involved (read: a large band), the more it will cost you, so sticking to a soloist may be the best route for you. If you bring them in for just one or two songs, it can also save you.

The video quality on this stinks, but here’s a bit of inspiration. Hallelujah, my friends!