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Wedding Film Music 2018 Picks

MusicChristian PetersonComment

For many couples, finding the right music is one the most important, yet somewhat confusing, things they have to do when it comes to their wedding film. While we've outlined how to pick music for wedding films in a previous blog post, we wanted to share a few of our favourite new Music Bed tracks for the summer. Without further ado, here are six songs that we'd love to edit to this year!


Brand New
by Ben Rector

Why? Ben Rector is the all-star wedding singer-songwriter of Music Bed. Soft and sweet, Brand New will carry you wedding film, allowing the images to feel at once happy and emotional.


Stars
by Secret Nation

Why? If you want a slower, softer, indie-feeling wedding film, Secret Nation's music is always a good way to go.


Believe
by Secret Nation

Why? Positive and high energy while retaining a soft touch, Believe feels like a love letter to summer. If Coca-Cola made a commercial with a truly indie artist, it might sound like this.


All My Heart
by Aaron Krause

Why? Nice and emotional, with a slower buildup and clean sections, All My Heart is ideally suited for wedding films using live audio content from cards, vows or speeches as the emotional core of the story. Plus, it's on the longer side at 5:03, leaving plenty of time for the day to play out.


This Love
by Tyler Williams

Why? If you're into slower, mellower music, This Love might be the one for you. Perfect for a romantic backyard or lakeside wedding


Together
by Animal Island

Why? Youthful and energetic, Together is full of little pockets of emotion and opportunities for integrating live sound. Its multi-voice chorus also makes it feel like a love-full family affair.


Dare Me
by Hotel Apache

Why? Contagiously positive, Dare Me is peppered with bright vocals and playful synths. Perfect for a wedding film filled with friends and laughter, a piece that retains a bit of romance without taking itself too seriously.


Thousand Love Songs
by The Light The Heat

Why? On the cinematic end of things, Thousand Love Songs is romantic and emotional, with a clean structure that can let the images speak for themselves.


Goddess
by Marie Hines

Why? If you're an eclectic and creative couple that wants an off-beat wedding film, give this one a listen. It's got a hint of electronica-infused mysticism. In all honestly, I'm not quite sure how a wedding film would feel cut to this, but it would be so original, and such a wonderful editing challenge.

The Best Wedding Film Music Of 2017

Resources, MusicChristian PetersonComment

With the wedding season well underway, and as we progress through our couples' wedding film edits, we thought we'd help couples that don't know where to begin when choosing songs for their wedding films and create our own list of the Best Wedding Film Music of 2017.

Now, in case you haven't read it yet, we create a post back in 2015 about How To Pick Music For Wedding Videos. This has been by far the most popular, and arguably the most useful, wedding resource we have ever created. So before going through our list of 2017 wedding song favourites below, give that a read to understand what wedding filmmakers look for in a song.

Before moving on to the goodness, it seems important to point out that all the songs listed here are available over at the Music Bed website. We don't have any sort of deal with them, and they don't pay us to advertise their wedding music licensing service; we just happen to like the creative they put out. Sure, you might not know some of the artists, but you can license the music legally, allowing you to share your film as you wish, basically anywhere (for our couples, the cost of licensing is included in the wedding film package). Plus, it's awesome to support indie talent, and your music won't feel so dated in a few years.

All right, so without further ado, here are our favourite wedding video songs of 2017. Just click on the images to listen to the track.

  The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)  High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)
High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

  John Lucas / Caesar  Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

John Lucas / Caesar
Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

  CAPPA ft West Coast Massive /   Paper Stars  Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

CAPPA ft West Coast Massive / Paper Stars
Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

  Tim Halperin / From This Day On  One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

Tim Halperin / From This Day On
One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

  Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)  Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)
Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

  Cody Fry / Go  Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

Cody Fry / Go
Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

  Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk  Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk
Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

  The Rival / Good To Be Alive  This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

The Rival / Good To Be Alive
This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

  John Lucas / Love Is Kind  Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

John Lucas / Love Is Kind
Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

  Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)  Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)
Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

  Tim Halperin / I Believe  Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

Tim Halperin / I Believe
Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

  The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home  Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home
Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

  Hoyle / New Love  High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

Hoyle / New Love
High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

How to Pick Music for Wedding Videos

Resources, Behind-the-Scenes, Music, EditingChristian PetersonComment

As a wedding cinematographer, I end up having to make a lot of decisions regarding wedding video songs. Finding the right track can sometimes be daunting, but with a little direction, all couples can find wedding music that will reflect who they are, and what their love is about.

The impact of music on a wedding video

As a bride and groom, there are a couple of things to considering when picking a song for your wedding film. First, you should know that cinematographers will generally provide the couple with a Wedding Highlights Edit that varies in length between 3 and 6 minutes, depending on how much audio is kept from the ceremony, vows, speeches, and other moments from the day. Personally, I think 4 to 5 minutes is the sweet spot in terms of length for this type of video, but it varies depending on content, style, etc.

Where to start?

Where to start when thinking about your wedding song? Start with you! A good way to approach music selection is to give your videographer / cinematographer some pointers as to what you enjoy, the type of artists you listen to, the genres you jam to, etc. We’ll come back to it later, but it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t get attached to one specific song, because it may not end up working. I recommend trying to find some keywords that define your musical taste. Perhaps you’re looking for an ‘indie rock’ song that’s ‘upbeat', or maybe you’re more into ‘singer-songwriter’ music with  ‘romantic vibe’… or maybe, maybe you’re really into ‘classic rock’ but also like a bit ‘electronic’. Those are things that can help a wedding videographer find you a great track!

Why is a good wedding song important?

In many cases, the song you choose will define the feel of your Wedding Highlights Film. As editors, we tend to respond to footage and music in a very instinctive way, building wedding stories with our hearts as much as with our eyes. The music, for a wedding film, provides the emotional skeleton of the edit. As the same time, there’s also some technicality to it: the rhythm, BPMs, length, and general structure have a huge impact on the edit. They determine how fast we should move to content, when we should place footage that is important, when we should use more romantic or more playful footage. Music works hand in hand with video to make you feel something.

What makes a good wedding video song?

So, here’s a couple things I look for in a song: first, I want the wedding music to have good pace. If a song languishes too much, or is too repetitive it may prevent the editor from making an editor that progresses well; second, I want the track to have some internal variation. Ideally, I like songs that have fun lyrics, but that also has a few instrumental parts, that way it’s easier to insert bits of live audio - like vows, speeches, or readings from cards - into the body of the wedding film; third, I want the track to reflect the feel of the wedding. If you’re having an unplugged wedding at a farm, EDM might not be the best choice… similarly, if you have a very grand ceremony and reception, it might make more sense to go with a more cinematic soundtrack rather than an acoustic country song. Ultimately, it’s all about the relation of the music with the images, and about how those two relate relate to who you are as a couple.

A few examples of waveforms that illustrate structure within a song. In this case, the first song is a rather slow instrumental, more on the classical side. While it builds up, it's very progressive and likely wouldn't allow me to really cut 'to the music'. I could make it work, but it would feel more like a series of beautiful images rather than a full story. The second song (middle) is a much more high energy track, with some drums and guitar. However, it doesn't have much variation between the verse, chorus, bridge, etc, so while we can cut more 'in relation' to this track, it might still feel repetitive and lack demarcation between the various story segments. The third song is closer to an ideal structure: it starts slow, allowing me to set the stage, establish the locations and people, and then really picks up about 1/3 of the way in; about halfway, it slows back down for a bit, allowing a little step back, a more reflective, quieter moment, and boum, back to the high energy finale! This sort of track is great because it allows to create mini stories within the story, and to emphasize big moments with big changes in music (i.e. have the walking down the aisle, or into the reception hall, at 1/3 or 2/3, when the beats kick in.

Finding legal music for wedding videos

There are many ways to find music for wedding videos, and we’ll get into this shortly. But first, we must address one important issue: copyright. The same way that, as Toronto wedding videographers, we - and you! - wouldn’t want other people using our images without acknowledging that we’ve created them, and fairly compensating us for them, musicians should have the right to benefit from the usage of their songs. On the most basic level, the idea is that if the person sowing the dress, the event planner, florist, etc, get compensated for helping make your wedding awesome, so should the person providing the soundtrack to what will soon become a cherished memory.

Let’s dissipate one myth: licensing music for wedding videos is actually affordable! It’s actually so affordable that we at One Heart Films include that fee in your wedding videography package price. A license, typically, will vary between $50 and $100 per song. Why license music? Well, the best reason is because it’s the right thing to do (as we just discussed). But there is another reason: fi you don’t license your music, it is likely that social media sites will take your video down for copyright infringement. Facebook, Youtube and Vimeo all have track detection that allows them to find music that has been registered, and automatically flag and remove it until a proof of proper licensing has been provided. What this effectively means is that if you don’t use a licensable track, you may never be able to share your video with your friends and family online… and that would be a shame!

The way we work is that we ask our couples to check out the library of our music provider, The Music Bed, and give us a few songs that they might want us to use for the highlights edit. We then give it a listen and either pick one, or go back to the drawing board and recommend a few other tracks. I’ve never had a couple not find anything there, but if they didn’t, there are also other options such as Marmoset Music and SongFreedom (which actually offers licenses to some pop songs that get regular radio play). But we prefer some more unique and handcrafted, so we usually stick with The Music Bed.

Get creative: live music and covers

Another way to go about music for your wedding video is to use music that was performed during your wedding day ‘live’ or to record your own ‘cover’ of a song you love. Now, we have to caution that this probably only works for couples that are musician or music aficionados, and that have access to good sound recording equipment (or for whom we have good sound from the wedding day). It’s not for everyone, and song covers are a bit of a muddy zone with regards to copyright, but it’s certainly something to explore for some people, as it can truly make your wedding video more unique and personal.

Your Music, Your Story

Ultimately, the key to choosing good songs for wedding videos is to keep the following things in mind: pacing, internal variation, relation to the feel of the actual wedding day, and license-ability. Once you got all those things in the back of your mind, the last thing is to find a song that inspires you and can help your wedding videographer tell the story of your love!

So, do you know what music will you use for your wedding film yet?


Bonus: A Song We Love

As a little bonus, here’s one song that we love for wedding purposes (it’s got everything we talked about going on for it) and that is actually available through The Music Bed (yay)!