Sail the Caribbean Sea During Your Sailboat Wedding in Belize

Imagine the calm and relaxation of sailing the Caribbean Sea with your closest friends and family: azure, blue waters so clear you can see sea life swimming next to the boat, a slight saltwater breeze rustling your clothes and hair (just enough so you’re not overly hot), reggae background music, a local crew of Belizeans who grew up on the water and steer the boat with the biggest smiles, and a couple Belikins or local rum drinks to sip on.

Now, imagine that’s the setting for your wedding instead of a massive group of 200 people to talk to and entertain, running around making sure all the details are perfect, and feeling like you barely had time to eat or talk to the people you love most.

When you choose Belize as your destination wedding, we prefer the slow life and an easy breezy wedding day on a sailboat. And, that’s exactly what Bradley and Destinie got when they planned a sailboat wedding in Belize.

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*All images courtesy of Belize wedding photographer, Jose Luis Zapata.

Destinie and Bradley chose to come to Belize and share their special day with their closest family members: only Destinie’s son (who was the ring bear) and their parents were invited to embark on their sailboat wedding day.

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Dulce Belize Weddings helped Destinie and Bradley with their special sailboat wedding by chartering the 40-foot Sirena Azul sailboat owned by Blue Tang Inn on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Sirena Azul is not just any sailboat: it’s a very special boat that was handcrafted in the fishing village of Sarteneja, Belize by well-known father and son boat builders, Leonardo and Beto Munos. It’s made out of hardwoods found in Belize, including Santa Maria, Bullet and Mahogany. The boat was built to keep the traditional style of Belizean fishing boats but includes a diesel inboard engine, bathroom and plumbing fixtures, and modern window hardware and lighting.

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The wedding ceremony was held just in time for sunset, and the pictures show just how stunning and relaxing this setting can be for an intimate wedding. We were thrilled to be part of Destinie and Bradley’s special day with their closest loved ones… and Dulce Belize Weddings took part in the festivities by toasting champagne, sharing rum punches, and dancing to music as the sailboat cruised back to port on Ambergris Caye. Congratulations Destinie and Bradley! Thanks for letting us be a part of your sailboat wedding in Belize.

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If you’re interested in booking a sailboat wedding in Belize, send us a message!

Everything You Need to Know About Applying for a Marriage License in Belize

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photo by Effrain of Leonardo Melendez Photography.

A Belize wedding license is internationally recognized! You have direct contact with your officiant from the moment you book with us to ensure your Belize wedding license is obtained and ready in time for your ceremony.

To obtain a special license to get married in Belize, here’s what you need to do:

  • Both parties must be in the country three (3) workdays prior to filing the petition of the license. All documents required must be original documents, but certified copies with lifted seal of the original documents are acceptable.
  • For those who aren’t in the country for three days, it is possible to apply for a Special Belize Wedding License (for an additional fee)
  • Application forms will be emailed to you from your officiant or coordinator such as Dulce Belize Weddings
  • Completed forms along with the items in the following list must be presented to General Registry (officiant will do this on your behalf).

Your Belize wedding will be conducted by a Justice of the Peace, and you will leave Belize with an official marriage license. After the documents are formally submitted to the Belize Marriage Registry, they will be mailed to you.

If neither party has been previously married, this is what you need to submit to the Belize Marriage Registry:

  • Fully completed marriage license application form notarized by Justice of the Peace (we will take care of this)
  • Photocopy of your passport showing your profile picture in color and date of arrival in Belize (we will meet with you to get this)

If either party has been previously married, this is what you need to submit to the Belize Marriage Registry:

  • Fully completed marriage license application form notarized by Justice of the Peace (we will take care of this)
  • Photocopy of your passport showing your profile picture in color and date of arrival in Belize (we meet with you to get this)
  • A copy of original divorce decree

If either party is a widow or widower, this is what you need to submit to the Belize Marriage Registry:

  • Fully completed marriage license application form notarized by Justice of the Peace (officiant will take care of this)
  • Photocopy of your passport showing your profile picture in color and date of arrival in Belize (we will meet you to get this)
  • A copy of original death certificate

No matter what your situation, there’s no need to stress the paperwork for your Belize Wedding! Dulce Belize Weddings will help you every step of the way with the processing of your marriage licence. If you’re interested in having us support you during your Belize destination wedding, send us a message.

 

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Order of Wedding-Day Events for Your Belize Wedding

While you can ultimately decide how you want your wedding day events to play out,  I thought I’d share with you a typical order of events for a destination wedding in Belize.

Most ceremonies are performed at 4:00 p.m or even 4:30 p.m  if it’s earlier in the year. Later in the rear, some photographers suggest starting your ceremony as early as 3:00 p.m or 3:30 pm. so the sunlight and sunset are perfect for your ceremony. 

Ceremonies are mostly held on the beach of the venue you are staying at (sometimes beach house rentals have a venue fee depending on the size of the group but it’s very rare. Most hotels do not charge a venue fee if the wedding guests are staying at the resort or the resort is catering for the entire group). For more info about locations of your wedding in Belize, check out my Wedding Locations page.

Ceremony

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Processional

This is the official walk down the aisle and usually begins with the parents, followed by the bridal party. The music changes for the bride’s entrance, who walks down the aisle with her father (or in some cases with both parents, alone or someone special to them). The groom generally enters on the side with the officiant and the best man & also the groomsmen, if they’re not escorting the bridesmaids.

Opening Remarks

The officiant will begin with a welcome and some standard “gathering words,” and will also introduce the couple.

Readings

(I’ve seen this being done lately by one of the parents of the couples).
While this part is optional, most couples select one or two readings for their ceremony. Christian ceremonies typically have three readings.

Charge to the Couple

This is a reminder of the significance of the vows you’re about to exchange and your duties and roles in marriage.

Exchange of Vows

The vows are the most significant part of the ceremony and you can either recite your own or follow a script that you choose with your officiant.

Ring Exchange

The rings symbolize the commitment between the couple and are usually exchanged while saying “With this ring, I thee wed.”

Unity Ceremony

While this part is optional, modern couples like to incorporate traditions such as lighting a unity candle, pouring sand, or handfasting, to demonstrate their two families joining together.

Pronouncement of Marriage

The officiant declares the couple as officially married.

Kiss

Your first kiss as a married couple! (Tip: Remember to hold it for a couple seconds so that the photographer can capture this magic moment.)

Closing Remarks

Any words that the officiant will say to officially end the ceremony.

Recessional

The couple will walk down the aisle together, followed by the wedding party and parents.

Location of Your Reception in Belize

Locations of receptions depend on the couple’s choices and budget. Some couples like the idea of holding the reception at the same location as the ceremony others like the idea of having it at a restaurant. It all depends on the size of the group and the wedding couples budget! I mean, hey, if you can rent out Blue Water Grill or the whole Truck Stop for your wedding, go for it!

Events for Your Destination Belize Wedding

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Cocktail Hour: Starts around 5:00p.m

While the bride and groom, family and wedding party are having formal photographs taken, have waiters serve your guests cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. This is especially a great idea for larger wedding parties (however since most destination weddings in Belize are small groups of very close relatives and friends it is also common that your photographer will try and get shots with the whole group so allow at least 20 minutes for this right after the ceremony). 

Entrance, Toasts and First Dance Starts around 6:00 p.m

Usually, this begins when the wedding party is announced. Typically they are announced in the following order: groom’s parents, bride’s parents, flowergirl, and ring bearer, bridesmaids escorted by groomsmen, maid/ matron of honor escorted by the best man and finally the bride and groom.

  • First Dance: Bride and Groom
  • Toast
  • Dinner is served or announced for buffet style
  • Cake cutting and special dances are done after dinner around 7:00 pm
  • The bride and groom cut cake
  • Special dances in order: bride and groom’s first dance (only if it wasn’t done in hour 2)
  • Bride with her father, then the groom with his mother, and wedding party dance.
  • Bouquet toss
  • Garter toss
  • The dance party begins
  • Closing Song is played and bride and groom’s grand exit

Like I said before, it really all depends on what you want. I’ve had a few where there really was no order of anything the group just wanted to quickly say I do, then start the party. Just remember: do what you are comfortable with and what ultimately will be fun for you since you’re flying to Belize to have the perfect destination wedding free of stress. You are coming all the way to Belize for you wedding day so make sure it is and unforgettable, unbelizeable experience!

Magical Belize Sandbar Wedding

It all started when my phone rang. I answered and said “Hi this is Melody” Jason’s reply was “Are you The Melody” I said “well last I checked I was” he said “ Perfect just the person I was trying to reach my sources tell me you are the best person to talk to” He then jumped into, “I’m going to be staying at The Phoenix Resort in two weeks, and I want to marry the love of my life. I want everything last detail planned out and I don’t want her to worry about anything. Everything needs to be over-the-top perfect. What is most important to me is that she feels extremely special. Can you make that happen?“

“Yes, NO problema Senor! Making things extra special is my specialty ”

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Two weeks fly by quick and before I know it Jason and Tiffany are here. I go to meet them at the Phoenix Resort to go over the plan with Jason.  Tiffany still has not one clue what we have planned all she knows is that they are getting married. She doesn’t know where or how we are getting there. I tell Jason the details and let him know that I will be going ahead to a secluded beach so my assistant Aylin will stay behind to keep Tiffany company while she is getting ready and make sure Tiffany has everything she needs.

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It’s wedding day: Tiffany is in her master suite at the Phoenix Resort getting her makeup done. Jason is chilling on the deck overlooking the blue waters of Belize getting fresh air before he starts to get ready and I am off to a secluded beach on the West side of the Ambergris Caye Belize to set up a deluxe wedding picnic with the whole works: chocolates and cake from the Belize Chocolate Company, wine and a beautiful cheese platter from Wine De Vine and to top it all off we will have local musician Dennis Wolfe Jr. there to serenade them.Jason_Tiffany_-_Sandbar_Wedding_Ambergris_Caye_Belize_SS_-6

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I get the call from captain Johnny that they are leaving The Phoenix and heading our way. They arrive and you can see that Tiffany is so excited. Dennis is playing one of their favorite tunes. Photographer Jose Luis Zapata snaps a few pictures. Then the wedding day team and I take a half hour boat ride in order to give them some privacy. We return to pick them up and Tiffany is so happy with everything so far – she loved all the custom love messages and special touches. She says “its so perfect here do we have to go somewhere else to get married?’ I respond “Yes your husband asked for magical and magical is what you will get”

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We arrive at the Sandbar and it’s just that “magical” the sun is starting to set and the sandbar looks like it is floating on rays of sunlight reflecting on the water. Jason and our officiant Mrs. Iraida Gonzales stand on the very tip of the sandbar with the waves gently touching their feet. The floating sandbar works magnificently for a wedding aisle and as music fills the air Tiffany walks towards Jason. As they proclaim their love for one another and exchange vows there is just no way to hold back the happy tears.  Jason looks at Tiffany like she is the most beautiful woman on the planet and Tiffany gazes into his eyes like she never wants to look away. (Oh by the way to clue you guys in Jason and Tiffany have been together for over 10 years and have three kids…. The magic is still there!) It was so amazing to see two people still so in love with each other after all their years together. Their love for each other is unquestionable.

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The beautiful couple are officially married in Belize on a magical sandbar. We pop open a bottle of champagne on the boat to celebrate. To end their special day I shuttle them to the  Victoria  House for dinner and say goodbye. They enjoy a dinner on a private dock where they can look out onto the caribbean sea by candle light. It couldn’t have gone more perfect if I planned it myself. Another Dulce Belize Destination Wedding Success!

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Hurricane Wedding in Belize

Danielle reached out to Dulce Belize Weddings months before her big day. She asked me for help with flowers and to be her day-of coordinator. She was a very organized bride and had her wedding completely planned out (spreadsheets and all).  Her fiance Brian visits Belize often as his brother David co-owns a Beach Hostel called Sandbar Beachfront Hostel & Restaurant. With all their Belize friends and connections, everything for the wedding fell into place. Danielle’s step mom was handling smaller details, decor and special touches. This was going to be a very easy wedding.

  • Officiant: Brittney O’Daniel
  • Music: D.J Thomas Gongora
  • Catering: Island Catering
  • Flowers: Dulce Belize Weddings
  • Photographer: Jose Luis Zapata
  • Stylist: Jessica R
  • Day-of Coordinator: Melody Sanchez Wolfe/Dulce Belize Weddings
  • Venue: La Gran Casa Azul

Danielle had handled every last detail. My role was to make sure everyone else was setting up according to Danielle’s timeline. We had done a walkthrough of the venue and had already gone over the layout of the wedding on her previous trip to Belize. Danielle had even handled all her own rentals and planned on putting the groomsmen to work setting up the lights and tiki torches. Easy-peasy, hand me a blindfold — I got this!

WRONG…….. Hurricane Earl has this!

The storm (named Hurricane Earl) moved westward through the Caribbean Sea, brushing the north coast of Honduras. Earl strengthened into an 85 mph (140 km/h) hurricane before making landfall on Belize on August 4th. Yup, Hurricane Earl paid us a visit one day before the wedding, completely destroying most of the docks and palapas on Ambergris Caye! By daylight, on August 4th, the hurricane had already passed over us. I quickly got on my golf cart with my two kids and drove to Caye Casa where Danielle and Bryan had taken shelter overnight. I look up and she is on the veranda looking out onto the beach. I could imagine what was going through her mind. I found myself thinking: we cannot have this wedding at La Gran Casa Azul — it’s too far South, the roads are a mess, the beaches are covered in debris!  

Hurricanes are extremely rare on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The last time we had a hurricane was 10 years ago. My thoughts on this are: if people say that it’s good luck for it to rain on your wedding day, then I wonder what they say about a hurricane?

beach wedding belizeI went upstairs and can tell that Danielle has been crying, her dream wedding is ruined all her hard work seems hopeless. I tell her that her photographer is awesome and will make the best of backgrounds and the pictures are going to be very artistic with the aftermath of the hurricane as the background.  I’m not sure if I’m helping any — my bride still looks very sad. In my mind I know we can do this, luckily I had run to the gardens before the storm to cut fresh flowers and stored them in my bathtub. BUT there are still a lot of missing factors, and I am worried how are we going to get ahold of all the wedding vendors and let them know that the wedding is still on. Some places still didn’t have electricity and most of them were not answering my calls. Internet was even more terrible than usual.

Danielle, Bryan and I start driving South to go check the wedding venue and there starts to be a glimmer of hope: as we drive down Middle Street I spot the Jose Luis Zapata, their official photographer. He assures us that we can count on him and he will be ready as soon as we tell him where the wedding will be held. We then literally managed to bump into every vendor on our drive to La Gran Casa Azul. Thank goodness for the small island of Ambergris Caye. Hope is growing!

We arrive and it’s a complete wreck: half the dock is in pieces on the beach, along with a TON of other debris. There is no electricity at the house, and I even get a message from the DJ letting me know that he is unsure if he can make it due to flooding in Belize City. I don’t doubt that our team will be able to handle setting up a wedding, but time is of the essence!

By late afternoon all of the couple’s family, friends and the great staff at LGCA are hard at work cleaning the huge mess…. and by huge I mean MASSIVE MESS!  But I still don’t have a 100 percent go-ahead to send the team to set up the arbor, chairs and other directions because they still don’t have any electricity. No electricity means no lights, no music, no cooking. NO Wedding at least not at LGCA.

Finally, it’s wedding day and the sun is shining on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Still no electricity, but I know people who know people. So, I pull some strings and beg them to make that area of town a priority to save someone’s wedding day. The electricity is finally turned on around 11a.m!!  

I start heading to LGCA and run into Danielle, who is heading into town to get her nails done and is smiling and in great spirits. I get there around midday and am amazed at how clean the beach is and how much work they got done. Everyone is buzzing around,  the caterers arrive and head to the kitchen. David (best man) and his team are almost finished setting up the lights. Chairs and tables have been delivered.  Brittney O’Daniel, the officiant and close friend of the couple, shows up with the cake. Everything starts falling into place even the D.J from the city shows up and we can scratch plan-B off the list (wedding guest who is a DJ). There’s even some upside to the storm — instead of docks and boats that would usually be parked in the background, they will have just the Caribbean sea and sky!

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It’s almost ceremony time. I go check on Danielle and she is in the master bedroom getting ready and seems completely calm and is looking absolutely stunning. The photographer Jose Luis Zapata is there capturing special moments, and Danielle is with Bailey her new daughter and her close family exchanging special gifts. Everyone is ready and everything is set up. It’s go time!

The weather could not have been more perfect. The new couple embraced Hurricane Earl and got beautiful, dramatic pictures. They played “Earl Had to Die” by the Dixie Chicks at the wedding for a good laugh. I introduced them to “El Circulo” a Belizean tradition where the single ladies dance around in a circle and take shots from the bride and the single men do the same with the groom. We decided it would be fun for everyone to join so it didn’t matter if you were single or not: everyone got shots! (After all that work it was well deserved.)  

The ceremony turned out absolutely beautiful. The reception was so much fun. Thanks to our team, the staff of LGCA, and huge thanks to the couple’s friends and family Danielle got the dream wedding she planned for. Belize Wedding at La Gran Casa Azul: success!

I hope that  Bryan and Danielle are always surrounded by wonderful loving people who help them get through life’s hurricanes.  Despite all the obstacles putting this Belize wedding planner to the test, it really proved to me that where there is a will there is a way, and where there is love there is always HOPE.

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Getting to Ambergris Caye

Getting to Ambergris Caye

Once you have landed at Philip Goldson International Airport You have a few options if you want to get to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.  They are:

  1.   Flights to the Island
  • At the International airport, you can take one of the hourly flights to Ambergris Caye.   You can take either Maya Island Airor Tropic Air.  They leave every hour, the flight takes about 20 minutes and costs about $125USD round trip.
  • Once on the island, you need to get to your hotel.  Depending on where you are staying, it could be a short walk across the street or a $5-10 USD taxi ride a few miles south or north or, if you are staying far north of the bridge, you often need to take a taxi cab to a water taxi to bring you to your destination (some resorts have shuttles that pick you up) This adds another 20-30minutes to your travel day.
  1.  The Water Taxi from Belize City to the Island
  • This is your cheapest option.  And can make sense if you have the time and if you are part of a larger group.
  • Leave the International Airport and take a taxi cab to Belize City proper and to one of the water taxi terminals depending on your schedule.   This should cost about $25 USD.   A boat leaves every hour to hour and a half so you might have to wait.
  • Take the water taxi to San Pedro.  This costs about $55bzd round trip (or $27USD) and takes an hour and 15 minutes.  For the schedules see:  Caye Caulker Water Taxiand San Pedro Belize Express.
  • Once on the island, you need to get to your hotel (same process as above).
  1.  The Tropic Ferry
  • When you arrive at the International Airport, you will be met by someone with a sign with your name on it.  You will take a short 3-5 minute shuttle ride to a restaurant called The Oar House in Ladyville where you will board the boat on the river.  The boats are 40 person water taxi type boats.
  • On the trip, you enjoy free refreshments and rum punch and a little music.
  • An hour and 15 minutes – 45 minutes later (depending on your location) you are dropped off on your dock.
  • The price is $75USD one way or $125USD round trip.

We are more than happy to help you make your travel arrangements before you land in Belize. Send us a e-mail with your arrival time in Belize City and what route you would like to take and we will set it up.

Contact info:

dulcebelizeweddings@gmail.com

Melody Sanchez: +501-631-7481

 

 

Belize Destination Wedding Songs

When we think of Belize music we think Caribbean Style, Reggae, Soca. However Belize is a melting pot where songs can really come from any genre because in general, Belize Destination Weddings are meant to be more laid back, less formal and therefore, there are no rules.
But for a wedding on an Island or tropical setting, you do want to choose songs that are fun, more carefree and that convey that Tropical Island feel.
Keep in mind where in your wedding you plan on using the songs of course. You will need something sombre and more romantic for your walk down the aisle and something more upbeat and fun for your recessional.
Don’t forget to select a few songs for cocktail hour you don’t want something that’s overly engaging but yet you want to create a feel good atmosphere to get your guests in the right mood.
For your reception you will need another upbeat song for the grand entrance and maybe something romantic or a song that is special to the both of you for your first dance. After dinner you want to get the party started so pick fun songs that will get your guest bouncing to the groove. Whatever type of music you choose, make sure it reflects the feel of being carefree and inspires people to dance, choose songs with lyrics that speak of loving life , the beach , the sea and of course of being in love.
But don’t forget that it’s your big day and you can do whatever you want! So if you want to walk up to Aisle to ‘It’s my life by bon Jovi’ by all means, it’s your Wedding!
Below are our top songs for a Belize Destination Wedding:

1. “Pirates Of The Caribbean”

Now this is not your usual wedding music but the way these songs were blended together would work well for a destination wedding couple with a more adventurous flare. It would be a fun entrance for a beach ceremony especially for Pirate fans. I can picture the grooms men marching in and breaking out into a sword fight. This entrance music will have all your guest feeling like they are in a Pirates of the Caribbean Movie. The theme song will be more upbeat and exciting for the wedding party then as the bride is revealed the music slows down and has a more enchanting romantic feel.

2. “Take My Hand”

A perfect song for walking down the aisle, first dance or even just have it on your play list. The lyrics speak words of respect to the father of the bride and spending your life with your loved one.

3. “Run Run Run” by Celeste Bucking ham
I can picture a bride doing a special dance to this with her bridesmaids maybe teasing her groom a little bit. This is for those Brides that know they have their groom wrapped around their finger (I have met a few of these ladies and guess what that guy is always more than happy to do whatever makes their bride happy)

4. “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” UB40
Some things were meant to be and UB40 is meant to be played at any Caribbean wedding. The trumpets in the background of this song are awesome. These guys just sound like they are from the tropics. I really don’t know where they are from but ever since I was a child I would hear UB40 songs being played all over the Island. They have a few songs you can use for a wedding like “here I am” and let’s not forget “Red Red wine”.

5. “Set fire To The Rain” Adelle
We all love listening to Adele. We listen to Adele while driving, cleaning and of course we belt out to her songs in the shower. She is a big part of the music world, so how do we incorporate her into our wedding playlist without making it seem so serious? Easy peasy guys you mix in a little reggae tune and tada we have a tropical laid back feeling. I searched some other good songs and guess what you can pretty much incorporate a little reggae into most songs also listen to Firework by Katy Perry the reggae version.

6. “You Look So Beautiful In White” West Life

I mean this song just screams wedding. Need I say more?

7. “keeper of the stars” Tracy Byrd

We have quite a few country loving folk come down to Belize for their weddings and trust me Belize is no stranger to Country Music, Belizeans Love country I would know my dad Dennis Wolfe made a living singing country on this little Island. So if it’s what you like there are plenty of country love songs to choose from for your ceremony and of course lots of fun dancing songs! I picked this one because my significant other always sings it to me and the lyrics are very suitable for weddings.

8. “Love Me Like You Do” Ellie Goulding

For our sensual more modern bride this is a good song to walk up the aisle to especially for those very intimate “Just The Two Of Us” weddings.

9. Jack Johnson

I absolutely love his voice and the sound of his music I couldn’t pick one specific song but if it were my choice I would say walk down the aisle to “Angel” and exit with your groom to “Better Together.”  Whatever you do make sure you include some Jack Johnson in your wedding play list his songs are easy listening and speak of all things wonderful, so it’s perfect music for dinner and cocktail hour.

10. “Here Comes the Sun” Instrumental

Keep it classy by using a instrumental song. This song reminds me of a good friends wedding. It really gave me butterflies while she walked down her beach aisle and the sun came out from behind the rain clouds that had just passed over us.  It was just all so perfect.  You can pick your favorite modern or non modern songs and get the instrumental version to it to make it classy for walking down the aisle.

Wow we are already at 10 songs! There are so many more songs I want to mention like Colbie’s “I do” and Shania’s “from this moment” she is always a great one for romantic songs, “Thinking out loud” has been a big hit and of course “somewhere over the rainbow is a classic.” I’ll just let you guys figure out what best suits you! Good luck and remember it’s your day you can have it your way.