Wedding Video Music Selection

Also…A Soundstripe Review

Soundstripe is a great music service for finding and licensing music for wedding films. For a wedding videographer finding music and choosing the right one can be extremely difficult, but a service like soundstripe is very helpful in finding the perfect tracks for wedding videos. A thousand years ago, before services like soundstripe, wedding videographers and production companies were forced to use collections of cds from one musician, probably a single person using a midi keyboard. These collections of cds were the only source of royalty free music, and if one of the tracks wasn’t what you wanted, you were out of luck. The alternative is to be lucky and personally know a musician in the exact style you were looking for and record the specific song, or pay up and actually licence real known music. I love that the songs on soundstripe are made by real musicians, and there is a good diversity of styles and genres.


Wedding Video Music Style

For weddings the selection of airy, beautiful, soaring post-rock and folk singer songwriter style music. I’ve noticed that there is a huge amount electronic music too if that is what you are looking for, but unfortunately I’m not able to use as much of that with the style of weddings happening in Lancaster and Central Pennsylvania. One benefit of Soundstripe is that the music is real and sounds good, but also the selection has plenty of music that isn’t too intense or have too aggressive vocals. For wedding videos, the music is only a third of what is happening, so a wedding videographer needs music that can support the other aspects of a wedding video, the visuals, and the audio track.

Music Search Functions

The search function in Soundstripe works really well, I often use the mood search in combination with the genre and characteristic fields to narrow down what I’m looking for. The mood search terms include calm, chill, fun, happy, hopeful, inspiring, romantic, quirky…all of which I’ve used in wedding videos at one point or another. The characteristic search terms I use the most are atmospheric, beautiful, building, dances, dreamy, minimal, and retro. I especially love the building and dancey tracks for wedding videos.

Wedding Video Genres

The genres I prefer for most weddings in Lancaster and Central Pennsylvania are Acoustic, Folk, Indie, Country, and Soundtrack/Cinematic. The search also includes a duration function which is useful in finding songs the fit the right segment. Most of the music on soundstripe has alternative lengths if you need a shorter segment or just a quick filler piece, but you can always just chop it down in you editor if you like.

Royalty Free Music

Licensing is super easy, you just have to push a button and it will give you several options of versions, lengths, and with or without vocals or other alternatives. I know with online sharing to different platforms, people are up at night worrying about if their video will be flagged or taken down by Facebook or YouTube but with soundstripe licensing I have never had a problem with posting with the many songs I’ve used from them. Another good feature of Soundstripe is their curated playlists, including several for weddings like cinematic, atmospheric, and dance. If you need something specific or a certain mood or seasonal track they usually have a playlist to cover it.

Country Wedding Video

One problem I’ve run into through using Soundstripe for wedding video selection is that I’ve filmed several country style wedding videos in Central Pennsylvania and the selection of country songs is really lacking. They have a decent choice of folk and acoustic music, but it doesn’t quite fit for a country wedding video. There are some tracks to be sure but only a few artists, which is surprising because I believe the company is based in Nashville. Some good country songs that could fit with a bridal party in cowboy hats would be amazing. I’ve used pretty much all of the country songs that could fit during dancing and reception segments.

Choosing the Right Songs

When choosing music for a wedding video I try to fit it to the style of the wedding and reception, and make sure it fits the couple and the vibe of the day. I really like to use building, soaring music, usually cinematic post rock sound because it is filled with so much intense emotion and that fits wedding videos very well. Sometimes the post rock music or orchestral songs can get a little over bearing and intense so you have to be careful when using those kind of tracks. Another issue is sometimes the volume can really spike or drop which is tough because with a wedding video you need to have an even level to be able to hear the audio track from the video. Ultimately most music used in a wedding video is going to be important, but still only a part of the whole production.

Favorite Artists for Videos

My absolute favorite artist for wedding videos, and probably used by many wedding videographers is Caleb Etheridge and his soaring cinematic music. It just fits so well in a wedding film. I also like Cody Martin who is in a similar style, and have used many of his tracks. Sounds Like Sander has been great for more acoustic, indie folk type tracks, especially foot stomping dance music for receptions. I’ve strived to use Dresden, The Flamingo for as much as I can because I love their retro upbeat music, the electro swing sound but it can be difficult to fit them in, as much as I love them.

Music Process

When I choose music for a wedding video I first go through and create a playlist for each section. For a quick highlight I look for one perfect song…which is really difficult. For a longer cinematic highlight I usually use three songs, but can use more if necessary. I make a new playlist, and first look through some of my favorite artists, and then go to the song search function and go by mood, characteristic, genre, and duration. If the couple in the video doesn’t have as much audio content I look for romantic love songs with lyrics if possible. If there is plenty of speaking in the video then I look for a song without lyrics that would muddy the audio. I usually license and download more than I think I’ll need and put it in to try out. I look for the music to fit the mood and emotion. In a quick highlight having it peak towards the end and end with a beautiful outro to fade out the video with.

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