10 Great Wedding Slideshow Songs

Insights & Thoughts December 21st 2009 1:43 AM 23 Comments

Every studio has its own style of wedding slideshow. There are slideshows with timed images to fit each beat of the song. There are slideshows with dynamic panning, zooming and other effects. But with whatever type of slideshow we choose to create, choosing the perfect song for our slideshow is challenging, as we need to take into consideration myriad of factors. These include, among other things, the personalities of the couple, the mood of the wedding, and the demographic of the slideshow viewers.

[for more song recommendations, please see these articles]

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Revision: There is no implication in this article that using these songs on a commercial or personal website is legal; and we take no official stance on the matter. There are dozens of websites that allow you to buy licensed music from independent artists for this type of use; and you’ll have to understand the risks and legal issues involved before placing any audio content on your website.

We’re simply providing an opinion of songs that fit the themes of weddings (love, romance, etc). Whether our readers are brides deciding on a first dance song, couples choosing songs for their wedding website, or photographers creating a slideshow for their couple, we hope you gain some sort of value from this list of great music.

10 Great Wedding Slideshow Songs

1. Ben Harper – Forever
Purchase: Click Here

2. Jason Mraz – Lucky
Purchase:Click Here

3. Colbie Callait – Bubbly
Purchase: Click Here

4. Joshua Radin – I’d Rather Be With You
Purchase: Click Here

5. Train – Soul Sister
Purchase: Click Here

6. One Republic – Stop and Stare
Purchase: Click Here

7. Joshua Radin – They Bring Me To You
Purchase: Click Here

8. Jack Johnson – Better Together
Purchase: Click Here

9. Craig David – Unbelievable
Purchase: Click Here

10. Kalai – Divide Me
Purchase: Click Here

I hope you enjoyed this article, if so, please share the love and feel free to comment and add additional insight below! We would love to see links to your slideshows.

[for more song recommendations, please see these articles]

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Pye

About

Pye (AKA Post Production Pye) is a founder and the Managing Editor for SLR Lounge. Pye is also a Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography, an Orange County based wedding, engagement and portrait photography studio. Connect with him on Google Plus

23 Comments

  1. Sarah

    I’m a bit confused. I thought you couldn’t use copyright material in a slideshow unless you’ve purchased the rights to use it. I’d appreciate clarification please.

    Thanks.

  2. David Smith Photography

    From my understanding it is only illegal to distribute and sell uncopyrighted material. I’m sure it’s a legal grey area, but I personally don’t feel bad about it because 1) I buy the music I use 2) I give credit to the artist 3) I know for a fact that people have become fans of the artist/purchased their songs because of the slideshow I created and 4) and every wedding website – the ones detailing the couples’ engagement stories, etc – use uncopyrighted songs. However, I’m not a lawyer, and I’d love to hear any other thoughts

  3. Ramon Albanese

    This question comes up often. I responded to it a few weeks back on this forum. A couple of days ago, I responded to it on the “business” section of the forum. Let me copy and pastse what I said and make a few corrections: “This DVD slideshow/music copyright issue can be very confusing at times. I make wedding DVD slideshows all the time, and all the time I include “popular music”. A while back, I contacted an “entertainment lawyer”. This is the kind of lawyer that is connected with this issue. He said, technically you are not supposed to make any copy of a copyrighted song. But he said, “….for your purposes, I would not worry about it….” The big name music companies (SONY, ZOMBA, BMG, etc.) are not concerned with people like you. They are concerned with the “pirates” who make ….sometimes into the hundreds of thousands of copies. That’s who the music companies are concerned about. They are not after the wedding photographer who adds a Frank Sinatra or Kenny Rodgers track to their video or DVD, and then re-sells it! And as to using “royalty-free” music instead, forget about it! Who wants to listen to some bozo playing the harmonica as “the bride and groom are cutting the cake”. That’s absurd. Like I said, I make these DVD’s all of the time, and so do many others. (I’m not saying that therefore it is OK or to think…….well, everyone else is doing it, so I might as well too). You have to be careful. There are two choices. The customer can either send to you their legally purchased CD with the selected song(s)that will be tranferred on to your DVD or, you yourself can purchase the music for them and have it included on the DVD. The purchased music is used legally and does not violate copyright laws as the DVD slideshow is intended for personal use, rather than public use. Not only that, but the use of a legally purchased CD or download is covered under a customers “Fair Use Rights” of ownership. Purchased music is licensed for personal use and therefore it is legal for you to include them in your DVD slideshow. If any copyrighted music is used in your DVD slideshow, the only stipulation that applies is that your customer cannot sell or publish any copies of the DVD that you make for them. The DVD slideshow that you make for the customer is meant for personal viewing only. This will be the ONLY intended use of your services (I assume?). So other than that, any use of your DVD slideshow other than the customers personal use ought to be prohibited. As the last poster said, your charge is for the photos and the time involved for the production (all of which is yours), NOT for the music, which is THEIRS to use at a personal level. Also, a good point to put into your contract: “Any use of your DVD Slideshow other than the consumers personal use is expressly prohibited. By having XYZ Photographers create for you your DVD Slideshow, you agree to use your DVD for personal use only and not for public display with the intent for re-selling or charging admission to its viewing. In these instances of violation, XYZ Photographers will not be held responsible for your actions”. I hope this helps.

  4. Johnathan

    Ramon, that was a wonderful piece of information. Thank you so much for sharing that!

  5. Sarah

    Thanks so much!!!

  6. Dana

    These are all great songs to use! I think there is a mix up with the Kalai song. It is Norah Jones, Sunrise instead:)
    Thanks for the post!!

  7. royalty free music for wedding advice

    If you need to use background music often, you should look into purchasing royalty free music. Its good for wedding videos, business presentations, video games and even commercials … The music is usually relatively cheap since its not well known music, and there are a lot of high quality and inspiting music peices to choose from. I do agree with Ramon’s comment about who the big labels are looking to sue, but still, there are other options and many music libraries out there for you.

  8. George

    @Ramon
    Wrong knowledge. Your lawyer should know better! Using copyrighted Music is strictly illegal when used in public slideshows! Its another story if you use the music for the DVD. Surely no one ever notices the fact you used any material as the clients will purely have private use of the content. But if you put it up on the web, where simply everyone can see/hear it then you are in the game with the RIAA or the sound recording copyright owners. You HAVE to licence the music for this purpose then surely.

    An excerpt of the licence scheme from the RIAA:
    Voluntary Licence:
    “Common Examples of When You Need a Voluntary License Include:

    . . . Using a sound recording in a movie, commercial or other visual work. If you want to use a sound recording in a visual work, you need a synchronization license, so called because the music is “synched” to the video. You’ve already created your visual work and you want to put some music under it. You want just the music for your movie, commercial,documentary, sitcom, or any kind of audio/visual presentation, no matter where it is aired, even the Internet. Synchronization licenses are granted by individual sound recording copyright owners. ”

    This even is a bit harder for German people as the GEMA unlike RIAA do hunt for those little copyright infringements so that one day you might get a little nice letter where you have to pay a lot of pesetas.

    Everyone on its own but do keep in mind that only royalty free is pain free. See Stock20.com or Triplescoop for some nice tunes.

  9. Bristol Wedding Photographer

    Thanks for the song list.. Those are really great songs for wedding slideshows!

  10. Guest

    Anytime you use Music in a video you create a license is needed ( lunless you recorded it ). You are in fact selling more than the photos, and it is irrelevant whether or not the client owns the music. Fair use does not apply here at all. The only difference is that if the client only views it at home, you probably won’t get caught.

  11. Timeless Wedding Songs

    I love Norah Jones songs for a wedding. Classy. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Guest

    I find it interesting that photographers are willing to steal and distribute artists music – but then get angry when people steal and distribute our photos.

  13. Daniel McCarthy

    Great list!!! A few people have mentioned copyright issues, so I figured I would chime in with a good resource. 

    http://www.themusicbed.com is actually what we use on our wedding films. You can’t get top 40 artists, but there are a lot of really cool independent and smaller artists… and it seriously isn’t cheesey…. FOR ONCE! Hope you guys find something you like!

  14. Daniel McCarthy

    Great list!!! A few people have mentioned copyright issues, so I figured I would chime in with a good resource. 

    http://www.themusicbed.com is actually what we use on our wedding films. You can’t get top 40 artists, but there are a lot of really cool independent and smaller artists… and it seriously isn’t cheesey…. FOR ONCE! Hope you guys find something you like!

  15. Prieteninudusmani

     wow ! a lot of creappy song !

  16. guest

    I find it funny how stupid some people can be… The Music is ment to be herd by everyone… The Photographs are ment for a specific couple… completely different… would you want everyone to see your wedding photos… ? and if i was making 6 figures off my photos i dont think I would mind…. non the less good songs..

  17. nice guest

    thanks for the info… some people just wanna argue about everythng… if i bought the cd or song i am using it how i see fit… if an artist has a problem with that.. i won’t buy their music anymore….

    • Stacy Photographer

      Unfortunately that  isn’t how the law works though.  This type of attitude is what is causing our photography industry to crumble. “The ultimate purpose of copyrights is to encourage the production of creative works”.  If there is no reward for production, what will motivate future creativity?  Buying a CD is buying the license to use someone else’s copyrighted music temporarily for personal use and you agree to the terms of the license with your purchase.  If you republish someone else’s work outside of the license agreement, you are looking at up to $150,000 in fines!  Not worth it in my opinion.   

  18. Info

    We use http://www.earcandydigital.com for royalty free music @ http://www.cameography.com

    You get a lifetime license to use and dont have to renew every year

  19. Theken Shots Productions

    This was, by far, the best suggestion of music out there! Soooo many dated songs for this type of project! Thank you! 

  20. Chase

    A new great wedding song is “more than words” by Dawn Pancamo
    http://www.dawnpancamo.com

  21. Brandon

    Thanks for the list! Anything by Joshua Radin is usually a good fit :)

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