For better or worse, the music matters

What music will play when Kate Middleton walks down the aisle? What will the newlyweds choose for their first dance as man and wife at the reception? We look at some of the possibilities.

Robin Williams's Angels is among the songs that might surface at royal wedding reception.
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Every future bride and groom has the same conundrum. Which appropriately epic music will accompany the bride's entrance? What cheesily meaningful song will play during that sloppy first dance? And, most important of all, how do they hire a DJ who can make the newlyweds seem cool, yet still keep Grandma on the dance floor all night?

Particularly when Grandma is Queen Elizabeth II. It's difficult to imagine the 85-year-old monarch grooving to Come On Eileen at Prince William and Kate Middleton's reception. And if her dance moves do, somehow, become the sensation of the party, protocol probably dictates that photos will not be released.

As far as the musical element of tomorrow's ceremony goes, William and Kate seem to have played things safe. We know that the London Chamber Orchestra will play alongside the Choir of Westminster and the Chapel Royal Choir. There will be the requisite trumpet fanfares. And, according to the official website for the wedding, the service will include "a number of well-known hymns and choral works as well as some specially commissioned pieces".

So it would be a major surprise if Kate Middleton's entrance isn't to something appropriately classical - although Wagner's Bridal Chorus (popularly known as Here Comes the Bride) from his 1850 opera Lohengrin might be a little too, well, common for the poshest wedding of the year. Princess Diana, William's mother, entered the cathedral to Jeremiah Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary. But there's no accounting for taste: research by AOL Radio had Kool And The Gang's Celebration as the most popular modern song for brides to walk down the aisle to. At number three in that chart was U2's Beautiful Day, and it would be rather cool to have that stadium anthem booming around the rarefied surroundings of Westminster Abbey. But if Kate really wants to prove she's the next people's princess, she'll just reprise the brilliant spoof royal wedding clip, made by one particular mobile phone operator. It's a viral smash in the UK, and if you haven't experienced its genius yet simply type "T-Mobile Royal Wedding" into Google. We won't spoil it too much - suffice it to say East 17's House of Love has never sounded so good.

But the music at the ceremony pales into insignificance compared with the first dance at the reception, where the happy couple must, seemingly by law, clutch each other tightly and shuffle around the dance floor in a fashion last seen at an under-14s school disco. This song is important. It is Their Song. It must Mean Something. It must also, if recent polls are to be believed, be awful. Top, year after year, is Amazed, by the unremarkable American country rockers Lonestar, with its completely schmaltzy chorus: "Every little thing that you do/I'm so in love with you/It just keeps getting better".

At least it's not a completely overfamiliar song, like the rest of the first-dance top 10, among them Van Morrison's Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Aerosmith's Don't Want to Miss a Thing and (somehow) Bryan Adams's (Everything I Do) I Do it For You. The cooler couples eschew such old favourites, with Elbow's One Day Like This currently hugely popular. And the wedding guest Elton John's Are You Ready for Love could easily start William and Kate's party off with a bang.

And then, once the formalities are over, it's time for the lottery of the wedding disco. No matter what the bride and groom stipulate in advance, it's basically written in stone that the DJ will think he knows best, either playing tunes that nobody has ever heard or songs that everybody has heard far too often. By the latter rationale, Abba megamixes must be outlawed. Robbie Williams's Angels should be banned. Brevity is vital to keep interest levels high - which means absolutely no Bat Out of Hell or Bohemian Rhapsody.

Still, rumours have been rife in the British press that William and Kate want a proper knees-up with some cheesy songs. Hopefully, that means the kind of guilty pleasures-style tunes that soundtracked their childhood - some a-ha or William's mum's favourite, Duran Duran. You can't go wrong with a bit of Rio, after all.

And when it's all over, we'll be able to relive the musical highlights of William and Kate's wedding whenever we're feeling in the need of a royal pick-me-up, because the wedding ceremony itself will be rush-released as a digital download. But if this royal couple want to look really cool, they'll publish the reception soundtrack as a Spotify playlist…