Music is a fun aspect of your wedding that can be taken in any direction you want! If your budget is a bit larger and you enjoy live music, a band may be the way to go. If you prefer to have the music sound exactly as it does on the album, while having an array of genres, a DJ may be your best bet. Additionally, there is always the option to create personal playlists through iTunes and Spotify. Generally, eighty to one hundred songs are needed to cover the entire reception. This will be altered according to how many announcements and speeches occur as well as the median song length. No matter the length of your playlist, the following are groups of songs to consider for your big day, along with some top choices other couples have used!
The First Dance
The first dance is a tradition that kicks off the reception. The song should speak to both you and your partner. Did you spend part of your relationship long distance? Did you meet each other later in life? Do you have a special story of how you both met? No matter your love story and the course it has taken, there is sure to be a song that speaks to it. You should dance to the song ahead of time to make sure it does not seem too long or monotonous. If it does, you can always find an alternate version or have your DJ assist you in speeding the tempo up a bit. The first dance has traditionally been slow, but more recently it has become acceptable for a couple to choreograph a dance beforehand to present to their guests. Do not be afraid to get creative!
All of Me- John Legend
Wonderful Tonight- Eric Clapton
Marry Me- Train
God Gave Me You- Blake Shelton
Better Together- Jack Johnson
Momentous Reception Moments
The father daughter dance, mother son dance, garter toss, bouquet toss and the cake cutting are all parts of the reception that are meaningful for the newlyweds. A great song to accompany specific parts of the night can make all the difference. Therefore, it is best to pick personalized songs for these, rather than having them randomly selected. For the father daughter and mother son dances, feel free to ask your respective parents for any suggestions they have for songs. If there is not a specific song you are drawn to, perhaps they have one that would be special if you incorporated it.
Butterfly Kisses- Bob Carlisle (Father Daughter)
Daddy’s Hands- Holly Dunn (Father Daughter)
I Loved Her First- Heartland (Father Daughter)
My Little Girl- Tim McGraw (Father Daughter)
A Song for my Son- Mikki Viereck (Mother Son)
Child of Mine- Carole King (Mother Son)
In My Life- The Beatles (Mother Son)
All to You- Scott Keo (Mother Son)
Sugar, Sugar- Archies (Cake Cutting)
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)- James Taylor (Cake Cutting)
Single Ladies- Beyonce (Garter & Bouquet Toss)
Girls Just Want To Have Fun- Cyndi Lauper (Garter & Bouquet Toss)
Hit Me With Your Best Shot- Pat Benetar (Garter & Bouquet Toss)
Feel Good Songs
We all have those songs that make us smile and before we know it we are singing along to the catchy lyrics. These make great additions to your wedding playlist to get everyone on the dance floor and feeling great! Be careful not to play all of these songs at once or directly after dinner has concluded. Break these songs up throughout the reception. This way, guests that sat down or took a break to chat with other guests will once again be drawn to the dance floor. These songs can also revive the dancing if it seems to have dwindled.
Don’t Stop Believin’- Journey
Billie Jean- Michael Jackson
Moves Like Jagger- Maroon 5
Happy- Pharrell Williams
Love Shack- B-52’s
Uptown Funk- Ronson, Mark Feat. Bruno Mars
At the conclusion of the night, couples are able to feel their time spent planning, money and stress was all worthwhile. The final song should be uplifting and force every guest to his or her feet. The couple should be in the center with their guests surrounding them as everyone enjoys a farewell to one of the happiest days of the newlyweds’ lives. This song will act as the final memory everyone has of your special day. Many couples lean towards older songs for their send off rather than new ones, but it is not a requirement. The reason people usually choose the older ones is their universality so all guests can feel incorporated. But if there is a song on the top 100 charts that you love, feel free to use it.
Time Of My Life- Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Sweet Caroline- Neil Diamond
All You Need Is Love- The Beatles
For Once In My Life- Frank Sinatra
Blinded By Love- The Rolling Stones
Take Me Home Tonight- Eddie, Money
Bohemian Rhapsody- Queen
Livin’ On A Prayer- Bon Jovi
Songs to Avoid
The Macarena, Cha Cha Slide, Chicken Dance, Cupid Shuffle and YMCA are a few songs that were always staples of receptions in the past. Recently, couples have been leaving these songs out though. These are oftentimes played because they have choreographed moves that everyone is accustomed to. They allow guests of all ages to participate without needing to come up with any creative moves of their own. It is totally up to you and the vibe you wish to create for your reception. If you are completely against these songs and find them a little too cheesy for your party, feel free to leave them out. Be sure to create a “do not play list” for your DJ or friend that will be monitoring the playlists so that songs you dislike will not make their way into the mix. Additionally, remember that explicit and vulgar songs are typically not well received by guests and should also be avoided.