Music sets the tone for a wedding by evoking a range of emotions, connecting guests to the deeper meanings of the nuptials, and indicating which wedding event is about to take place. Because the selection of wedding songs
is such an important task, many couples can feel overwhelmed by the task of coming up with their wedding playlist. To minimize that stress, we’ve compiled dos and don’ts for wedding song selection, in addition to helping you out with a list of some of our favorite tunes for various phases of the wedding.
Do choose songs you like. This big day is all about you and your special someone, so even if you have eccentric taste in music that may not appeal to all of your guests, that’s okay! The primary purpose of your song selections is that they make you feel good.
Do consider how the songs make you feel. Because you’ll likely want to evoke different vibes for the various stages of the wedding (e.g., pre-ceremony, processional, recessional, dancing, etc.), tune in to how different songs make you feel as you’re making your selections. For example, songs that make you feel romantic might be a good choice for the processional, songs that make you feel celebratory could be selected for the recessional and songs that make you want to dance can be set aside for the dance party.
Do hire a DJ.
While you should definitely put in the time and effort to select your ideal songs, that’s only the first step of the “wedding music” process. Selecting the order of songs, knowing when a song has been playing for long enough (some can be way too long), and knowing how to seamlessly mix them together is an art that DJs are well versed in.
Don’t select songs with offensive language. Songs that might be fun to dance to with friends could become uncomfortable when listening to them with friends or family members who are more conservative.
Don’t let a DJ take control of song selection. While DJs are wonderful for supporting song selection, and organizing your eventual song list, it’s important that you don’t give them free reign. Because music is such a personal aspect of a wedding, you and your fiancé will likely have a much more enjoyable and memorable time if songs that you have a special connection to are playing.
Don’t leave your fiancé out of the decision making.
It can be tempting to save time by just selecting songs you know you’ll like, and skipping the back and forth of making these decisions with your fiancé. But it’s their wedding too, which is why it’s worth the effort to seek their input. If the two of you have vastly different tastes in music, just think of it as good compromising practice
, which we could all use more of.
Sample Pre-Ceremony Playlist
- Viva la Vida – Vitamin String Quartet (Almost any Vitamin String Quartet song is a great choice for the pre-ceremony, processional or recessional.)
- Yellow – Cold Play
- Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
- All You Need is Love – The Beatles
- I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Sample Procesional Playlist
- Can’t Help Falling in Love – Vitamin String Quartet
- Pachelbel Canon in D – Pachelbel String Quartet
Sample Recessional Songs
- Home – Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros (or the Vitamin String Quartet version)
- You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
Sample Cake Cutting Songs
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Sweetest Thing – U2
- Sugar – Maroon 5
Sample Garter Toss Songs
- You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate
- Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
- Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
Sample Bouquet Toss Songs
- Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyonce
- Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups
- Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
Sample Dance Party Playlist
- Bust a Move – Young MC
- Twist and Shout – The Beatles
- Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty by Nature
- Old Time Rock and Roll – Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
- Shout – The Isley Brothers
Sample Slow Songs Playlist
- Swept Away – the Avett Brothers
- Let’s Stay Together – Obadiah Parker
- Rock With Me – Mishka
- Spoon – Dave Matthews Band
- In My Life – The Beatles
- Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks
- I and Love and You – The Avett Brothers
Looking for some audio inspiration? Check out all of our suggestions together in this Spotify playlist!