Picking Good Songs for Your Wedding

After reading Five Songs Not to Play at Your Wedding, I got to thinking about wedding music. A good wedding mix is an art. I know a few DJs, and each has their own wedding “formula,” but some things are universal. You must have some sappy slow dance songs, at least one line dance, a few jazz standards so the grandparents can dance, and a dash of disco about two hours in when all the bridesmaids are lubricated enough to dance like crazy people. You may have noticed a common theme there. A good DJ can come up with a selection of songs that will have everyone on the dance floor at least once during the reception. Like I said, it’s an art.

My own wedding was fairly small; we didn’t really have enough space for dancing. However, when I got married nine years ago, one of the trends going around was to give CDs as favors. My wedding mix was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself, and I ended up unintentionally following some of the rules I have since learned from my DJ friends. I did use “At Last,” because I like it and it was my playlist, and there was no line dance (see above reasoning), but overall it was a fun, well-balanced set of tunes that I still think is pretty darn romantic.

1.  At Last, by Etta James

2.  Punk Rock Girl, by The Dead Milkmen

3.  If I Saw You Now, by The Breeders

4.  Grow Old With You, by Adam Sandler (from The Wedding Singer soundtrack)

5.  I Could Write a Book, by Dinah Washington

6.  Send Me on My Way, by Rusted Root

7.  I Believe (When I Fall in Love), by Stevie Wonder

8.  This Is the Day, by The The

9.  Danny’s Song, by Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies

10.  You Took Advantage of Me, by Billie Holiday

11.  You’re the Top, by Barbra Streisand

If you are trying to plan your own wedding music or just picking a few songs that you really want to DJ to play, the key is to remember who you are. Don’t leave something out because you think you have to stick to “serious romantic music.” Aside from the Dead Milkmen song, one of the moments everyone remembers from our wedding was our exit march. We chose to walk out to “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes, as performed by the Dropkick Murphy’s. It starts out traditionally, but when we look at the pictures from the day we can tell the exact moment the rest of the band kicked in, because suddenly everyone is laughing. The non-traditional bits are where the best memories start.

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at if you're interested in checking it out.

8 replies on “Picking Good Songs for Your Wedding”

I’ve already decided that there will be no line dance, no chicken dance, and absolutely NO newfangled country played at my reception. I’m paying for it, I make the choices.

With that being said…I will walk up the aisle it will be to Stevie Wonder’s “When I Fall in Love” and after I Dos we’ll walk down the aisle to “Somebody” by DePeche Mode (because things like this do make me a little sick, but I still want to do it).

The bride/groom dance will be a Queen medley: Best Friend, This Thing Called Love, and Fat Bottom Girls (in which my husband will rip off a portion of my skirt a la BtVS the movie).

My plan is to spend at least five songs seriously recreating a middle school dance (circa the end of the last century) at my wedding reception. We will have some K-Ci and JoJo slow jams, some Ja Rule, and that “Let’s Get Married” song, and everyone will fucking love it.

Inappropriate songs – I remember a few years ago ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed being incredibly popular as a wedding song…. My fella and I always joked that we would have that, ‘There She Goes’ by the Las and ‘Golden Brown’ by The Stranglers.

We ended up having ‘Night and Day’ sung by Frank Sinatra. Timeless but endlessly romantic. Love it.

We also had our entrance to ‘Song 2’ by Blur. Our bridal party walked in as the music built up and then we made our entrance as the “woohoos” kicked in. Was awesome :D

That was my mum’s ‘inappropriate first dance’ suggestion!!! Love it.

I don’t actually think you need to have ‘appropriate’ songs for the general dancing. The dancing part as far as I’m concerned is like any other disco or dance party. No one is going to stop me playing ‘Bad Romance’!

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