Wedding Reception Music
More on Wedding Music
Now that the issues of the ceremony music are out of the way, we can turn our attention to the fun part!! The wedding reception. This, too, has it's fair share of decisions that need to be made. You want your wedding to be perfect, and that extends to the reception. So, let's dive right in and get started!
A wedding reception is all about fun! It's a celebration of the newly married couple, and should reflect that. Putting together a playlist for your reception may seem like a daunting task, but it can be pretty easy. There are a few things you should think about.
If you are going with a band, you are a little more limited in your choice of music. Be sure to choose a band that will play music you enjoy, and that your guests will enjoy. You may really like that AC/DC cover band, but even AC/DC songs can get a little old, if that's all that is being played. More often than not, your best bet is to go with a DJ.
DJ's offer a wide variety of music. Be sure to check the DJ's references. Find out if there have been any unhappy customers. A good DJ will be willing to work with you. Most even provide you with a worksheet, so that you can include the music you want played at different points in the reception. Some even make their job an event in itself, with games, costumes, and fun, interactive dances that really get the crowd involved. If you happen to attend a wedding where the DJ was really good, ask for a business card. Most carry them, and are happy to give them out. Talk to friends who have gotten married, ask them about their experiences and ask for recommendations.
Like the ceremony, the reception requires different pieces of music for different points in the reception. Choosing these songs may be a bit easier, but that all depends. The music may be more familiar to you, but that doesn't mean you will know what to choose. Maybe you and your future husband or wife don't have a special song, or maybe there isn't one song that really speaks to you for the father/daughter dance. Again, your DJ should be able to offer suggestions, and work with you to pick the perfect songs. I am including a list of the different points in the reception, and some popular songs in each category. Hopefully, this will help you on your way. Remember, choose what really means something to you!!
The First Dance
Aside from the ceremony, this is one of the most special, and most romantic moments of the day. Choose something special that you know you will remember as a wonderful moment. If you have a special song, now might be the time. Add your special song to your worksheet. If you don't have one, here are some suggestions of popular first dance songs.
A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson
All For Love by Bryan Adams
Always by Atlantic Starr
Always and Forever by Luther Vandross
Amazed by Lonestar
Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts
Come What May from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack
Cross My Heart by George Strait
Here and Now by Luther Vandross
I Love the Way You Love Me by John Michael Montgomery
It Had to Be You by Harry Connick Jr.
Everything by Michael Buble
My Best Friend by Tim McGraw
Wanted by Hunter Hayes
Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley (or UB40)
Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton
Etta James: At Last
George Strait: I Cross My Heart
Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dance
The father/daughter and mother/son dances can be done at the same time, or separately, depending on your wishes. Several of the songs work interchangeably, and work well if you want to incorporate these into one dance, instead of two separate dances. It's pretty easy to tell which ones work for both and which don't, but I will make distinctions.
A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Forever Young by Rod Stewart
Hero by Mariah Carey
I Hope You Dance by LeAnn Womack
I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song by Jim Croce
Have I Told You Lately by Rod Stewart
A Song For Mama by Boyz II Men (for mother/son dance)
Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie (mother/son dance)
You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins (mother/son dance)
You Are The Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder (mother/son dance)
Then They Do by Trace Adkins (mother/son dance)
Mama's Song by Carrie Underwood (mother/son dance)
Angel in My Arms by Gloria Sklerov and Barbara Rothstein (father/daughter dance)
Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle (father/daughter dance)
Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman (father/daughter dance)
Dance With My Father by either Celine Dion or Luther Vandross (father/daughter dance)
In My Daughter's Eyes by Martina McBride (father/daughter dance)
Isn't She Lovely by Stevie Wonder (father/daughter dance)
It Won't Be Like This For Long by Darius Rucker (father/daughter dance)
Daughters by John Mayer (father/daughter dance)
Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion (father/daughter dance)
Martina McBride: In My Daughter's Eyes
Louis Armstrong: What a Wonderful World
The bouquet toss is an important part of a wedding reception, and let's face it, it's a lot of fun, if you don't have to be one of the ones up there, that is! All the single ladies huddle up together, while the bride turns her back to you. She tosses the bouquet, and the mad dash to be the one to catch it starts! It can be brutal, as several women fight it out to be the one holding the bouquet at the end. Superstition has it, that whoever catches the bride's bouquet will be the next to marry. It's silly, really. These days, the brides don't toss their bouquets, but a separate, "tossing bouquet", and besides, how often does that actually predict anything? Yet, the tradition continues, and it can be a lot of fun! Especially with the right music to go along with it. The songs I have included range from the sweet to the silly.
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
After Tonight by Justin Nozuka
Girl Fight by Brooke Valentine
Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar
I'll Wait for You by Joe Nichols
Ladies Night by Kool and The Gang
She's A Lady by Tom Jones
This One's For The Girls by Martina McBride
Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyonce
Kool & The Gang: Ladies Night
Garter Removal and Toss
Going right along with the bouquet toss, is the garter removal and garter toss. The bride is carefully seated in a chair, and the groom "tastefully" slides up the skirt of her wedding dress and "tastefully" removes the garter from her leg. This is a moment of great comedy and a lot of cat-calls at any wedding. The comedic nature of the event can be either heightened or downplayed by the music you choose.
Another One Bites the Dust by Queen
Bad Boys by Inner Circle (think of that show Cops)
I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Macho Man by The Village People
The Mission Impossible Theme
Talk Dirty to Me by Poison
Thong Song by Sisqo
Wild Thing by Tone Loc
Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO
Right Said Fred: I'm Too Sexy
I hope this list of songs gives you a starting point. Remember, talk with your DJ!! If he or she doesn't provide you with a worksheet that allows you to include all the music that you want, write one up of your own. Make a list of songs you want played at certain points in the reception, and also of other songs, or at least styles of music that you would like played throughout the night. All good DJ's are willing to work with you. After all, they are working for you!! They are also a wealth of knowledge if you are stuck on ideas. They know a lot about music, and can usually offer a lot of great ideas.
© 2009 Anna Marie Bowman
More by this Author
A simple guide for the basics of wedding planning. A guide for the do-it-yourself wedding planner. I sought out the advice of a friend who is a wedding planner for this.
Reflections on the idea of getting married again, and what I would want in my ideal wedding. Some wedding ideas, pictures, and my own perspective.
- EDITOR'S CHOICE212
A comprehensive guide to Stephen King first editions. Full list of indicators for recognizing true first edition Stephen King novels, as well as approximate values. Updated 10/20/2013