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How To Plan A Wedding Reception With Rock N Roll Flair!

Updated on July 17, 2011

Want a Fun Wedding Reception? Let's Rock N Roll!!

We’ve all been there...At someone’s wedding reception, continually looking at our watch, wondering how soon we can leave without appearing rude. We know it’s their special day, but to us, it’s kind of a long, slow day. When I planned my wedding this past year, my top priority was having a fun, upbeat wedding and reception where everyone (including the bride and groom) would enjoy themselves, feel the day was special and not want to leave early. We also wanted a wedding that was not traditional, and allowed our personality to shine through. Both of us love rock music and love to dance.

I am happy to report that I succeeded. Guest after guest told me and my husband that our wedding was one of the most entertaining and fun weddings they’d been to. That the energy was so positive and upbeat. And many said it was on their Top 5 best wedding list.

Here are some tips to make your wedding as fun and rockin’ as ours was.

Walk Down The Aisle To A Rock Love Song

I always loved the U2 Song, “All I Want is You”. But before the wedding, I spent hours searching the internet for the top, slow love songs and weighed different options. Ultimately I ended up choosing All I Want Is You. (Better than U2’s Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For!) When I was waiting to walk down the aisle and the song started, it felt so good. It was so me. Instead of Ave Maria or Here Comes The Bride.

We also had a unique reading as part of the ceremony, lyrics from Aerosmith’s I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. The guests were surprised by these choices, but in a good way. It engaged them and set the stage for a wedding that was unique and something outside of the box.

Forego the Slow Dance Traditions

My husband and I intentionally left out the new couple’s slow, first dance, the father/daughter and mother/son dance. Why.. low energy. These are the parts of the wedding where 99.9% of your guests are sitting still, listening to soft music and start falling asleep. They go to the bar or use the restroom. Instead, before we were welcomed in to the reception, the DJ asked all the guests to circle the dance floor. He began playing some party tunes, and we entered with U2’s A Beautiful Day, which seemed perfect after the ceremony song. (Some other rocking entrance songs include Thunderstruck by AC/DC, Kickstart My Heart, Motley Crue and ‘’To Be Loved, Papa Roach)

My husband and I walked to the center and surprised the guests with three of our personal favorite party songs in lieu of the slow stuff: Get Down Tonight by KC & The Sunshine Band, Mustang Sally, by the Commitments and A Little Less Conversation by Elvis. Instead of dancing alone, we invited everyone at the reception to dance with us. This started the reception with a bang. Everyone was moving and the music was upbeat. And, we got to hear three of our favorite songs to celebrate our wedding. We had a blast instead of walking in squares listening to a waltz, which would have been very out of character for us. Pick some of your favorite, party dance songs and personalize your first dances. Forget the boring waltz stuff. And, involve your guests in the dancing.

Baby's Got Back First Dance- Hilarious

Have the DJ MC Table Activities

Before the reception, I was nervous about the table activities that had been planned. We had quite a mixed crowd from Ivy League educated lawyers to tattooed, Harley riding construction workers. I was concerned that they would just want to do their own thing and not participate. I was proved wrong. The majority of guests participated, had fun, they kept moving and they were laughing… a lot.

Between wedding specific activities our DJ had each table compete against each other in a dance type contest, running after dollar bills and winning prizes.

At another point everyone sang Sweet Caroline and between food courses he asked folks to hold hands and sing Going to The Chapel. They actually held hands and waved them in the air.. to my surprise, yet joy.

Cut The Cake To a “Sweet” Rock Song

For a Rockin’ wedding you need a sweet rock song to cut the cake to. We planned on Pour Some Sugar On It by Def Leppard. Other ideas:, Cuts Like a Knife , Bryan Adams, Brown Sugar, Rolling Stones. Sweetest Perfection, Depeche Mode,

Thriller Wedding Dance

Insist on Great Dance Music

I’ve always said that a DJ can make or break a party. Before choosing our DJ, I did a lot of research and spent the time to create the “must play” and “do not play” lists. We spent slightly above average for our DJ but it was worth it. He knew how to pick the right tunes and avoid the stinkers that clear the floor.

Note: Our “no” song list included some of the standard including “We are family”, “Celebration”, and “Love Shack”. We did not want this to be the same old thing for our guests.

After the wedding, your guests won’t remember your flowers, centerpieces or napkin colors. They will remember the DJ and the music. Invest your planning time here.

End Your Wedding With a Fast Song

Our last two songs had a country flair.. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks and Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy by Big and Rich. Unexpected, since much of the night was Rock, 80s and even some disco, But, both entertaining for the remaining guests.

I wish we could do it again. We had such a great time!!

Wedding Reception That Rocks


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      WOW you had the exact wedding I have been picturing in my head but didn't think i could pull it off, Any ideas for keeping the kids entertained other then a magician or clowns?

    • kezan98 profile image

      Kerrie Giles 

      9 years ago from UK

      Sounds like you had a fantastic wedding, I chose one of our favourite songs from a great band to walk down the aisle to. Shame I didn't think about using the lyrics as reading!!

      Love it

    • pendell2 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great tips. Saw a groom serenade his bride by guitar as she walked down the aisle. Creative, like your rock wedding tips.

    • Reynolds_Writing profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I love the airbrush tattoo artist idea for a rock n roll wedding.. Thanks for adding your additional ideas to the hub!

    • profile image

      michele fox 

      9 years ago

      Great ideas. I love the the cake cutting song ideas!!!

      As an event planner for lots of rock icons, I can definatlly dial this. For Sharon and Ozzy's wedding renewal, I used "Mama I'm Coming Home" when she walked down the aisle.

      Another fun thing is to pick a great song for the recessional. I have had a few "standard wedding ceremonies" that ended it with a shocking song which got eveyone in the party mood. For Moon Zappa's wedding to Paul Ducette from Matchbox 20, they exited to Van Halen's "Jump." Another couple, a silly sit-com writer departed to "The Jefferson's" theme song, "Movin on Up."

      Other rock n' roll ideas: Airbrush Tattoo artist -you will be surprised how everyone will participate, name tables after songs and play the song when you call them to the buffet, play a lyric song guided by your DJ to see who can sing the tune.

      If you need a creative wedding planner check us out:

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      great advice - thanks :)


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