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Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Reception Songs and Music

Adrian Makarov

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The music at your wedding reception can play a big part in how much your guests enjoy the reception. Every song played brings on a unique emotion and memory for every person in the room and the mood of the room as a whole. Some people love a certain song whilst others might find it nostalgic. Songs that are chosen during the reception can reflect your own style of music taste and the type of atmosphere you want to create. The right song selections will have your guests relaxed during the formalities and partying when it's time to get their groove on!

Below is a general wedding reception timeline. It is entirely up to the Bride & Groom which traditions and music they want to incorporate into their wedding.

I have listed 5 songs for each wedding event to give you an idea of what has been popular at past weddings. . .

Cocktail / Pre Dinner Drinks Music

This is best as classical, jazz or various modern music usually at a quiet and relaxing volume. Some song title suggestions are.

Jack Johnson - No Other Way

Jamie Cullam - I Get a kick out of you

Eva Cassidy - Fever

Norah Jones - The Long Day is Over

Van Morrison - Into the Mystic

Bridal Party Introduction

This works well as an upbeat styled song that people can clap & make some noise to as the Bridal Party, Bride & Groom make their entrance into the reception venue. Some song titles would be. .

U2 - Beautiful Day

Jagged Edge - Let's Get Married

The Monkees - I'm a Believer

Dire Straits - Money for Nothing

James Brown - I Feel Good

Dinner & Easy Listening Music

If there is a mixed generation of guests, all genres of easy listening music works well during dinner. These can be the favourite easy listening songs of the Bride and Groom.

Some song suggestions would be. .

Sting - Fields of Gold

Ray Charles - I Got a Woman

Crowded House - Don't Dream it's Over

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Elton John - Your Song

Cake Cutting

The cake cutting song can be a favourite of the Bride and Groom. A slow tempo, romantic song works well for this part of the reception. Songs that have sugar and sweet references have been popular at previous weddings. Some songs used at past weddings include. .

Marvin Gaye - How Sweet it is

Archies - Sugar Sugar

K-Ci and Jojo - All my Life

Queen - You're my best friend

Michael Buble - The way you look tonight

First Dance / Bridal Waltz

The first dance is traditionally the most important song of your wedding reception. This is the first dance of the newly married couple as husband and wife. You can learn a specific dance for this song be it a traditional waltz or the Bride & Groom's favourite slow dance song. If you are using live entertainment for your first dance, make sure you hear a rehearsal / recording of the song that way you know what to expect. Their version may sound a lot different to the original if it's a cover. Some song suggestions are. .

Savage Garden - Truly Madly Deeply

Etta James - At Last

Van Morrison - Have I Told you Lately

Enrique Iglesias - Hero

Nick Cave - Into my arms

Father and Daughter Dance and the Mother and Son Dance

The Father and Daughter Dance and Mother and Son Dance represents a dance with the Bride and her Father and Groom and his Mother. This can be made as a “parents of the bride and groom's dance" after the Bride and Grooms first dance. Some song titles include. .

Elvis Presley - Memories

Temptations - My Girl

Paul Simon - Father and Daughter

Natalie Cole - L-O-V-E

Elvis Presley - Always on my mind

Dancing Music

A Good DJ or Party band will keep a nice balance between tactful (not so cheesy) and fun songs to keep the dancefloor moving. It's a good idea to give the entertainment a few “must plays", “play if you cans" and “do not play" songs. Some dance floor song titles include. .

Outkast - Hey ya

Bob Sinclair - Love Generation

Beatles - Twist and Shout

Elvis vs JXL - A little less conversation

Michael Jackson - Blame it on the Boogie

Anniversary Dance

The longest married couple at the wedding reception can have their own special slow dance tribute. This is great to recognise their length of marriage and an opportunity for a another slow dance.

Bouquet Toss

Traditionally, the single and un-married ladies gather around as the Bouquet is tossed by the bride. Whoever catches the bouquet is the next in-line to get married. This can accompany a game of some sort where the winner receives the bouquet also. Some song ideas for the Bouquet Toss are. .

Cheryl Crow - All I Wanna Do

Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha

Shania Twain - Man I Feel like Woman

Ani Difranco - Wishin & Hopin

No Doubt - Just a Girl

Garter Removal & Toss

As the Garter is removed by the Groom, a sexy song can be played. This can also accompany a game of some sort where the winner receives the Garter. Once the garter is removed it is tossed to the single and unmarried men and whoever catches it is traditionally the next in-line to get married.

Jimi Hendrix - Foxy Lady

Weather Girls - It's Raining Men

Inner Circle - Bad Boys

ZZ Top - Legs

Marvin Gaye - Let's get it on

Last Dancing Songs

These last couple of songs for the night should be a climax to a great celebration that everybody can dance to.

Farewell Music

The farewell music can be 2 or 3 of the Bride and Grooms favourite songs. These are the songs played whilst the Bride and Groom farewell their guests via a circle or bridal archway (Made by the guests). Some song suggestions are. .

Extreme - More than words

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere over the Rainbow

Green Day - Time of your life

Jack Johnson - The Sharing Song

Lior - This old love

Whatever songs and genres you choose for your wedding reception, make sure they reflect your own style and at the same time will be appropriate for your guests to enjoy themselves at the celebration of your wedding. Good luck with your planning!

Cheers, Adrian Makarov

Secret Wedding Songs

For more songs, ideas and resources to help with choosing your wedding reception songs make sure you check out Secret Wedding Songs at


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