first dance

Choosing the Perfect Songs for your Wedding Reception

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Classic songs never get old, hit songs often have a short buzz before fizzling out, while the rest have no buzz at all.

Being a DJ almost exclusively hired for wedding receptions for the past decade I have witnessed various song trends; seeing what is commonly requested and which song choices make a night memorable for each stage of the night. The list has been compiled to serve as a guide or give a general idea of the songs you want at each special moment to provide the sound and more importantly, the feel you want.

Entry of the Groomsmen and the Bridal Party

The songs chosen for the introduction and entry of both parties signify the real start to your night and set the tone for what is to come. Commonly songs chosen for the entry of each party are big, fun, upbeat and serve as your grand entrance - think the spectacle of a WWE wrestlers entrance without the testosterone. Great examples include:

  • Beyoncé - Crazy In Love

  • Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling

  • Black Eyed Peas - Lets Get it Started

  • Bruno Mars - Marry You

  • Chris Brown - Forever

  • Florence and the Machine - Dog Days are Over

  • Kool & The Gang - Celebration

  • Michael Jackson - The Way You Make Me Feel

  • Queen - Crazy Little Thing Called Love

  • Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

  • U2 - Beautiful Day

If you wish to have your own song as a Bride and Groom, try to find a song that represents you and your partner best. If for example you two are heavily into 80’s rock, ACDC - Thunderstruck could be a perfect fit. Additionally, your song should be a higher tempo than that of the Groomsmen and Bridal party as you two are the big event.

The Cutting of the Cake

The cutting of the cake is often the first formality of the night as husband and wife in front of friends and family. The following is a list of light touching music to display the significance of the bond you two have with each other for all attending;

  • Alicia Keys - If I Ain't Got You

  • Billie Joel - Just The Way You Are

  • Jason Maraz - I'm Yours

  • Jack Johnson - Better Together

  • Marvin Gaye - How Sweet It Is

  • Queen - Best Friend

Your First Dance

Your first dance as husband and wife is a moment in time to remember forever. It is a chance to show your partner how deeply you feel for them while your friends and family watch on emotionally in awe. Songs chosen for the first dance are heavy, loving and emotional; the significance of the event takes away any sappiness that could potentially be associated with these songs;

  • Coldplay - Magic

  • Lifehouse - You and Me

  • Lonestar - Amazed

  • Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

  • K-Ci & Jojo - All My Life

  • Faith Hill - Breathe

  • Shania Train - You're Still The One

  • Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

Bride & Father and Groom & Mother dance songs that often follow a first dance should also be touching but not more so than your first dance.

The Dance Floor

It's party time! Your guests have been sitting waiting very patiently until now, itching to get on the dance-floor. The dance-floor needs to be fun, high energy and more silly as the night goes. This is the moment of the night you want everyone to enjoy themselves and truly loosen up after all of the formalities of the night. Usually dance-floors have a mix of the latest top 40 hits and classic party songs such as:

  • Abba - Dancing Queen

  • ACDC - You Shook Me All Night Long

  • B52s - Love Shack

  • Backstreet Boys - Backstreet's Back

  • Beyoncé - Crazy In Love

  • Bon Jovi - Livin On A Prayer

  • Cyndi Lauper - Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun

  • Jackson 5 - Blame It On The Boogie

  • Kenny Loggins - Footloose

  • Los Del Rio - Macarena

  • Madonna - Like A Prayer

  • Mc Hammer - Can't Touch This

  • Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl

  • Bob Seger - Old Time Rock & Roll

  • Sir Mix Alot - Baby Got Back

  • The Knack - My Sharona

  • Tina Turner - Nutbush

  • Toni Basil - Hey Mickey

  • John Travolta & Newton John - Grease Megamix

  • Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

  • Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl

  • Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby

  • Village People - YMCA

Garter/Bouquet Toss

The fun continues with the Garter/Bouquet toss. In this case the more silly the song the better;

  • Beyoncé - Single Ladies

  • Cyndi Lauper - Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun

  • Dixie Cups - Chapel of Love

  • Def Leopard - Pour Some Sugar On Me

  • Kelis - Milkshake

  • LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It

  • Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy

  • Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

  • Weather Girls - Its Raining Men

Last Song of The Night

The last song of the night marks the close to your special day. Couples often have a farewell circle or arch where they can see their guests for the last time before going off into the night. These closing songs are either sentimental or finish the night in an upbeat manner;

  • Billy Joel - Piano Man

  • Don McLean - American Pie

  • Kenny Logins - The Gambler

  • The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You

Hopefully this guide can help you choose the perfect songs for the closing chapter of your big day. Remember which moods are important for your formalities and the type of songs that will provide the emotional impact to make your reception unforgettable.