The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Music
Apart from finding a breathtaking and versatile venue, wedding music is a huge part of your special day. Music sets the tone, ambiance and mood of an event. It’s important to choose songs that will communicate the right feelings at every moment of your wedding day.
You’ve undoubtedly checked off hiring a DJ from your wedding planning checklist, but you don’t want to leave all the decisions up to them. Your wedding soundtrack should be personalized and meaningful to you and your partner. Now you don’t have to meticulously curate an entire playlist (more power to you if you want to), but you should pick out a few special songs for the big moments.
But with so many choices, how can you narrow down just a few songs for your most special moments? We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to wedding music with the perfect songs for processionals, background music, special dances, and getting everyone on the dance floor! Consider adding the following songs to your wedding music soundtrack:
1. Wedding Party Processional
As goes for all parts of your special day, there are no real rules when it comes to the wedding processional. Your wedding party can enter in whatever order, pattern, or groupings that feel right to you. You can choose to have each wedding partner walk down the aisle separately, partners can meet halfway down the aisle, or the couple can walk down the aisle together.
Walking down the aisle is a huge moment, not only in the wedding ceremony, but in your lives together. The song you choose should convey the importance of the moment and the unique feelings shared by you and your special-someone. It can be something upbeat, heartfelt, timeless, instrumental, spiritual or something totally unique to your partnership.
Here are some of our favorite wedding processional songs across different genres:
2. Background Music: Pre Ceremony, Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music
Background music is an often neglected, but very important aspect of your wedding music. Your background music should be subtle enough for your guests to mingle, but lively enough to keep everyone entertained while the wedding party is occupied.
Check out this Wedding Background Spotify Playlist for songs to play while your guests are entering your venue, enjoying a drink at cocktail hour or sitting down for dinner. This playlist includes tunes suitable for all ages and tastes including The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Al Green, Maroon 5, Jack Johnson, Ed Sheeran and many more artists.
3. Reception Dances
Dancing is a trademark of a good wedding reception! Special dances with your partner, family members, and group dances are great ways to get your guests out on the dance floor and make them a part of your big day. Here are some of our favorite special dances and the perfect songs to accompany them:
The first dance between the new couple can happen after the grand entrance or later on in the reception. Some call the first dance your debut as a couple to the world, so the song you choose should be meaningful to you and your partner. A selection of our all-time favorite first dance songs are:
Family dances are an opportunity to spend some time with and honor the important people in you and your partner’s lives. Typically taking place directly after the first dance, family dances can include a father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, mother-daughter dance, father-son dance, grandparents dance, siblings dance, or a dance with any other special person in your lives. Here are a few of our favorite family dance songs that never fail to bring a tear to our eye:
4. Other Wedding Dances to Consider
There are a few dances that are always a hit at every wedding. These dances get the guests involved in the festivities and can even help the happy couple add to their wedding gifts! Here are some of our favorite dances and the best songs to play them to:
The Anniversary Dance is a staple wedding tradition in which the DJ asks all married couples to hit the dance floor for a special song. A minute or so into the song, the DJ will ask all couples who have been married for less than a day (aka the newlyweds), to leave the floor. As the song continues, he asks all those couples married for five years, then 10 years, and so on to leave the floor. Eventually, you are left with the couple that’s been married the longest, sometimes for more than 60 years!
If you plan to not do a bouquet toss, this is the perfect opportunity to give your bouquet to the winning couple. Here are some of our favorite Anniversary Dance songs that celebrate the romantic magic of love & marriage:
- “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
- “How Will I Know” by Whitney Houston
- “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
- “When I Said I Do” by Clint Black
- “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” Brenda Holloway
You’re likely to be very busy on your wedding day and may not get a chance to talk to every single guest you’d like to.The Dollar Dance is a great way for the newlyweds to make a little cash for their new lives together while spending some one-on-one time with guests. During this dance, guests line up to dance with the newlyweds and pay them any amount they’d like for the dance starting at a dollar. Dollar Dance songs can either be upbeat or slow songs depending on your taste. Here are a few of our favorites:
- “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles
- “I Need a Dollar” by Aloe Black
- “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” by The Notorious B.I.G
- “I’ll Be There” by Jackson 5
- “Why Don’t We Just Dance” by Josh Turner
Line dances are a great way to get your guest up on their feet to get the party started! These style of dances usually spell out the steps in the lyrics, so even your clumsiest guests will be able to follow along. Here are some of the most popular line dancing songs that are sure to pack the dance floor:
- “Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)” by Marcia Griffiths
- “Cha Cha Slide” by Mr. C The Slide Man
- “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid
- “The Locomotion” by Little Eva
- “Macarena” by Los Del Rio
- “The Chicken Dance” by the Emeralds
- “Tootsee Roll” by 69 Boyz
- “Conga” by Miami Sound Machine and Gloria Estefan
- “Any Man of Mine” by Shania Twain
- “YMCA” by The Village People
Weddings are a celebration of the merging of two families. If you or your partner value your culture and family heritage, you should absolutely make it a part of your big day. Special dances to honor the newlyweds are common wedding traditions for many cultures across the globe. Jewish dance traditions at weddings include the Krenzl, the Mizinke, the Horah, and the Mitzvah tantz. Dancing is a major part of Irish weddings with a traditional Ceilidh dance used to honor the newlyweds’ family heritage or ancestral home. The Sword Dance is traditionally performed as the last dance of Scottish weddings where guests gather in a circle and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Including cultural dances in your wedding is a great way to celebrate the coming together of you and your partner’s families.
“Party Time” Mix
Once your family dances, and other important dances are finished, it’s time to open up the floor to your guests. You want your wedding reception music to be a mixture of upbeat, contemporary, classic, slow, and heartfelt songs. Try to pick tracks from various genres and time periods to appeal to a wide variety of tastes.
This Wedding Reception/Party Songs Spotify Playlist is full of fun dance hits from Beyonce, Whitney Houston, the Spice Girls, Coldplay and more.
The last dance of the night is always bittersweet. As much as you want your wedding night to last forever, it’s now time to embark on your lives together! You’ll want to give your guests a lasting memory of your final twirl around the dance floor, so your last dance should be your grand exit.
When it comes to picking a song for your last dance, you’ll want it to represent you and your partner as a couple and leave your guests with a warm memory. Here are a few of our favorite last dance songs:
- “Last Dance” by Donna Summer
- “Speechless” by Dan + Shay
- “Love on Top” by Beyonce
- “Save the Last Dance for Me” by Michael Bublé
- “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston
- “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
- “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
- “Closing Time” by Semisonic
- “(This Will Be) An Everlasting Love” by Natalie Cole
- “We Found Love” by Rihanna
Match Your Wedding Music Soundtrack with the Right Venue
Music has a special kind of power to communicate emotion and feelings in a way that sometimes words alone can’t. Choosing the perfect wedding songs for your special moments will make them all the more memorable.
Flora’s elegantly decorated wedding venue is the perfect backdrop for your curated playlist. Whether you’re looking for a venue for your engagement party, wedding shower, ceremony or reception, Flora can help you make your big day unforgettable. Contact our team to learn more about our packages and plans.
By Haley Rose @byhaleyrose
Alyssa Ricole Photography @alyssaricolephoto
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