Wedding Planning Tips: Choosing Your Wedding Reception Songs Playlist
Before sitting down with your bandleader to discuss the details of your wedding, an important thing to do is to choose the songs that you’ll want to hear on the day-of. Your bandleader will provide you with an extensive list of the songs that the band plays. Want a song that’s not on the list? No problem! The band is happy to learn new songs for any event.
So, what’s the best way to tackle the task? We recommend highlighting the songs in three different categories: your “Must-Play” songs in green, your “Play-if-Possible” songs in yellow, and your “Do-Not-Play” songs in red. This list will ensure that you hear the songs that are a must during your event while avoiding hearing anything that you prefer not to have played.
Making A Wedding Reception Playlist
Tell Your Band to Mix It Up for Your Wedding. Because your wedding will have guests from all ages with a myriad of musical preferences, you should choose a wide variety of music to ensure all guests hear something that they like. Additionally, choosing songs that have special meaning can make guests feel loved and appreciated on a special day.
Tell Your Wedding Party Band to Play Mainstream Songs for Dancing
Pack the dance floor to create a party environment quickly by selecting songs that everyone knows and appreciates. Choosing songs by popular artists like Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, LMFAO, and Pitbull will be known by most adults as well as the younger generations. The upbeat, high tempo songs will have everyone on their feet- dancing and enjoying the wedding together.
Don’t Let Your Wedding Band Forget the Romance Songs
Celebrating the wedded couple is the highlight of the evening, and what better way to do so than by adding in some romantic songs? Ask your bandleader to incorporate two to three ballads that encompass the romance of the wedding event and celebrate the couple. This romantic interlude also allows guests to catch their breath between the high energy songs.
Getting Professional Song Input from your Band
Be open to suggestions from your bandleader, as they are extremely knowledgeable regarding what songs will be a big hit or a bit of a flop. Ask for honest feedback from your playlist, and don’t forget to discuss your guests’ demographics, as this can influence what music they will suggest.
How Many Songs are in a Set List That My Live Wedding Band Will Play?
The bandleader that you work with will easily be able to help you with this but we are setting you up for success by helping you answer that question here. It can feel a bit overwhelming to figure out how many songs you actually need for the wedding event but fear not, EBE Talent is here to help!
Your wedding can be broken up into different chapters of your wedding event story, all with their very own theme music. The different events during a wedding that you may desire to have music played are:
- The Ceremony
- Cocktail Hour
- Wedding Party & Couple Entrances
- First Dance
- Parent Dances
- Wedding Dinner
- Cake Cutting
The time will come for guests to hop onto the dance floor and boogie down until the last song is called. During this time, the songs will be broken up into chunks of time also called sets. This is when the majority of the music will be played during the wedding reception. Generally, sets are broken up into standard periods of time but can be customized to the desires of the couple. This can all vary based on the length of the event among other factors.
There is usually a 2-hour window of time where guests will dance, which is usually broken up into 4 – 30 minute periods of time or 3 – 40 minute periods of time. If you have a personal preference of set time, let your bandleader know. With each song averaging about 4 minutes, you can safely assume there will be about 7 to 10 songs played in one set.
Photo by Chris Gifford, Weddings by Two
Top 10 Songs People Want to Hear at your Wedding
The songs that are played at weddings can set the entire mood for the event. Choosing songs that speak volumes of your relationship, while also entertaining your guests, is how you nail the perfect wedding reception. With our help, your wedding event can shine. We have compiled a list of the top 10 songs to request at a wedding.
- “Crazy in Love,” by Beyoncé and Jay Z
We know that Bey and Jay Z are “crazy in love” and so are the newly wedded couple. This song is a big hit at weddings as the upbeat tempo is perfect for guests to boogie down to on the dance floor.
- “All of Me,” by John Legend
Mr. Legend knows a thing or two about writing hits that are all about love. “All of Me” is perfect for slowing things down to allow guests a chance to catch their breath in between the fast tempo jams.
- “Marry You,” by Bruno Mars
We love this song and how perfect it is for a wedding reception. Bruno sings about taking a chance and asking the love of his life to marry him, which brings added romance to the event when it is played.
- “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” by Will Smith
This hit from 1997 is not only fun to play at weddings but it brings back memories of the late 90s for your wedding guests to enjoy. We can guarantee that will they dance to the fun beat and happily sing along! Who doesn’t know the words (Gettin’ jiggy wit it Na na nana na nana)?
- “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” by Frank Sinatra
Sinatra is always a classic and is perfect for weddings. His sensual voice and romantic lyrics make for a perfect song to request at a wedding. This love song speaks of the effect that his love has on his life and how much she means to him.
EBE’s Live Wedding Bands Loves Playing These Songs for Wedding Events in Philadelphia
- “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing),” by Michael Jackson
P.Y.T. is a song enjoyed by all ages, and is incredibly catchy! Guests will love this throwback jam and will happily fill the dance floor.
- “Celebration,” by Kool & The Gang
Weddings are indeed a celebration and this hit from Kool & The Gang is the perfect addition to a set list. This hit from 1980 never gets old and really brings people together to dance and sing along.
- “Fly Me to the Moon,” by Frank Sinatra
We can’t get enough of Sinatra and love him so much that he made our top 10 list twice! “Fly Me to the Moon” is a perfect love song to play at weddings as it speaks of love in the most romantic way.
- “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” by Queen
Queen is one band that has so many hits that we had trouble narrowing it down to just one! This hit will have guests swaying their hips and singing along all night long.
- “I Need You,” by Leann Rimes
Looking for a romantic ballad to fit into your wedding set list? Look no further with Leann Rimes’ “I Need You.” The beautiful lyrics speak on the devotion of the love of your life.
Top 10 List of Songs to Not Have Your Wedding Band Play at Your Reception
One of the most memorable days of your life is soon approaching – the day that you will say “I do” to the one that you plan to spend the rest of your life with. Part of the planning process is selecting songs that you know will get your guests on their feet and dancing all night long. There are select songs to avoid, even if they happen to be your favorites, as they can leave guests confused and maybe a bit uncomfortable. We’ve put together a list for you of songs that all bands should not play at a wedding.
What Songs Do You Not Play at A Wedding?
1. Pearl Jam – “Better Man”
Settling for the groom after dating the high school quarterback and romping around with college professors? Although this is one of the biggest hits by Pearl Jam, keep it off your wedding playlist to avoid guests from cringing.
2. Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
Although some guests may find this song to be a funny and ironic to play at a wedding, keep it far away from the set list. The song is very catchy and undoubtedly one of Queen’s biggest hits, but the lyrics touch on sore subjects, like domestic violence, that you don’t want to hear a wedding band play.
3. George Strait – “All My Exes Live in Texas”
It’s known that everyone has an ex. Listening to a song at your wedding about them? Avoid it. The song could make your new spouse uncomfortable, so keep it off the table.
4. Kanye West – “Gold Digger”
This song is great for dancing but keep it as far away from your wedding set list. The song reeks of discomfort, as no one wants to be called a gold digger.
5. Chicken Dance
This two-minute and twelve-second song should be avoided at all costs. It is extremely overplayed, and guests just do not want to hear it. Play it at your children’s birthday party where it belongs, not at your wedding.
6. Hokey Pokey
Guests don’t want to turn themselves around, and they DO know what it’s all about. You don’t need to remind them by playing this cheesy number at your wedding.
7. The Village People – “YMCA”
This 1978 hit has had its time, and it should stay in its time period. Guests know the song and have probably danced to it at least 2 dozen times, if not more, in their lifetime and especially at weddings. There are so many other wonderful songs to choose instead that can celebrate your new marriage.
8. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You”
The song title can be a bit misleading. If you don’t listen to the lyrics, you may think it is a love ballad. The song is really about a breakup and bittersweet memories. Stick to happy songs for your wedding playlist.
9. Aerosmith – “Dude Looks Like A Lady”
Songs that can offend guests, such as this one, need to be kept far away from the wedding set list. Not only is it a no-no in the world of political correctness but talks of “whipping out a gun” and “taking me by surprise” can surely offend the bride and guests.
10. Billy Idol – “White Wedding”
Although the song is relevant, it really is not a good idea to play it at your wedding. Idol talks about hating his sister’s fiance, so this song can especially strike a nerve if there is some tension between family members.
Paul Francis Photography
Did this list help you decide what songs to avoid at your wedding? Do you need help to come up with an amazing set list that your guests will love? If so, contact us! We’re here to help.
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