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February 16, 2023

What to Play and When: A Wedding Music Guide

When it comes to planning a wedding, music is one of the most important elements! (What else would you expect coming from a live wedding band’s blog post?) 🙂 From the ceremony to the reception, music sets the tone for the entire day. But with so many options out there, it can be hard to decide what to play and when. In this blog post, we’ll explore the best songs and genres for each stage of your wedding day, helping you to create the perfect soundtrack for your special day! We even added our curated Spotify playlists in each section for inspo.

The Main Event

The Ceremony
Whether you’re having a civil ceremony, a church wedding, or an alternative celebration, your choice of music will really set the tone. For example, a live wedding band can create a wonderful ambience for your ceremony, making it truly unique and memorable. If you’re opting for something more classical, a piano or string quartet can help to set the mood and bring everyone together. If you’re having a religious ceremony, you may want to opt for something instrumental. Alternatively, you could have a band playing some modern tunes as you walk down the aisle. Ultimately, your choice of ceremony music is completely up to you – just make sure to pick something that fits your style and the theme of your big day!
Our favorite ceremony songs are: Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles, Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis, Marry You by Bruno Mars, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, and Canon in D by Pachelbel.

Cocktail Hour
When it comes to the cocktail hour at your wedding, you want the atmosphere to be relaxed and enjoyable. To do this, you’ll need to choose the perfect music. It’s important to have a playlist that sets the mood without getting too crazy but still amps your guests up for what’s to come. You want your guests to be able to mingle and chat comfortably. We recommend a 3 – 4 piece ensemble for the perfect balance between having fun and keeping the atmosphere low-key.
Our favorite cocktail hour songs are: “I’ve Got You (Under My Skin)” by Frank Sinatra, “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, “At Last” by Etta James, and “Viva La Vida (strings)” by Coldplay.

The Dances

First Dance
Your first dance is one of the most special and memorable moments of the evening. Couples often choose a romantic song that means something special to them for this moment. If you’re not sure what song to choose, consider hiring a live wedding band who can help you pick the perfect music for your wedding. We will be able to create a memorable experience for your guests and ensure that your first dance feels as magical and meaningful as it should. If you don’t want to hire a live band, there are other great options for music for weddings. For example, you can look through pre-made ceremony music playlists like the one below, or find a selection of songs that fit your style. However, having a live wedding band will add an extra special touch to your first dance and make it even more memorable.
Our favorite first dance songs are: “Cheek to Cheek” by Ella Fitzgerald, “All of Me” by John Legend, “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King, and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston.

Parent Dance Songs
No matter what songs you choose for your parents’ dances, it is important to find music that will bring out the emotions of the moment. These are unforgettable moments that are cherished forever.

Most couples choose to honor their moms with special songs that represent the strong bond between them.
Our favorite Mother-Son dance songs are: “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac, “A Song for Mama” by Boyz II Men, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ol, and “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King.

Many couples opt for something sentimental and timeless.
Our favorite Father-Daughter dance songs are: “My Girl” by the Temptations, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong, “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle, and “Daughters” by John Mayer.

The Party

Your reception is all about having fun and making sure everyone is out on the dance floor! Music for your reception should be upbeat and diverse to ensure that all ages can join in the fun. The songs should be chosen with this in mind and should reflect a variety of genres. We can help you create a truly memorable evening. Hiring a live band to keep the energy high and keep the dance floor full throughout the night is guaranteed. With our expertise, we will be able to provide the perfect mix of music for the reception – from classic tunes to modern hits – and read the energy of the room in order to get even your 90-year-old grandmother up on the dance floor.
Our favorite reception party songs: “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake, “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce, “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)” by Stevie Wonder, and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.

To make sure the party is one to remember, you can opt for a few sing-alongs. We love being the reason people lose their voices the next day! Check out our curated sing-a-long playlist – we’ve made the search easier for you.
Our favorite sing-a-longs: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, “All You Need is Love” by The Beatles, “Africa” by TOTO, “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

The Last Dance
When it’s time to close out the night, there are so many songs to choose from that will fit the vibe of your day. We recommend either going with a classic hit or modern pop song for a memorable last dance. Consider a timeless tune like “At Last” by Etta James, or a high-energy, infectious track like Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” No matter what you decide to dance to, don’t forget to end the night with a bang!
Our favorite last dance songs: “Last Dance” by Donna Summer ;), “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie, “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon, and “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole.

We love helping our couples plan their special day so we hope this guide has helped you! Feel free to listen to samples of our songs to experience our soundtrack, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. We’re here to help create memories to last a lifetime.

Also be sure to check us out and follow us on Spotify!

Without music, life would be a mistake.

Friedrich Nietzsche