Top 5 tips on choosing music for your wedding day

Choosing Wedding Music

Choosing your music for your wedding day can be really overwhelming if you feel like you don’t have a place to start, or the list is just far too long. The thing that usually gets couples is actually how much there is to decide. Wedding planning is a game of decision fatigue anyway but music choices can quickly top that cake. If you’re musical you might love this task and put a great deal of thought into it, if you’re not you might dread it or simply not care. Or, if like most people you fall somewhere in the middle you might need a little guidance. 

Let’s start with the basics. Hopefully, you’ll use your talented professionals to help walk through this process (hint: your planner will recommend someone great to guide the actual choices, we also have a list of groups we love) but it can still be… a lot.

High-level Tips

Here are a few tips for choosing your wedding music that hopefully will help you as you continue the wedding plan and make the thousands of decisions that need to be made on a regular basis. 


    1. Decide how important music is going to be in your day. I have met couples who place a huge emphasis on music and I have met couples who literally were picking songs moments before they went out to dance. I would not recommend the latter but I have definitely seen it done.  If you decide that music is going to be a huge part of your day I would highly recommend looking into a great wedding band. Nothing can keep the party going like really talented musicians, and live music both at your reception and your ceremony can add a feel to your wedding day that few other things can.
    2.  Take your time when you’re picking important songs.  This is not one of those decisions that you want to rush through, it’s a decision that you want to ponder as you’re planning and doing other things. When I was planning for my wedding vow renewal I spent months picking out the songs that I wanted to be played while I danced with my husband and my father.  They were incredibly important to me and I looked, and looked, and looked until I found a perfect fit. I still treasure those songs and they have such special memories attached to them for me. That’s one of the reasons great music makes a wedding, the moment you hear those first notes it will help transport you right back to where you were. Don’t rush that process.
    3. Think about your crowd.  When you’re choosing music for your reception it can be really tempting to just pick songs you like or worse yet let your DJ make a list of “popular” songs. You know your friends better than anyone else and you know the people who are going to be at your wedding. Is there a strong representation of an older generation? Make sure there are classics played in that Grandma and Grandpa are going to want to jump up and dance to. Do you have a young crowd that loves to dance? Play songs that get everybody moving. Are there a lot of couples and people who have been married for a while there? Play songs that husbands and wives can not be afraid to get on the dance floor for, things they can just sway back and forth to, and remember how much fun it is to be on the dance floor together – keep the entry-level low. Spring the crazy songs on them a little later in the night. 
    4. Keep things mixed up.  People are moved emotionally by music. Just think about the last time you were misty-eyed watching a movie, it was probably the soundtrack that connected with your emotions more than anything. When you’re thinking about a playlist for your reception make sure that you’re thinking about the ebb and flow of what the party is going to be like.  Start out slow, mix some fun songs in there, even things out with a series of fast songs, and then take a break with a slow song or two. A skilled MC from a band or an excellent DJ can help you with this. It can be a lot to think about but so worth it when done well.
    5. Shout it out.  Know when to bring the big guns in. This again comes back to hiring the right professionals. The right band or skilled DJ has this down to a science and can read your crowd like the professional that they are. Generally, there is going to be a genre or time of music that is going to be more familiar to a large group of your guests. At some point when the party is really going is when we start leaning into THOSE songs. It might be playing the Wobble or it might be Sweet Caroline but you want to know what’s going to get your friends up shouting lyrics and lean into that at the perfect time. Your wedding guests will leave feeling like they had the best time at your wedding. 

Classic First Song Choices

That all-important first dance song can come with so much pressure! The first thing I’ll say is this – it’s YOUR day. Please, please, please, don’t let people tell you anything about your song selection. You get to make a choice that represents you well and that you love. That said, this will forever be your song. Hopefully, someday when you’re old and gray, you’ll be sitting at someone else’s wedding and hear it play to remember just what it felt like to be on that dance floor for the first time together. Chose something that will stand the test of time! A few options:


“All of Me”  by John Legend

“Rewrite the Stars” by  Zac Efron and Zendaya

“500 Miles,” by Sleeping at Last

“Unchained Melody,” by The Righteous Brothers

“Amazed,” by Lonestar

“Perfect,” by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé

“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” by Aerosmith

“The Way You Look Tonight,” by Frank Sinatra

“At Last,” by Etta James

“There Is No Greater Love” by Amy Winehouse

“Yours,” by Russell Dickerson

“Kiss Me,” by Ed Sheeran

“Escapade,” by Janet Jackson

“Fly Me to The Moon,” by Frank Sinatra

“Lover,” by Taylor Swift

“Anyone,” by Justin Bieber

“My Girl,” by The Temptations

“Coming Home,” by Leon Bridges

“Conversations in the Dark,” by John Legend

“Sweet Creature,” by Harry Styles

“Minefields,” by Faouzia and John Legend

“Sweetest Thing,” by Allman Brown

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli

“My Best Friend,” by Tim McGraw

“Give Me Love,” by Ed Sheeran

“Your Song,” by Elton John

“A Thousand Years,” by Christina Perri

“Moon River” by Frank Ocean

“Falling Like the Stars,” by James Arthur

“Only Wanna Be With You,” by Hootie and the Blowfish

“Thinking Out Loud,” by Ed Sheeran

“Can’t Take My Eyes off You,” by Frankie Valli

“Can’t Help Falling in Love,” by Elvis Presley

“Marry Me,” by Train

“I Am Yours,” by Andy Grammer

“Starting Over,” by Chris Stapleton

“That’s When I Knew,” by Alicia Keys

“XO,” by John Mayer

“This Kiss,” by Faith Hill

“Make You Feel My Love,” by Adele

“I Won’t Give Up,” by Jason Mraz

“Hold Me,” by Stevie Wonder

“January Wedding,” by The Avett Brothers

“Fresh Eyes,” by Andy Grammer

“You Are the Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne

“There Will Be Time,” by Mumford & Sons feat. Baaba Maal

“Come Rain or Come Shine,” by Ray Charles

“You Are,” by Lionel Richie

“The One” by Kodaline

“Let’s Stay Together,” by Al Green

“You Send Me,” by Sam Cooke

“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” by Sleeping at Last

“You & I (Nobody in the World),” by John Legend

“Say You Won’t Let Go,” by James Arthur

“You’re Still the One,” by Shania Twain

“Mine Would Be You,” by Blake Shelton

“Beyond,” by Leon Bridges

“Adore You,” by Harry Styles


Hopefully, that is helpful for those never-ending music choices, but don’t ever hesitate to reach out for specifics. Song ideas, band/DJ recommendations, or rocking dance moves… we are here to help. 😉 


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