Wedding Music Recommendations for your Ceremony and Reception

 
 

Wedding season has officially begun! I thought it would be fun to share the songs that my husband and I chose to be played during parts of our ceremony and reception. I remember looking for music inspiration when I was wedding planning and it was so helpful to read blog posts about what other people played at their weddings. 

We were lucky to work with an awesome DJ. He was recommended to us by someone on my husband's softball team and he did an amazing job. On top of it, he gave us a really good deal and we saved a ton of money on that portion of our wedding expenses. 

If you're engaged and looking for a DJ for your wedding, you definitely want to make sure that you do your research ahead of time and meet with multiple DJs before you decide who you want to book with. Consider things like pricing, the number of hours that the DJ will be at your reception and the overall vibe that you get from the DJ (Are they nice? Are they knowledgeable? Have they been in the industry for a while?).

People say that songs can bring back certain memories, so spend some time thinking about the songs that you might want to pick out and have played at your wedding. To give you some inspiration, here's a list of songs that I had played at my wedding last summer. 

Processional:
Canon in D - Johann Pachelbel
This is the song that my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to before the wedding. This truly is such a beautiful and recognizable song. 

Recessional: 
Wedding March - Mendelssohn
The songs that were played during our ceremony were all pretty classical. We thought this was a great pick to walk back down the aisle to after we officially tied the knot. 

Cocktail Hour Songs: 
XO – John Mayer
I Was Made For Loving You – Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran
Marry Me – Train
Latch (Acoustic) – Sam Smith
Who You Love – John Mayer/Katy Perry
Saturday In The Park – Chicago

My husband and I knew that we wanted our wedding reception to have a certain vibe during cocktail hour and dinner time. We chose a variety of love songs to be played as guests enjoyed their appetizers and drinks before heading into the reception hall for the rest of the evening's events. 

Grand Entrance: 
Bridal Party: 
Levels - Avicii
There are so many great entrance songs to choose from! It was super hard to narrow down our choices. Eventually, we decided to go with Levels because it's so fun and upbeat. We wanted to get the party started and send the signal that the reception was about to be rockin. The bridal party had a blast being introduced and walking in during this song. 

 
 

Bride and Groom: 
Bring 'Em Out (Instrumental) - T.I. 
My husband and I aren't super big T.I. fans or anything, but we loved the beginning of this song. At every wedding reception, the guests are always anticipating the arrival/grand entrance of the bride and groom. Bring 'Em Out was a great song choice for us since it gets the crowd pumped up and there's an obvious spot at the beginning of the song once the lyrics are done to walk in. 
 

 
 

Cake Cutting: 
How Sweet It Is - Michael Buble
This is such a sweet and lively song! We loved cutting our cake to the sounds of Michael Buble. Picking a cake cutting song was surprisingly difficult, but we landed on this one and we definitely don't regret it. Stuffing cake into each other's faces was a highlight of the evening for sure. 

 
 

Dinner Music: 
Stay with Me - Sam Smith
Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
Lucky – Jason Mraz
Your Song – Elton John
Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
Best Day of My Life – American Authors

For the dinner part of our reception, we decided to have music by the Vitamin String Quartet played. There is something so elegant about having strings played during your wedding reception. Our DJ was actually the one who suggested the Vitamin String Quartet to us and we're so glad he did!

 
 

First Dance: 
Can't Help Falling in Love - Haley Reinhart
This is such a classic love song! We love the way Haley Reinhart covered it. She sings it so beautifully and it was the perfect song for my husband and I to dance to. Not only is it a slow song, but it's also pretty short so we didn't have to be out on the dance floor for too long in front of our family and friends. 

 
 

Father/Daughter Dance: 
My Girl - The Temptations
Trying to find the perfect song to dance to with my dad was difficult. We didn't have a song picked out until just before the wedding. Eventually, we landed on this one. The sentiment attached to this song is so sweet. It was fun to dance with my dad to this. 

 
 

Mother/Son Dance: 
What a Wonderful World - OneRepublic
After searching for songs to dance to with his mom, my husband found this song and knew that it was the one! OneRepublic does a fantastic job covering this song. It was so sweet to watch my husband and his mom dance to this on our wedding day. 

 
 

Anniversary Dance: 
L-O-V-E - Nat King Cole
Stand by Me - Ben E. King

I love the Anniversary dance at weddings. It's so fun to see all of the couples on the dance floor at once. If you've never seen an Anniversary dance, I'll explain it. The DJ asks all of the married couples to come to the dance floor and slow dance. After some time elapses, the DJ asks couples that have been married for one year to step away from the dance floor. Then, couples that have been married for five years are asked to leave. The pattern continues until the couple that has been married the longest is left on the dance floor along with the newly married couple. It's a super cute way to recognize a new marriage and one that has lasted a long time.

Bouquet Toss: 
Single Ladies - Beyonce
This was a no-brainier for the bouquet toss. When this song comes on at a wedding, everyone knows what's about to happen! The dance floor clears out and all the singles ladies line up in a row to see who will catch the bouquet. 

 
 

Garter Toss: 
I Like It - Enrique Igelsias
I think this was one of the hardest songs for us to pick. We didn't want to choose anything raunchy for the garter toss so songs like Pony by Ginuwine and Pour Some Sugar on Me  by Def Leppard were definitely out of the question. My husband suggested this song while we were planning and it stuck. Kind of a random song, but it was still a fun one. Plus, who doesn't like Enrique Iglesias?

 
 

Dance Songs: 
Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore
‘Til The World Ends – Britney Spears
Ignition – R. Kelly
I Cry – Flo Rida
P.Y.T. – Michael Jackson
September – Earth, Wind and Fire
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Everybody – Backstreet Boys
Pop – N’Sync

These were all songs that were on our "must play" list. I told our DJ that I wanted to have a mix of recent hits and hits from the 90's (since that's when my husband and I grew up). We also wanted some music that our parents enjoyed, so we made sure those songs and artists were on our list. 

If you're married, what songs did you have played at your wedding? Or, if you're not married yet, do you have any songs that you know you'll request to have played on your big day? Share with me in the comment section below!