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Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Reception Songs and Music


The music at your wedding reception can play a big part in how much your guests enjoy the celebration.

Every song played partnerships on a unique emotion and memory for every person in the room and the mood of the room as a whole. Some people love a certain song whilst others might find it nostalgic.

Songs that are chosen during the reception can reflect your own style of music taste and the type of atmosphere you want to create. The right song selections will have your guests relaxed during the formalities and partying when it's time to get their groove on!

Below is a general wedding reception timeline. It is entirely up to the Bride & Groom which traditions and music they want to incorporate into their wedding.

Cocktail / Pre Dinner Drinks Music

This is best as classical, jazz or various modern music usually at a quiet and relaxing volume.

Bridal Party Introduction

This works well as an upbeat styled song that people can clap & make some noise to as the Bridal Party, Bride & Groom make their entrance into the reception venue.

Dinner & Easy Listening Music

If there is a mixed generation of guests, all genres of easy listening music works well during dinner. These can be the favorite easy listening songs of the Bride and Groom.

Cake Cutting

The cake cutting song can be a favorite of the Bride and Groom. A slow tempo, romantic song works well for this part of the reception. Songs that have sugar and sweet references have been popular at previous weddings.

First Dance / Bridal Waltz

The first dance is traditionally the most important song of your wedding reception.

This is the first dance of the newly married couple as husband and wife. You can learn a specific dance for this song be it a traditional waltz or the Bride & Groom's favorite slow dance song.

If you are using live entertainment for your first dance, make sure you hear a rehearsal / recording of the song that way you know what to expect. Their version may sound a lot different to the original if it's a cover.

Father and Daughter Dance and the Mother and Son Dance

The Father and Daughter Dance and Mother and Son Dance represent a dance with the Bride and her Father and Groom and his Mother.

This can be made as a "parents of the bride and groom's dance" after the Bride and Grooms first dance.

Dancing Music

A Good DJ or Party band will keep a nice balance between tactful (not so cheesy) and fun songs to keep the dance floor moving.

It's a good idea to give the entertainment a few "must plays", "play if you cans" and "do not play" songs.

Anniversary Dance

The longest married couple at the wedding reception can have their own special slow dance tribute.

This is great to recognize their length of marriage and an opportunity for a another slow dance.

Bouquet Toss

Traditionally, the single and un-married ladies gather around as the Bouquet is tossed by the bride. Whoever catches the bouquet is the next in-line to get married.

This can accompany a game of some sort where the winner receives the bouquet also.

Garter Removal & Toss

As the Garter is removed by the Groom, a sexy song can be played. This can also accompany a game of some sort where the winner receives the Garter.

Once the garter is removed it is tossed to the single and unmarried men and who catches it it is traditionally the next in-line to get married.

Last Dancing Songs

These last couple of songs for the night should be a climax to a great celebration that everyone can dance to.

Farewell Music

The farewell music can be 2 or 3 of the Bride and Grooms favorite songs. These are the songs played while the Bride and Groom farewell their guests via a circle or bridal archway (Made by the guests).

Whatever songs and genres you choose for your wedding reception, make sure they reflect your own style and at the same time will be appropriate for your guests to enjoy them at the celebration of your wedding.

Good luck with your planning!

Cheers, Adrian M

Source by Adrian Makarov

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Mitchel Turner



I’m a journalist from Oxford specializing in hip-hop and culture.