Creating A KILLER Wedding Playlist

Most of you reading this haven’t met me. So you wouldn’t know how serious I am about music – both the stuff that I like and the stuff that I don’t like. Let's suffice it to say that I am particularly fond of a killer playlist, especially of the wedding kind.
And so I wanted to share with you a simple guide to choosing your music (and even a handful of my fave picks), which is useful whether you’re hiring a band, a solo musician or a D.J. Just remember that when your wedding guests wake up after your big night, they won’t be thinking about the favors or the centrepieces or your wedding dress (well maybe); they’ll be thinking about the music and the dance floor.
Don’t leave your wedding music to chance. Take the time to carefully plan it out and give a list to your band or D.J. of your must-plays, when to play them and your don’t-plays. (But don't overdo it!) Fill it with fun songs, love songs, happy songs and pack-the-dance floor songs.
Now, the first thing to consider is the pre-ceremony music. This is the stuff that’s playing while your guests arrive at the venue and are escorted to their seats. Personally, I prefer pre-ceremony songs that are a little more on the traditional side; songs from the '50s and '60s can really set the tone just right and won’t distract from the beautiful moment your guests are about to behold.
Next is the processional. This is the music played as the wedding party enters and the couple. Many couples choose two or three songs that fade and blend into each other well. I prefer one song that slowly builds as the wedding party enters and peaks just as you’re about to hit the runway, OOPS, I mean the aisle. Here’s a bunch of my faves:
1. “Reign of Love” by Coldplay (OK, OK. A little biased here; this is the song I chose to walk down the aisle to, but it was just perfect!)
2. "Boom Clap" by Lennon & Maisy
3. "Hoppípolla" by Sigur Rós
4. "All I Want Is You" by U2
5. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by Sleeping at Last
Now the recessional. This should be a happy song, played as you’re walking back down the aisle as newlyweds ready to take on the world! These five songs are perfect for the moment:
1. “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros (Another gem from my own wedding playlist!)
2. “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
3. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
4. “Ho-Hey” by The Lumineers
5. “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap
Moving on to the cocktail hour. This music should be carefully chosen so that guests are entertained and feeling peppy as they sip and mingle before the reception. This vibe can be carried right on through to the beginning of your reception while guests are getting settled in their seats.
Then, as your wedding party are cued and ready to make their entrance into the reception, your music selection should be either a great representation of these people - your closest friends and family - or just totally upbeat and energetic. Here are a few dandies:
1. “Praise You” by Fatboy Slim
2. “Hey Ya” by Outkast
3. “We Are Young” by Fun.
4. “Electric Feel” by MGMT
5. “Celebration” by Kool and The Gang
And now - your grand entrance. For this, you may want to consider something funny or just plain dramatic. Like these little ditties:
1. “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D. and the Boyz
2. “The Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine
3. “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate
4. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and The Waves
5. “We Will Rock You” by Queen
Next comes the first dance song. It could be something that’s meaningful to you both, like YOUR song. Or it could be something that perfectly sums up your relationship or your wedding day. Here is a sample of my faves:
1. "XO" by John Mayer
2. "Mess Is Mine" by Vance Joy
3. "This Year's Love" by David Gray
4. "Take Me the Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson
5. "Skinny Love" by Birdy
Now maybe I’m mistaken, but I don’t particularly think the reception party music needs explaining. This is a major piece of your wedding. Just make sure the music you choose is as appealing to grandma as it is to your teenage cousin. Choose some classic dance music from across the decades and be sure to keep them family-friendly (in other words, avoid the F-bomb lyrics)!
A little later, you may want to toss your bridal bouquet (or your garter), and for this event, you will want to keep things light and cutesy. Like so:
1. “Milkshake” by Kelis
2. “Brick House” by The Commodores
3. “Girls” by Beastie Boys
4. “Gold Digger” by Kanye West
5. “You Can't Hurry Love” by The Supremes
And finally, it’s time to cut the wedding cake. Well sugar is sweet and so are these beauties:
1. "How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You)" by Marvin Gaye
2. "You're My Best Friend” by Queen
3. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
4. “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher
5. “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies
And that’s a wrap! I sure hope this helped you focus on putting together your perfect wedding playlist.
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