Inspiration For A Unique Wedding Playlist

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Whether or not music is an integral part of your life, the songs selected for your wedding day are of utmost importance. Guests typically will remember two things from their wedding day. First is if the food was good. The second is whether or not they had a good time. So, here are a few tips for making a unique wedding playlist and get inspiration for particular moments during your wedding day.

Guests’ Arrival and Dinner Music

One of the most overlooked portions of a wedding to put your personal taste on is when guests arrive and during the meal. Many couples take this time for granted and let the musicians or DJ use their best judgment.

However, what type of mood do you want to set for you and your guests? Do you want a classy affair with typical jazz songs by John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck? Do you want to play slow songs at a low volume so everyone can talk? Or do you want a fun environment with a live wedding band leading up to the dancing portion of your reception?

If you want jazz music playing as background filler, consider a mid-tempo bossa nova playlist instead of traditional jazz music. If you love going to the theatre, assemble a show tunes playlist. If you love boy bands, create a playlist of popular boy band songs from the era including Backstreet Boys, Boyz II Men, and One Direction.

I get asked by heavy metal fans how they can incorporate their music into their wedding. A great option is to select instrumental covers and acoustic covers. You would be surprised how many artists on YouTube cover popular rock songs.

Another great way to keep the mood up and guests engaged during cocktail hour is to play sing-along songs such as “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and “Africa” by Toto. These songs can be mixed in to remind guests that your wedding is a celebration!

You can really get creative with a theme to your background music. The key is to not bore guests. If they are bored during the cocktail hour and dinner, chances are they will leave right after dinner and not stick around for the dancing and evening wedding entertainment.

First Dance and Private Dance

The first dance is your first dance as a married couple. The spotlight is on you. You will be nervous so select a song that MEANS something to both of you. Don’t just select a song from a list of the top first dance songs.

Instead, select a song that you hold special. Maybe the song that was playing when you met at the bar? If you love spending time together at the local coffee shop, then listen to Landon Pigg’s song “Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop”.

Some couples have multiple songs that hold special meaning. If this is you, plan for a private last dance. This is a song played after the last dance song and guests are asked to leave the venue to prepare for your send-off. Meanwhile, you have a special private dance to reflect on your wedding day with your new spouse.

You & Your Friends’ Songs

Be sure to give a list of songs that have special meaning between you and your friends. This could be the fight song or victory song from your college years. The song could be the one that is played at your favourite sports team games like “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra for the New York Yankees, and “Go Cubs Go” by Steve Goodman for the Chicago Cubs.

If there is a special anthem song for the bride and her bridesmaids -or- the groom and his groomsmen, be sure the song is prepped for the reception. You don’t want to forget to play any anthem songs!

Another consideration is to play a song in memory of a loved one lost. This could be for a family member or friend. It doesn’t have to be a slow song either. Whatever song was special between both of you.

Your wedding playlist does not have to be like most other weddings. You can incorporate personal songs into your wedding day to add extra special meaning as you start your new life together. Happy planning!

Many thanks to Matt Campbell for contributing this article. Matt is the founder of My Wedding Songs. He has been a member of Rolling Stone Culture Council since 2021. Matt hosts the Wedding Songs Podcast and is the author of the Wedding Music Playlist.

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