Not everyone is an audiophile, and we understand that. For the most part, you can leave specific music selection up to your DJ or band. However, there are typically a handful of songs you may want to pick a special, meaningful song for:
Processional (the walk down the aisle). This may include as few as one or as many as 4 songs. You may want individual songs for the groom/groomsmen, parents/grandparents, bridesmaids, and the bride. Traditionally, Canon in D or the Bridal Chorus is played, however, modern weddings have no limits! Want to walk down the aisle to The Imperial March? Go for it!
Ceremony. Music during the ceremony is not always required, and, depending on the length of your ceremony, not necessary. If you’d like music played during the ceremony, typically during the unity ceremony is a good time.
Recessional (the walk out of the ceremony). You could always go with the traditional wedding march, but feel free to have fun with this one! This is a great time to let your personality shine!
Grand Entrance. Again, you have the choice of either one song for everyone or separate songs for the bridal party (either individually or as a whole) and the bride and groom. This is a good time to have fun as well. The more upbeat the song, the easier it is for your bridal party to dance to as they enter and get the crowd pumped up for your announcement into the reception as the new Mr. & Mrs.!
First Dance. What’s y’all’s song? What song makes you think of your fiancé every time you hear it? Again, feel free to go totally nontraditional with this! Not a bigger dancer? Ask your DJ/band to cut the song short for you.
Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances. These are (almost) always tear-jerkers. Moms and dads are giving their babies away and sending them off into married life. Not a serious couple? Not a problem! You can even talk to your DJ about mixing songs together for you. My husband danced with his mom to a combination of “I’m the Only Hell My Momma Ever Raised” and “Simple Man”. Just know that if you pick a sweet/sappy song, be prepared for the waterworks!
Cake Cutting. You absolutely don’t have to pick a specific song for this, but again, it’s an option if there’s a “sweet” song you’d really like played. Your DJ or band probably does enough weddings that they have a stash of go-to songs if you don’t know (or care) what song is played here.
Reception Music. Most entertainers are going to be able to work with you regardless of how much, or how little, input you give them. They are good at reading the crowd and seeing what people are dancing to. Line dances are always a crowd-pleaser and tend to pack your dance floor. Make sure you know your crowd, too. Just because you love Metallica or Coheed and Cambria doesn’t mean all your guests do, too. While it’s great to incorporate some of the music y’all love, keep in mind your crowd and the type of music that will get people on the dance floor. It’s also a good idea to be mindful of any unedited versions of songs you want to hear; your 80-year-old grandma or 7-year-old cousin (or his/her mom) may not as happy about it as you are. If you’re set on playing some not-so-kid-friendly songs, maybe ask your DJ to wait to play those until later in the night.
Last Song. You’ve got a few different routes to choose from here. You could choose a “Closing Time” type song, something like “Don’t Stop Believin’” that everyone will sing along to, or possibly a private dance between you and your new spouse while everyone lines up outside for your sendoff.
If you’re looking for some song inspiration, there are plenty of great online resources (a couple of which we linked to below), but you can also ask your DJ or band for help! Whatever songs you decide to go with, make sure you listen to the lyrics and make sure they are actually wedding-appropriate. Just because you like the song, doesn’t mean the lyrics fit the event.