Which Songs Are the Best Songs for a wedding?

How Do I Go About Creating the Best Playlist for My Wedding?

So it’s come time in the wedding planning process to sit down and pick out which songs you’d like the band to play.  You’ve probably been given a huge list from which to choose, and you’re now checking off the ones you like.  Maybe you and your fiancé like the same music, or maybe you have completely different tastes.  Perhaps you’re both really into contemporary music, but contemplating whether you should check off some oldies, as well.  What if you’ve picked too few songs, or way too many?


The truth of the matter is that while it’s important for you to convey to your wedding band what kind of music you like, and if you have any favorite songs that you’d like to hear played more than the rest, you’ve selected your band because you trust them – not just with their musicianship, but their expertise in knowing which songs work and which, well .. don’t.  ‘Single Ladies’ is objectively a great song, but to pull it off, you need a choir of Beyonces and a litany of synthesizer effects, and even if you have those things, it’s never going to sound quite as crisp as the original recording.  ‘Closer’, by the Chainsmokers, was a huge hit last year, but it’s actually a very slow and monotonous song, and 9 times out of 10, sucks all the energy out of the room.


Aside from knowing certain songs to avoid, your band should also know what the surefire hits are, and spoiler alert: most were written before 1978.  Motown is the single-most unifying genre of music for a dance party, bringing together all generations and ensuring that grandma is dancing just as spiritedly (and possibly more so) than 8 year-old cousin Lizzy.  The day when ‘Respect’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, and ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ stop packing a dance floor is the day pizza starts tasting like moldy cardboard and LeBron James quits basketball to become a yoga instructor.  These are songs that everyone knows, loves, and will sing along to, and plus, they’re all happy!  Apparently, back in the day, they had this crazy notion to write songs that promoted messages of love and joy.  Point is, a first dance set that parades through the best of Motown amidst a handful of Disco hits thrown in (I Will Survive, September, etc) is equally likely to keep the party going as a cute kitten compilation video is to distract you from, well, anything.


A second (and possibly third) dance set does allow for more options, depending on the preferences of the wedding party – whether there should be an emphasis on contemporary hits, or hip hop and R&B, or country sing-alongs, or Michael Jackson numbers.  But even towards the end of the night, there are certain specific tunes that will get everyone dancing and singing, and unless the bride and groom specifically don’t want to hear those, the band should be entrusted to play tried-and-true hit after hit as the party draws to a close.


Does this mean that the job of picking out the songs you want is irrelevant or unimportant?  Not at all.  Let the band know what you like.  You’ll probably have special dance songs to request, and a handful of others you want played.  But at the same time, give the band room to do their thing, and they’ll draw on all of their knowledge and experience to wow you and all of your guests.  It’s a bit like your wedding cake.  You’ll tell the pastry chef what you want it to look like, but you won’t tell him how to bake it, right?  Pretty much the same thing here.