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Tips for Choosing Music for Your Wedding

Wedding Music: Tips for Building Your Playlist

When you're planning your wedding day, the playlist you hand over to your DJ (or give to your wedding band, or cue up on your iPod) can be one of the most fun details to develop. Music is a great way to reflect your personality and set the tone for a party, whether you want an old-school feel or a modern, clubby vibe.

Your first inclination when picking the music for your reception might be to reach for your favorite college dance party mix, the latest Fergie song you've been jogging to, or the top hits from the '80s. But most weddings include guests from all age groups and walks of life, and your music choices should be sensitive to their needs. Some of your favorite songs might seem harmless enough on your iPod, but they could make for some awkward situations when played for a big, age-diverse crowd. Think about chatting with your grandfather with Madonna's "Like a Virgin" on in the background — not so fun. Accidentally including the explicit version of a song that seemed so innocuous on the radio could also make things uncomfortable.

I've been thinking through some of the best weddings I've attended, and often, the music was a big part of what made them so special. I've come up with some great playlists from a variety of genres that I'll be sharing throughout the week, but for now, to check out a couple of easy tips for music that will help guarantee a memorable day (not to mention get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor), just


  • If you're hiring a DJ or band, be clear about your likes and especially your dislikes. No "Electric Slide" or "Macarena"? Make it known — in writing.
  • Think about the kind of feel you want your reception to have. Is it a high-energy party? Go heavy on the up-tempo tunes. Want a dreamier, more romantic tone? Include your favorite love songs from a variety of decades.
  • It's usually impossible to please everybody, but music is one area where you can try. Know that your aunt and uncle love salsa dancing? Ask them to recommend a few tunes — and make sure they're willing to show off their moves. You could even include a spot on your response cards for guests to suggest their favorite dancing songs.
  • Have a song that you absolutely must have at your wedding — but fear it could baffle or even offend older relatives? Save it for late in the evening, when most of the remaining revelers will be your friends.

Have you experienced any fantastic wedding music moments — or, on the other hand, any awkward disasters? Remember, you can check out more wedding coverage at IDoSugar.


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