Groom 101

Choosing the Wedding Reception Song Playlist

Chris Easter

Most wedding guests say that they’re more apt to have a great time at the reception if they see the bride and groom out on the dance floor enjoying themselves. The song playlist at the reception can be a huge factor in determining the mood, feeling, and overall enjoyment level of your guests.

Whether you hire a band or DJ, you should have the option of creating a playlist and a “do not” playlist. The playlist should incorporate songs that have special meaning to the newlyweds and to their families. The “do not” playlist should obviously consist of songs that you don’t want to hear on your wedding day (tip for grooms: this also includes any song that you and any ex-girlfriends used to dance to). It’s always a nice gesture to get input from both sets of parents on any songs they would like to hear at the reception. They may like to share a dance to a song they danced to on their wedding day.

Three specific songs will need to be chosen with utmost care. These songs are for the bride and groom’s first dance, the father-daughter dance, and the mother-son dance. For the newlywed’s dance, the song choice will usually come pretty easily. Chances are, there’s a special song that has meant a lot to both of you while you’ve been dating.

A very smart idea is to start making mental notes of songs you hear at other weddings or gatherings to see which ones do or don’t work for your tastes.

If you’re on a tight budget for the reception, another popular recent trend is to not hire a band or DJ at all. Instead, couples have been hooking an mp3 player to a sound system and saving a few bucks. This option allows you to create a wedding reception playlist right on your computer. The only drawback is the lack of an announcer. But if you’re set on this option, a relative, friend, or even the best man might be willing to step up and take on this role during the reception to help keep the evening’s events moving smoothly.

TMR Recommendation: When preparing the playlist, go with a nice mixture of older classics and some newer favorites that are popular with you and your friends. This way, everyone has a chance to hit the dance floor to a song they know, no matter their age.


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