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Play These Tunes for the Best Wedding Song Vibes

  |   By Staff Writer

Photo by Lauren Rader on Unsplash

Music is a universal language. You can communicate your personality through a curated wedding soundtrack—a mix of tried and tested dance floor magnets and quirky choices for key moments. We've put together a Wedding Bells playlist for you to test out and tweak to your liking. It should take you from ceremony to reception without missing a beat and has a mixture of old-school and more recent hits to cater to everyone, regardless of age or preferred genre. Include a few of these songs on your big day, and we're sure guests will nod in appreciation. Start by deciding whether you want a skilled but expensive live band, a highly Shazamable and more flexible DJ, or a mix of both for different parts of your day. You can chat to the pros about your favourite swoony songs and club tracks, what you don't like, acoustics, and which options would work better.

If you're looking to incorporate these songs into your wedding day, we've got a complete playlist for you at the end of the article!

No.
01

Pre-ceremony

signs pointing guests to a wedding ceremony Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

If your guests are seated, you can have a slideshow playing with pics of you and your partner or simply play songs like these that set the mood, whether that be formal or fun.

New Radicals, 'Mother We Just Can't Get Enough"

A Walk to Remember fans, we're looking at you. This upbeat song played during the montage of Landon and Jamie rehearsing for the play. We bet it'll set the scene for your own walk to remember, especially if you and your spouse love doing things a little differently.

Bryan Adams, 'Heaven'

This song was popular in the 80s and filtered down to another generation when DJ Sammy covered it in 2001. It's all about journeying through life with your forever person, which couldn't be more appropriate, even if it's the teeniest bit cheesy.

John Mayer, 'XO'

Mayer's acoustic version of Beyoncé's universally appealing track will give wedding attendees all the feels. It's a moving celebration of love as a beacon.

Bonus track: Taylor Swift's 'Lover'

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
02

Processional

father and bride wedding processional Photo by Taylor Gray on Unsplash

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons Spring 1

You'll recognize this instrumental song from documentaries and TV shows, including Bridgerton. It conveys sheer awe and is bound to leave your guests feeling inspired. It'll also give your loved ones an extra special moment in the spotlight.

Vitamin String Quartet, 'Somewhere Only We Know'

The Vitamin String Quartet is also Bridgerton-adjacent, but this rendition of a lovely Keane song has nothing to do with Netflix's smash hit show. It would work fabulously as your friends and family members walk down the aisle.

Yiruma, 'River Flows In You'

Try the Lindsey Stirling version of this song made famous by its inclusion in the Twilight soundtrack. It will have your heart all aflutter as you gaze out at the crowd and your spouse waiting for you.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
03

Recessional

bride and groom leaving wedding venue Photo by Gregory Hayes on Unsplash

Snow Patrol, 'Just Say Yes'

Forget 'Chasing Cars,' which is a yawn-fest. This Snow Patrol number is the song your wedding deserves, and the lyrics are ideal for your post I Do moment.

Mariah Carey feat. Miguel, 'Beautiful'

This beloved song is easy breezy deliciousness—just make sure you play the PG version. It's fab for the part of your wedding ceremony where the nerves are gone, and you're ready to loosen up. Bring on the confetti and clapping!

Beyoncé (feat. Jay-Z), 'Crazy in Love'

Want to boogie your way back down the aisle? You can't go wrong with this song; your audience will be jiving along with you.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
04

Cocktail hour

woman holding a fun sign after the wedding ceremony Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash

Lana del Rey, 'Videogames'

This critically-acclaimed downtempo ballad was one of the best songs of the 2010s and shot Lana del Rey to stardom. Some of your guests will think you're a star for including it in your playlist.

Ronan Keating, 'Life is a Rollercoaster'

This early 2000s hit song appeared in the end credits of the Freddie Prinze Junior chick flick Head Over Heels and will make all your millennial attendees nostalgic.

Janet Jackson, 'Doesn't Really Matter'

There's a Néstor Torres jazz version of this 2001 song that has pure relax and mingle vibes. If you stick with the non-instrumental version, there's a sweet message about unconditional love and familial acceptance in the lyrics.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
05

Bride entrance

bride and groom entering the wedding reception Photo by Andreas Rønningen on Unsplash

There are two bridal entrances: one at the ceremony where processional songs would work and one at the reception that can be more casual.

Ellie Goulding, 'Love Me Like You Do'

A violin version of this song could be so bomb for a bridal entrance at your ceremony. Imagine it playing in the background while that signature wedding moment takes place—you know, the one where the groom gazes adoringly at their bride.

Rihanna, 'You Da One'

This is a solid pick if you want something cool and contemporary for an upbeat bridal entrance at your reception.

Amerie, '1 Thing'

If you want to set the serious ceremony apart from the reception, usher in the dinner segment with an early aughts earworm. We're partial to Amerie's '1 thing'.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
06

Father/daughter dance

Father/Daughter dancing at a wedding ceremony Photo by Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash

There's a trend where first dance and parent/child dances segue from a slow song to a surprise uptempo one, and you're welcome to experiment.

Camila Cabello, 'First Man'

Camila Cabello sang this song to her dad at the Grammy's. It's arguably one of the most memorable live performances the show has ever had (we bawled our eyes out) and probably put this track on many brides' radars. But it's not tiring yet.

The Temptations, 'My Girl'

Sprinkle some 1960s soul into the evening with this cheerful Motown selection for daddy/daughter dance. It's a good choice if you don't want to get weepy enough to ruin your makeup.

The Rolling Stones, 'She's a Rainbow'

Another oldie and a goodie, this song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is from an album called 'Their Satanic Majesties Request.' But don't let that put you off this sonically beautiful and lyrically innocuous number.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
07

Mother/son dance

guests at a wedding reception Photo by Miguel Ángel Hernández on Unsplash

Elton John, 'Tiny Dancer'

Elon John recently updated this classic song with Britney Spears, and it sounds dope. But a shortened version of the original heartfelt tune could work well for your mom and son song.

Taylor Swift, 'New Year's Day'

Is this song about a lover? Sure. But what do moms do if not help their sons clean up their messes? This is why TayTay's 2017 single is one of our left-field choices for this part of the proceedings.

Ellie Goulding, 'Your Song'

Goulding was invited to sing her excellent Elton John cover for the future King and Queen consort of England at their 2011 Royal Wedding reception. If that's not the ultimate seal of approval for a wedding playlist choice, we don't know what is.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
08

First dance

husband and bride enjoying their first dance Photo by Luwadlin Bosman on Unsplash

Kris Bowers, 'Strange (feat. Hillary Smith)'

Obsessed with Bridgerton? You'll love this romantic instrumental version of Celeste's glorious song. It played during Daphne and Simon's steamy wedding night, but it's not NSFW (not safe for weddings).

Aqualung, 'Brighter Than Sunshine'

There was one key takeaway from the 2005 rom-com A Lot Like Love, and it was this song.

Kacey Musgraves, 'Butterflies'

One of the highlights of Musgraves' Grammy-winning 2018 country-pop album, this song is genre-defying.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
09

Cake cutting

wedding cake cutting Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

DNCE, 'Cake By the Ocean'

This is low-hanging fruit, but the cake-cutting song is supposed to be short and sweet, as it were, and a blast of this one will get folks tapping their toes—a nice warm-up for later.

Justin Bieber, 'Yummy'

We couldn't leave the Biebs out, now could we? He deserves to be at every party, and his single 'Yummy' is perfect for cake-slicing and head-swaying.

Maroon 5, 'Sugar'

Forget, for a second, Adam Levine's infidelities, and cast your mind back to the viral music video for this Grammy-nominated disco funk-pop banger. It involved the band crashing a bunch of weddings! The concept was compelling, albeit staged, and the song would fit right into your three-tier-tackling itinerary.

Bonus track: Harry Styles, 'Watermelon Sugar'

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
10

Bouquet toss

bride throwing her bouquet Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Spice Girls, 'Wannabe'

We stan this song forever. It's pure 90s happiness and won't make any single ladies feel bad about their solo status. It emphasizes high standards, good friends, and #girlpower.

Taylor Swift, 'Blank Space'

We can all agree that the gals lining up for the bouquet toss have blank spaces, and they want to have fun filling 'em in. Enter Ms. Swift.

Ne-Yo, 'Miss Independent'

In this Grammy-winning 2008 song, Ne-Yo sings: 'Ooh there's somethin' about; Kind of woman that want you, but don't need you.' Nuff said.

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
11

Dance party

Wedding marquee dance Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Rihanna, 'Cheers'

Name a more epic party song. There's Avril Lavigne's warbling for variety and Rihanna's too-fly verses. This footloose and fancy-free track will get peeps on the dance floor.

Usher, 'Caught Up'

Listen—if you grew up with MTV instead of YouTube, you know this R&B song and its video because it was probably on TRL at some point. Catchy and appreciated by all ages, this track's a winner.

DJ Casper, 'Cha-Cha Slide'

It's corny, but people LOVE doing the moves, so don't deprive them. This could be what you need to lift the mood during a slight slump.

Bonus tracks:

    • Daft Punk, 'One More Time'
    • Adam Levine, 'No One Else Like You' from the Begin Again soundtrack
    • Missy Elliott (feat. Ciara & Fat Man Scoop), 'Lose Control'
    • The Contours, 'Do You Love Me'
    • Avicii, 'Levels'

Be sure to check out our Spotify playlist at the end of the article

No.
12

Songs to avoid

Disclaimer: We're not saying these are bad songs. They're all bangers on their own; however, at weddings, these renditions get overplayed, which can sour the mood.

Dolly Parton, 'I Will Always Love You' Whitney Houston is also famous for this timeless power ballad, but how about we leave it for the singing competitions?

Beyoncé, 'Single Ladies' This is not the track you want to play during the bouquet toss; just trust us on this.

Christina Perri, 'Thousand Years' A touching song, no doubt. But it's been done to death at weddings, and you don't want to give attendees deja vu.

Celine Dion, 'Because You Loved Me' We love the unconventional goddess that is Celine Dion, but you can do better for your mom/son dance.

Ed Sheeran, 'Thinking Out Loud' Done, done, and done again.

Elvis Presley, 'Can't Help Falling in Love' Look, if you're super into the Kina Grannis version of this song that played during the Crazy Rich Asians wedding, we get it. It wowed. But do you really want to draw comparisons with that breathtaking movie-budget scene?

John Legend, 'All of Me' This one's overplayed, but that means people like it, so...

Robyn, 'Dancing On My Own' Perhaps your friends are above being affected by this song's lyrics, or maybe it will send them down a spiral. Do you want to take that risk?

Whitney Houston, 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)'

There are more modern, generation-spanning dance songs you could go for.

Marvin Gaye, 'Let's Get it On' Nope, just nope. You don't want to get your guests too horny, or who knows what'll happen? You have deposits to pay.

Are you ready to get your wedding groove on? Check out our Spotify playlist!

This article was originally published on Sep 27, 2022
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