When it comes to your big day you may just be thinking you need to select a band or DJ and you can cross that off of your seemingly never-ending list but there is a lot more that goes into it. Song selection that you and your crowd will enjoy along with songs that reflect you and your groom as a couple are key in creating the vibe you want on your special day. Here is a list of wedding reception traditions that you will need to select songs for prior to the big soiree:
Bridal Party Entrance
This is the song that the bridal party makes their grand entrance at the reception to (or maybe it’s just you and your groom), nevertheless, this is an easy way to get the party started by choosing an upbeat song that you will be announced to as you newlyweds enter your wedding reception. If you want to get creative you could even choreograph a number or include some props to songs like, “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen or “You’re The One That I Want” from Grease!
Bride and Groom’s First Dance
This is a standard. No matter how non-traditional you may be, a first dance is a must! You can be more customary with a song like, “At Last” by Etta James or get a little contemporary with a song like, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Whatever you choose, make sure it is an important and meaningful song to you two as a couple.
For some of you, you may not have a father to do this traditional dance with. Feel free to incorporate other male role models or men of significance in your life like a grandfather, uncle or brother. “Butterfly Kisses” has to be the most used song for this particular dance. You could also use songs like “My Girl” by The Temptations or “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker.
This precious dance will follow the father/daughter dance. A more traditional choice may be, “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” by Stevie Wonder where a more modern choice could be Jim Brickman featuring Lady Antebelllum in the song, “Never Alone”.
Some brides and grooms choose a *sweet* song to accompany their cake cutting while others just let the DJ or band choose a good low key filler song for this one. This is a fun time to incorporate a little play on words with songs like, “How Sweet It is” by James Taylor, “Honey Bee” by Blake Shelton or “Sugar” by Maroon 5.
A wedding tradition in which all of the single ladies (hint hint…lots of people use Beyonce’s song here) take the dance floor hoping to catch the beautiful bouquet signifying they will be the next one to tie the knot! How about “Dear Future Husband” by Meghan Trainor or think back to the movie, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and play the sweet innocent tune of “Wishin’ and Hopin” by Ani DiFranco. Either way, it’ll be a show watching your friends nudging each other to get in the perfect position for the win.
Now time for the guys to take the dance floor for the garter toss. This can be as classy (or unclassy…) as you make it so grab and chair, sit down and let your man slide that garter off your leg and sling shot it at his best friends. Most of the time guys dodge this so don’t be offended they they aren’t as excited to catch it as your girls were! Go more old school with “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls or more modern with “Sexyback” by Justin Timberlake.
Dollar Dance, Anniversary Dances and Other Organized Dances
There are a variety of other organized dances that you can do during your reception (not my cup of tea but it’s your day so you can do whatever you want)! Anything from the dollar dance (people literally pay you a dollar to dance with you which can be a great way to get some extra cash for that honeymoon), or anniversary dances where the longevity of a relationship determines who stays on the floor the longest or maybe you even want some old school organized dances like the electric slide (this actually makes me cringe…sorry). Don’t mind my opinion, it’s your big day so decide what you want to incorporate and make sure your DJ or band knows when and what song to play. Also, you may need to enlist the help of your band or DJ to explain to the guests what to do and get them out of their seats and on the dance floor!
Although not necessary, you may want to choose a last song of the night to cap of your big celebration before you light sparklers and hop in that limo on your way to honeymoon bliss! You could do the traditional end of the night bar tune by Semisonic, “Closing Time”, or always a crowd pleaser in the south “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show.
*Also note, it’s important to let you band or DJ know if there are specific songs or types of songs that you do or do not want played throughout the evening. He or she will more than likely have a list of songs that they will pass on to you for review so grab a pen and makes some notes to return back to the DJ or band prior to your wedding day.