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Select Music for Wedding and Reception

Your wedding is not complete without music. When you hear one of your wedding songs on the radio years down the road, you will be transported back to that special day when you said your vows. You will want to spend time picking the perfect songs that you love and that are in line with the overall theme of your wedding. There are a handful of songs you will need to select, but the rest should be left up to the DJ you have hired or the band. Overloading your DJ with a list of 100 songs will make for a stilted flow of music. Keep in mind; professional DJs and bands know how to keep a party going and don’t need to be micromanaged.


If your wedding is being held in a church, you may be able to hire an organist. If you have something a little different in mind, like a guitarist, soloist, or a flutist, check with the pastor or priest to make sure you can use their sound system. You will need to decide what music plays prior to the start of the ceremony to keep guests entertained. If you are walking in to the traditional wedding march, make sure it is cued up and ready to go if you do not have an organist. Most wedding ceremonies include one song. Keep in mind, throughout the duration of the song, you will be standing there looking at your future spouse and everybody will be looking at you. If you think it isn’t a big deal, try staring into your future husband’s eyes for 3 minutes and 30 seconds today. It really is a long time!


This is where the party gets started and a lot of traditions are fulfilled. Your reception is essentially unstructured for the most part. Guests will have the freedom to mingle, eat and dance as they wish. However, there are a few parts to the event that are structured and will each require a special song. Each of the following traditions will require you to pick an appropriate song ahead of time.

First dance for newly married couple

Father/Daughter dance

Mother/son dance

Bridal party dance

Bouquet tossing

Cake cutting (optional)

For your first dance together as a couple, it is important you choose a song that is appropriate for your wedding. A heavy metal song probably wouldn’t be a good choice. A song about a woman scorned or a man cheating is not ideal either. Check around for some of the most popular wedding songs. Make sure you choose a song you and your spouse both love. This is going to be the song that sparks fond memories for years to come.

The father daughter dance could be “Butterfly Kisses” which is probably the most frequently chosen song for that special dance. Choose a song that is special to you and reminds you of your daddy.

The mother son dance is also sentimental and should be somewhat of a ballad. However, if your groom is not the sentimental type, have fun with it. It is always best to get the groom’s mother’s input. It is her dance after all.

The bouquet tossing song doesn’t have to be a ballad. It should be something fun and quirky that makes people excited. You can use the same song for the garter tossing if it is done at the same time as the bouquet toss or choose another. Have fun with this one.

The cake cutting song can be a selection that you both love, but just couldn’t quite work it into your wedding and didn’t want it as your first dance song. Basically, choose the third runner up!

Your wedding is a time to have fun and make memories that will last a lifetime. Our human brains connect music to memories. Listen to the radio all the time and you are sure to hear that one song that just makes your heart swell. Find it, download it and have your future spouse give it a listen. If you both love it, you have just picked your song! Don’t try too hard. It will come to you eventually.