Think back to some of the best times you had at a wedding, and I bet a lot of them were situations where you “have a drink” during the reception. You know who – you hear the song start and all of a sudden there is makeup and damn, the dance floor becomes your stage.

“These three-minute connections are one of the most memorable moments of a wedding,” says expert Shanon Cook. Cook recently got married herself so we decided to capitalize on her musical expertise and recent personal experience by curating the ultimate playlist for the wedding reception.

Meet the expert

Shanon Cook is an expert on Spotify Trends, a former entertainment correspondent for CNN and a longtime music journalist.

The soundtrack for each couple’s wedding anniversary will and should be different. There are over 3.5 million wedding-related playlists on Spotify. And that’s the advantage of deliberate melodies: they’re an economical substitute for a DJ or band, and they’re personalized – right down to that obscure remix that cemented the friendship between you and your MOH forever.

“You really have to think about your guests,” she says. “At a wedding, you have a very broad list – from your grandparents to guests who are only two years old. You need to think about music that is not only suitable for this diverse audience, but also what they will like and which they will step into. It’s very difficult to achieve. ”But don’t worry about your set just yet. She will get you there with just five tips.

Realize that sometimes it’s a popularity contest

Spotify figured out which songs were added to users’ wedding playlists the most – let’s take a look at the top 10:

  1. “Think Out” by Ed Sheeran
  2. “Marry you” by Bruno Mars
  3. “All of Me” by John Legend
  4. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars
  5. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
  6. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
  7. “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé with Jay Z
  8. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
  9. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  10. “Hey you!” by OutKast

“Nothing on this list surprises me,” says Cook. “With ‘Hey Ya!’ and ‘uptown funk’. Some of these songs are very romantic with a fitting message for a wedding like “I’m Yours” or “Marry You”. Then you have John Legend’s song “All of Me,” which has been popular since its release because Legend wrote that song about Chrissy Teigen, and it’s all about how much he adores her. Which bride wouldn’t like to repeat this feeling at her wedding? ”For our playlist, Cook found this remix with a sick dance beat that doesn’t detract from the emotional quality of the song.

Even if you feel like listening to a few songs like Pharrell’s “Happy” or JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” Being dubbed on the radio, you can awaken to new life at a wedding. “They’re still great additions because most of your guests will have heard them, and they’re such feel-good tracks,” says Cook. “They encourage your guests to exercise or sing, and they’re great for younger kids too.”

Embrace the crossover

Pop. Country. Rock. Hip hop. What do all these genres have in common – apart from one hit song with Nelly? You can all feel at home on a welcome playlist. “I think anything is possible at weddings,” says Cook. “Mostly you have a mix of different genres. It’s about what makes people happy and what makes them dance. It makes sense that you will have the full spectrum. ”

While you and your sorority sisters may have an entire choreography for “Crazy In Love”, your mother and friends may have an equivalent for ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”. So go ahead and bring Frank Sinatra, Notorious BIG and Dolly Parton together in one room; You’ll wonder why you’ve never done this before.

Serenade your guests – even if it’s strange

If your wedding day is also the only time your crazy aunt is ready to fly across the country and the only time she plays juju on that beat, you need to make the most of it. “You can’t expect every song to be for everyone,” says Cook. “What you can do is add certain songs for certain guests, especially if they are traveling very far to get to your wedding. It is such a big commitment and such a loving cause for her. It’s nice to have a song or two that you would particularly appreciate. ”

Ask guests beforehand which songs they would like to hear or add a spot for song suggestions on the RSVP card.

And are there certain songs that really encourage people to fly their freak flags? “Songs that involve extreme emotion are great wedding songs,” says Cook, specifically mentioning Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Hey Ya!” from Outkast. “We have ‘Hey Ya!’ played. at our wedding. It’s just a funny, outrageous song that helps people let their hair fall. ”

Cook also recommends up-tempo songs that speak across generations. “If your mother really loves Cyndi Laupers ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ and it’s a song she’ll be thrilled with, why don’t you put it there?” She says. “It’s a song for a lot of people. My 4 year old daughter loves this song and my own mother knows this song. ”

Pay attention to your do-not-play list

We’ve already established the power music has over people’s emotions, so be careful. If a song or the bad memory (read: ex-boyfriend) behind a song has made it onto your list of names “underlined in red”, cross it off your playlist. “While it’s a song everyone loves,” says Cook, “if you have a negative association with it, you don’t want to hear it at your wedding – where you should be as happy as possible.”

Likewise, if there’s one song that is going to upset someone at your wedding, it’s probably best to leave it out, too. “You don’t want sad songs, and you don’t want songs with lyrics that might be too offensive,” says Cook, who swapped explicit tracks here for her radio-friendly versions – a good idea when you’ve invited all of the tee-ball team that Coach you on weekends. Better to play it safe and sometimes it’s more fun shouting profanity over the censored silence anyway.

Save the first dance for everyone

At this point in your process, you’ve undoubtedly filled your playlist with jam gems, but only one should be high on your list in chronological order. “It’s always good to start your wedding dance floor on the right note,” says Cook. “That tone is, it’s party time! Encourage people to dance. ”The first song has to be a beacon, its bright sweep leads your guests away from their hesitations and insecurities to a warm, safe place where they can dab, fall and dougie all night.

Curating the perfect playlist for the wedding reception is something of an art form. It takes taste, grace, and planning ahead. You want to make sure that every second of this celebration is included. From pop tunes to classic tracks, you need to make sure the list has something for each and every wedding guest. It’s a big job.

50 songs to add to your playlist

Are you having trouble getting started? Perhaps you lack the inspiration you so desperately need. Never be afraid. We have an idea (or 50) that will make your imagination flow. With some of the cheesiest music in the world and some songs to sing along to, this is the perfect playlist for the wedding reception. Read it. Copy it. Use it.

Cheesy dance songs

Getting your guests to the dance floor takes some seriously cheesy songs. With the paperwork done, you need to make sure that your wedding reception starts off on a bang. Here are some inspirations to help you choose excellent melodies.

  1. “The Grease Megamix” by John Travolta with Olivia Newton-John
  2. “I want you back” by The Jackson 5
  3. “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles
  4. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
  5. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
  6. “Single Ladies (put a ring on it)” by Beyoncé
  7. “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper
  8. “YMCA”, from the villagers
  9. “Macarena” of Los del Río
  10. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

Rock classics

Ready to rock We’re not talking about obscure bands that no one has ever heard of. Instead, this section is dedicated to classic rock songs. The moment the opening chords are played, you need your air guitars ready. These tracks are sure to liven things up.

  1. “Bat out of Hell” by Meat Loaf
  2. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen
  3. “Close to Me” by The Cure
  4. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  5. “More Than a Feel” of Boston
  6. “Go This Way” by Aerosmith
  7. “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
  8. “Sweet Child o ‘Mine” by Guns N’ Roses
  9. “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf
  10. “Livin ‘on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Pop songs from the 90s and 00s

Next, let’s go back in time with the magic of music. There is no denying that the 1990s and 2000s were the golden years of pop. For this section of the evening, you can make your guests feel super nostalgic as they dance to some retro favorites.

  1. “Hot in Herre” by Nelly
  2. “Bye Bye Bye” from “NSNYC”
  3. “TiK ToK” by Kesha
  4. “Hey you!” by OutKast
  5. “All Star” from Smash Mouth
  6. “Thong Song” by Sisqó
  7. “Oops! … I’ve done it again ”by Britney Spears
  8. “Umbrella” by Rihanna
  9. “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child
  10. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani

Songs to sing along to

When the evening reaches its climax, your guests will be ready to bring out some tunes. It’s the perfect time to switch the music to the sing-along songs. We’re talking about tracks that everyone knows by heart. From “Sweet Caroline” to “Red Red Wine”, you can’t go wrong.

  1. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
  2. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey
  3. “Tubtumping” from Chumbawamba
  4. “Africa” ​​by Toto
  5. “Love Shack” from The B-52’s
  6. “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
  7. “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. “American Pie” by Don McLean
  9. “Red Red Wine” from UB40
  10. “New York, New York”, by Frank Sinatra

Romantic slow songs

Before the night is over, it’s time to cut things down a bit and get completely romantic. After all, this event is all about love. Of course, the following songs are ideal first dances, but you can also sprinkle them in your wedding playlist.

  1. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  2. “I don’t want to miss anything” by Aerosmith
  3. “You Are Beautiful” by James Blunt
  4. “Think Out” by Ed Sheeran
  5. “The Lady in Red” by Chris de Burgh
  6. “I can’t help but fall in love” by Elvis Presley
  7. “Your Song” by Elton John
  8. “You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain
  9. “Halo”, from Beyoncé
  10. “Let you feel my love” by Adele


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