Your wedding reception music can play a big part in how much your guests enjoy the reception.
Every song played brings on a unique emotion and memory for every person in the room and the mood of the room as a whole.
Some people may love a certain song whilst others might find it nostalgic.
Songs that are chosen during the reception can reflect your own style of music taste and the type of atmosphere you want to create – keeping in mind your guests may not have the same music tastes as you.
The right song selections will have your guests relaxed during the formalities and partying when it’s time to get their groove on.
First you have to decide if you are having live entertainment and/or a wedding DJ.
If you are having live entertainment during dinner, be it classical trios, acoustic guitar, piano etc you may want a DJ for the dancing part of your reception.
Alternatively, if the live entertainment is more of a party band, you may need some easy listening music for the formalities and during dinner.
Below is a general wedding reception timeline and how to match the right music to each wedding reception tradition.
It is entirely up to the Bride & Groom which traditions & styles of music they want to incorporate into their wedding.
Bridal Party Introduction
This works well as an upbeat styled song that people can clap & make some noise to as the Bridal Party enters the venue. The Bride and Groom can have their own song after the Bridal Party has been introduced. A slow song can make the entrance more elegant if timed right by the DJ & MC.
Dinner & Easy Listening Music
If there is a mixed generation of guests, all genres of easy listening music can work well during dinner. This list can include the favourite easy listening songs of the Bride and Groom also. Playing 3 songs from each genre is a good amount of songs to create an interesting mix for the guests. The same genre can get a little repetitive.
The cake cutting song can be a favourite of the Bride and Groom. A slow tempo, romantic song works well for this part of the reception. Songs that have sugar and sweet references have been popular at previous weddings.
First Dance / Bridal Waltz
The first dance is traditionally the most important song of your wedding reception.
This is the first dance of the newly married couple as husband and wife. You can learn a specific dance for this song be it a traditional waltz or the Bride & Groom’s favourite slow dance song.
If you are using live entertainment for your first dance, make sure you hear a recording of the song that way you know what to expect at your reception. Their version may sound a lot different to the original if it’s a cover.
The Father Daughter Dance and Mother Son Dance represent a dance with the Bride and her Father and Groom and his Mother. This can be made as a “parents of the bride and groom’s dance” or a dance with the Bride & Grooms representatives. 1 or 2 slow songs after the first dance works well before the party dancing songs.
A good DJ or Party band will keep a nice balance between tactful (not so cheesy) and fun songs to keep the dance floor moving. Considering only 20 to 25 songs are played per hour there is no need to supply a huge list of songs for your entertainment. It’s a good idea to give the entertainment a music song list of say 20 of your “must plays”, a few “play if you cans” and a few “do not play” songs.
If most of the guests are a similar age, music from their generation works well but if you have a large age range attending mixing up the music from all genres keeps everyone happy!
The longest married couple at the wedding reception can have their own special slow dance tribute.
This is great to recognise their length of marriage and an opportunity for another “romantic” slow dancefloor song.
Traditionally, the single and un-married ladies gather around as the Bouquet is tossed by the bride. Whoever catches the bouquet is the next in-line to get married. This can accompany a game of some sort where the winner is given the bouquet also.
Garter Removal & Toss
As the Garter is removed by the Groom, a sexy song can be played. This can also accompany a game of some sort where the winner receives the Garter.
Once the garter is removed it is tossed to the single and unmarried men and whoever catches it is traditionally the next in-line to get married.
Last Dancing Songs
These last couple of songs for the night should be a climax to a great celebration that everybody can dance to. Whether it’s a slow song or an upbeat song, these songs are what stick in peoples minds on their trip home.
Farewell Music for Circle
The farewell music can be 2 or 3 of the Bride and Grooms favourite songs (or more for a larger amount of guests). These are the songs played whilst the Bride and Groom farewell their guests via a circle or bridal archway (Made by the guests).
The Circle is a great way to say thank you to every guest that has attended your wedding and the Bridal Archway can be a quick and upbeat exit.
Whatever songs and genres you choose for your wedding reception, make sure they reflect your own style and at the same time will be appropriate for your guests to enjoy themselves.
For a list of the top wedding songs played at weddings plus useful resources for your wedding reception planning, make sure to check out Secret Wedding Songs and please keep DJ Goldbass in mind for your wedding dj entertainment.
Wishing you a great wedding day,
Goldbass DJ Entertainment