Blogging over 5 years ago by Liz Adams

What Are Your Favorite Wedding Songs?

Hi everyone! Carolyn here, back with another post about wedding planning (that above photo is from Liz’s gorgeous Chicago celebration, which you can see more of here). I’m just over four months away from my September 20 affair, which is honestly CRAZY. I feel like we got engaged last week! I’m still feeling relatively cool, calm, and collected about the whole planning process, and I think we are on track—all the major vendors are booked, I checked in on my dress recently, and we should be sending out our formal invitations shortly (we are using Chicago-based designer Allie Hasson, who is beyond amazing).

However, one element we are still trying to nail down is the music—undoubtedly one of the most important parts of any wedding, no? Based on previous celebrations I’m pretty certain my family and friends will be on the dancefloor all night, but I want to make sure we provide the ultimate party atmosphere. I recently crowdsourced wedding song suggestions via Instagram and got a couple of requests to share the final list of songs, so here you have it: the top ten songs to play at your wedding reception, cocktail hour, and while getting ready with your bridesmaids: 

Top Ten Songs for Your Wedding Reception

Uptown Funk • Mark Ronson + Bruno Mars 
I Wanna Dance with Somebody • Whitney Houston
Shout, Pts. 1 and 2 • The Isley Brothers 
Don’t Stop Believin’ • Journey
Shut Up and Dance • WALK THE MOON
Dancing Queen • ABBA 
September • Earth, Wind, and Fire 
Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) • Stevie Wonder 
Despacito • Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber
Twist and Shout • The Beatles

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here

Top Ten Songs for Your Wedding Cocktail Hour

La Vie en Rose • Louis Armstrong 
You Send Me • Aretha Franklin
Crazy Love • Van Morrison 
Can’t Help Falling in Love • Elvis Presley
Bones • Michael Kiwanuka
Coming Home • Leon Bridges 
Real Love Baby • Father John Misty 
(What A) Wonderful World • Sam Cooke 
Baby, I’m Yours • Arctic Monkeys
Let’s Stay Together • Al Green

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here

Top Ten Songs for Getting Ready with Your Bridesmaids

Love on Top • Beyoncé 
B-A-B-Y • Carla Thomas
I Say a Little Prayer • Aretha Franklin
Valerie • Amy Winehouse
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) • Natalie Cole
Little of Your Love • HAIM 
I’ll Take You There • The Staple Singers 
Give a Little • Maggie Rogers 
I’ll Be There • Jess Glynne
Best of My Love • The Emotions

Listen to the playlist on Spotify here

Any favorite songs from your own weddings/weddings you’ve been to that I missed adding to the list? I’m keeping our first dance song and my father-daughter dance song a secret, but I would love to hear what you chose! 🙂 

Leave all your song suggestions below in the comments!

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  1. I was just making notes on songs for my wedding this morning when this hit my inbox!! So many great ideas 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  2. Father/Daughter dance we did Frank Sinatra – the way you look tonight (Love father of the bride movie). Me and my husbands first dance was to Thomas Rhett “Die a happy man.” Your playlists are great! All upbeat music and a few slow songs and it will be great!

  3. We asked our married wedding guests prior to our big day what their wedding songs were and played them during dinner! At a time during the reception when things tend to quiet down a bit I think people really loved hearing their song again and getting up and dancing.

    1. This is one of the best ideas I’ve heard!! Writing this down for future reference, thank you!

  4. Loving Maren Morris The Bones for a first dance song. Such a great message. If I were getting married all over again I’d pick that song <3

  5. Wedding coordinator here and I happened to see this while I wrap up at my desk before heading home haha!

    September by Earth, Wind and Fire
    Billie Jean
    I Wanna Dance With Somebody
    Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls
    Sweet Caroline (we live in Boston but got married in Charleston, so this was a perfect last song)

    1. I trust your advice then!! Love Sweet Caroline for obvious reasons, 😉 and your other suggestions are so great, too! Thank you!

    1. ” We are family” ” String of pearls” for the older set, or anyone that likes Big Band music, “From this moment” for a great slow dance along with Etta James..”At last” ( my personal official dance with my husband)

  6. These are all fantastic songs! Your special day us getting so close! So glad to hear all is running smoothly for you!

  7. We put a “Song Request” line on the RSVP return card with our invitations. It was so fun having each of our guest request a song and to see how it fit with their personalities! Plus since we had a large wedding full of a lot of family and friends we had a diverse list of songs and could arrange them perfectly from cocktail hour to slow dances to some fun DJ pop music.
    Bruno Mars- I Think I Want to Marry You
    Run DMC- Tricky

  8. Such a good post – wish I had this during wedding planning. Music is definitely a tricky part of planning! Here are some that we used for our cocktail hour and fillers to the ceremony before official music started!

    I Like You – Ben Rector
    Better Together – Jack Johnson
    Flowers in Your Hair – The Lumineers
    Old Pine – Ben Howard
    Sweetest Thing – Allman Brown
    Do You Remember – Jack Johnson
    I Was Made For Loving You – Tori Kelly & Ed Sheeran
    Only Love – Ben Howard
    Wildflowers – Tom Petty

    Happy Wedding Planning!

  9. I was at a wedding this weekend and LOVED the following songs/ these were the ones that really got everyone riled up in the most wonderful way:

    – Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (Couple’s first dance, EVERYONE literally scream sang the second verse and it was just an amazing energy!!)
    – My Funny Valentine (father daughter dance/ bride born on valentines day!)

    Fun Dance Songs:
    – Wannabe (Spice Girls)
    – Staying Alive (The BeeGees)
    – Uptown Girl (Billy Joel- but really anything by him is great!)
    – Time of my Life (dirty dancing movie)

  10. This list helped me so much! I’ve been slowly creating my playlists & suggestions for our band. Thanks Carolyn & Liz!