Struggling to put together your wedding playlist? We got you!
An average wedding reception will need about 120 minutes of music. That’s roughly 34 songs. So how do you choose? It’s easy to create a playlist for you and your significant other to enjoy. But for a wedding, you have your guests to think about. How can you make sure that everybody will have a good time?
CW Productions has been performing at weddings for over a decade and we’ve received every request there is to be made on the big day. And through the years, we’ve stumbled across music, songs, and entertainment options that work surprisingly well at receptions.
We’re arranging this list according to genre and also made a downloadable playlist so you can get a feel of the music choices as they’re played in a row. While it’s tempting to choose all of your reception songs from one decade, there’s a chance that doing so can feel repetitive. So we suggest that you listen to the songs we suggest and mix and match them for the night.
From Big Mountain’s Baby I Love Your Way to Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley & The Wailers, reggae music has a special way of making people feel good. With lyrics ranging from romantic to hopeful, they’re a real mood booster. And a great prelude to the party.
It’s rare that our band plays a reggae song and the guests don’t end up tapping their feet, clapping their hands, swaying to the melody, singing along, or all four! Moreover, reggae can also be a great choice for the bridal march at a beach wedding or the couple’s entrance into the reception venue.
Pop songs at weddings are a crowd-pleaser. Everybody knows the songs. Plus, you’ll never run out of choices! In fact, you can create an entire wedding playlist with just pop songs from different decades. Plus a pop playlist is great whether you’re hiring a cover band or just a DJ for the night.
Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling and Bruno Mars’s Uptown Funk are almost always requested. For good reason! And anything by Dua Lipa, of course. Here’s our Hybrid Band performing Don’t Start Now.
Dancing Queen, anyone? The ’70s was a great decade for ballads and dance hits so it’s no wonder that music from this era does so well at wedding receptions. Plus, these songs could be your parents’ jam. Funkytown by Lipps Inc. is a great song for the DJ to play while your live band takes a break. Also, Highway to Hell may not be your top choice for a wedding reception but believe us, it really gets the crowd going. Our favorites from this decade include:
- Love Will Keep Us Together – Captain & Tennille
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
- Take a Chance on Me – ABBA
- Highway to Hell – AC/DC
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
- Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye
- Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
- I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
Some argue that the 80s was a weird time but it was wild for sure. The decade was loud, proud, and had a little of everything: pop, rock, and of course, romantic ballads. Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper never fail to make guests get up from their seats. The decade also has a lot to offer for first dances. Our top picks for 80s first dance songs are:
- Eternal Flame – The Bangles
- Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes
- Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
- Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
There’s no shortage of rock from this era either. Take your pick from Journey, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and the list goes on.
Oldies is a pretty broad genre. A lot of millennials are shocked when a Backstreet Boys song is labeled as an oldie by someone from the younger generation. So to be clear, Oldies here refer to really old songs. The classics from the 50s and 60s. Think Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, The Ronettes, Paul Anka.
Our bands love playing the iconic songs from these decades because they are upbeat, beautifully worded, and elegant. Just like how you want a wedding party to be. If you’re choosing songs from this genre, don’t forget:
- Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
- Sugar, Sugar – The Archies
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- Moon River – Andy Williams
Romantic, powerful, and smooth. This genre spans many decades so there’s something for everybody. Imagine Dionne Warwick, John Legend, and Beyonce on the same playlist. A lot of R&B songs are great for slow dancing. And Say a Little Prayer for You is always fantastic to sing along to. Some of our favorite R&B slow jams include:
- By Your Side – Sade
- Stay with You – John Legend
- Sweet Love – Anita Baker
- At Last – Etta James
- Stand By Me – Ben E King
Close to the Oldies genre is Motown. The recording company produced hit after hit in the 1960s that it’s impossible to make a list of the classics without a Motown song in it. Funky, soulful, but also very pop, these songs truly are in a class of their own. And they are made for dancing, that’s for sure. These songs are also great entertainment as the guests eat their dinner:
- My Girl – The Temptations
- It Takes Two – Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston
- I’ll Be There – Jackson 5
- Endless Love – Lionel Richie & Diana Ross
- I’ll Always Love You – The Spinners
- Feeling Good – Nina Simone
- You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
- Something’s Got a Hold on Me – Etta James
Do you need help putting together the entertainment for your wedding? CW Productions is here for you! From choosing the right kind of musicians to picking the best songs for just about every part of your big day.
We’ve made magic happen in hundreds of weddings which you can read about here.
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