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Selecting The Right Music For Your Wedding Reception

(Nicole Nero Studio)

by Lisa Beth Miller

The wedding reception is a time to celebrate! The right music choices are very important if you want guests of all ages to relax and have a wonderful time. While it may be tempting to just create a playlist using your own iPod’s lists, don’t. You must consider your audience and welcome them into your fabulous fete by playing the music they recognize and love.

One recent trend is to allow guests to request one favorite dance song on their reply cards. This is an easy way to figure out what might get your crowd moving (or at least keep them in a good mood).

Another option is to select key songs for your reception and just trust your band or DJ to make the rest of the selections. If you hired an experienced, trained professional, this should absolutely not be a problem!

If you needed to cut corners and perhaps hired a friend or other non-professional to DJ, however, you need to have a bit more control of your playlist.

Here are some of the key reception moments for which you will need to select special songs.

I have listed a few of my personal suggestions, but, of course, you should personalize these choices to suit your specific tastes!

First dance: The bride and groom’s first public dance.
You can’t go wrong with: “Always and Forever” by Luther Vandross.

Cake cutting: Everyone loves dessert; set the tone with a fun song.
You can’t go wrong with: “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard or “Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani.

Mother/son dance: The groom dances with his mother. Obviously, this one should be based upon her taste in music.
You can’t go wrong with: “A Song For Mama” by Boys II Men.

Father/daughter dance: The bride dances with her father. This selection should also be based upon musical tastes or message.
You can’t go wrong with: “My Girl” by The Temptations.

Anniversary dance: It is trendy now to invite married couples to enjoy a dance that celebrates their long-lasting union.
You can’t go wrong with: “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler.

Bouquet toss: A fun song is needed here to encourage the unmarried female guests to participate in this fun tradition.
You can’t go wrong with: “Single Ladies” by Beyonce.

Garter toss: The song needed here needs to be one that will inspire the single men to join in the garter catching festivities.
You can’t go wrong with: “Whatta Man” by Salt n Pepa.

Last dance: You could take this one in many different directions. One option is a final, emotional slow song to send guests on their way. Another idea is to be playful and select a song that brings closure to the festivities by indicating that it is time to go.
You can’t go wrong with: “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day.


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