62 of the Best Wedding Reception Songs To Add to Your Playlist

You can spend hours pouring over table centerpieces, try hundreds of wedding cake samples, and do everything in your power to perfect your reception — but one of the most important (and often overlooked!) aspects is the music. The mix of wedding songs you choose sets the mood for the entire night! Whether you’re hiring a DJ, band, or DIYing the tunes for your reception, we’re here to help with a few things to keep in mind. We’ve also gathered some of the most loved wedding reception songs that you should consider adding to your wedding playlist!

via Bright Bird Photography

First Thing’s First — The Method

If you haven’t already decided how you’re going to play music at your reception, it’s good to understand your options.


This option is obviously the cheapest — but while you may end up saving money, you still have to invest a lot of your time. Building your own wedding playlist is best reserved for those who aren’t that concerned about the dancing portion of the reception. You have other priorities, and that’s fine. A few things to ensure if you opt for this route:

  • Speakers: Get them or make sure the venue has them, test their sound, and whether or not they’re compatible with the device you’ll be playing the music off of.
  • Devices: Yes, plural. Have a backup!
  • Playlist: Split the evening up into different playlists, or ensure that you have enough songs for different segments (guest arrival, dinner, etc). In addition to having a backup device, share the playlist with someone who has the same streaming service or music player as you.
  • Appointed DJ: Whether it’s someone in the bridal party or a family member, designate a person or persons to keep an eye (or ear, ha!) on the music throughout the night. When it comes time for things like the first dance, they’ll need to be on standby ready to hit play.


Hiring a DJ allows for a lot of flexibility. This is a great option for couples who want to dance the night away, or those who aren’t particularly knowledgeable about music. DJs have extremely vast libraries, and they can offer suggestions or even craft an entire playlist for you. They’ll typically follow whatever schedule you like, meaning you don’t have to worry about quickly switching music when it’s time for something. They’re also knowledgable about technical things like lighting, speakers, etc.

SEE MORE: DJs Share Their Favorite Processional and Recessional Songs


A live band is another flexible option, but in a different way than DJs. Bands are able to alter the technical aspects of a song —vamp, pitch, tempo — and even switch out lyrics. However, it’s their lineup that’s usually more limited than that of a DJ’s. If you have a ton of songs that have to be played at the reception, a band probably isn’t right for you.

The Appointed Wedding Songs

You of course aren’t required to incorporate all of the following wedding traditions, but if you’re planning to, you’ll want to pick out wedding songs for each ahead of time.

via Elisha Braithwaite Photography

The Big Playlist

If you’re self-DJing, this will act as the music for the entire night. If you have a DJ or band, you’ll likely provide a list of suggestions ahead of time. Depending on who you’re working with, they may not accommodate all of your requests, but they should definitely be able to play your must-haves. Here’s what to keep in mind when picking them!

Keep it Moving

In other words, you should have more fast, upbeat songs than slow ones.

Mix it Up

You can request Top 40 songs (and you definitely should!) — just don’t only request Top 40 songs. The same goes for other genres.

Embrace the Hits

On that note, don’t completely discount Top 40 songs. They’re hits for a reason! Whether it’s Pharrell’s “Happy” or “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, it’s good to include feel-good songs that everyone knows.

via Looking Glass Photography

If You’re Going to Include Line Dances, Start with Them

The Electric Slide and Cupid Shuffle are good icebreakers, so do them sooner rather than later. They’ll get people out on the dance floor!

Consult with Others

Talk to the bridal party, groomsmen, family members, and anyone whose opinion you care about. This also includes your DJ or band — make sure they understand your taste.

Make a Do-Not Playlist, Too

Nothing puts a damper on your wedding night like hearing a song you absolutely hate, or — god forbid — one that reminds you of an ex. Here’s a list of the most hated wedding songs for inspiration.


Most Requested of All Time


Listen to the Complete Playlist

SEE MORE: These are the Most Popular Wedding Songs By State

via CR Photography


SEE MORE: 15 Classic Country Love Songs That Are Perfect for Your Wedding

Guaranteed to Get Guests Dancing

SEE MORE: The Best 80’s Wedding Songs You Can Dance To

via Adria Lea Photography

Slowing Things Down

SEE MORE: 10 Best Movie Love Songs for Your Processional

Just Because

No matter which wedding songs you choose, think about what you AND guests will love, and you’ll keep everybody on the dance floor.

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