wedding dinner music cocktail hour songs

Wedding Dinner Music & Cocktail Hour Songs


Wedding background dinner music sets the tone for the entire reception. It can be played as early as when the guests arrive at the reception. Many times the wedding party is busy with the photographer at this point, anyway.

When Do You Play Wedding Dinner Music?

Play dinner music in the background as early as the cocktail hour and right up until the couple’s first dance. You can choose to have a cocktail hour before dinner or skip it. You may even want to change the vibe of the music for cocktail hour and calm it down for dinner.

Background dinner music continues until the end of the main course at a wedding reception. Depending on the chain of events selected by the wedding couple, background dinner music usually plays for about an hour and a half. Need help with the order of events? View our common format of a wedding reception article.

wedding dinner music cocktail hour songs


Table of Contents:

The Best Background Songs to Play?

What vibe do you prefer while you’re eating? Something fast or something relaxed? Do you want to honor a genre or a memory? We want to know your favorites, too. What dinner background or cocktail hour songs should we add to our list?

Dinner & Cocktail background music song list curated by Matthew Campbell
Last Updated: June 29, 2021

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SongAmazon Link
Adam Doleac
Puzzle Of Us
2019, Country
Aexcit & HILLA
Dancing In The Moonlight
2020, EDM
AJ Mitchell feat. Ava Max
Slow Dance
2019, Pop
Andrea Bocelli & Matteo Bocelli
Fall On Me
2018, Classical
Andy Grammer with Elle King
Best of You
2020, Pop
Angelina Jordan
Bohemian Rhapsody
2020, Pop
Antoine Dunn
I’m Yours
2020, Pop
All Roads
2021, Rock
I Do
2018, Pop
Backstreet Boys
I Want It That Way
1999, Pop
Barry Gibb feat. Little Big Town & Tommy Emmanuel
How Deep Is Your Love
2021, Pop
Betsy Phillips
Someone Like You
2019, Pop
Bill Withers
Lovely Day
1977, R&B
Blake Shelton feat. Gwen Stefani
Happy Anywhere
2020, Country
Bobby Watson
Someone to Give It To
2019, Country
Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic
Leave the Door Open
2021, R&B
Bruno Mars
Just The Way You Are
2010, Pop
Love You Madly
2001, Rock
Caleb and Kelsey
From the Ground Up
2019, Country
Calvin Richardson
Ain’t Nothin Like The One I’ve Got
2019, R&B
1996, Pop
Chainsmokers & Coldplay
Something Just Like This
2017, Dance
Charlie Wilson
One I Got
2020, R&B
Darius Rucker
My Masterpiece
2021, Country
Dave Barnes
Love Somebody (Josh Kerr Remix)
2020, Pop
Devin Dawson
Whatever Forever Is
2021, Country
DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne
I’m the One
2017, Hip Hop
Drew Holcomb & Ellie Holcomb
2019, Pop
Dylan Rockoff with Caroline Kole
You're the One That I Want
2019, Pop
Ed Sheeran
Kiss Me
2011, Pop
Eric Roberson
Already Knew You
2020, R&B
Harry Styles
Adore You
2019, Pop
Hunter Metts
20,000 Kisses
Imaginary Future
Here Comes the Sun
2017, Indie
Jackson 5
1970, R&B
Jake Owen
Anywhere With You
2011, Country
Jason Derulo
Marry Me
2013, Pop
Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
2008, Pop
Jason Mraz
Have It All
2018, Pop
Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra & Haley Reinhart
My Baby Just Cares For Me
2018, Jazz
Jeremy Loops
'Til I Found You
2020, Indie
Jess Glynne
I’ll Be There
2018, Pop
Joey Stamper
The Way You Look Tonight
2020, Pop
John Legend x BloodPop®
A Good Night
2018, R&B
John Mayer
New Light
2018, Pop
Justin Bieber
2021, Pop
Kane Brown
Live Forever
2018, Country
Lie To Me
2020, R&B
Kina Grannis
Can’t Help Falling in Love
2018, Pop
King Calaway
World For Two
2019. Country
King Harvest
Dancing in the Moonlight
1972, Rock
2021, Pop
Lamone, Najee
You Complete Me
2021, R&B
Larry Graham
When We Get Married
1980, Pop
Lauryn Hill
Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
1998, R&B
Leon Bridges
Coming Home
2015, R&B
Leslie Odom, Jr
u r my everything
2019, Pop
Lost on You
2017, Rock
Lucas Estrada & AJ Salvatore
Kiss Me
2020, EDM
Lukas Graham
Love Someone
2018, Pop
Majid Jordan
Waves of Blue
2021, R&B
Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr.
Silly Love Songs
2021, R&B
Let Me Love You
2004, R&B
Matt White
2013, Pop Rock
Mike Todd
Right Here
2021, R&B
Miranda Lambert feat. Maren Morris, Elle King, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes & Caylee Hammack
Fooled Around and Fell in Love
2019, Country
Morgan Evans
Love Is Real
2021, Country
Music Travel Love
When You Say Nothing at All
2019, Pop
Nao feat. Adekunle Gold
2021, R&B
Natalie Cole
This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)
1974, R&B
Another Love Song
2017, R&B
Parmalee & Blanco Brown
Just the Way
2019, Country
Phil Soda and GoodLuck
2020, EDM
Pj Morton
How Deep Is Your Love
2017, R&B
Plain White T’s
2008, Pop
Post Malone
Only Wanna Be With You (Pokémon 25 Version)
2021, Pop
1986, Pop
Randy Travis
Forever And Ever, Amen
1987, Country
Robin Thicke
Lucky Star
2021, R&B
Love Somebody
2020, R&B
Sam Outlaw & Sarah Darling
Forever and Always
2019, Country
Secondhand Serenade
Fall For You
2008, Rock
Shaggy feat. Rayvon
2000, Pop
Taylor Swift
Love Story
2008, Pop Country
Tenille Townes feat. Keelan Donovan
The Way You Look Tonight
2020, Country
The Bellas
Love On Top
2020, Pop
The Isley Brothers
Friends & Family
2021, R&B
The Swon Brothers
Best of the Best
2020, Country
The Weeknd feat. Kenny G
In Your Eyes (Remix)
2020, R&B Jazz
This Wild Life
You Changed Everything
2019, Indie
Thompson Square
Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not
2011, Country
Tiana Major9
2020, R&B
twenty one pilots
2021, R&B
Tyler Rich
Real Love
2020, Country
Us The Duo
There Is Only One You
2020, Folk Pop
Vance Joy
Missing Piece
2021, Indie
Wayne Brady feat. Cat Gray
Flirtin' w / Forever
2019, R&B
Wilder Woods
heavenly light (work tape)
2021, Folk
Yann Muller
Just the Two of Us
2019, Just the Two of Us
Zita feat. Jonah Baker
Watermelon Sugar
2020, Pop

Please comment on the songs below. We read and respond to all the suggestions.

Similar song lists for further reading:

How Much Dinner Music Does a Wedding Reception Need?

That is a great question. The short answer is that it depends. This is why, as a wedding couple, you should have a conversation with your wedding planner and the DJ.

If the wedding dinner is a formal, sit-down dinner with courses, you may need at least an hour. Add another half hour for pre-dinner cocktails. Your wedding planner will help you decide when the dinner music should end.

“But in a restaurant, you want to have peaks and valleys that reflect the average time that a guest dines—every 2 1/2 to 3 hours you want to turn that energy up.” Charlie Reyes

A black-tie event will have different background music than a backyard cookout. Music outdoors can be louder because the sound will escape the area. Your professional DJ should be given a tour of the dinner space so they can properly place speakers and play the correct volume.


Background Music Isn’t Dance Music

We know that “Baby Got Back” brings back some great memories, but your wedding guests are trying to eat. You know Aunt Margaret is going to get up and start dancing in the middle of the courses if you play that song. Don’t let her embarrass herself — at least yet.

“Never waste a good party song on your cocktail hour. Save those crowd-pleasers for later.” Wedding Shoppe, Inc.

Think about dinner music as background music — music barely noticed. It sets the tone for the evening. It allows people to have conversations. It’s not the dominant sound. It’s in the back of the noise.

Dinner Music & Cocktail Hour Ideas

One way to choose the wedding dinner music is to honor a relative that has passed. You can do this by including their favorite genre or song. It’s a gentle nod and not a distraction.

Some sites say never to play Michael Bublé, we’re not going that route. Choose what makes you feel comfortable. Better yet, have a conversation with your wedding planner and professional DJ. Professional DJs are music historians; they choose music to set the tone.

“Start low. As the place fills, keep turning it up. Volume should be loud enough that you can have a conversation with your friends next to you, but not able to fully listen in on a conversation the next table over.” Rogan Howitt

We could literally list millions of songs in all different music styles. That’s impossible. We will guide you through a mixture of old and new songs in a few music styles. Know your guests and their music likes. Stick to your wedding’s theme, too.


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2 responses to “Top Dinner Music That Will Set The Tone For Your Wedding”

  1. Matthew Campbell says:

    Thanks Robert for stopping by and checking out our site.

  2. Robert Miskey says:

    Hi, music plays an important role in dinner and cocktail party. It helps to create a different environment. Thank you for sharing it.

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