60 Songs Not To Play At A Wedding
Weddings are a time for a celebration of love. There are songs to avoid at your reception. Irony aside, no one will get your inside joke. Avoiding songs is smart for a lot of reasons. You don’t want to play “your song” from another relationship, a song that talks about cheating or a breakup, or songs that contain explicit lyrics.
Weddings are a time to celebrate the marriage of two people in love with one another. Wedding music sets the mood for the wedding ceremony and wedding reception. Not every song is appropriate for a wedding ceremony and reception.
What Songs Should I Avoid At My Wedding?
Be sure the music selected fits the theme and style of the wedding and reception. Classical background music would not be appropriate for a country-themed reception. If at all possible, we recommend having the widest range of music types as possible. This will keep the majority of the guests happy. Music entertainers must be given as much leeway on music selections for the dancing portion of the wedding reception. This is their specialty – to get guests dancing!
- Do not play music with explicit lyrics. We do not list any songs below in this category as this is self-explanatory. Be sure your music entertainer has the radio version of all songs played at your wedding.
- Do not play songs that pertain to death or reference suicide. Songs in this category include “Don’t Close Your Eyes” by Kix and “Jumper” by Third Eye Blind.
- Do not play the music that is suggestive or offensive. David Lee Roth’s cover of “Just A Gigolo” is a great song for the garter removal or garter placement. However, is this song really appropriate for a wedding? We’re saying no. Other song considerations with inappropriate meaning include “Love Stinks” by J Geils Band, “Mother-In-Law” by Ernie K-Doe, and “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
- Songs that refer to the stressful wedding planning process. A Song example is “I’m In A Hurry (And Don’t Know Why)” by Alabama.
- Please add stalking songs to your do not playlist. Song examples include the Police’s “Every Breath You Take” and “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell.
- Songs played that have extended playing time. The average song length is about 3 1/2 minutes. Extended length songs include “American Pie” by Don McLean and “Paradise By The Dashboard Light “by Meat Loaf.
Create a Do Not Play List for Your Reception
Creating a “Do Not Play List” for your wedding reception is key — especially if you’re DIYing your wedding. Professional DJs and wedding planners may know these song pitfalls already. However, if there are songs that bring up bad memories, be sure to compile that list as well.
What songs should you avoid personally? Songs to include would be “our song” from a previous marriage or relationship. The last thing you want to do is think about that person or remind your new spouse of old loves. Don’t forget favorite songs from close relatives who have passed. Unless you intentionally want to honor that person, this will definitely hit home on an already emotional day. If your family is especially religious, you may want to avoid songs that are sexually explicit.
Any songs that you — like a wedding couple — come up with will help your entertainer decide their playlist. If you do not want hokey group dance songs, then put it on the list. Explicit instructions are needed for your favorite type of music. With that said, your DJ’s job is to keep the dance floor full with your wedding guests.
Should We Include Group Dance Songs At Our Wedding?
Group dance songs are good for single people at your wedding or the mismatched couples. (If your aunt can’t dance with her husband, she’ll bug all of the cute guys at the wedding.) We know some people do not like such dances as they consider them goofy and/or well overplayed at wedding receptions. We get it. Some of the group songs are so lame. Your DJ won’t know this. It’s up to you, as the wedding couple, to let him know.
Popular group dance songs played at many wedding receptions include the “Macarena” by Los Del Rio, the “Chicken Dance,” and the “Hokey Pokey.” If you’d rather not do the electric slide one more time, then add group songs to your do not playlist. If you’d rather pass, then add them to the songs to avoid the list.
Do We Need A Dollar Dance At Our Wedding?
Like most traditions surrounding a wedding, it’s up to the wedding couple. For those not used to the culture behind it, they feel the money/dollar dance is inappropriate. Asking for money in the dollar dance can appear distasteful or greedy — especially since guests are expected to bring presents.
You can switch it up, though. The Knot suggests using flower petals, fake money, or — better yet — well wishes. You can do this with same-sex weddings as well. Like any detail at your wedding reception, talk to your wedding coordinator and professional DJ. Depending upon the theme the song choice could be really fun.
Similar song lists for further reading:
Songs To Add To Your DO NOT PLAY List
We provide the songs to avoid at your wedding as a guide. Even though many of the songs to avoid are popular, our experience says it’s not worth it. So, talk to your wedding planner and DJ and, as always, use your best judgment. Your wedding should be remembered for the right reasons, not the faux pas.
This “Songs Not To Play At Weddings” list is curated by Matthew Campbell
Last Updated: November 9, 2020
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