Top 60 Inappropriate Wedding Songs (Do Not Play)

Updated on February 2, 2022 | Written by Matthew Campbell (Editor of My Wedding Songs and wedding DJ)

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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.

songs not to play at weddings

Table of Contents:

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 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 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.
 

Inappropriate 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.

SongAmazon Link
I Hate Everything About You - Three Days Grace
2003, Rock
inappropriate meaning
All My Ex’s Live In Texas - George Strait
1987, Country
inappropriate meaning
Back To You - Selena Gomez
2018, Pop
Break-up song
Be Alright - Dean Lewis
2018, Pop
Break-up song
Better - Parachute
2019, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Better Man - Little Big Town
2016, Country
inappropriate meaning
Break Up In The End - Cole Swindell
2018, Country
Song Subject
Break Up With Him - Old Dominion
2015, Country
inappropriate meaning
D-I-V-O-R-C-E - Tammy Wynette
1975, Country
inappropriate meaning
Dancing with a Stranger - Sam Smith & Normani
2019, Dance
Break-up song
Don't Marry Her- The Beautiful South
1996, Pop
inappropriate meaning
drivers license - Olivia Rodrigo
2021, Pop
Break-up song
Drunk On A Plane - Dierks Bentley
2014, Country
inappropriate meaning
Every Breath You Take - The Police
1983, Rock
About stalking
Everything About You - Ugly Kid Joe
1992, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift feat. Ed Sheeran
2012, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Fake Love - Drake
2016, Hip Hop
inappropriate meaning
Gold Digger - Kanye West
2005, Hip Hop
inappropriate meaning
Gone 2 Long - PRETTYMUCH
2019, Pop
Break-up song
Grenade - Bruno Mars
2010, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Guys My Age - Hey Violet
2016, Pop
inappropriate meaning
He Went to Jared - HIXTAPE, HARDY & Morgan Wallen
2019, Country
inappropriate meaning
Hello - Adele
2015, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Highway To Hell - AC/DC
1979, Rock
inappropriate meaning
i love you - Billie Eilish
2019, Alternative Rock
Break-up song
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2
1987, Rock
inappropriate meaning
I Touch Myself - Divinyls
1990, Pop
Suggestive
If I Didn't Love You - Jason Aldean & Carrie Underwood
2021, Country
inappropriate meaning
If You Met Me First - Eric Ethridge
2018, Country
inappropriate meaning
In The End - Linkin Park
2001, Rock
inappropriate meaning
It Wasn’t Me - Shaggy
2000, Reggae
inappropriate meaning
Just A Gigolo - David Lee Roth
1985, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Let It Go - James Bay
2014, Alternative Rock
Break-up Song
Love Hurts - Nazareth
1960, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Love Stinks - J. Geils Band
1980, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
1980, Punk
inappropriate meaning
Love Yourself - Justin Bieber
2015, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Lyin’ Eyes - Eagles
1975, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Marry Me - Thomas Rhett
2017, Country
inappropriate meaning
Meant To Be - Ber & Charlie Oriain
2021, Indie
inappropriate meaning
Mother-In-Law - Ernie K-Doe
1961, R&B
inappropriate meaning
My Best Friend’s Girl - The Cars
1978, Rock
inappropriate meaning
My Humps - Black Eyed Peas
2005, Dance
Break-up song
Naked - James Arthur
2017, Pop
Break-up Song
Never Really Over - Katy Perry
2019, Pop
Break-up song
Nights Like This - Kehlani feat. Ty Dolla $ign
2019, R&B
Break-up song
Out Of Love - Alessia Cara
2018, Pop
Break-up song
Reason to Drink - Cole Swindell
2018, Country
Song Subject
She Hates Me - Puddle Of Mudd
2001, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
1982, Punk
inappropriate meaning
Shout Out To My Ex - Little Mix
2016, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Since U Been Gone - Kelly Clarkson
2004, Pop
Break-up song
Singles You Up - Jordan Davis
2018, Country
Song Subject
Somebody’s Watching Me - Rockwell
1984, Funk
About stalking
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
1968, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
1981, New Wave
inappropriate meaning
The End - Doors
1967, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Til It Wasn't - Chris Ruediger
2021, Country
Break-up song
To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before - Julio Iglesias with Willie Nelson
1984, Country Pop
inappropriate meaning
Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes
2016, Pop
inappropriate meaning
What’s a Man to Do - Usher
2008, R&B
inappropriate meaning
When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars
2002, Pop
inappropriate meaning
Who’s Making Love - Blues Brothers
1980, Rock
inappropriate meaning
Why Don’t We Get Drunk - Jimmy Buffett
1973, Country
inappropriate meaning
Why Won't You Love Me - 5 Seconds Of Summer
2018, Pop
Break-up song
You Can’t Always Get What You Want - The Rolling Stones
1969, Rock
inappropriate meaning
You Give Love A Bad Name - Bon Jovi
1986, Rock
inappropriate meaning
You’re So Vain - Carly Simon
1972, Rock
inappropriate meaning

 

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 an old love. 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 line dance songs, then put them 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 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. Try 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:

Don’t Have An Empty Dance Floor!

About Matthew Campbell

Wedding Music Expert

Matthew (Matt) Campbell is the founder & editor of My Wedding Songs. He is a veteran wedding DJ and knows the latest music trends to help you pick your wedding songs quickly. His articles will help you find the bangers and romance for your ceremony and party or earbud happiness. He hosts the Wedding Songs Podcast and is the author of the Wedding Music Playlist. Matthew lives in Las Vegas, NV, and loves traveling with his wife in his spare time. Read Full Bio.

35 Comments

  1. Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People should NOT be played. It’s about a school shooting.

  2. Additional ones to exclude at a wedding are Sam Smith’s ‘Too Good at Goodbyes’ (breakup song), Adele’s ‘Someone like you’ (also a breakup song), ‘Rolling in the Deep’ (inappropriate meaning) and, despite its catchy melody, Krewella’s ‘Live for the Nights’ (explicit lyrics; not sure if a radio version exists).

  3. I’d also inlude Adele’s ‘Hello’ (breakup song) and ‘Send my love (to your new lover’ (inappropriate meaning).

  4. Despite its catchy tune, ‘Run to You’ by Bryan Adams should be a definite do-not-play. It’s about an affair which would seem to fit the bill for exclusion.

  5. ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ and ‘Dance (While the music still goes on)’ by ABBA are 2 definite exclusions. They are serious breakup songs.

  6. I’d add Ed Sheeran’s ‘The Shape of you’ to this list. It’s overplayed and the chorus is distinctly creepy, almost to the extent of stalking-like.

    1. Thanks for the comment Anonin. However, you are mentioning a very popular song that has a few very good dance remixes too. Maybe others can offer their opinion.

  7. “They Call Her Easy” by Harry Chapin. A woman has relations with a man and doesn’t even charge him for it.

    1. Thank you Keath for the suggestion. Yes, the Chapin song should definitely not be on any wedding playlist.

  8. ‘White Wedding’ – Billy Idol
    Any song about addiction or recovery
    Any song about the worlds oldest profession
    Any song about the worlds second oldest profession
    Any song about crime
    Any song about incarceration
    Any song about con artistry or swindling

    1. Hi Nix. Thanks for the suggestion. Jessie’s Girl does fall into the category of a song that does not have a good song meaning but everyone loves to sing and dance to the song.

  9. If you leave me now by Chicago, Without You-Nilsson (Covered by Mariah Carey), All By Myself -Eric Carmen (Covered by Celine Dion), Torn Between Two Lovers (can’t remember who sings it). All inappropriate for weddings

  10. Here is a song you don’t want played at a wedding:
    Breaking up is hard to do by Neil Sedaka

  11. Here are some do not play songs for weddings:

    You Don’t Love Me Anymore-Weird “Al” Yankovic 1992
    Here’s A Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares-Travis Tritt 1991
    Tell Laura I Love Her-Ray Peterson 1960
    Running Bear-Johnny Preston 1960

  12. you forgot whats a man to do by usher
    its about a guy who can’t bring himself to admit that he has been cheating and is in love with two women

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