Wedding Dinner Music Ideas for A Night To Remember

Wedding background music sets the tone for the entire reception from the time guest line up for the buffet (or order their meal) until the dinner is complete.

Once the doors open and guests arrive at the reception – this would be more of the cocktail hour time. It is typically more upbeat. 

wedding dinner music ideas

Quick Tips

Selecting the right background music for you and your guests:

1. Find out what genres of music guests like by watching their reactions to songs.
2. Get an overview of the ages of guests and know what eras have them grooving to.
3. Get guests in the mood for fun and romance. Don’t bore them!

As an experienced wedding DJ, I’ve assembled a list of songs for the first dance. Songs are selected by the meaning of the song and popular hits by today’s couples. Besides new and trending, additional lists are grouped by genre to match your taste in music.

New Dinner Songs

  1. “A Night To Remember” by beabadoobee, Laufey (Jazz – 2023)
  2. “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” by Jason Morales (R&B 2023)
  3. “Drift Away” by Jac Ross (R&B – 2023)
  4. “Loving You” by Cannons (Alternative – 2023)
  5. “Can’t Go” by Dinner Party, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington (R&B – 2023)
  6. “Summer Baby” by Jonas Brothers (Pop – 2023)
  7. “Fast Car” by Luke Combs (Country – 2023)
  8. “Calm Down” by Rema & Selena Gomez (Afrobeats – 2023)
  9. “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus (Pop – 2023)
  10. “A Feeling So Beautiful” by Hil St. Soul (R&B – 2022)

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 songs should we add to our list?

Dinner Songs By Genre

Acoustic Covers

  1. Watermelon Sugar (Acoustic) – Jonah Baker
  2. You’re Still The One – Teddy Swims
  3. Stay With Me – Hannah Trigwell
  4. Stuck on You – Dave Fenley
  5. Stand By Me (Acoustic) – Matt Johnson
  6. Cheerleader – Pentatonix
  7. Nothing Compares 2 U – Chris Cornell
  8. When You Say Nothing at All – Music Travel Love
  9. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Kina Grannis
  10. You’re the One That I Want – Dylan Rockoff with Caroline Kole

R&B

  1. This Is – Ella Mai
  2. IT’S YOU – MAX, keshi
  3. Penny Lover – Lionel Richie
  4. In Your Eyes (Remix) – The Weeknd, Kenny G
  5. Ain’t Nothin Like The One I’ve Got – Calvin Richardson
  6. How Deep Is Your Love – PJ Morton
  7. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
  8. Leave The Door Open – Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak, Silk Sonic
  9. Waterfalls – TLC
  10. With You – Chris Brown
  11. So In Love – Jill Scott, Anthony Hamilton
  12. It’s Alright – Chanté Moore
  13. Let Me Love You – Mario
  14. Coming Home – Leon Bridges
  15. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
  16. That’s The Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
  17. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  18. Better – Khalid

Jazz

  1. Valerie (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge) – Amy Winehouse
  2. I Get A Kick Out Of You – Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga
  3. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  4. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra & Count Basie & His Orchestra
  5. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  6. Crazy Love – Michael Bublé
  7. A Wink and a Smile – Harry Connick Jr.
  8. Sunrise – Norah Jones

Pop

  1. Woke Up in Love (Acoustic) – Kygo, Gryffin, Calum Scott
  2. Until I Found You – Stephen Sanchez, Em Beihold
  3. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor
  4. Everywhere – Niall Horan & Anne-Marie
  5. Stuck with U – Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber
  6. Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey
  7. I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
  8. This Town – Niall Horan
  9. Sunflower – Post Malone & Swae Lee
  10. Fresh Eyes – Andy Grammer
  11. Señorita – Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
  12. Kiss On My List – Daryl Hall & John Oates
  13. Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
  14. Love On The Brain – Rihanna
  15. We Don’t Talk About Bruno – Carolina Gaitán

Country

  1. Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not – Thompson Square
  2. Family Table – Zac Brown Band
  3. All On Me – Devin Dawson
  4. Yeah Boy – Kelsea Ballerini
  5. Play It Again – Luke Bryan
  6. GOOD TIME – Niko Moon
  7. You – Chris Young
  8. King Of The Road – Roger Miller
  9. Meant to Be – Bebe Rexha, Florida Georgia Line
  10. Islands In the Stream – Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers
  11. Greatest Love Story – LANCO
  12. Blessed – Thomas Rhett
  13. Livin’ On Love – Alan Jackson
  14. Chasing After You – Ryan Hurd, Maren Morris
  15. Rumor – Lee Brice
  16. Bluebird – Miranda Lambert
  17. Thank God – Kane Brown & Katelyn Brown
  18. ‘Til You Can’t – Cody Johnson
  19. Rainbow – Kacey Musgraves

Reggae

  1. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
  2. Red Red Wine – UB40
  3. Angel – Shaggy, Rayvon
  4. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
  5. Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley
  6. Baby, I Love Your Way – Big Mountain

Rock

  1. Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn
  2. Drops Of Jupiter – Train
  3. Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
  4. Vienna – Billy Joel
  5. Got My Mind Set On You George Harrison
  6. Wherever You Will Go – The Calling
  7. Come and Get Your Love – Redbone
  8. What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes
  9. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood
  10. Time In A Bottle – Jim Croce
  11. Africa – Toto
  12. Heat Waves – Glass Animals
  13. Electric Love – BØRNS
  14. 1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins
  15. Life Is Better With You – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  16. Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Folk

  1. I Was Born To Love You – Ray LaMontagne, Sierra Ferrell
  2. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
  3. Rest of Our Lives – The Light the Heat
  4. Alone with You – Canyon City
  5. Where’s My Love – SYML
  6. September Song (Guitar Acoustic) – JP Cooper
  7. Flowers In Your Hair – The Lumineers
  8. If You Could Read My Mind – Gordon Lightfoot
  9. Simply The Best – Billianne
  10. My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit
  11. Give Me One Reason – Tracy Chapman

Please comment on the songs below. Let me know if you have any recommendations. I read and respond to all the comments.

 

Tip

Before the meal is served, drinks will be flowing for all guests. See our list of cheerful cocktail hour songs playlist.

FAQs

Play dinner music in the background as early as the meal begins and right up until the couple’s first dance.

You can choose to have cocktail hour music before dinner or skip it.

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.

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.

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.

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