The Please-All Playlist for the Rehearsal Dinner

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A party for two completely unique and wonderful families, in a room together with carefully chosen food (remember, Grandpa can’t have onions, your niece is allergic to shellfish, and the groom’s brother is vegan), can be a struggle in planning

Most rehearsal dinners have no musical playlist but music can be a salve to assist in avoiding both political and religious arguments.

rehearsal dinner music

I mean, Uncle Rudy is going to drink and the Mother of the Groom is going to feel marginalized in at least three ways, so why not create the playlist to appeal to the Boomers, the Gen Xers, the Millennials, and the iGen teenagers trapped together around the buffet?

Instructions: Once everyone has arrived but before the appetizers, put this playlist on and watch your followers be soothed…

Rehearsal Dinner Playlist

The Way You Look Tonight (Maroon 5)
Grand Dad will love the Sinatra vibe and your teenage niece will swoon over Adam Levine’s take on this Jerome Kern classic. This intro to the playlist will signal to the room that something interesting and all-inclusive is up.

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Sweet Caroline (Me First and the Gimme Gimmes)
Dad will sing along and you will groove on the updated grunge-y take on Neil Diamond’s number one hit from 1969. Watch as generations come together singing “Hands. Touching hands. Reaching out. Touching me. Touching you.”

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I’m On Fire (Soccer Mommy)
Uncle Jack loves The Boss. Your kid sister has never even heard of him. This excellent remake combines the Springsteen chemistry with 2015s Soccer Mommy’s haunting vocals.

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Moon River (Frank Ocean)
Now things get really fun. Every octogenarian in the room will stop chewing for a second and perk up to hear Frank Ocean’s beautiful rendition. Just as your Great Aunt is about to start her lecture on socialism, this will stop her in her tracks.

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What Is Love? (Kiesza)
The Millennials munching down on the gluten-free bread will get a smile at the 90’s staple updated and they will mention that they expected something just for them.

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Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (CHROMATICS)
Here is where the music wins your mom over. Stressed out and drinking her third glass of rosé, she’s needing the reminder that this wedding stuff is supposed to be fun. She’ll probably sing along while doing a swaying dance move as she starts her fourth glass.

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Earth Angel (Death Cab for Cutie)
This is the moment in the evening when your grandparents slowly get up and dance. You get to cut in and dance with them and the appreciation will be felt throughout the night and the next day (when it really counts).

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The Chain (Harry Styles)
The kids will dig on Harry and stop throwing the Garlic Mashed Potatoes at one another; the parents will smile as they remember conceiving you to this song in the back seat of a Bronco.

Black is the Color (Rhiannon Giddens)
Cmon. This is just amazing. Grandma will remember when her hair wasn’t grey and who doesn’t dig on Rhiannon Giddens?

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Things are winding down now. Everyone has been smiling, no talk of where they will sit at the reception, and the promise of an extraordinary couple with damn fine taste in music in the air. Time to wind things down.

Keep on Loving You (Cigarettes After Sex)
REO Speedwagon? Cigarettes After Sex? It may take the folks to listen for a beat but once your Dad hears this, his fears and sadness over losing a child will fade away. He will always ‘keep on loving you.’

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All I Have to Do Is Dream (The Dandy Warhols)
Your emo nephew will join hands with your 72-year old aunt and they will nibble on the chocolate tort together.

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All of Me (Meiko)
One more for the Boomers. And for the two of you.

So Into You (Childish Gambino)
Finally, to close out the night, here’s one for the couple. Tamia’s 1998 song as covered by Childish Gambino has it all.

With every passing moment
Thoughts of you run through my head
Every time that I’m near
I realize that your heaven sent, baby
I think you’re truly something special
Just what my dreams are really made of
Let’s stay together, you and me boy
There’s no one like you around, oh baby

I really like
What you’ve done to me
I can’t really explain it
I’m so into you
I really like
What you’ve done to me
I can’t really explain it
I’m so into you

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At the end of the dinner, you can gift everyone a flash drive, CD, or cassette tape of your playlist along with the flasks and perfume sprayers with the tassels for your wedding party.

Now go home, get some rest, because tomorrow is the Big Show!

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