Groom’s Guide for What Not To Play at a Wedding Reception
Grooms selecting music for their wedding reception sounds easy. Play the music the bride and groom like. If it were only that simple. We encourage bridal couples to select music that means something to them for their special dances. However, we still have a few guidelines to follow when selecting songs for a wedding reception.
Do not play music with explicit lyrics. Don’t assume this is the case. Verify music entertainers have all radio edit versions of songs to be played at your wedding receptions that contain explicit lyrics in their original releases.
Do not play songs that reference death. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion. Who will not think of the lives lost on the Titanic when this song is played? Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton. This song was written by Eric in memory of his son.
Do not play songs that reference suicide. Examples include Don’t Close Your Eyes by Kix and Jumper by Third Eye Blind.
Grooms, be sure you discuss with your bride-to-be about the type of music to be played as background/dinner music. Options for background music include jazz, classical and pop. The music entertainer needs to know so they can prepare the correct style of background music. Classical music would not be appropriate for a country theme reception.
Do not play music that is suggestive or offensive. Songs that may be considered offensive that are mainstream include My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas, Wild Thing by Tone-Loc and I Touch Myself by the Divinyls.
Songs to add to a do not play list at a wedding reception may include songs that refer to the stressful wedding planning process. Stressful wedding planning songs include I’m In a Hurry by Alabama and Rush Rush by Paula Abdul.
Please add stalking songs to your do not play list. Stalking songs include Every Breath You Take by the Police and Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell.
You must decide if both of you would like group dances to be played at your reception. Some people do not like such dances as they consider them goofy and/or well overplayed at wedding receptions. Group songs include the Macarena by the Los Del Rio, Y.M.C.A. by the Village People and Hokey Pokey by Ray Anthony.
Many people feel the money/dollar dance is inappropriate at a wedding reception. The reasoning is because guests are expected to bring a present and to ask for more money in the dollar dance is greedy. However, others feel it is a great way to have multiple one on one conversions with many guests.
You must consider if you would like songs played that have an extended playing time. The standard song is about three minutes. The following songs are in excess of seven minutes each. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, Paradise by the Dashboard Lights by Meatloaf and American Pie by Don McLean.
Finally, please consider adding songs to your do not play list that are just plain in bad taste. Song titles considered to be in bad taste include Love Stinks – J. Geils Band, You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi, My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars, Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield, Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash, Mother-In-Law – Ernie K-Doe, Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley, To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before – Julio Iglesias, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2, She Hates Me – Puddle of Mudd, Everything About You – Ugly Kid Joe. For a complete list of all of our suggested songs not to play at weddings, please follow the previous link.
Matt loves listening to any music style he can understand the words. He lives in the wedding capital of the world, Las Vegas, with his wife Sharon. Matt's other likes include craft beer, baseball, and traveling.