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Date Night: Wedding Soundtrack

October 13, 2014

When our DJ sent us a form to fill out so he can help make our wedding just right, I dreaded it. His honest interest in getting to know us and give us exactly what we want is why we chose to go with him in the first place, but seeing all those questions and notes to fill in was kind of overwhelming!

I wanted to complain about it to Adrian, when I heard the little voices of advice from everyone I’ve encountered since getting engaged ring in… Your wedding day will fly! I will be spending 13 months planning an event that will feel like 5 seconds!  And although I anticipate a day of smiles, dancing , and lots of lovey-doviness, I also know the seasoned brides are right. Having a collection of hand chosen songs would only make recalling moments of our day that much more special.

So, I discussed with Adrian and we decided to dig. I mean really dig and it was so worth it. We went out for sushi on a Friday night, came home, poured some wine, then sat with our laptops and went to work!

Don’t worry about going overboard. I don’t think it’s necessary to come up with a list of songs that will fill your entire five-hour reception, we didn’t by any means, but having a good mix of songs that mean something to you, your future husband, and/ or each other adds to your signature that day. If you chose a good DJ, they’ll get an idea for the kind of music you want based on the selections you present to him or her.

Not all the songs you both have loved over the years will be wedding appropriate, but finding the ones that are, that set the pace and feel of what you want to achieve at your celebration, turned out to be a pretty exciting challenge.

We didn’t do it all in one night, but taking that one evening motivated us to keep chipping at it over the next two weeks until we were satisfied with our soundtrack as we know it. (Plus our DJ is super nice and said I can email him 100 times a day with songs to add if I really wanted!)


So where to start?


The Ceremony:

The Wedding March! A tried and true favorite? Or a lazy tradition? If you love it, stick with it! If you don’t, don’t!

We knew we wanted to go a different direction and  I was given the role of finding what would give me that stirring of nerves that as a little girl, I would daydream of having more than once in my young life.

After much consideration, I decided on Reign of Love by Coldplay. This piece has the build and exact feel of what I was looking for, while straying from the norm.



You can also customize the music for the entire ceremony, from seating to your exit. Here are some different ideas to get you going:

Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros- your guests won’t get to enjoy this music video, but it was always one of my favorites!


Bittersweet Symphony (Instrumetal) by The Verve


Love You Madly by Cake


Wedding Song by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Acoustic)


First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes


Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Our Ceremony Exit Song:

I’m skipping the cocktail hour here because I’m not quite sure how that will go yet. The guests will all move down to the Hotel’s “Rath Skellar”, while  our DJ, who is doing the ceremony for us in an upstairs room first, will need to clean up, so that room can be flipped for additional seating at the reception. If you have a smoother transition and made arrangements with your DJ, go to town on this hour to get the guests even more excited for the real party to begin!


The Reception:


The new Mr. and Mrs. Entrance!!

We chose “I believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness. It’s a goofy song he and I both like to sing along to and we’ve seen the band play a couple times, so it’s a great fit for us.

 The parents’ reception entrance:

The bridal party entrance: We toyed around with the bridal party picking their own songs to prance into the reception to, but our pairs for the most part, don’t know each other that well, so we chose to pick one song for all of them to enter with. We decide on “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”- Michael Jackson to get the guest excited.


Even if you decide to be a little lazy on the song pickings, make your first dance your priority. I recommend ignoring the most common selections here and instead go for something that shows your true bond.

Our first dance as husband and wife: “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds 


Picking the activity songs is another fun way to add your own mark on the evening also!


Cake Cutting:


Taking the Garter Off the Bride:

Bouquet Toss:

Garter Toss:


Putting the garter on the bouquet catcher:


Slow Songs

“Blue Eyes”, Cary Brothers

“Who You Love” John Mayer and Katy Perry


Other picks:

Once Adrian committed to the task at hand, he really got into it. It became one the few planning steps he seemed to genuinely enjoy.


Here are some of his picks for the reception:


  • “Dance the Night Away”, Van Halen
  • “Killer Queen”, Queen
  • “Shout”, Isley Brothers
  • “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, Michael Jackson
  • “Hey Ya”, Outkast
  • “Oh Sherrie”, Steve Perry
  • “Dancing Queen”, ABBA
  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, Whitney Houston
  • “Build Me Up Buttercup”, The Foundations
  • “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love”, Barry White
  • “What A Fool Believes”, Doobie Brothers
  • “Long Train Runnin'”, Doobie Brothers
  • “Summer Breeze”, Seals and Crofts
  • “Footloose”, Kenny Loggins
  • “Danger Zone”, Kenny Loggins
  • “Don’t Stop Believin'”, Journey


And here are some of mine:


  • “Riptide”, Vance Joy
  • Safe and Sound” – Capitol Cities
  • “Closer” Tegan and Sara
  • “You’ve Got the Love”, Florence and the Machine
  • “Two Step” Dave Matthew Band
  • “Us”, Regina Spektor
  • “Ready to Start”, Arcade Fire
  • “Electric Feel”, MGMT
  • “Every Day/ #36” Dave Matthews Band
  • “Treasure” Bruno Mars
  • “Happy” Pharrel Williams
  • “Mirrors” Justin Timberlake
  • “Dancing with Myself”, Billy Idol
  • “Marry You”, Bruno Mars
  • “Fat Bottomed Girls”, Queen
  • “Benny and the Jets”, Elton John
  • “We Go Together”, Grease
  • “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough”, Michael Jackson
  • “Hey Ya”, Outkast
  • “Crazy In Love”, Beyonce
  • “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, Whitney Houston
  • “Build Me Up Buttercup”, The Foundations


Last but not least, our final song of the evening!

“I’ve Had the Time of My Life” Dirty Dancing of course!


Did you struggle with getting the list together or was is it a planning highlight for you? I’d love to hear the top song picks from your wedding soundtrack too!