Wedding Music Master Class 2014

Congratulations on your engagement! Now it’s time to get planning. Building an appropriate musical playlist for a wedding can be a daunting task for many couples. Special songs such as parent dances can be particularly challenging.

Unfortunately, there are many inferior musical playlists circulating the internet that were not compiled by working wedding professionals. To that end, we are sharing this Master List of our best song ideas for a wedding: from ceremony music, to the reception portion with lists for Grand Entrance songs, First Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Cake Cutting, Bouquet and Garter songs and Grand Finale songs. We also share our Top 100 Songs for a 2015 Wedding, 59 Themed Cocktail Hour playlists, 10 Songs NOT to play at a wedding and 7 Musical Programming Tips for a Wedding. The majority of the songs in this blog were used by our actual clients, while the rest were selected with great care with regards to lyrics, mood and danceability.

If you find these lists and ideas useful, please share them with a friend by posting on Facebook or Pinterest. You can follow us on Facebook here or on Pinterest here. We are a New Jersey-based mobile DJ entertainment company with an expertise in weddings. If you are a New Jersey-based bride or groom, please keep us in mind for your special day!

For a wealth of additional planning tips, check out our new book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”. It is available as either a hard copy or ebook.

Now let’s get into the music!


Wedding Ceremony Music – Classical Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. Canon in D – Pachelbel
  2. Sleepers Awake – Johann Sebastian Bach
  3. Sarabande – Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Air on a G String – Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) – Edward Elgar
  6. Romantic Pieces, Op. 75 (Allegro Moderato) – Antonin Dvorak
  7. I Was Glad – Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (used by Prince William & Princess Kate)
  8. Spring (from The Four Seasons) – Antonio Vivaldi
  9. Bridal Chorus (“Here Comes the Bride”) – Richard Wagner (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  10. Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) – Jeremiah Clarke
  11. Trumpet Tune – Henry Purcell
  12. Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
  13. Gymnopedies No. 1 – Erik Satie
  14. Highland Cathedral – Phil Coulter (Celtic selection)
  15. Alla Hornpipe – G.F. Handel (recessional)
  16. Wedding March – Felix Mendelssohn (recessional) (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  17. Scotland the Brave – Boston Pops Orchestra (recessional, Celtic)

Wedding Ceremony Music – Modern Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. La Califfa – Sung by Sarah Brightman
  2. Paint the Sky with Stars – Enya
  3. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
  4. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  5. 1, 2, 3, 4 – Cover Version of Plain White Tees performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  6. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  7. Halo – Beyonce
  8. A Thousand Years (piano instrumental) – The Piano Guys
  9. Bittersweet Symphony (instrumental only) – The Verve
  10. Bless the Broken Road (piano instrumental) – performed by The O’Neill Brothers
  11. Songbird (cover) – Eva Cassidy
  12. Bellissimo – Ilya
  13. Fairytale – Enya
  14. Angel – Robin Thicke
  15. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder
  16. This Ring – T. Carter Music
  17. Holocene – Cover Version of Bon Iver performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  18. The Prayer (instrumental) – The O’Neill Brothers (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  19. Here We Stand – T. Carter Music (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  20. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (candelighting or sand ceremony)
  21. All You Need is Love – Beatles (recessional)
  22. The Dog Days are Over – Florence and the Machine (recessional)

Helpful Hints – Looking for a blend of classical and modern? Check out the strings arrangements of classic rock, modern rock, Indie rock and dance music performed by the Vitamin String Quartet ( For special songs that were custom-written for weddings, visit T. Carter Music or Wedding Music Central.

Grand Entrance Songs for Wedding Reception

  1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson w/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  2. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  3. Turn Down for What – DJ Snake w/ Lil’ Jon (trap music)
  4. Bailando (Gregor Salto Remix) – Enrique Iglesias f/ Sean Paul (Latin/Trap)
  5. Top Gun Anthem – Harold Faltermeyer (soundtracks)
  6. Chank – John Scofield (funky jazz)
  7. Booty Swing – Parov Stelar (electro-swing)
  8. Happy – Pharrell Williams (pop)
  9. Best Day of My Life – American Authors (pop)
  10. Forever – Chris Brown (pop)
  11. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  12. Feel So Close – Calvin Harris (dance)
  13. We Found Love – Rihanna / Calvin Harris (dance)
  14. Timber – Ke$ha f/ Pitbull (dance)
  15. Feel This Moment – Pitbull f/ Christina Aguilera (dance)
  16. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO (dance)
  17. Pump It Up – Danzel (dance)
  18. Now That We Found Love – Heavy D. and the Boyz (90s/dance)
  19. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (alternative)
  20. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates (80s)
  21. I Blame You – Ledisi (R&B)
  22. When Love Takes Over – David Guetta f/Kelly Rowland (dance)
  23. Thunderstruck – AC/DC (rock)
  24. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness (modern rock)
  25. The Final Countdown – Europe (80s glam rock)
  26. Let’s Get Married (Remix f/ Reverend Run) – Jagged Edge (R&B)
  27. Beautiful Day – U2 (rock)
  28. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts (country)
  29. Theme Song from Pirates of the Caribbean (soundtracks)
  30. Theme Song from Star Wars (soundtracks)
  31. Theme Song form the Avengers (soundtracks)
  32. Sirius – Alan Parsons Project (i.e. Chicago Bulls theme song)
  33. Heavy Action – Johnny Pearson (i.e. Monday Night football theme song)
  34. Viva La Vida – Coldplay (modern rock)
  35. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses (rock)
  36. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas (dance)
  37. Turbulence – Steve Aoki (dance)
  38. We Will Rock You – Queen (rock)
  39. Bring Em’ Out – T.I. (hip hop)
  40. Levels – Avicii (EDM)
  41. Give Me Everything Tonight – Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer (dance)
  42. It Takes Scoop (Mashup) – Fatman Scoop (hip hop)
  43. Run this Town – Jay-Z, Rihanna and Kanye West (hip hop)

First Dance Songs – Modern or Alternative Selections

  1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop)
  2. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz (pop)
  3. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  4. All of Me – John Legend (R&B)
  5. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles
  6. Cinema (Cover Version) – Jason Evigan (acoustic rock)
  7. Then – Brad Paisley (country)
  8. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne (folk rock)
  9. Wanted – Hunter Hayes (country)
  10. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (pop)
  11. Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompson Square (country)
  12. Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum (country)
  13. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (country)
  14. Me and You – Kenny Chesney (country)
  15. Smile – Uncle Kracker (pop)
  16. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star (alternative rock)
  17. Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine (alternative)
  18. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes (alternative)
  19. The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice (folk rock)
  20. I Only Have Eyes for You – Jamie Cullum (cover)
  21. Make a Memory – Bon Jovi (pop rock)
  22. Marry Me – Train (pop)
  23. Count on Me – Bruno Mars (pop)
  24. True Companion – Marc Cohn (folk rock)
  25. You and Me – Lifehouse (modern rock)
  26. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (pop rock)
  27. Better Together – Jack Johnson (folk rock)
  28. I’ll Be – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  29. In a Little While – U2 (pop rock)
  30. Low Light – Pearl Jam (rock)
  31. Two Love Birds – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  32. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  33. No One – Alicia Keys (R&B)
  34. Stay With You – John Legend (R&B)
  35. Back at One – Brian McKnight (R&B)
  36. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (adult contemporary)
  37. Fallen – Lauren Wood (from Pretty Woman sountrack)
  38. Lovesong – The Cure, or 311 (80s/New Wave)
  39. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson (indie folk)
  40. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – The Talking Heads (for stripped down acoustic version, check out Shawn Colvin’s rendition) (80s/New Wave)
  41. All Mine – Portishead (electronic downtempo)
  42. Angels – The XX (electronic downtempo)
  43. The Luckiest – Ben Folds (pop rock)
  44. My Favourite Book – Stars (indie pop)
  45. Do You Realize – The Flaming Lips (alternative rock)
  46. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (acoustic rock)
  47. I Could Not Ask for More – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  48. I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie (indie rock)
  49. History in the Making – Darius Rucker (country)

First Dance Songs – Traditional and Timeless Selections

  1. When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (soul)
  2. My One and Only Love – John Coltrane w/ Johnny Hartman (jazz/vocalist)
  3. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics (soul)
  4. The Closer I Get to You – Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (soul)
  5. These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding (soul)
  6. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (jazz/big band)
  7. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (big band) or Tony Bennett (ballad)
  8. Crazy Love – Van Morrison (acoustic rock)
  9. I Will – The Beatles (pop rock)
  10. Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts (country)
  11. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  12. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (rock)
  13. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders (rock)
  14. Love of a Lifetime – Firehouse (rock)
  15. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis (oldies)
  16. Faithfully – Journey (rock)
  17. Heaven – Bryan Adams (80s)
  18. Don’t Want To Miss a Thing – Aerosmith (rock)
  19. I Want to Know What Love is – Foreigner (rock)
  20. Is This Love – Bob Marley (reggae)
  21. She’s Royal – Tarrus Riley (reggae)
  22. Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix (classic rock)
  23. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  24. Always and Forever – Heatwave (R&B)
  25. All My Life – K.C. and Jojo (R&B)
  26. Through the Fire – Chaka Khan (R&B)
  27. Here and Now – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  28. One in a Million You – Larry Graham (R&B)
  29. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  30. From This Moment – Shania Twain w/Bryan White (country)
  31. It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (country)
  32. I Cross My Heart – George Strait (country)
  33. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery (country)
  34. Best of My Love – The Eagles (soft rock)
  35. How Deep is Your Love – The Bee Gees (disco/soft rock)
  36. Crazy for You – Madonna (80s)
  37. Lost in Love – Air Supply (soft rock)
  38. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison (soft rock)
  39. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (oldies)
  40. We Have All the Time in the World – Louis Armstrong (jazz/vocalist)

First Dance Songs -Used by Celebrities

  1. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt – “It Had to Be You” – Frank Sinatra
  2. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi – “Ribbon in the Sky” – Stevie Wonder
  3. Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odum – “Angel” – Anita Baker
  4. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto – “On the Ocean” – K’Jon
  5. John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette – “Forever in My Life” – Prince
  6. John F. Kennedy and Jackie O. – “I Married an Angel” – performed by The Meyer Davis Orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria, NYC
  7. Prince William and Princess Kate – “Your Song” by Elton John, performed live by Ellie Goulding
  8. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – “You and I” – Stevie Wonder
  9. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz – “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
  10. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Tosh – “Make You Feel My Love” – Bob Dylan
  11. Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko – “My Baby Just Cares for Me” – Nina Simone
  12. Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman – “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses
  13. Fergie and Josh Duhamel – “Sweethearts Together” – The Rolling Stones
  14. Ivanka Trump and Jason Kushner – “This Years’ Love” – David Gray
  15. Michael Buble and Luisano Lopilato – “Everybody Loves Somebody” – Dean Martin
  16. LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian – “When It Don’t Come Easy” – Patti Griffin
  17. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban – “At Last” – Etta James
  18. Shania Twain and Frederic Thiebauld – “I’m Your Man” – Michael Buble
  19. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton – “No Doubt About It” – Neal McCoy
  20. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – “Songbird” – Fleetwood Mac
  21. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards – “Open Arms” – Journey
  22. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan – “Last Night on Earth” – Green Day
  23. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley – “Heavenly Day” – Patti Griffin
  24. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott – “Amazed” – Lonestar
  25. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher – “Love Never Fails” – Brandon Heath
  26. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin – “Why Shouldn’t I? – Cole Porter

Father-Daughter Dance

  1. Father & Daughter – Paul Simon (folk rock)
  2. Upside Down – Jack Johnson (folk rock)
  3. Walk With You – Edwin McCain (acoustic rock)
  4. I Loved Her First – Heartland (country)
  5. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw (country)
  6. Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks (country)
  7. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  8. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus (country)
  9. Daddy Dance With Me – Krystal Keith (country)
  10. Just Fishin’ – Trace Atkins (country)
  11. Daddy’s Angel – T. Carter (Wedding/Country)
  12. Dad, You’re My Hero – Teresa James (Wedding)
  13. Daddy’s Little Girl – Michael Buble or Al Martino (vocalists)
  14. I Believe in Happy Endings – Neil Diamond (vocalists)
  15. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (vocalists)
  16. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle (Christian)
  17. Daughters – John Mayer (pop)
  18. Daughter – Loudon Wainwright III (folk)
  19. My Little Girl – Steve Kirwan (wedding)
  20. Gracie – Ben Folds (singer/songwriter)
  21. Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce (singer/songwriter)
  22. If It Wasn’t For Your Love – Heather Headley
  23. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (Acoustic/Hawaiian)
  24. Look to the Rainbow – Astrud Gilberto (Brazilian/International)
  25. Tu Guardian – Juanes (Latin)
  26. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  27. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole w/Nat King Cole (wedding classic)
  28. Daddy – Beyonce (R&B)
  29. Ballerina Girl – Lionel Ritchie (80s ballad)
  30. Isn’t She Lovely -Stevie Wonder (soul) (note: we recommend editing out the intro section with crying baby)
  31. My Girl – The Temptations (Motown/Soul)
  32. Wildflowers – Tom Petty (acoustic rock)

Mother-Son Dance

  1. Stand By Me – Ben E. King (soul)
  2. A Mother’s Song- T. Carter Music (wedding/country)
  3. On This Day – Christian Barnes (wedding)
  4. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  5. I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders (R&B/Soul)
  6. Singing a Song for My Mother – Bohannon (R&B/Soul)
  7. A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men (R&B/Soul)
  8. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  9. Close to You – The Carpenters (soft rock)
  10. Child of Mine – Carole King (folk)
  11. Song for My Son – Mikki Viereck (wedding)
  12. It Happens in a Heartbeat – Teresa James (wedding)
  13. The Man You’ve Become – Molly Pasutti (wedding)
  14. You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman w/Lyle Lovett (Disney)
  15. The Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  16. All to You – DJ Keo (country)
  17. My Wish – Rascal Flatts (country)
  18. I Hope You Dance – LeAnn Womack (country)
  19. Through the Years – Kenny Rogers (country)
  20. The Circle Game – Joni Mitchell (folk)
  21. You’ll Be in My Heart – Phil Collins (pop)
  22. Happy Everafter In Your Eyes – Ben Harper (singer/songwriter)
  23. Forever Young – Alphaville (80s)
  24. Simple Man – Lynrd Skynrd (southern rock)
  25. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (classic)
  26. High Tide or Low Tide – Bob Marley (reggae)
  27. Baby Mine – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  28. The Perfect Fan – Backstreet Boys (Boy Band)
  29. Can’t Smile WIthout You – Barry Manilow (vocalist)

Cake Cutting Songs

  1. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies (oldies)
  2. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (oldies)
  3. Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone (soundtracks)
  4. Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar (80s)
  5. I Want Candy – The Bow Wow Wow (80s)
  6. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard (80s rock)
  7. Lips Like Sugar – Echo & the Bunnymen (80s/New Wave)
  8. Cuts Like a Knife – Bryan Adams (rock)
  9. Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney (pop)
  10. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher (60s)
  11. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye or James Taylor (R&B/soft rock)
  12. For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  13. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops (Motown)
  14. When I’m 64 – The Beatles (pop)
  15. Love is Strange – Mickey & Sylvia (oldies)
  16. Cut the Cake – Average White Band (disco)
  17. Candy – Cameo (funk)
  18. Wanna Grow Old with You – Adam Sandler (soundtrack)
  19. Super Mario Brothers Theme Song (soundtrack)
  20. Eat It – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (song parody)
  21. Candy Man – Christina Aguilera (pop)
  22. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  23. Lucky – Jason Mraz f/ Colbie Caillat (pop)
  24. I Do – Colbie Caillat (pop)
  25. Safe and Sound – Capital Cities (modern)
  26. Sugar – Maroon 5
  27. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop) (note: the new “When I’m 64”?)
  28. Firecracker – Josh Turner (country)
  29. Honey Bee – Blake Shelton (country)
  30. Say Hey, I Love You – Michael Franti (dance)
  31. My Favourite Book – Stars (alternative)
  32. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses (alternative)
  33. Rain or Shine – Matthew Perryman Jones (rock)
  34. Love and Marriage – Frank Sinatra (vocalist)
  35. It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (big band/vocalist)
  36. Everything – Michael Buble (vocalist)
  37. Ice Cream – Sara McLachlan (vocalist)
  38. L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole (vocalist)
  39. Gymnopedies No. 1 – Erik Satie (classical/soundtrack)
  40. The Sweetest Love – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  41. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  42. The Power of Love/Love Power – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  43. Love Light in Flight – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  44. Dearest (cover) – The Black Keys (rock)
  45. Spin Spin Sugar (Armand Van Helden Remix) – Sneaker Pimps (electronic)
  46. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen (rock)
  47. You’re My Best Friend – Queen (rock)

Bouquet & Garter Ceremony

  1. Single Ladies – Beyonce (Bouquet Toss)
  2. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (Bouquet Toss)
  3. Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison (Bouquet Toss)
  4. Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue (Bouquet Toss)
  5. Where Them Girls At – Flo Rida, David Guetta and Nicki Minaj (Bouquet Toss)
  6. Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler (Bouquet Toss)
  7. American Woman – Lenny Kravitz (Bouquet Toss)
  8. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (Bouquet Toss)
  9. Theme from Mission Impossible (Garter Removal)
  10. Don’t You Feel My Leg – Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Garter Removal)
  11. Bad Things (from First Blood) – Jace Everett (Garter Removal)
  12. Legs – ZZ Top (Garter Removal)
  13. The Stripper – Traditional (Garter Removal)
  14. Pink Panther Theme Song (Garter Removal)
  15. Foxy Lady – Jimi Hendrix (Garter Removal)
  16. Theme from the movie Jaws (Garter Removal)
  17. Hot Legs – Rod Stewart (Garter Removal)
  18. Peter Gunn – The Blues Brothers (Garter Toss)
  19. Theme from Rocky – Rocky Orchestra (Garter Toss)
  20. Oh Yeah (Yello) – from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Garter Toss)
  21. The Harlem Shake – Baauer (Garter Toss)
  22. Bad Boys – Inner Circle (Garter Toss)
  23. Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top (Garter Toss)
  24. The Boys of Summer (cover) – The Ataris (Garter Toss)
  25. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood (Garter Toss)
  26. Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z (Garter Toss)
  27. Superbad, Superwhat – Lyle Workman (from Superbad soundtrack) (Garter Toss)
  28. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (Garter Toss)
  29. Keep Your Hands to Yourself – The Georgia Satellites (Grand Finale)
  30. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye (Grand Finale)
  31. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate (Grand Finale)
  32. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred (Grand Finale)
  33. Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dogg (Grand Finale)
  34. I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Badd (Grand Finale)
  35. The Distance – Cake (Grand Finale)
  36. Pony – Ginuwine (Grand Finale)
  37. Hot in Herre – Nelly (Grand Finale)
  38. Cherry Pie – Warrant (Grand Finale)
  39. Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (Grand Finale)
  40. Wild Thing – Tone Loc (Grand Finale)
  41. Whoomp! (There It is Is) – Tag Team (Grand Finale)
  42. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart (Grand Finale)

Grand Finale (Final Song of Reception)

  1. Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble (contemporary)
  2. (I’ve Had the) Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (soundtracks)
  3. Time (the Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas (modern dance)
  4. One More Time – Daft Punk (electronic dance)
  5. Glad You Came – The Wanted (pop dance)
  6. Let’s Get Married (Remix) – Jagged Edge with Reverend Run from Run-D.M.C. (R&B)
  7. Times of Your Life – Green Day (punk rock)
  8. Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money (80s rock)
  9. Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight – The Spaniels (oldies)
  10. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (soft rock)
  11. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  12. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks (country)
  13. Closing Time – Semisonic (rock)
  14. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry (rock)
  15. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (alternative rock)
  16. Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen (rock)
  17. Don’t Stop Believing- Journey (rock)
  18. Last Dance – Donna Summer… for a modern day twist, try the 2013 Masters at Work Remix which gives the original a smooth house treatment (disco/house)
  19. Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull f/ TJR (modern dance)
  20. Feel This Moment – Pitbull f/ Christina Aguilera (modern dance)
  21. Tundra – Paris & Simo & Merk & Kremont (EDM)

100 Songs for a 2015 Wedding (Mixed Genres)

  1. Quando, Quando, Quando – Michael Buble with Nelly Furtado (cocktail hour/dinner)
  2. Our Day Will Come – Amy Winehouse (cocktail/dinner)
  3. The Girl from Ipanema – Bebel Gilberto & Kenny G. (cocktail/dinner)
  4. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin (oldies)
  5. Runaround Sue – Dion (oldies)
  6. Twist & Shout – The Beatles (oldies/rock)
  7. Shout (Parts 1 and 2) – The Isley Brothers (oldies)
  8. Mony, Mony – Tommy James & the Shondells
  9. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (oldies)
  10. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  11. In the Mood – Glen Miller Band (big band)
  12. That’s Amore – Dean Martin (oldies)
  13. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (party classic)
  14. My Girl – The Temptations (Motown)
  15. Sign, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder (Motown)
  16. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye (Motown)
  17. What You Won’t Do for Love – Bobby Caldwell (R&B)
  18. Midnight Train to Georgia – Gladys Knight & the Pips (Soul)
  19. For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (Motown)
  20. Hold On We’re Going Home – Drake (R&B)
  21. Ho Hey – The Lumineers (alternative)
  22. I Blame You – Ledisi (R&B)
  23. Send Me on My Way – Rusted Root (alternative)
  24. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (alternative)
  25. Yeah! – Usher with Lil’ Jon (party starter)
  26. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z with Alicia Keys (hip hop)
  27. Got To Be Real – Cheryl Lynn (disco)
  28. That’s the Way I Like It – K.C. & the Sunshine Band (disco)
  29. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry (disco)
  30. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer (disco)
  31. Got to Give It Up (part 1) – Marvin Gaye (funk)
  32. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke f/ Pharrell & T.I. (R&B/dance)
  33. Kiss – Prince (funk)
  34. Super Freak – Rick James (funk)
  35. Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer (90s dance)
  36. Get Lucky – Daft Punk (dance/electronic)
  37. Treasure – Bruno Mars (pop)
  38. Glad You Came – The Wanted (pop/boy band)
  39. Push It – Salt n’ Pepa (80s)
  40. Take on Me – a-Ha (80s)
  41. Need You Tonight – INXS (80s)
  42. P.Y.T. – Michael Jackson (80s)
  43. Red, Red, Wine – UB40 (reggae)
  44. Could You Be Loved – Bob Marley (reggae)
  45. I Can’t Wait – Nu-Shooz (freestyle/party starter)
  46. Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake (pop/party starter)
  47. Happy – Pharrell Williams (pop/party starter)
  48. It Takes Two – DJ Rob Base and EZ Rock (90s)
  49. Jump Around – House of Pain (90s)
  50. Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty by Nature (90s hip hop)
  51. Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch (90s)
  52. Poison – Bel Biv Devoe (90s)
  53. Rebelion – Joe Arroyo (salsa)
  54. Vivir Mi Vida – Marc Anthony (salsa)
  55. Addicted to You – Shakira (merengue)
  56. Spring Love – Stevie B. (freestyle)
  57. Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake (hip hop/R&B)
  58. In Da Club (clean) – 50 Cent (hip hop)
  59. Nuthin’ But a G Thang (clean) – Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg (hip hop)
  60. Wild Thing – Tone Loc (rap)
  61. One More Time – Daft Punk (open dancing)
  62. I’m Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (open dancing)
  63. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson (open dancing)
  64. Danza Kuduro – Don Omar (open dancing/Latin)
  65. Bailando Por Ahi (Remix) – Juan Magan f/Crossfire (Latin)
  66. Calle Ocho (I Know You Want Me) – Pitbull (open dancing/Latin)
  67. Country Girl, Shake it for Me – Luke Bryan (country)
  68. Cruise (remix) – Florida Georgia Line f/ Nelly (country)
  69. Latch – Disclosure (dance)
  70. Cupid Shuffle – Cupid (modern line dance)
  71. Cha-Cha Slide – DJ Casper (modern line dance)
  72. The Wobble – V.I.C. (modern line dance)
  73. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole (ballad)
  74. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (ballad)
  75. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (ballad)
  76. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (ballad)
  77. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz (ballad)
  78. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (ballad)
  79. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (rock)
  80. Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (rock)
  81. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey (rock)
  82. The Harlem Shake – Baauer (dance/novelty)
  83. Low – Flo Rida (dance)
  84. Ride Wit Me – Nelly (90s)
  85. Timber – Ke$ha f/Pitbull (dance)
  86. Wake Me Up – Avicii (dance/EDM)
  87. Save the World Tonight – Swedish House Mafia (dance/EDM)
  88. Turbulence – Steve Aoki (EDM)
  89. Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull (dance)
  90. Bailando – Enrique Iglesias w/ Sean Paul an Gente de Zona (Latin)
  91. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  92. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson f/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  93. Fireball – Pitbull f/ John Martin
  94. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran (pop)
  95. Turn Down for What – DJ Snake f/ Lil’ Jon (trap music)
  96. All of Me (Tiesto Remix) – John Legend (R&B/EDM)
  97. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker (country)
  98. Love Never Felt So Good – Michael Jackson w/ Justin Timberlake (R&B)
  99. Time of Our Lives – Pitbull f/ Ne-Yo (dance/R&B)
  100. All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor (pop)

The Ambient DJ Service Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Menu

The list below features the name/theme of the Cocktail Hour Mix, the selected accompanying cocktail, and the DJ who created the playlist in parentheses. Access the individual blog entries/playlists by clicking on the links.

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail HourCraft Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail HourLong Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail HourPina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail HourHairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail HourCiroc Havana Coconut Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail HourMalibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail HourMidori Sour (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail HourRed Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail HourTanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail HourSangria (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail HourManhattan (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooners Wedding Cocktail HourJack Daniels on the Rocks with a Splash of Water (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail HourThe White Lady (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail HourCoca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail HourEggnog (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail HourRum Punch for a Crowd (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail HourCiroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail HourVespa Martini that is shaken not stirred! (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail HourGodiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail HourCuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail HourThe Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail HourCaipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail HourBoat Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour2010 Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere St. Emilion (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail HourSloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail HourFunky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail HourGimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail HourMiller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail HourBronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail HourVibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail HourJameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail HourShot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  33. The Inspiring Women of Music Wedding Cocktail HourBrandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail HourDeath in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail HourItalian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail HourWhiskey Sour (Guest bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The “Nice and Easy” Wedding Cocktail HourDirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail HourBass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail HourSweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest Blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Covers Version Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1) Tecate Beer (Team Ambient ). Click here.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist The Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber ). Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad). Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Hummingbird (DJ Jazz). Click here.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail HourThe Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The All-Broadway Wedding Cocktail HourFuzz Greyhound (Guest Bloggers Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon) . Click here.
  48. The Fifty Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail HourBollinger La Grande Annee Rose (1999) (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail HourCristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Trade Winds Wedding Cocktail HourBarbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistRed Stripe Beer/ Dirty Banana Cocktail (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistCherry Coke & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistAstronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  54. The Freestyle Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistDark and Stormy (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  55. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistCastle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  56. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour PlaylistMojito (Guest Blogger, DJ Troy Michael via Hawaii) . Click here.
  57. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist – Volume 2 Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  58. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  59. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Classy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Southern Revival (DJ Spinz) . Click here.

25 Key Songs for a California / West Coast Wedding

The following list was curated by our friend and respected industry colleague Dan Rosenbach. Dan is a NJ transplant who operates “Love in the Mix” located in the San Francisco Bay Area. As per Dan, “the following playlist is a collection of songs you might typically hear at the most modern San Francisco venue or a rustic vineyard setting in Napa. From country to hip hop, a summary of Bay Area flavors.”

Love in the Mix is the Bay Area’s freshest DJ and lighting design team. The company provides beautiful sights and sounds to create unforgettable weddings and successful corporate events. To learn more about Dan’s awesome DJ service, visit

  1. California Love – 2Pac Shakur
  2. California Gurls – Katy Perry f/ Snoop Dogg
  3. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  4. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  5. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  6. I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
  7. Shakedown Street – The Grateful Dead
  8. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  9. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  10. Regulate – Warren G.
  11. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  12. The Sound of San Francisco – Global Deejays
  13. California Soul – Marlena Shaw
  14. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
  15. We Built This City – Starship
  16. Save Me, San Francisco – Train
  17. Bernie Lean – ATM
  18. Happy Ending – Sugarland
  19. My Wish – Rascal Flatts
  20. Blow the Whistle (clean) – Too $hort
  21. Playaz Club (clean) – Rappin’ 4-Tay
  22. Players Holiday – T.W.D.Y. f/ Too $hort
  23. Sprinkle Me – E-40 & Suga-T
  24. Game Recognize Game – JT the Bigga Figga & Mac Mall
  25. Get Stupid (Remix) – Mac Dre

25 Key Latin Tracks for a Wedding

The following list was compiled by our friend and respected industry colleague Raul Chiriboga, owner/operator of Ultrafonk Entertainment based in Jersey City NJ. A native of Ecuador and an expert in Latin music, Raul has been generous in sharing musical programming tips with fellow DJs through the years. Rule #1 is that one size does not fit all. Therefore, Raul’s selections below feature an assortment of Latin dance styles designed to appeal to a variety of cultures – including Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Valienato, Cumbia and Reggaeton.

Raul’s team includes the talented Portuguese specialist DJ Frankie Gravato. To learn more about the Ultrafonk team and their sensational wedding productions, visit

  1. Tu Sonrisa – Elvis Crespo (Merengue)
  2. El costo de la Vida – Juan Luis Guerra (Merengue)
  3. Caballito de Palo – Joseph Fonseca (Merengue)
  4. El Tiburon – Proyecto Uno (Merengue House)
  5. Dos Locos – Monchy y Alexandra (Bachata)
  6. Propuesta Indecente – Romeo Santos (Bachata)
  7. 24 Horas – Frank Reyes (Bachata)
  8. La Gota Fria – Carlos Vives (Vallenato)
  9. La Vida es un Carnaval – Celia Cruz (Salsa)
  10. Esta Vida – Jorge Celedon (Valienato)
  11. El Ciclon – Sonora Dinamita (Cumbia)
  12. Cumbia pa’ Oriente – Lisandro Meza (Cumbia)
  13. Pollera Colorada – Charlie Zaa (Cumbia)
  14. Micaela – Sonora Carruseles (Salsa)
  15. Yay boy – Africando (Salsa)
  16. Talento de TV – Willie Colon (Salsa)
  17. Brujeria – El Gran Combo (Salsa)
  18. La Rebelion – Joe Arroyo (Salsa)
  19. Vivir mi Vida – Marc Anthony (Salsa)
  20. Mi Reina – La Makina (Merengue)
  21. Rescate Tipico #1 – Los Toros Band (Merengue Tipico)
  22. Yo te lo Dije – J Balvin (Reggaeton)
  23. 6 am – J Balvin feat Farruko (Reggaeton)
  24. La Pregunta – J Alvarez (Reggaeton)
  25. Que Viva la Vida – Wisin (Latin Fusion)

25 Key Country Tracks for a Wedding

This list is dedicated to our blog readers located in the South – we know there are many of you! A collection of classic and contemporary country tunes, ballads and line dances – this playlist will delight country music lovers from across the region.

  1. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  2. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  3. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
  4. Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson
  5. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  6. Family Tradition – Hank Williams
  7. Same Ole Me – George Jones
  8. For the Good Times – Ray Price
  9. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
  10. I Cross My Heart – George Strait
  11. Boot Scootin’ Boogie – Brooks & Dunn (line dance)
  12. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus (line dance)
  13. Copperhead Road – Steve Earle (line dance)
  14. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  15. Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big & Rich
  16. Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum
  17. Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  18. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  19. Amazed – Lonestar
  20. From This Moment On – Shania Twain w/ Bryan White
  21. Me and You – Kenny Chesney
  22. Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not – Thompson Square
  23. This is How We Roll – Florida Georgia Line f/ Luke Bryan
  24. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  25. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts

10 Songs Not to Play at a Wedding

  1. Stay With Me – Sam Smith. In this song, the emotionally tortured protagonist is a master of “one night stands” and proclaims “this ain’t love it’s clear to see, but darling, stay with me” and “deep down I know this never works, but you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt.” Hardly appropriate wedding fare!
  2. You’ll Never Find a Love Like Mine – Lou Rawls. This song oozes sex appeal with Rawl’s baritone voice over a vintage piano and strings disco arrangement. However, the premise of the song is that Rawl’s former partner will never find a love as good as his post their breakup. As a substitute, try George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby.”
  3. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor. This song is about a woman’s turmoil and strength after a breakup. As a disco alternative at a similar tempo, try Cheryl Lynn’s uplifting “Got To Be Real.”
  4. Escape (the Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes. This song is not so much about tropical drinks, but more about a bored husband trolling the personal ads for a more exciting woman. If you like songs about tropical cocktails, try Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville” or Alan Jackson’s “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere.”
  5. Paradise by the Dashboard Light – Meatloaf. It could be a personal pet peeve of mine, but I really do not like this song. It is a time hog at over ten minutes long. One of the song’s final lyrics, “praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you” is hardly romantic. If you crave a rock and roll sing-a-long, try Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” or Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.” But if you really enjoy the theatrical aspects of this song, I say go ahead, bend the rules and have some fun!
  6. What’s Going On? – Marvin Gaye. If you enjoy hearing about war, picket lines and police brutality, then play this song at your wedding. Otherwise, try soulful crooner Gaye’s “Aint’ No Mountain High Enough” or super-funky “Got to Give it Up” which your DJ can then skillfully mix into Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
  7. The Macarena – Los del Rio. Line dances at a wedding can be great ice breakers. However, this cheesy line dance has grown even more fungus with age. Modernize your wedding with a newer line dance such as the “Cupid Shuffle.”
  8. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is my favorite rock band of all time. Yet this anthem is hard to dance to with its long, uncomfortable breakdowns. If you must play Zeppelin at your wedding, try “All of My Love” or “Thank You.” For a beach wedding, try their hidden gem “Down by the Seaside.”
  9. Strokin’ – Clarence Carter. This graphic song is cringeworthy at a seedy karaoke night, let alone at a wedding. Avoid at all costs, and stick with Rick James!
  10. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton. This song was inspired by the premature death of Clapton’s son who fell out an apartment window. It is deliberately sad, and will suck the energy out of any party. Substitute with Clapton’s romantic “Wonderful Tonight.”

For additional thoughts on musical lyrics at wedding receptions, check out our article on that topic here.

Tips for Musical Programming at a Wedding

After engaging the services of a wedding DJ for your special day, a key task in the planning process is picking music for your wedding reception. Some couples are very “hands on” with the playlist, while others give a general direction to their DJ, trusting his or her expertise.

Assuming a four hour reception and 15 songs per hour, you would have a playlist of 60 songs. How many songs should you pick in advance? Our recommendation would be to prepare a list of up to 20 “must play” songs, plus another 20 “play If possible” tracks. That leaves an additional 20 tracks for your DJ to select. However, the DJ will pick these additional songs within your genre parameters. For example, if you love 90s dance music but dislike country music, the DJ would keep the mix within these guidelines.

In picking specific songs for your wedding reception, listed below are seven tips:

  1. Select a variety of musical styles. Your wedding reception will feature a wide range of guest ages, most likely from teenagers to older adults. You would be wise to select songs that cater to the various age brackets, so all guests feel like they are a part of your special day.
  2. Start your dance sets with recognizable oldies. For the initial dance set after your first appetizer course, begin with oldies genres such as 60s Rock, Motown, or Disco, to gain the trust of older guests. By doing so, they are more likely to go with the flow for your modern dance selections later in the night!
  3. Use non-danceable selections for cocktail hour or dinner music. If you enjoy non-danceable genres such as indie rock, use these selections for the atmospheric cocktail hour or dinner music. For open dancing after dinner, this eclectic fare will likely fail and result in a thin or empty dance floor.
  4. For open dancing, gravitate towards mainstream selections. After dinner, the DJ needs to quickly mobilize your diverse group of guests and create a packed dance floor. It is sound advice to use songs that are recognized by most guests! For example, young adults will recognize a classic party jam like “Shout” from the movies, while adult guests will have heard today’s super-hits by the likes of Pitbull, Rihanna or LMFAO on the radio.
  5. Consider using line dances as icebreakers. Yes, there has been a trend in recent years towards “non-tacky” DJ entertainment with minimal or no line dancing. You know, the usual suspects like the Electric Slide and Cupid Shuffle. That said, for the right crowd, line dances can quickly pack a dance floor with guests of all ages. The DJ can then guide this packed dance floor to the music that you really want to hear.
  6. Include several ballad sets. Wedding receptions are celebrations that should feature a combination of romance and fun. We recommend two or three ballad sets of two songs each. Incorporating slow dancing makes sense because; first, this allows your shy and older guests to join the action. Second, ballads are a welcome relief from extended sets of high tempo dancing. We recommend programming ballads in pairs because typically a couple will not get to the dance floor until the middle of the first song.
  7. Have a detailed discussion about music with your wedding DJ. Professional wedding DJs are highly experienced with musical programming and can provide suggestions that will enhance the quality of your event. Show the DJ your playlist and ask for their candid feedback. Have a detailed discussion with the DJ about your guest demographics that may provide clues on what music will work. Discuss your policy on fielding guest requests, line dances, and your expectations for the dance floor action. If you envision a lower-key event, don’t be afraid to let the DJ know that a frenetic dance floor is not your goal.

If you found these playlists and tips helpful, please check out our book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”. Thank you for your support!

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 2015 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award. We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! We would be delighted to perform at your wedding in the New Jersey / Philadelphia / New York Tri-State area, or destination wedding. For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at

Ambient's boutique-style service offers distinct specialties in wedding receptions, corporate events and sensational teen dance parties.

book now

The Best DJ Entertainment Services In New Jersey


Ambient DJs is a karaoke specialist!  With the continued popularity…Read More

Photo Booth

Photo Booths are an incredibly popular option for weddings and…Read More

Silent Disco

A silent disco features a DJ spinning, but instead of…Read More

Live musicians

A DJ spinning the pre-recorded songs that you know and…Read More

Lip Sync Battle

Let Ambient DJs host and emcee your next lip sync…Read More


With a professionally shot and edited video, the sights and…Read More

Custom Lighting

Lighting has the power to transform an event space from…Read More

Custom DJ Booth & Stage Design

Ambient DJs offers a variety of cool DJ booth and…Read More