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How to Choose the Best Songs for Key Wedding-Day Moments

Music is one of the beautiful arts that can set and entirely change a mood. It breaks awkward silence, revives a crowd that has died, and enhances feelings and emotions. I think that’s why drafting up playlists and songs for each event is overly stressful. But stress no more! I’ve made a list of songs - separated into a few different categories for all of my readers to use for their special dances!

Bride and Groom dancing in the desert for their outdoor wedding in Southern Utah in their wedding dress and wedding suit. #bride #groom #utahwedding #weddingphotography #couplephotography #weddingplanner #destinationwedding #eventplanner #outdoorwedding #weddingdress #justmarried

First up, we have our First dance event. One of the great memories you’ll get to share with your forever partner. From country to old to modern, here are 15 song suggestions for this moment:

  • Lover (First Dance Remix) - Taylor Swift

  • This too shall last - Anderson East

  • A whole new World - Zayn & Zhavia Ward

  • When you say Nothing at all - Ronan Keating

  • Your Song - Ellie Goulding

  • Better Together - Jack Johnson

  • When the night Comes - Chris Lord

  • When you Say You love me - Josh Groban

  • Lucky - Jason Mraz

  • Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

  • When I fall in Love - Celine Dion

  • How Sweet it is - James Taylor

  • Night Moves - Bob Segar

  • The Girl You Think I am - Carrie Underwood

  • Devil in Me - Anderson East

P.S Don't love these? Not your style? YOU DO YOU! If you want a choregraphed first dance or you want it to be a little more fast-paced.... GO FOR IT!

Next, we have the 'Parent's Dances' -- Mother/Son & Dad/Daughter traditionally, but whoever you wish to dance with is up to you! (Tip: If your parents are divorced but your step-parent played a significant role in your life YOU ARE ALLOWED to dance with both of them! This is your day and your dance.) The majority of these songs are flexible and can be applied to most relationships, but I separated it into 3 of the most common subcategories.

First up, Mother/Son songs:

  • Sweet love of Mine - Joy WIlliams

  • Photograph - Ed Sheeran

  • What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

  • Close your eyes - Michael Buble

  • Mother UMI

  • Mama Hold My Hand - Aloe Blacc

  • Her - Anne Marie

  • How Sweet it is - James Taylor

Second, I have Daddy/Daughter songs:

  • I don’t wanna miss a thing - aerosmith

  • Ready, set, don’t go - billy ray cyrys

  • You are the reason - Calum Scott

  • Beautiful Crazy - Luke Combs

  • Hold you in my Arms - Ray LaMontagne

  • Even though I’m Leaving - Luke Combs

  • Hold On - Michael Buble

  • Don’t let the Sun Go Down on Me

  • My Wish - Rascal Flatts

  • First Man - Camila Cabello

Lastly, I chose songs for your 'sworn-in' family. Friends see you through it all, similar to parents. And if you are someone who doesn’t have a traditional family life or great relationships, or maybe you just want to dedicate a moment to The Maid of Honor, these can be applicable!

  • Count on me - Bruno Mars

  • You’re my best friend - Queen

  • I’ll be there - the remnants

  • Castle on the Hill - Ed Sheeran

  • I’ll always remember you - Hannah Montana

  • For the First Time - The Scripts

  • Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

Maid of Honor and Bride dancing on the dance floor at the Wedding Reception after the outdoor wedding ceremony. #weddingreception #weddingdancing #bridesister #maidofhonor #pinkwedding #zionnationalpark #zionwedding #utahwedding #outdoorwedding #weddingdancesongs

I hope this list helps! If none of these suggestions stuck out to you, there are a good deal of resources to find more ideas! My last list for you is a few other ways to find songs for events:

  • Pre-made playlists on Spotify. Search "wedding playlists' and lots of options will come up!

  • The Knot’s blog has a great list of songs separated by genre and events

  • Youtube Playlists

  • And the obvious, Google. If you use a simple search like, “first dance wedding songs”, regularly used wedding songs that you most likely already know populate. Here are a few pro tips that may narrow it down for you:

    • Place the genre you’re looking for before your search. Example: Indie First Dance Songs

    • Place the preferred style in your search. Example: Modern Wedding Songs

    • Lastly, search for an entirely non-wedding or different subject that might get your same results. Example: Songs for him, Newest Love songs, Cake Cutting Songs, or Anniversary songs.

Choosing Wedding songs is actually harder than it seems so don't put this task off! Your DJ (and your wedding planner) are going to need to know those key songs in advance!

One more tip: as you're putting together these songs, also consider songs you absolutely do and don't want the DJ to play, Are there certain songs that get your crew pumped up on the dance floor? Definitely let us know! Hate the Cupid Shuffle? Definitely let us know that too!

Happy song-selecting!

Eventfully, Jacqueline

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