Bride and Groom Dancing to Wedding Songs


Tips and Trends | October 23, 2020

Bride and Groom Dancing to Wedding Songs

Planning your wedding can be the most exciting time of your life—and also the busiest! In other words, there are more moving parts than you know what to do with. And that’s perfectly normal, expected even! For many, choosing the perfect wedding playlist is just one more stress-filled box to check off. And when you’re in full-fledged wedding planning mode, chances are you’re thinking about the cake, honeymoon plans, or replacing a sick bridesmaid before you ever think about which songs to have in your playlist.

But what happens if a song plays at the wrong
moment? What if your processional and reception songs get mixed up? And what
happens if people always remember your wedding ceremony because that woman in
the sound booth starts playing “The Hallelujah Chorus” instead of “The Bridal

PC: Chantel Marie Photography

Music does matter during your wedding because it’s something that creates emotional connection as well as strong memories. By the end of this post, you’ll feel more confident about crossing “Create the perfect wedding playlist” off your to-do list and be able to focus on all the other things to get done.

Teaming Up with Singer, Michelle Ray

To provide you with the best songs for your special day, we’ve teamed up with singer, Michelle Ray. Being a musician and having just said “I do,” Michelle knows the value of the perfect wedding playlist. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, her original wedding plans changed, and she knew creating a special moment for her and her guests would be more important than ever. So, she wrote the song, “I Do.”

Michelle says, “‘I Do’ was a song that so naturally came to life when in a writing session (on Zoom, of course) with one of my best friend’s I met while on The Voice, Kathleen Regan. We both knew I had to change all of my wedding plans due to Corona and how I was blown out of this world by how compassionate, understanding, and loving my now husband was.

Dress: Stevie by Maggie Sottero

I had found my cheesy fairytale once in a lifetime love story, and I had to put some of that emotion into a song. The lyrics are about falling so deeply in love with your person, you want to be with them up until you’re in rocking chairs together. All of the curveballs life throws at you makes you who you are. Each path that you take, I believe, leads you to exactly where and who you are supposed to be with. In our case, Ethan and I met exactly when we were supposed to.

I want ‘I Do’ to be everyone’s first dance song and everyone’s love song. I want the emotion of finding the absolute love of your life despite all hardships, chaos, and noise, being the most spectacular feeling you can ever experience!”

Just like Michelle, we want every bride to feel all the love on her special day! Check out her song, “I Do,” and perhaps consider it for one of your wedding playlist songs!

Big Moments in Every Wedding

Now for our tips on how to create the perfect wedding playlist! Every couple will have a unique ceremony, but it’s possible to find things most weddings share—the big moments that will need music in the wedding video and during the ceremony itself.

PC: Rene Zador Photography

Here are those moments:

  • Processional
  • Bride’s entrance
  • Recessional
  • Reception entrance
  • First dance
  • Cake cutting

Of course, you might have other things you
want to do. Some couples do a unity ceremony (lighting candles, knotting ropes,
or even basket weaving). Others want to focus on the father/daughter
and mother/son dances.

PC: Chantel Marie Photography

But think of those six moments as a starting point. We’ll use that list to help you create your perfect wedding playlist, including some popular songs as well as some royalty free ones.

Top Songs for Wedding Playlists

Every couple is different, so there aren’t any “right” or “wrong” choices when it comes to the music you go with. (It’s your day, after all — pick the songs that mean the most to you!)

PC: Erika Diaz Photography

Seeing which songs are most popular can help you build a wedding playlist that fits your unique love story and helps make your special day even more memorable.

Processional Wedding Songs

This is one of the first moments where you get
to hint at the tone of the ceremony. It’s a way to let your guests get a feel
for the relationship they’ve come to celebrate. Whether that’s a traditional
piece or something quirky is entirely up to you.

PC: Erika Diaz Photography

You could go the more traditional route with
something like Pachelbel’s “Canon
in D
.” Or maybe you’re more interested in something modern like The
Vitamin String Quartet’s cover of “Yellow.”

If you’d rather find something unique, keep in mind that the similar things between these wedding songs are a slow tempo and an emotional buildup.

Bride’s Entrance Songs

Even people who have never been to a wedding
know the “Bridal March” (also known as “Here Comes The Bride”).
The song has basically become ingrained into the wedding industry. It’s
something many brides subconsciously associate with their big moment.

PC: Chantel Marie Photography

But that’s not the only option to pick. An alternative song that blends classical and contemporary would be the Piano Guys’ cover of “A Thousand Years” or the original version by Christian Perri. Both of those have been hugely popular in recent years.

Recessional Wedding Songs

If the processional song is your chance to
show a bit of personality, the recessional song is when you can let loose. You
exchanged vows, kissed, and got announced — now it’s time to start the
celebration with something that makes you want to dance. (That technically
comes later, but you get the idea.)

PC: Kristina Wild Photography

Most couples go for modern, upbeat songs that
are significant to them, but there are a few popular ones. “Best
Day of My Life
” by American Authors and OneRepublic’s “Good
” have both been popular recessional songs for the better part
of a decade. And of course “Signed,
Sealed, Delivered
” by Stevie Wonder is a song that makes anyone

Reception Entrance Songs

Keep the energy and excitement going with your
reception entrance. You can pick your favorite song, last year’s top Billboard
hit, or an oldie-but-goodie.

PC: Rene Zador Photography

The past few years have gifted us some incredible reception songs. “Can’t Stop This Feeling” and “Shut Up and Dance” are both perfect. And if you want some audience participation, you can look into “Handclap” by Fitz and the Tantrums. All of these are fabulous additions to your wedding playlist.

First Dance Songs

PC: Kristina Wild Photography

Ah, the most sentimental moment of the night! Soft acoustic songs are a perfect match here: “Marry Me” by Train, “Speechless” by Dan + Shay, “I Was Made For Loving You” by Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran. . . Actually, pretty much anything by Ed Sheeran works well. Literally, anything.

PC: Chantel Marie Photography

If you want something with a more classic
feel, think about “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
(or any of the more contemporary covers, like Haley
Reinhart’s version
) and “Fly
Me To The Moon
” by Frank Sinatra. Those are probably the two most
popular first dance songs that have stood the test of time.

Cake Cutting Songs

Most DJs have a checklist of a wedding’s big moments, but cutting the cake is a moment that often gets overlooked. It’s one of the familiar traditions that people associate with weddings, and that means it deserves at least a little love on your wedding playlist.

PC: Erika Diaz Photography

There are two strange but go-to picks for this
moment: Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” (which is funny just to
write) and “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor. If you’re
looking for something a little less…um, old,
Maroon 5’s “Sugar” is a picture-perfect option.

Unique Playlist for a Unique Day

Again, these are just some of the most popular moments we see in wedding video projects. You’ll have your own needs for your playlist. In fact, you probably have tons of ideas for songs you absolutely need to include. But we hope this list — and these suggestions — gives you a little extra inspiration.

PC: Sarah Paul Photography

As an extra resource, here is a playlist of Soundstripe’s 10 most popular wedding songs from 2019 (based on what wedding videographers downloaded for their projects). Feel free to listen to this royalty free music for some inspiration while you build your perfect wedding playlist.

PC: Erika Diaz Photography

Your wedding playlist might not be as high on your list of priorities as food tasting or choosing place settings, but remember: the music will be something your guests associate with your big day forever.

You owe it to yourself and your spouse-to-be to make the best wedding playlist possible! For more ideas on the best royalty free music for your wedding video, click here! And, for a breakdown on how to incorporate wedding music into your wedding budget, check out this post. Cheers!

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