7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (2023)

Putting together the perfect wedding music play list for your big day can be a daunting task. With so many things to consider where do you start?

Picture Your Dream Wedding

Start by picturing your dream wedding. Visualize what you and your wedding party are wearing, what your ceremony and reception venues look like and the smiles of all your guests as they dance and celebrate the night away. Now, stop and listen closely, what music do you hear when you visualize these things?

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (1)

Music plays an integral part in the success of any wedding. From the first note of the ceremony prelude music to the last dance of the night, the music creates the atmosphere for your wedding.

There are no rules when selecting music for your wedding but here are a couple of helpful hints to help you.

Wedding Ceremony Music

There’s no need to stick to traditional classical music if you don’t like classical music. Pick something you and your fiancee enjoy, whether it be contemporary, traditional or somewhere in between. There are a lot of great covers of popular wedding songs done by string quartets out nowadays so you can have the best of both worlds!

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (2)

Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music

Most people prefer to go with the standard Frank Sinatra style music for cocktail hour and dinner. Why not use cocktail hour to mix it up a little bit and play some of your favorite songs. What’s on your iPod? Adult contemporary, alternative rock, classic rock, reggae, Top 40? It can make for great cocktail hour and/or dinner music and set your wedding apart. This is your day; choose something that reflects your personal style and taste. Of course, if you really love Frank and the Rat Pack go for it.

Time to Dance

Once dinner and the formal activities are over it’s time to open up the dance floor and get your guests out there celebrating. What songs should you pick for dancing? Of course you should include your favorite songs but don’t forget about all of your other guests who may not share your musical tastes. Be sure to throw some songs on your play list for your older guests too!

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (3)

Work With Your Wedding DJ

A good wedding DJ will take the time to find out what your musical preferences are and tailor their performance to that while at the same time “reading” the crowd and playing music that keeps the dance floor jumping.

It’s perfectly all right to ban certain songs from your wedding, even entire genres of music. Just don’t fall into the trap of saying I only want my favorite style played and nothing else. You want all of your guests to dance and have a great time at your wedding.

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (4)

How Many Songs Should You Pick?

A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.

It’s never a good idea to give your DJ a list of 100 songs to play, there is no way they will have time to play them all and they won’t know what the most important ones are.

A good way to break up your request list is into a Must Play and Play If Possible list. Give your DJ your top 15 favorite songs on your Must Play list so they know those are the most important to you. Give them a second Play If Possible list of 15-30 more songs that they can choose from at their discretion.

If you hire a professional DJ trust them to use your request list along with their skill at reading the crowd to create the perfect mix of music for your wedding. That is their job!

You should also provide your wedding DJ with a Do Not Play list so they know what songs and types of music you don’t want to hear. A professional DJ will know this from their conversations with you but it never hurts to have it down in front of them.

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Music Playlist (5)

Start Making Your List and Checking It Twice

Take a look at your iPod play lists, what’s on there?

Carry a pad of paper in your car and every time you hear a great song you want to hear at your wedding jot it down. That list will probably change between now and your wedding day but it will give you some good ideas.

If pen and paper are a little to old school for you, use the incredible Shazam app. Just click a button and it will tell you the title and artist of whatever song it hears, tags it and adds it to a list for you.

Check out the most requested wedding songs to see what other people are requesting. It will give you some great ideas for popular songs to add to your Must Play List or Do Not Play List if they are a little too mainstream for your tastes.

When you add a song to your list think about how the crowd will respond to it. If you have a whole list of songs by bands no one has ever heard of, how do you think that will affect your dance floor. Try to pick songs that you know people will like dancing too. Shift the more obscure and non-danceable songs to the cocktail hour request list.

Get To Work

Don’t wait till the week of your wedding to try and figure out what you want to hear on your wedding day, you will have enough other things to deal with. Now that you’ve got some direction, start working on the perfect wedding music playlist today!

For more information on creating a wedding music playlist and DJ services for your wedding contact MDM Entertainment today at 773.253.4986.


What makes a great wedding playlist? ›

A good wedding reception playlist will have high moments and low moments- fast songs and slow songs. Times for people to dance close, times for people to slow dance, and even times for people to go get a drink so they can enjoy the dance floor even more.

How do you curate a perfect wedding playlist? ›

Wedding Song Ideas: Brainstorming the Perfect Reception Playlist
  1. 1) Make a song list with your fiancé.
  2. 2) Ask for song requests from your wedding guests.
  3. 3) Host a playlist-making party.
  4. 4) Create a collaborative playlist.
  5. 2) Add a Variety of Music Genres to Your Wedding Playlist.

How many songs should be on a wedding reception playlist? ›

How Many Songs Should You Pick? A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.

What order should wedding songs be played? ›

A basic wedding ceremony music program or wedding ceremony song order usually includes pre-professional songs, processionals, and then the recessionals.
  • Prelude music. ...
  • Processional song. ...
  • Recessional song. ...
  • Interlude and postlude songs.

What is the main wedding song? ›

How 'Here Comes the Bride' Became the Song You Hear at Every Wedding Ceremony. There are many superstitious wedding traditions, but some have pretty clear origins.

How many slow songs do you play at a wedding? ›

Something to keep in mind is that too many slow songs can bring down the mood of a wedding reception. A good rule of thumb is to have one slow song for every five fast songs. Guests typically need a rest from dancing after about 20-30 minutes, which equals about five fast songs.

How do you structure a good playlist? ›

Structure the playlist like a flight

Think about what role each song on your list performs, and from there it's a simple matter of arranging and connecting the dots. Having this structure in mind can help inspire more song picks, too, as your music brain will start slotting in different songs into different spots.

How do you combine songs for a wedding ceremony? ›

  1. Audio-Joiner. First up is Audio-Joiner that is one of the best platforms to edit wedding songs as it has different options. ...
  2. Audio Trimmer. If you are looking for software, not to join the songs but to trim, then Audio Trimmer is the one for you. ...
  3. Online Converter. ...
  4. Files Merge. ...
  5. Audio Editor. ...
  6. Twistedwave.

How do you make a beautiful playlist? ›

10 Tips for Creating Perfect Radio Playlists
  1. Always be on the look out for new music. ...
  2. Variety is key. ...
  3. Have a theme and purpose. ...
  4. Aim for 30-50 songs. ...
  5. Include one song per artist. ...
  6. Keep it updated. ...
  7. Select music that you love. ...
  8. Take your brand into consideration.
Mar 2, 2019

How long should a wedding playlist be? ›

Wedding party (three-five hours) – 60-70 songs

The wedding party is the fun part of choosing your wedding playlist. This is your opportunity to choose a mix of fast and slow, new and old. You will want to leave a little wiggle room, so choose 60 to 70 wedding party songs.

Should I make my own wedding playlist? ›

Music is a great way to set the tone for your event. Putting together multiple playlists (potentially, there could be different playlists for the processional, recessional, ceremony, introductions, dance floor, and more) can be a lot of work, but it also gives you complete control over the mood of each moment.

Do you give a DJ a playlist for wedding? ›

It's always appreciated when you provide your DJ with a small playlist for both the Dinner and Dancing sections of your wedding. This helps them get a clearer idea of exactly what you are after and then they can expand on your choices based on the dance floor response and requests from your guests.

Should the last song at a wedding be slow or fast? ›

If you want a private last dance with just your partner, choose a slow song to create an intimate moment and re-focus the attention on you, the couple. If you'd rather go out with a bang, especially if you're having an after-party, pick a high-energy tune for all your guests to enjoy.

How long should your aisle song be? ›

The average song is 3 minutes long. It can take 20 seconds for a couple to prepare and get from the entrance to their seats or the dance floor. As you increase the number of introductions, add on another song.

How many aisle songs do you need? ›

Most civil ceremonies will have: One song during the processional (walk down the aisle / bridal entrance) Three songs during the signing of the register. One song during the recessional (exit of the married couple)

Does the bride walk to a different song? ›

Wedding music commences, either a separate song for the Bridesmaids to enter and a different song for the Bride. Alternatively, the entire wedding party can use just one song.

What is the stereotypical wedding song called? ›

For more than a century, the Bridal Chorus from Wagner's Lohengrin (1850), often called "Here Comes The Bride", has been the most popular processional, and is traditionally played on a pipe organ.

Who picks the song to walk down the aisle? ›

To really personalize the ceremony, you and your partner could each choose your processional songs in private, and not share them until you walk down the aisle. Find a song that represents the way you feel about your partner, a tune they love that you know they'd be thrilled to hear, or one that holds a special memory.

How long should a first wedding song be? ›

The Dance Instructor's Take

That being said, he agrees that unless the couple is performing a compelling or entertaining dance routine, anything over three minutes may make your guests feel less engaged. But don't cut your song down too short, either. Hoke recommends keeping the song to a minimum of 30-45 seconds.

How many hours does a DJ play at a wedding? ›

Obviously the amount of time for the DJing will be dependent on how coverage you've paid for. The normal, optimal length for a wedding reception is 4 hours (this includes the dinner portion). When you add in cocktail hour and the ceremony, there would be another 2 hours of music.

Does a first dance song have to be slow? ›

First Dance Tradition

There is no rule of what style of dance they should choose, some couples decide on having a slow dance, while some a more upbeat, fun choreographed number.

Does the order of a playlist matter? ›

How important is the track order in a playlist? Playlist sequencing is important if each song tells a slice of the story you're trying to convey. But using the shuffle button is less egregious if each song is telling the same story in a different way.

What is the most common playlist format? ›

PLS is a computer file format for a multimedia playlist. It is typically used by media players for streaming media over the Internet, but may also be used for playing local media.

How many songs is best for a playlist? ›

10. In the end, you should have about 20 to 25 songs. “A good playlist is about an hour and a half long.”

How do you make a wedding mashup? ›

Ideas For Your Mash-Up Mix
  1. Start and End With the Same Song. Start with the slow meaningful song you want for the dance. ...
  2. End the Song with a Sharp Ending. ...
  3. Use Line Dance and Participation Dance Songs. ...
  4. Chose Something Old and Something New. ...
  5. Have Family Members Join In. ...
  6. End With A Fun Song That Everyone Can Join In On.
Sep 8, 2019

How many songs before wedding ceremony? ›

Generally, five or six songs are the right amount, so take a listen to 65 of our favorite ceremony prelude songs and have fun making your selections.

How many songs are in a wedding ceremony entrance? ›

How many songs do I need for my wedding ceremony? Traditionally, music is used to mark three parts of the service: the entrance, signing of the register and the exit. You'll need one song for the entrance, one song for the exit, and up to three for the signing of the register.

How do I make my playlist flow? ›

Building a playlist that has gradually increasing tempo is great for making it flow. That said, you don't have to make a playlist that goes up a few bpm per song with no dips at all. It might make your playlist a bit predicable and although it flows well, it can get stale quickly.

What is a good playlist length? ›

A good rule of thumb is at least 30-40 tracks. Because different genres and styles of music are available in abundance, your songs and playlists can reflect who you are and the way you feel.

How do I blend my playlist? ›

How to Make Spotify Blend With Friends and Family
  1. Open the Spotify app on your phone or load the Spotify website on your browser.
  2. Click on the search tab on Spotify and search for 'Blend.'
  3. Tap on it and click the "Create a Blend" option.
  4. To generate a Spotify Blend link, tap the "Invite" button to share it with others.
Nov 21, 2022

How loud should wedding music be? ›

So, what is an acceptable limit to work with for your wedding? We recommend no less than 90dB. 80dB is fine for music barely audible over dinner, but when dance time comes we need to be able to double that to have something loud enough to dance to.

How many songs does wedding band play in 4 hours? ›

If a song is roughly 3-4 minutes long, then you'd be looking at 15-20 songs per hourly set. If your band is performing 2 x 45 minute sets, then it would be roughly 10-15 songs per set.

How long should wedding exit song be? ›

The length of this uplifting or inspirational music piece should be the same as that for other interlude songs - two or three minutes. 14) Exit of the Bridal Party: The upbeat, celebratory music of the recessional should last as long as it takes for your bridal party and guests to leave the ceremony area.

Should you tell people your wedding song? ›

Even if you're picking a more traditional song, there's no need to share it in advance with everyone. You may pick up some unwanted comments or even criticism (“Oh really? That's a weird song.”) – and who needs that?

What percentage of a wedding budget should be music? ›

Wedding Dress: 5% Wedding Rings: 4% to 8% Videography: 5% Reception Music: 4% to 6%

Can I use a Spotify playlist for my wedding? ›

Yes, you absolutely can. But do consider that there's a range of multitude of things that you will be personally responsible for that could go wrong, that usually you pay a professional to organize. And so what we're going to do is we're going to put a link here on how to create a Spotify playlist for the wedding.

Who pays for the music at a wedding? ›

2. Consider Who Traditionally Pays for the Wedding. Traditionally, the bride's family assumed most of the financial costs associated with a wedding, including the wedding planner, invitations, dress, ceremony, reception, flowers, photography, and music.

Does the bride or groom pay for the DJ? ›

The bride and her family pay for all professional services, including food and decorations. The groom's family pays for the DJ or band and liquor.

Do you play music during wedding speeches? ›

Toasts/Speeches – During the toasts and speeches, music should not be played. We obviously want to hear and respect what your family and friends have to say, so their voice should be the only thing coming out of the speakers.

Does the groom walk down to a song? ›

The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can walk down the aisle to a song that's just for them. The groom, followed by his groomsmen, can come in from stage left (the guests right) and get into place to a song just for the guys.

How long is the average wedding song? ›

Well, on the one hand, the average song length is 3-5 minutes. But the average time for someone to walk down the aisle is about 30 seconds. So, each person will only have one tiny snippet for a song as they walk down the aisle.

Who walks the mother of the bride down the aisle? ›

The mother of the bride is traditionally escorted by her son if she has one. Otherwise, any close male relative, the best man, or a groomsman walks with the mother of the bride during the procession.

Do you walk down the aisle to music? ›

To make a grand entrance, you're going to need to pick a suitably grand entrance song to walk down the aisle to. Your choice of processional song will help set the tone for the rest of your wedding ceremony, and you can continue your chosen musical theme for other important moments, such as your first dance song.

How slowly should you walk down the aisle? ›

Walk (almost) like you'd normally walk.

So walk as you would anywhere else, only slightly slower. If the music you choose is medium-paced, feel free to walk to the beat. If it's extraordinarily slow, don't bother keeping pace; your trip down the aisle will last longer than your vows!

Can you walk down the aisle to the same song as first dance? ›

Well, let's start things off with wedding songs to walk down the aisle to. You can use the same one for the first dance or use separate tracks to make the bride's entrance more dramatic.

Do you need 2 processional songs? ›

The number of processional songs you'll need depends on a few factors including the number of people walking down the aisle and the length of the aisle. Usually people choose two processional songs—one for the family and wedding party, and then a more dramatic and emotional song for the bridal processional.

How many songs do you give a DJ for a wedding? ›

Try not to request too many songs

“You've got to trust their judgment,” Groh says. “Give them 10 or 20 of your favorite songs and let them do the rest of the work. And if you want to see dancing, make sure the songs are danceable.

How do you make a good event playlist? ›

How to Make Perfect Party Playlist
  1. Tailor the Playlist to Your Theme, Guest List, and Setting. ...
  2. Make Sure You Have a Good Mix of Styles. ...
  3. Make Sure Your Playlist is Long Enough. ...
  4. Don't Be Afraid to Play Some of Your Favorite Tunes. ...
  5. Sandwich Lesser-Known Songs Between Fan Favorites. ...
  6. Listen to Your Playlist and Make Harsh Edits.
Oct 15, 2021

How many different songs do you play during a wedding ceremony? ›

Most civil ceremonies will have: One song during the processional (walk down the aisle / bridal entrance) Three songs during the signing of the register. One song during the recessional (exit of the married couple)

How to do the music yourself at your wedding? ›

How to DJ your own Wedding
  1. Speak to a pro wedding consultant.
  2. Check with your venue.
  3. Make a checklist.
  4. Make a playlist.
  5. Make multiple playlists.
  6. Test your speakers.
  7. Have a back-up plan.
  8. Do a trial run.

What is the app that makes the perfect playlist? ›

AI Playlist Maker: PlaylistAI

The best app for making playlists on Spotify and Apple Music. Create playlists from AI prompts, images, videos, and your most-listened-to music.

How do you get a 25 most played playlist? ›

How to Find Top 25 Most Played Songs on Apple Music on iPhone
  1. Open the Music app on your iPhone and make sure you are in the Library tab.
  2. Tap on Playlists.
  3. Scroll down, and you will see a playlist titled Top 25 Most Played. Tap on it.
  4. Here are 25 songs that you have listened to the maximum number of times.
Dec 7, 2021

Can I just use a playlist at my wedding? ›

Yes, you absolutely can. But do consider that there's a range of multitude of things that you will be personally responsible for that could go wrong, that usually you pay a professional to organize. And so what we're going to do is we're going to put a link here on how to create a Spotify playlist for the wedding.

Can you just play a playlist at your wedding? ›

You need someone that is in charge of the computer and playlists. You can do it yourself (not recommended on your wedding) or you need to make at least 1 person responsible for this. If not, people will just randomly change music all the time!

Do wedding DJs use Spotify? ›

Before we got married, I read SO MANY posts about how it's just easier to hire a DJ and not worry about ceremony music on an iPod.

Who walks down the aisle first? ›

From walking down the aisle first to last, the traditional order is: Mother of Bride, Mother of Groom, Grandparents of Bride, Grandparents of Groom, Groom, Officiant, the Wedding Party, Maid of Honor and Best Man, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl and lastly the Bride and her Father.

How long should wedding music be? ›

Well, on the one hand, the average song length is 3-5 minutes. But the average time for someone to walk down the aisle is about 30 seconds. So, each person will only have one tiny snippet for a song as they walk down the aisle.

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