Let the Wedding Music Play
Jessica Church of Bash! Weddings & Events in Portland, Oregon, says that Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is the most popular processional song among couples she works with, “hands down.” Depending on the tone of your wedding, it’s also fine to stroll down the aisle to something more unique, like Cat Power’s “Sea of Love,” Bruno Mars’ “Marry You,” or Johnny Cash’s “Rose of My Heart;” however, it’s typically the recessional where couples opt for more upbeat and fun selections, says Church, such as the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” or Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Your goal for times when the focus isn’t dancing: “Keep it sonically appropriate but lively!” says Kim Alexander, founder of No Macarena, a Philadelphia-based DJ and custom music service. “Even though it’s not the throw-down part of the night, it’s still a party.”
She recommends both jazz standards like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and more contemporary artists like Michael Bublé and Norah Jones, as well as classic rock artists, such as Van Morrison, Sting, and Bob Marley, and mellow Indie rockers like Bon Iver, Ingrid Michaelson and Iron & Wine.
FIrst Dance & Father/Daughter Dance
“The classics still rule,” says Alexander. Think the Beatles “In My Life” or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” But feel free to use tunes that have personal history for you, or let you show off some fancy footwork. Alexander’s also notes that she’s seeing more couples choose just one song, with bride/father/groom/mother on the floor all at once.
If you want to ensure guests of all ages are grooving on the dance floor, “play the Jackson 5’s ‘I Want You Back’ – works EVERY time,” says Alexander. Other than that, you’ll want a playlist that includes a combo of dance-worthy songs that everyone knows (even grandma) and current hits, be it Beyoncé or My Morning Jacket.