Choosing music for your wedding reception

Your wedding reception needs to be as special as your ceremony. It’s where your friends and family come together to celebrate your union and have fun together. If you are looking to make your reception stand out and be an event to remember, then it’s time for you to start to think about the live music entertainment options available to you.

Choosing music for your wedding reception is not as a daunting task as you may think it is. Earcandy has put together this quick list of musical genres and styles that fit well for most wedding receptions. We have the right artist for you and your reception, no matter what theme you decide on, or how big your venue and crowd are. From small affairs to large venues, there’s something for everyone.

The first place to start is by deciding on the theme and atmosphere that you would like to create. How many guests will be attending and how large is the venue. Once you have established that, it’s time to look at the style of music that will suit the best.


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  • Want to dance? – Then think of a good rock and roll or Motown band. Rock suits large audiences and venues, they have the ability to engage the crowd and increase or decrease the tempo as the set progresses.
  • Sophisticated style – Jazz and swing bands are great for all audience sizes and venues. They are completely flexible in their performance, being able to play upbeat tracks, or downtempo melodies, for an environment that is geared toward conversation, jazz is inspiring and relaxing.
  • Barely in the background – Classical music is elegant and calming and jazz can also fall into this category, particularly the wind instruments.
  • A bit of everything – A DJ is your best bet to get a little bit of everything and handle any request list that you may have. DJ’s are so versatile and they can play any music, from any era, with the click of a mouse.
  • Finding it formal – Jazz or classical are a must in this scenario.
  • Traditional theme – solo vocalists, classical and jazz are what you need for this environment.

Now that we have the venue and the atmosphere covered, it’s time to look at your guests and take into account their average age and whether or not they will be a crowd that likes to dance, or prefer to sit and chat.

  • Something for everyone – pop music, rock, swing or Motown are all excellent choices for this sort of crowd.
  • The middle ages – Pop, Motown and soul are your best choices for a wonderful reception.
  • For the oldies – Stick to the oldies!


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Track choice and your first dance together

Once you have selected the band that you think will make your reception a resounding success, check out their repertoire for the track listing and get in touch with the band to arrange the important tracks for your first dance, speeches etc. We put together a sample track listing of some good classics that everyone will enjoy;

    • ‘Love Is All Around’ – Wet Wet Wet
    • ‘Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
    • ‘Nobody Does It Better’ – Carly Simon
    • ‘Stand By Me’ – Ben E King
    • ‘We Have All The Time In The World’ – Louis Armstrong
    • ‘Wonderwall’ – Oasis
    • ‘You do something to me’ – Paul Weller
    • ‘Close to you’ – the Carpenters
    • ‘Every Breath You Take’ – The Police
    • ‘Have I Told You Lately’ – Rod Stewart
    • ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ – Take That
    • ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams

 Concluding thoughts

The most important thing to remember in choosing music for your wedding reception is to work with an entertainment agency that is reputable and has a wide variety of artists for you to choose from. Email us, or call into the Earcandy offices and one of our friendly event consultants will walk you through everything you need to know to make your wedding reception entertainment absolutely magical.

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