Top 10 Wedding reception songs that you need to avoid

One of the most amusing parts of planning a wedding is creating your playlist for the DJ. As you consider the memories attached to various lyrics and melodies, it is easy to get happily lost for hours in this task. Some songs should be scratched out, even if you think they might be entertaining. Sure, it is your party and you can play tactless songs if you want to, but remember that not all of your friends and family are going to understand your inside jokes. Remember that what songs you choose to have blasted through those speakers is going to set the mood for the entire night. Think of this as your Do Not Play List.


macarenaMacarena by Los del Rio
“But it’s so much fun!” you are undoubtedly arguing right now. I know. Specialty dance music gets people, especially kids, out on the floor. But this modern version of the Hokey Pokey can also be irritating, not to mention overdone.



Unless you just adore this kind of organized dance or are expecting lots of young people who need to be entertained, avoid this. You might also want to reconsider whether Cha-Cha Slide, Chicken Dance, and Electric Slide deserve a spot on your playlist.



closerCloser by Nine Inch Nails
As you are writing up your list of favorite songs, keep your audience in mind. Who is going to be present at your wedding reception? Your great-grandma? Your eight year old niece? Your pastor? These are the people you may be sitting next to when the graphic lyrics of this song come on. Even if it is your favorite song of all time, this is probably not the time for raw, explicit lyrics. It is a good idea to run each song you are thinking of playing through the “Do I want to listen to this song with Pastor Bob?” test. Unless you are sure that all of your guests will be into it, you should pass on songs like “Humpty Dance” and keep things from going R-rated.


policeEvery Breath You Take by The Police
This song is not about romantic love. It is about obsession and has a rather negative connotation. For the day that everyone is gathered to celebrate your love, you may want to avoid “love songs” with dark undertones. Besides, does anyone actually listen to The Police anymore? See also: “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Huston or Dolly Parton and “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. Do I even need to mention “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division?



gilesLove Stinks by the J Giles Band
Any song with a title like “Your Cheatin’ Heart” needs to go. This is just not the time or the place for them. Even if you are celebrating leaving these feelings behind, your guests may be confused or offended.


Leave the lying, cheating, drinking, dead-beat partners out of your wedding reception music. No matter how much you adore Bon Jovi, steer clear of “You Give Love a Bad Name.”



surviveI Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
You are a strong, independent woman of the world, but this is not the day to celebrate it. Keep the girl power songs for your drive to work, and choose some lyrics that glorify the two of you together.


This also applies to songs like “D.I.V.O.R.C.E” by Tammy Wynette, though “Respect” by Aretha Franklin may be acceptable. For the record, “Miss Independent” by Kelly Clarkston is actually about a woman realizing that she does, in fact, need a man in her life.



springJesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield
This is not the time to imply that the bride has ever or will ever consider sleeping with the best man. On second thought, there is never a time for that.


Even if it has never occurred to anyone to possibly imagine the chances of this occurring, do not make the suggestion of it on your wedding day.




celebrateCelebration by Kool and the Gang
This song has been played at every wedding reception and middle school dance since I was old enough to cringe when it came on. You may be thinking that this is just the reason to play it.

People expect it. I guarantee you that nobody will miss it. It has been overdone, and nobody listens to this song unless a DJ forces them to. “YMCA” by the Village People also fits into this category, or you can refer to “Macarena.”



joeYou Are So Beautiful by Joe Cocker

Yes, you will be beautiful. Your guests will be able to see you and surmise this for themselves. This song is worn out and boring. It is the only song that I can think of that is too sluggish even to slow dance to. You can also pass on “Beauty and the Beast” by Celine Dion.


We get it, you are beautiful, but do you really want to insult your brand new husband? Not to mention that half of your guests may take offense to this song referring to the groom as the beast. Besides, I’m guessing that he will be looking pretty good that day as well.




heartAll I Want to do is Make Love to You by Heart
Once again, this song proves the importance of actually listening to lyrics. Your guests will hear the lovely ladies of Heart belting out the story of a woman cheating on her husband by having a one night stand which leaves her pregnant.

It is not as romantic as the title may lead you to believe. Remember, we’re leaving the insinuations of adultery out of the wedding festivities. Also misleading are the completely unromantic lyrics of Eric Clapton’s “Promises.”



acdcHighway to Hell by AC/DC
This song compiles all sorts of wedding no-nos. You have offensive language right there in the title. Before you give me that look, understand that you will have guests who find these words offensive, even if you do not. This song, or anything else by AC/DC and similar bands, is going to come across as a little strong to most of your older guests and may not be appropriate for the younger ones. Unless you come from a long line of heavy metal fans, it may be best to skip the head banging music.




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After reading this list you may have concerns about offending someone inadvertently, picking a song that has lyrics that you don’t fully understand until you are dancing to it, or having guests roll their eyes at your lame choices. Never fear. There are simple ways of making sure that your wedding music is a hit. Include a song request line on your RSVP cards and give everyone a voice in the music choices. Discuss what songs are hits and misses with your DJ. Here at earcandy we can assist with all of this and help make your day as stress free as possible so please feel free to get in touch with one of our entertainment team today who will be more than happy to help with any questions you may have.

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