Weddings are a time for many things. They are a time to join a happy couple, to create a family, to get dressed up and look amazing. They are a time for visiting with friends, for eating good food, for telling old stories. In short they are a time to celebrate and that means a time to dance. Brides and grooms want their guests to have fun. They want them up and out of their seats and dancing until the music stops. It is a reasonable goal, but often more difficult to achieve than people expect. We’ve all been to weddings where no one danced, which means we have all been to weddings where the music was bad.
So much of the tone of the wedding depends on music and yet for a lot of couples the music is an after-thought. It is a task left solely to the band or dj, but it can actually be a great chance for the bride and groom to bond and make choices together.
Music Categories & Favorite Songs
Start with categories. Do you have a favorite genre of music that maybe not all of your guests know and enjoy? Are you country fans among city folk? Are you classic rockers at heart underneath your button up shirts? Then make a list filled with your favorite songs. Then make a list of songs everyone loves. This list is essential. You can throw in five or six songs that you might be the only one dancing to as long as you make sure there are enough favorites for your guests. This is where classics like Shout and Land of 1,000 Dances and the Locomotion come in handy. Everyone knows them and they just can’t help but dance. Don’t be afraid to play songs that are well loved even if they are a little cheesy. Then you need to make a list of slow songs. Keep this one short because the slow songs drive guests off the floor and break up the momentum, but every wedding needs a few good ones.
After you have made your categories and filled out your lists it is time to dance. Picking the music isn’t enough, you have to put it to the test. Pick a Saturday afternoon and go through each selected song and find out if you can dance to it. You might be surprised that even some of the songs you loved and that are so special to you are actually impossible to dance to.
Music Through The Decades
After the dance test comes the time test. Do you have songs that every generation can enjoy? Most weddings have three generations in attendance and the marker of a really good time is seeing all three generations on the floor at once. This can be done by relying heavily on songs from the 1960’s and songs from the 1990’s. If you have a good mix of Motown and 90’s hip hop then you can’t go wrong. You will have songs that make everyone feel nostalgic.
Songs for Every Generation
Below are some surefire hits that go beyond the standards.
Got My Mind Set on You – George Harrison
You Got It – Roy Orbison>
Foot Stompin’ – The Flares
Tequila – The Champs
Biz Markie – Just a Friend
No Diggity – Blackstreet
Walk Like and Egyptian – The Bangles
You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes
Buddy Holly – Weezer
Now That We Found Love – Heavy D