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How To Build the Ultimate Playlist for Your Wedding


Your wedding day is a beautiful mix of emotions, unique moments, and memories, but what’s at the root of it all? The perfect wedding playlist. Our experience as a wedding band in this industry has led us to learning what songs work & what songs don’t at certain moments during your special night. Some might seem like a good idea at first, then once you get 30 seconds in you want to skip.

With our guidance, we will walk you through how to craft the perfect wedding playlist from first to last song.

The Magic of a Wedding Playlist

The right playlist not only gets everyone on the dance floor but also makes the day unforgettable. Being able to dance with your closest loved ones on the most magical night of your life is a special feeling, and one you don't experience often. So make sure you’re all set to go with the perfect playlist for your wedding reception.

wedding dj at a reception

Why Music Matters at a Wedding

Music shapes emotions, and there's no day where emotions run as high as on a wedding. Thus, the right wedding song choices can transform the ambiance from ordinary to magical, all with the push of a button. So let’s start off with something a little intimate, so we can slowly transition the night into the dance party you deserve.

The First Dance: Setting the Mood

The first dance sets the tone for the rest of the night. Playing classics like from Elvis Presley or Etta James will always be a huge hit, it touches people from all walks of life yet also feels very unique. You could also start off the night with a heart touching modern hit from an artist like Ed Sheeran, it might be an unfamiliar tune to the older generation but still tugs on their heart strings just the same. Here’s some songs we recommend for this:

Start it off with a BANG! Best Wedding Songs of 2023

Whether you're a fan of Bruno Mars or Taylor Swift, this year's chart-toppers have something for every couple. Be sure you check out what’s topping the charts when you go to pick the first song for in your wedding dance playlist.

Starting off by playing a current hit favorite is a great way to initially get people onto the dance floor, however you dont want to over do it because there’s still 2-3 hours of dancing left to do. So make sure when picking a song, you choose one that has good dancing energy, but dosent make you want to jump on your feet. Here’s some of our favorites to give yo ua better idea:

Timeless Classics

Once you’ve got the dance floor warmed up its time to cool it down with some timeless classics. Transition from the modern hits to timeless classics is a great way to encourage a diverse mix of guests onto your dance floor. Playing classics from artists like Whitney Houston or Elvis Presley are the perfect way to break down the age barriers & get everyone dancing to the same songs. Here’s some of our favorites we recommend to fit the vibe:

Mixing ICONIC Genres and Eras

Once you’ve had a chance to get all the age groups up and moving, its time to keep them there with some iconic hits everyone will know. These dont need to be from any specific era or genre but its best if they are well defined by it. Anything from Stevie Wonder to Ellie Goulding, when crafting a playlist you can avoid blending the old with the new. The beauty lies in the mix of both. Try this by pairing a modern hit like Pharrell Williams' "Happy" with timeless ones like Frank Sinatra or Elton John. You could even include legends like Michael Jackson or contemporary icons like Taylor Swift, with their hits that can cater to all age groups at a wedding.

Here’s some of the best songs we think would work well for this:

Bring On The Party With The Essential Wedding Reception Hits

The wedding reception is the climax of celebrations. Make sure your song choices get everyone, from grandma to your college buddies, dancing.

But not every song you think is a hit is actually one, which is why its important to hand select the songs you want to include in this portion of the wedding reception. Here’s some of our favorites that get people jumping on the dance floor:

Dance Floor Fillers

Once you’ve played a few songs that up the energy, its time to up it even more! Now is when you really bring out the crowd favorites, the songs everyone knows every word too & has heard a 100 times but still sounds just as good as the first.

Think about songs like "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars or Lady Gaga's dance numbers to ensure the dance floor remains packed. You could even go for a more nostalgic vibe with The Killers & their vast catelogue. To give you a better feel for what we mean, here’s a list of some songs we’d play during this moment:

Slow Dances:

When it comes time for the slow dances, we’ve found that playing more modern classics evokes more of a response from the guests rather than instrumentals.

So when you’re planning your slow dances, think about artists like Etta James to include, or play songs like Christina Perri's "Thousand Years".

Here’s some other songs we like as well:

Conclusion: Wedding Music to Remember

Your wedding playlist is a musical roadmap of your special day. With the best wedding songs, you create memories filled with love, joy, and the best celebrations. Now, remember, if you really want to take it up a notch, hiring a Wedding Band to play those songs will bring everyone's enjoyment level up 1000%.

Hiring a live band for your wedding can bring an unmatched energy to your reception that only exists at concerts & festivals. Their ability to turn it up for the best parts of the songs & keep it low for the slow sections are what make their energy unmatched. Then in addition to this, the level of crowd interaction you get is remarkable & memorable in every way.

wedding band at a reception

Need help on where to find your perfect band? Contact Moontower Entertainment, the live music experts in Austin TX. They work with any budget & will find you a band for any occasion. They’ve been working in Austin to provide people with high quality entertainment for affordable prices for over 13 years. So remember if you need entertainment advice, talk to someone at Moontower Entertainment.


What should be the first song at my wedding?

Consider a blend of personal significance and popularity. From Ed Sheeran's romantic hits to classics by Elvis, choose what resonates with your love story.

How do I ensure a diverse wedding playlist?

Mix genres, eras, and artists. From Stevie Wonder to Calvin Harris, ensure there's something for everyone.

Should I include chart-toppers in my wedding playlist?

Absolutely! Modern hits, be it from Taylor Swift or Bruno Mars, can add a contemporary touch.

Which classics are a must-add?

Think Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, or even Elton John. Their hits have stood the test of time.

How do I cater to all age groups?

Blend icons like Michael Jackson with modern sensations like Lady Gaga. Ensure a balance between timeless and trendy.

Are there songs I should avoid?

While personal preferences matter, be cautious with songs that might have inappropriate lyrics or themes for a diverse crowd.

How do I end my wedding night musically?

End on a high! An upbeat classic or a recent chartbuster can leave everyone with cherished memories.

Any tips on ensuring the dance floor stays alive?

Keep an eye on the crowd. If a song isn't resonating, don't hesitate to switch to a proven dance floor filler!

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