If you’re like me, life has a soundtrack. Every party, holiday, and big moment deserves its own music—the perfect playlist. When the big day rolls around, I will be diving into Spotify to pick the songs that will tell my love story.
Sounds like fun, right?
Here’s the thing…wedding days are long. 12+ hours long. You have to consider what you’ll listen to when you get ready, walk down the aisle, join the cocktail hour, eat dinner…the list goes on. When you really think about it, this is a big task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you want your nuptial music to be personalized and unique, you’re gonna want to check out my 15 tips to creating a modern playlist. But first: 50 acoustic wedding songs to get you started.
1. Keep it personal.
Your music should tell your loves story. Sit down with your fiancé and create a list of artists or singles that you love. Think about the tunes that remind you of each other, ditties that you get stuck in your head, songs you’ve heard them sing in the shower or car, lyrics they always get wrong in the best way. Include music you share together or each other’s personal faves. This list will be the foundation of your entire wedding playlist.
2. Start with what you know.
You can do a Google search for “Top 100 Wedding Songs,” but I recommend starting with what you already listen to. Sure, “All of Me” by John Legend or “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran are popular options, but do you listen to them? Like I said before, keep it personal! Dive into your Spotify, iTunes, or vinyl collection to start with what you already love.
3. Expect it to be hard.
This is a long day that need a lot of melodies. It’s not going to be as easy as creating your last workout playlist (although, I find that incredibly difficult). That’s why you should…
4. Start early.
Most people save this task for the end of the planning process. That may be when you really start getting things organized, but I recommend starting a playlist way earlier. It doesn’t have to be super organized. Write random tunes down in your planning binder, create a Spotify playlist called “Wedding Songs,” just get something going so you’re not scrambling later!
5. Break it down.
No, not your dance moves…sorry, lame joke. Break down the big day into sections. You’ll need different tempos and volume at different parts. Plus, there are going to be a few individual tunes that’ll get a lot of attention, so make sure you have those moments noted as well.
Here’s my breakdown:
1. Pre-ceremony: Fun, upbeat music to get ready to.
2. Processional: You may want two songs for this one! One for the wedding party’s entrance and one for the brides. Both should fall under the easy-listening/romantic genre.
3. Ceremony: If you’re doing a unity candle/sand/tree/beer/etc. ceremony, you’ll want another tune ready.
4. Recessional: You just got hitched! Turn on something celebratory!
5. Cocktail Hour: Your guests are mingling with each other, so keep the volume low and the tempo slow. Doesn’t need to be elevator music, but stick with acoustic wedding songs.
6. Grand Entrance: The DJ will announce the ‘maids and groomsmen, and then you and your new spouse. This calls for something exciting!
7. Dinner: A playlist similar to your cocktail hour.
8. First Dance: This is the big one. Choose it wisely…choose it together.
9. Father/Daughter & Mother/Son: Think about your relationship and go from there. Maybe consider classics your parents will know well?
10. Dancing: Think variety. Make sure everyone’s on the dance floor with a mix of current and classic hits.
11. Bouquet Toss: “Single Ladies.” Done.
12. Send-off: Whether it’s just the last melody of the night or your grand send-off through sparklers or fireworks, this one should fit the big moment.
If you want every guest to enjoy the party, then make sure there’s variety in your selections. That means as many genres, decades, and tempos as possible. If you get Grandma on the dance floor, you know you’ve done your job.
7. Entire albums are OK.
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Moondance by Van Morrison, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles, 1989 by Taylor Swift…there’s nothing wrong with sharing the whole album! Every one is a story, after all. Why not tell the whole thing?
8. Keep it clean.
If your big day is kid-friendly, keep it PG. If not, PG-13 is fine. But save that R-rated music for later.
9. Ask for input.
The easiest way to get guests on the dance floor is by playing their favorite hits! On the RSVP card, add some space for a request, or let the DJ know that requests are allowed. Just remember that you don’t have to take them all!
This may be one of the most important playlists you ever curate. If you don’t want “YMCA,” “It’s Raining Men,” or “The Chicken Dance” played…let your DJ know beforehand.
11. Don’t waste the hits.
If you know a song will get everyone on the dance floor, save it for later. I’m sorry, but “Shout” should not played within the first 15 minutes of the reception. Make sure folks are done mingling, for goodness sake!
12. Don’t forget about live bands.
Live bands can be an incredible option if you have room in your budget. They’ll get the crowd excited, involved, and who doesn’t love a good cover?
13. Communicate with your DJ.
The more details you give your DJ, the better. You wouldn’t just say, “Pick popular flowers,” to your florist, would you?
14. Soundchecks are necessary.
You need to do a soundcheck. Make sure the music sounds right, isn’t too loud or soft, etc. You’ll thank me later.
15. Don’t stress!
Yes, I just wrote an entire blog on picking music…but the fact is, most people won’t care as much as you think. Just keep it personal, stick with what you love, and make sure there’s a good variety. Now go listen!
What do you think of these tips and tunes? Have more acoustic wedding songs on your list? Share them in a comment!
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