20 Songs You Need to Add to Your Wedding's "Do Not Play" List

Songs from Do Not Play Lists

Photo: Austin Gros

Pretty much every bride and groom planning their wedding has at least a short list of songs they want to play at the wedding reception. After all, you need to pick a first-dance song and a father-daughter dance song at the very least! But what about the "no-play" list? The idea behind this is that there are bound to be a few tunes you definitely don't want to hear, whether it's because they're overplayed, remind you of an ex, or a variety of other reasons. Though we can't weigh in on your personal preferences, there are many songs that, due to their lyrics or meaning, should never be cued up at any nuptials. We curated a Spotify playlist of these "do not play" selections that you'll want to avoid.

Believe it or not, many first dances are to tunes that have negative messages about love. The Police's "Every Breath You Take" is about a stalker, Dolly Parton and Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" is about a breakup, Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" is about death, Adele's "Make You Feel My Love" is about desperation, and Coldplay's "The Scientist" is just an all-around downer. Bono wrote U2's "Sweetest Thing" for his wife as an apology for forgetting her birthday, and don't forget that Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" is about a lover freezing to death. How romantic!

See more: 64 Perfect First-Dance Songs

Other fun dance songs also have a tinge of cynicism to them. For example, did you know that Billy Idol wrote "White Wedding" because he hated his sister's fiancé? Gloria Gaynor's ever-popular "I Will Survive" was written about a broken-up relationship, and if you listen to the lyrics of Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna Be Happy," you'll realize that they tell men to marry ugly women so that they won't cheat on them. Meanwhile, we probably don't need to tell you that ones like Kanye West's "Gold Digger," Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," and Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" aren't great ideas, either.

Having said all of this, every couple should feel free to play anything they want at their wedding! We just want to give a little PSA so that you know what you're getting yourselves into. These are good songs regardless, so go ahead and give them a play for memories' sake.

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