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I'm a huge advocate of brides and grooms choosing and using the music they like for the wedding and wedding and reception, regardless of what anybody else's opinion might be. It's your wedding day and nobody else can tell you what you should, or should not, listen to while you're celebrating.
I certainly followed my own advice for my wedding, choosing songs that were significant to us, and to our loved ones, with little regard for the lyrics, and a zero care-factor about whether anybody was offended. There was some teasing when Shaggy's "Wasn't Me" started playing, but the dance floor was totally full.
With that said, despite the fact it's your wedding, you may want to think twice before choosing music that could actually offend some of your wedding guests. There are a LOT of obscene lyrics in some of the most popular hits today. And while it's so common that you might not even notice them anymore, odds are your grandmother and her friends will be shaking their heads. You have to be especially careful if you've invited a lot of children to the wedding because you don't want to make their parents angry.
As a general rule, there are three themes to be avoided. Unless, of course, they're your favorite songs and you don't care what your guests think.
1. Songs About Anger or Revenge
Think Alanis Morisette, Papa Roach, Avril Lavigne... unless it's really danceable, you're just creating an awkward moment where it didn't exist. Pretty much everything by Pink has something in it about Carey Hart, most of it not very nice.
2. Depressing Ballads
Love songs are one thing, but songs about loves lost are entirely different. If you're a Clapton fan, go with "Wonderful Tonight" in lieu of "Tears in Heaven." George Straight lovers are better off using "I Cross my Heart" than "All My Exes Live in Texas." Unless, of course, you're actually from Texas and your guests will find it hilarious.
3. Bitter Jams
"You Give Love a Bad Name," "Tainted Love," "I Will Survive," and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" may actually draw your friends to the dance floor, but they don't convey the loving vibe you want your day to have. There are just as many happy dance tunes to work into your playlist.
Remember, it's your wedding and even if your favorite music isn't popular or necessarily appropriate, you can still use it. Just remember to ask the DJ to sandwich anything potentially controversial between typical wedding standbys, like a Michael Jackson mix, or the Grease mash-up.
If you like line dances, you should do them no matter how much flack you get from your less coordinated friends. Ignore anybody who doesn't like country music if that's your fave. At the end of the day, the wedding music you choose should reflect the taste and personality of the wedding couple, even if that taste isn't the current trend.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events and author of How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show Wedding Island, about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques.