There's a natural flow to a wedding reception, but a rehearsal dinner pans out a little differently. Traditionally held on the night before the wedding, this customary event is a chance to rehearse the ceremony proceedings, greet guests, and kick off your wedding weekend. Unlike your reception, which will have a certain musical vibe for cocktail hour, dinner, early evening dancing, late-night celebrating, and the after-party, your rehearsal dinner music will most likely have a chiller, more consistent feel.
As is now the case for most wedding traditions, rehearsal dinner songs can be curated to your liking. Pick music that matches the overall vibe of the event, whether it's a formal, sit-down dinner at an upscale restaurant or a casual backyard cookout.
If you choose to have speeches or dancing at your rehearsal dinner, there may be a few musical ups and downs. Most couples, though, host what is essentially an extended dinner party with their nearest and dearest, so you'll naturally want to play the music you'd imagine hearing at the soirée of your dreams. Think some good jazz (Dave Brubeck, Sonny Clark), a few throwbacks (Nancy Sinatra), some classics (The Rolling Stones), and a couple of "Oh, interesting choice, didn't see that coming but it somehow works..." (Pavement, Beck).
Below, we created this list of 70 wonderful rehearsal dinner songs just for you.
"Tú Sí Sabes Quererme," by Natalia Lafourcade
Lyrics of Love: "It's been so long/I've finally discovered your kisses/You tangled me in your gaze/You hugged me with all my flaws"
"Friday I'm in Love," by Yo La Tengo
Lyrics of Love: "You can never get enough/Enough of this stuff/It's Friday I'm in love"
"Champale," by Macbeth the Great
Lyrics of Love: "They say if you want to be married you must drink some champale"
"Love of No Return," by Peter Sivo Band
Lyrics of Love: "You whispered/Darling I want you/I gave my love"
"Can't Nobody Love You," by The Zombies
Lyrics of Love: "I'm going to love you in the morning/Love you late at night/I ain't going to stop loving you/Till you tell me everything's alright"
"Ojos Del Sol," by Y La Bamba
Lyrics of Love: "Sun eyes, wooden skin/With a heart/Trembling for her"
"One Down," by Barry Harris
Why We Love It: Soft jazz that's both upbeat and romantic.
"Sugar Town," by Nancy Sinatra
Lyrics of Love: "If I had a million dollars or ten/I'd give to ya, world, and then/You'd go away and let me spend"
"The Oogum Boogum Song," by Brenton Wood
Lyrics of Love: "You're castin' your spell on me/You got me doin' funny things like a clown/Just look at me"
"Tropicalia," by Beck
Lyrics of Love: "Love is a poverty you couldn't sell"
"Gloria's Step," by Bill Evans Trio
Why We Love It: Lots of piano and quiet drumming makes for perfect background music
"Bam Bam," by Sister Nancy
Lyrics of Love: "Dis woman neva trouble no one/I'm a lady, I'm not a man/MC is my ambition/I come fi nice up Jamaican"
"Point of Being Right," by Shannon and The Clams
Lyrics of Love: "I've held a jasmine/I've seen the dawn"
"She Smiled Sweetly," by The Rolling Stones
Lyrics of Love: "That's what she said so softly/I understood for once in my life/And feeling good most all of the time"
"Saudade Songbook," by Brookzill! featuring Count Bass D
Lyrics of Love: "No need for sorrow/In mirrors I see you"
"Sleep Easy," by Sam Evian
Lyrics of Love: "I'm coming home now/Sleep easy sleep easy"
"Take Five," by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Lyrics of Love: "Still, I know our eyes often meet/I feel tingles down to my feet/When you smile, that's much too discreet/Sends me on my way"
"Good Lovin'," by Grateful Dead
Lyrics of Love: "So come on baby, squeeze me tight/Don't you want your daddy to be alright?/I said baby, now it's for sure/I've got the fever, you got the cure"
"Meet Me in the City," by Junior Kimbrough
Lyrics of Love: "You got me, baby/You got me, girl"
"5-4=Unity," by Pavement
Lyrics of Love: "A bottle of red/A bottle of white/I'll take my chances/Show me how sweet romance is"
"Ho Hey," by The Lumineers
Lyrics of Love: "I belong with you, you belong with me/You're my sweetheart"
"The Way You Look Tonight," by Billie Holiday
Lyrics of Love: "There is nothing for me but to love you/Just the way you look tonight"
"Video Games," by Lana Del Rey
Lyrics of Love: "Heaven is a place on Earth with you/Tell me all the things you want to do"
"Garden (Say It Like Dat)," by SZA
Lyrics of Love: "Open your heart up/Hoping I'll never find out that you're anyone else/'Cause I love you just how you are"
"Best Part," by H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar
Lyrics of Love: "You're the coffee that I need in the morning/You're my sunshine in the rain when it's pouring"
"Slow Burn," by Kacey Musgraves
Lyrics of Love: "Old soul, waiting my turn/I know a few things, but I still got a lot to learn/So I'm alright with a slow burn, slow burn, slow burn"
"Lover," by Taylor Swift
Lyrics of Love: "Can I go where you go?/Can we always be this close forever and ever?"
"Put Your Records On," by Corinne Bailey Rae
Lyrics of Love: "Girl, put your records on, tell me your favorite song/You go ahead, let your hair down"
"Save Me," by Aimee Mann
Lyrics of Love: "You look like a perfect fit/For a girl in need of a tourniquet"
"This Feeling," by Alabama Shakes
Lyrics of Love: "See, I've been having me a real good time/And it feels so nice to know I'm gonna be alright"
"Open," by Rhye
Lyrics of Love: "Caught in this pool held in your eyes/Caught like a fool without a line/We're in a natural spring/With this gentle sting between us"
"Love, Love, Love," by Donny Hathaway
Lyrics of Love: "Aww baby you make me fall in love with you/Now I don't know just what I'm gonna do/Aww honey I looked out into empty space and all I saw was your/Sweet face"
"Naked as We Came," by Iron & Wine
Lyrics of Love: "Eyes wide open/Naked as we came"
"Always Be My Baby," by Mariah Carey
Lyrics of Love: "You'll always be a part of me/I'm part of you indefinitely"
"My Cherie Amour," by Stevie Wonder
Lyrics of Love: "My Cherie Amour, pretty little one that I adore/You're the only girl my heart beats for"
"Skinny Love," by Bon Iver
Lyrics of Love: "Who will love you?/Who will fight?/Who will fall far behind?"
"Your Body Is a Wonderland," by John Mayer
Lyrics of Love: "I know you're mine all mine all mine/But you look so good it hurts sometimes"
"When a Man Loves a Woman," by Percy Sledge
Lyrics of Love: "When a man loves a woman/Can't keep his mind on nothing else/He'll trade the world/For the good thing he's found"
"Drunk in Love," by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
Lyrics of Love: "Last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies grinding up in that club/Drunk in love"
"Feeling Good," by Nina Simone
Lyrics of Love: "It's a new life/For me/And I'm feeling good"
"Take Care," by Drake and Rihanna
Lyrics of Love: "'Cause if you let me, here's what I'll do/I'll take care of you/I've loved and I've lost"
"Spring," by Sam Burchfield
Lyrics of Love: "I must be a brave man to stand by your side/And shelter your love when its cold at night"
"Gotta Have You," by Jillian Edwards
Lyrics of Love: "Make a map of my desires/All roads lead to you"
"Junka," by The Sonny Clark Trio
Why We Love It: A lively piano performance that will add some excitement to any night.
"Moon River," by Frank Ocean
Lyrics of Love: "Two drifters off to see the world/There's such a crazy world to see/We're all chasin' after all the same/Chasing after our rainbow's end"
"I Get a Kick Out of You," by Frank Sinatra
Lyrics of Love: "I get no kick from champagne/Mere alcohol, it doesn't move me at all/So tell me why should it be true/That I get a kick out of you"
"My Funny Valentine," by Sarah Vaughan
Lyrics of Love: "You make me smile with my heart"
"Young and Beautiful," by Lana Del Rey
Lyrics of Love: "Will you still love me/When I'm no longer young and beautiful?"
"I'd Look Good on You," by Ernie Halter
Lyrics of Love: "I can't help but want you/I can't help but try/I think I got somethin' that'll fit you just right/Baby, I would look good on you"
"Endless Love," by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
Lyrics of Love: "And I, I want to share/All my love with you/No one else will do"
"Cruisin,'" by Smokey Robinson
Lyrics of Love: "The music is played for love/Cruising is made for love/I love it when we're cruising together"
"Beautiful Little Fools," by Jorja Smith
Lyrics of Love: "Beautiful little fools/Born to be adored"
"Giving You the Best That I Got," by Anita Baker
Lyrics of Love: "We love so strong and so unselfishly/And I tell you now that I made a vow/I'm giving you the best that I got, baby"
"The Fall," by Rhye
Lyrics of Love: "Ooh, my love/Come home to me/Just for a while"
"Fruit Salad," by Don Byas
Why We Love It: A lovely trumpet that will fill up every corner of the room.
"Never Can Say Goodbye," by The Jackson 5
Lyrics of Love: "You know you love him more and more/Tell me why is it so/Don't wanna let you go/I never can say goodbye girl"
"Good to Love," by FKA Twigs
Lyrics of Love: "I'll pray for you if you give me time/I've had a thousand hearts/Now you're after mine"
"Feel So Close," by Calvin Harris
Lyrics of Love: "Your love bows down, I mean surround me like a waterfall/And there's no stopping us right now/I feel so close to you right now"
"Don't Stop Me Now," by Queen
Lyrics of Love: "I'm traveling at the speed of light/I wanna make a supersonic woman of you"
"Unsquare Dance," by Dave Brubeck
Why We Love It: The strong bass coupled by the soft percussion will make you want to get up and dance.
"XO," by John Mayer
Lyrics of Love: "Your love is bright as ever/Even in the shadows/Baby kiss me/Before they turn the lights out"
"Girl," by The Internet
Lyrics of Love: "Passion burning, causing rapture of laughter/Pressure building, falling faster and faster"
"Home," by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Lyrics of Love: "Home is wherever I'm with you"
"Budapest," by George Ezra
Lyrics of Love: "And baby if you hold me/Then all of this will go away"
"Grow Old With Me," by Tom Odell
Lyrics of Love: "Grow old with me/Let us share what we see/And oh the best it could be/Just you and I"
"A Ballad," by Randy Weston
Why We Love It: A smooth and easy piano to usher you into a nice chill evening.
"Is Your Love Big Enough?" by Lianne Le Havas
Lyrics of Love: "So I've just got to know/I truly have to know/So you've got to let me know/Is your love big enough for what's to come?"
"You and Me," by Dave Matthews Band
Lyrics of Love: "Always remembering you and me, baby/But right now it's you and me forever girl/And you know we could do better than anything that we did/You know that you and me, we could do anything"
"1234," by Feist
Lyrics of Love: "One, two, three, four/Tell me that you love me more"
"Riptide," by Vance Joy
Lyrics of Love: "Lady, running down to the riptide/Taken away to the dark side/I wanna be your left-hand man"