DJ-Approved Songs for Your Wedding Ceremony and Reception

Updated 02/14/14

Photo by Sarah Falugo 

Music selection for your wedding ceremony and reception can be tough—you want to stay true to you and your fiancé, but you also want to please the crowd. To help make pining down the perfect playlist easier, we consulted DJs for their top wedding ceremony and reception picks.

Whether you're hiring a string quartet or playing recorded music, John Sinclair of Aria Melody DJ in Hoboken, New Jersey, has song suggestions for your ceremony:


The Vibe: Happy and Mellow

A classic pick: "All You Need Is Love," The Beatles

A sweet update: "Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love," Coldplay


The Vibe: Romantic

A classic pick: Canon in D Major, Johann Pachelbel

A sweet update: "All I Want Is You," Vitamin String Quartet Interlude

The Vibe: Upbeat and Nostalgic

A classic pick: "Clair de Lune," Claude Debussy

A sweet update: "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down," Alicia Keys


The Vibe: Joyful and Celebratory

A classic pick: "The Best Is Yet to Come," Frank Sinatra

A sweet update: "Us," Regina Spektor


The Vibe: Relaxed

A classic pick: "Is This Love," Bob Marley

A sweet update: "Littlest Birds," The Be Good Tanyas

For a five-hour reception, you'll need about three hours of dance songs. Minneapolis DJ Mike Stephenson shares his list of do's and please-don'ts.

Party Pumpers

"Anything Michael Jackson, including 'Billie Jean,' 'Bad,' and 'The Way You Make Me Feel.' The older generations will dance to Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama.' And everyone loves 'Don't Stop Believin'' by Journey."

Party Killers

"Anything that's not instantly recognizable. All indie rock, techno, hard rock, deep hip-hop. Even if it's great, it won't be appreciated by the masses. Lastly, mash-ups. It's one thing to play remixes at a party. At a wedding, people want to hear the majority of the song. Otherwise it interrupts the flow."

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