50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Bublé Allowed)

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Bublé Allowed)

If you’re like me, music will be one of the most important details of your big day. For some, the classics work—and why shouldn’t they? There’s nothing like “At Last” to bring a tear to your eye, or “Shout” to get every guest on the dance floor. But for many modern brides, “unique” is the compliment they’re striving for. Music is an easy place to start. Okay, “easy” may not be the word. For the music-savvy, curating playlists is fun. For those of you who stick to the Top 100 Spotify playlist, it’s stressful. To ease you into this, I’m going to focus on the “easiest” playlist of them all: You wedding dinner music. These are the songs that will be heard during your cocktail hour and delicious meal. Since this is when you guests will be mingling, chatting, and eating, odds are they won’t pay much attention to the melody selection. It’s essentially background noise that shouldn’t distract from socializing. However, the tunes you choose should add to the ambiance you’re looking for. Before we dive into my carefully-selected compilation, I wanted to give you some tips for creating your own.

11 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wedding Dinner Music:

Whim Photography

Whim Photography

1. First, every great playlist has 4 traits:

  1. A mix of genres
  2. A variety of tempos
  3. A combination of popular and unknown songs
  4. A “vibe” that ties them all together and creates the ambiance you desire

Folk can be mixed with pop, rock with country, etc. As long as they’ve all got the same vibe, you’re golden. Remember to think about every generation included on your guest list. What would your parents want to hear? Your Grandma? You want a mix of tempos so it doesn’t fade too far into the background. If you choose all slow songs, your guests may zone out. If you choose all upbeat, it’ll distract. There’s a reason certain tunes are at the top of the charts: People want to hear them! It’s essential to give the public what they want, but throw in a few unknown jams to spark their interest. A compilation is only a success if every song complements one another. They may share a certain theme (romance, for instance), or maybe they tell your love story?

2. Don’t forget live bands.

If you have room in your budget, hiring a band may be worth it. They’ll get your guests excited, keep the energy up, and who doesn’t love a good cover?

3. How do you want to feel after you get married?

When choosing the “vibe” of your wedding dinner playlist, consider how you want to feel after you tie the knot. Celebratory? Romantic? Relaxed? It’s up to you! Find your feel then start choosing your songs.

4. Don’t waste dance hits.

Never waste a good party song on your cocktail hour. Save those crowd-pleasers for later.

5. Make sure your DJ knows your must-hear melodies.

Prioritize! Highlight the tunes you have to hear, and make sure the DJ has them in their collection. If they don’t, you may have to pay extra fees to get them.

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Buble Allowed)

6. Create a do-not-play list.

While I love Bublé, he won’t be singing at my big day. Give your do-not-play list to your DJ and make sure they stick to it—even if the tune is requested by a guest.

7. Never skip a soundcheck.

You need to test the acoustics. You don’t want to be running over to your vendor every 5 minutes, telling them to turn the volume up or down.

8. No R-rated music.

Grandma and the kids are still going to be there…hold off on any curse words until dessert has been served.

9. Consider entire albums.

I know what I said about variety, but sometimes one album has everything you need. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac, Moondance by Van Morrison…there are plenty of incredible albums that can be combined for a simple, impactful playlist.

10. Be super detailed.

Don’t worry about being too Type A when planning. The more details you give your vendor, the more successful they’ll be. When my brother got married, he gave his DJ a list of 30 songs. It exemplified the variety he was looking for—the “vibe” he wanted. After studying what my brother gave him, the DJ found related artists and songs to include. He KILLED it at my brother’s wedding. Everyone was on the dance floor—Grandparents included.

11. Don’t stress!

Like I said before, these tunes will be background noise. Don’t worry too much! Save that stress for your ceremony and reception music.


Cassie Rosch Photography

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music:

50 songs, 3 hours, shuffle recommended.

1. “A Sunday Kind of Love”—Etta James

2. “Always Be My Baby”—Mariah Carey

3. “Arms of a Woman”—Amos Lee

4. “Can’t Help Falling in Love”—Elvis Presley

5. “Crazy in Love”—Sofia Karlberg

6. “Crazy Love”—Van Morrison

7. “Crazy Love”—Ben Harper

8. “Cross that Line”—Joshua Radin

9. “Dead Sea”—The Lumineers

10. “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop”—Landon Pigg

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Buble Allowed)

11. “First Day of My Life”—Bright Eyes

12. “Forever Young”—Rhiannon Giddens and Iron & Wine

13. “God Only Knows”—The Beach Boys

14. “Higher Love”—James Vincent McMorrow

15. “Ho Hey”—Lennon & Maisy

16. “Hold You in My Arms”—Ray Lamontagne

17. “Home to Mama”—Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson

18. “How Deep is Your Love”—the bird and the bee

19. “How Long Will I Love You”—Ellie Goulding

20. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”—Branches

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Buble Allowed)

21. “I Belong to You”—Brandi Carlile

22. “I Choose You”—Sara Bareilles

23. “I Will Follow You Into the Dark”—Jasmine Thompson

24. “In Your Hands”—Joshua Radin

25. “Into the Mystic”—Van Morrison

26. “Is This Love”—Corinne Bailey Rae

27. “Let it Be Me”—Ray Lamontagne

28. “Let’s Stay Together”—Obadiah Parker

29. “Like Real People Do”—Hozier

30. “Lucky”—Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Buble Allowed)

31. “Marry You”—Donald Glover

32. “Marvin Gaye”—Charlie Pluth and Meghan Trainor

33. “Moon River”—Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars

34. “My Cherie Amour”—Stevie Wonder

35. “Naked as We Came”—Iron & Wine

36. “Not a Bad Thing”—Justin Timberlake

37. “Photograph”—Ed Sheeran

38. “Shelter From the Storm”—Bob Dylan

39. “Skinny Love”—Bon Iver

40. “Something in The Way She Moves”—James Taylor


Sophia Mayrhofer Photography

41. “The Way You Look Tonight”—Tony Bennett

42. “Thinking Out Loud”—Ed Sheeran

43. “When a Man Loves a Woman”—Percy Sledge

44. “When I Fall in Love”—Nat King Cole

45. “XO”—John Mayer

46. “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”—Stevie Wonder

47. “You Can’t Hurry Love”—Phil Collins

48. “You Were Meant for Me”—Jewel

49. “You’re My Best Friend”—The Once

50. “Your Body is a Wonderland”—John Mayer

50 Songs for Your Wedding Dinner Music (No Buble Allowed)

What would Bublé think?

I know, Michael Bublé really is the best. I listen to him a lot! But if you want to receive the compliment of all compliments--your wedding was SO UNIQUE--then you need to save that modern crooner for later. Did I miss your favorite tune? Do you have more advice for your fellow brides and grooms? Join the conversation in a comment below!

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Leave a comment

May 16, 2019 08:26

some good song options! will probably slip in a Buble song anyways :)

May 16, 2019 08:26

These songs are so helpful to pass on to my DJ. He also suggested to includes songs that a meaningful to us during dinner to have some moments to reflect since it’s such a busy day!

May 16, 2019 08:26

So helpful! Great ideas.

Jen Guberman
May 16, 2019 08:26

Thanks for the post! I’m struggling with playlist ideas because I personally don’t like country or a lot of Top 40s songs, but I also don’t really like older music. I have a unique taste in music, but I know I need to play a variety so everyone has fun!

May 16, 2019 08:26

Excellent Choice for music!

May 16, 2019 08:26

I love the suggestion to mix the beat, tempo, and genre to keep people entertained. The list also has some great selections!

May 16, 2019 08:26

Definitely something we’ve been stressing over. Bookmarking for later!

May 16, 2019 08:26

Thank you so much for the ideas!!

May 16, 2019 08:26

Thanks for the list! I am not as creative as I would like to be when I try to make a playlist so this will help so much!

Rachel Furnas
May 16, 2019 08:26

Love the suggestions!

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