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Reception Music Suggestions


Ideas for Reception Music

For your reception, consider music for entertainment. There are many choices such as ensembles, an orchestra, live band, pianist or other instrumentalists for an afternoon reception. For evening weddings, pianists or other instrumentalists are nice during the dinner hour. After dinner, consider a live band or disc jockey as well. DJ's are currently the most popular form of musical entertainment for wedding receptions. If you opt to hire a DJ, make sure they will be versatile and provide many types of music to keep all your guests happy. If however, there are particular songs or types of music that you absolutely do not want played, make sure he/she will honor your decision (some won't if they feel it will get people dancing).

 

Once you have chosen the type of musical entertainment, contact several professionals from industry, church, or local universities/colleges. Discuss whether you can supply lists of your families' favorite songs or if the group's routine is already set. It is a good idea to choose about ten songs that you really want to hear. That way you can ensure hearing those. Choose a few songs you absolutely do not want to hear is also a good idea. Make sure the groups' wedding attire has a professional look. Find out how often and how long they take breaks. If you expect the band or DJ to act as MC for the announcing of the bouquet/garter toss, cake cutting, etc., make sure that they can provide this service too. You will also want to provide the group with your musical selections for the first dance and other important dances. If you'd like to hear sound bites of a few suggested songs take a look at the Ultimate Wedding Song Library page and Mobile Beat's Top 200 Songs.

Your guests will follow your lead when it comes to dancing. If you want people to dance, dance yourself until the floor is full, and return often to keep people dancing. A list of possible songs to play during a reception follows:

 



 

Songs for the First Dance

The sooner you have your first dance, the sooner guests will start dancing and the sooner the party will start. I must preface this list by saying that I personally think a LOT of these songs are inappropriate for a first dance as far as the meaning of the words goes (that's just my opinion of course)... But, I many of these songs were suggested by others on the 'net and so here they are ...

 

Title

Composer

A Kiss to Build a Dream On ?
A Sunday Kind of Love Reba McIntyre
A Whole New World Aladdin
After All Cher and Peter Cetera
All I Ask of You Phantom of the Opera
All I Have Beth Nielson Chapman
All I Want is You U2
All My Life Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
All My Love Led Zepplin
All The Man I Need Whitney Houston
All the Things You Are ?
All the Way ?
Always Atlantic Starr
Always and Forever Luther Vandross version or Heatwave
And I Love Her The Beatles
Angel Eyes Jeff Healy Band
Arthur's Theme Christopher Cross
As Time Goes By many versions, from Casablanca
At Last Etta James
Babe Styx
Baby, I Do Natalie Cole
Baby It's You Beatles (get the Live at the BBC version)
Battle Hymn of Love Kathy Mattea
Beautiful in My Eyes Joshua Kaddison
Because You Loved Me Celine Dion
Can You Feel the Love Tonight Elton John, from The Lion King
Can't Fight This Feeling REO Speedwagon
Can't help falling in love Elvis, Sting or Corey Hart
Can't Smile Without You Barry Manilow
Can't Take My Eyes Off You Frankie Valley and The Four Seasons
Chances Are Johnny Mathis
Cherish Kool & The Gang
Circle of Life Elton John
Close To You The Carpenters
Colour My World Chicago
Come Rain or Come Shine Sinatra,Bennett, Ray Charles
Crazy For You Madonna
Danny's Song Anne Murray
Destiny John Berry (from his self titled CD)
Do I Have to Say the Words Bryan Adams
Do Right Woman, Do Right Man The Commitments
Don't Know Much Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
Do You Remember Phil Collins
Do You Wanna Dance Bette Midler, on Experience the Divine
Endless Love Lionel Richie and Diana Ross/Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross
Eternal Flame The Bangles
Even the Nights Air Supply
Evergreen Barbra Streisand or Luther Vandross
Everlasting Love U2
(Everything I Do) I Do for You Bryan Adams, from Robin Hood
Fairy Tale Love from Princess Bride soundtrack
Faithfully Journey, Peter Cetera
Fallen Lauren Wood, from Pretty Woman
Fields of Gold Sting
Follow Me John Denver
Follow Me, Follow You Genesis
Forever Kenny Loggins
Forever Is As Far As I'll Go Alabama
Forever Live and Die OMD
Forever Tonight Peter Cetera
For Sentimental Reasons Nat King Cole
For You Tracy Chapman
Friends and Lovers Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson
Giving You The Best That I Got Anita Baker
Go West The Village People
God Only Knows The Beach Boys
Groovy Kind of Love Phil Collins
Grow Old Along With Me Mary Chapin Carpenter
Happy Together The Turtles
Harvest Moon Neil Young
Have I Told You Lately that I Love You Van Morrisson / Rod Stewart
Heaven Bryan Adams
Here and Now Luther Vandross
Here to Stay Harry Connick, Jr., from When Harry Met Sally
Hero David Crosby/Phil Collins
How Deep is Your Love? The Bee Gees
I Can See Clearly Now The Holly Cole Trio
I Can't Help Falling in Love with You Irish/Celtic folk song version (w/ drums, pipes, Gaelic accents;faster tempo than Elvis' version) - on the soundtrack of Some Kind of Wonderful or version by UB40
I Could Write a Book Harry Connick, Jr.
I Cross My Heart George Strait, from Pure Country
I Don't Need Another Hero Concerte Blonde
I Go Crazy, When I Look in Your Eyes  
I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher
I Love to See You Smile from Parenthood
I Love You Climax Blues Band
I Love You a Thousand Ways Tim and Mollie O'Brien (folk duet)
I Promise You Michael Bolton
I Swear John Michael Montgomery, Kickin it Up CD, or All 4 One
I Wanna Know What Love Is Foreigner
If You Ask Me To Celene Dion
I'll Always Love You Taylor Dayne
I'll Be There Michael Jackson/Mariah Carey
I'll Be There For You Bon Jovi
I'll Stand By You The Pretenders
I'll Still Be Loving You Restless Heart
In My Life Beatlesm, Bette Midler
In Your Eyes Peter Gabriel
Is This Love Bob Marley
Isn't It Romantic Michael Feinstein/Sinatra
It Had to Be You Sinatra/ Harry Connick Jr., from When Harry Met Sally
It Might Be You Stephen Bishop, from Tootsie
I've Been Waiting for a Girl Like You Foreigner
I've Got a Crush on You ?
I've got you under my skin Sintara
I've Had the Time of My Life Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
I Will Be Here Billy Dean, Men'll Be Boys CD, written by Steven Curtis Chapman
Ice Cream Sarah McLachlin
Just Say You Love Me Chicago
Just the Way You Are Billy Joel
Just the Way You Look Tonight Julius La Rosa
Just You and I Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbitt
Just You and Me Chicago
Keeping The Dream Alive Freiheit
Kiss the Girl from Disney's The Little Mermaid
Lean on Me ?
Leather and Lace Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
Lights Journey
Lipstick Sunset John Hiatt
Longer Than Dan Fogelberg
Lost in Love Air Supply
Lots of Possibilities Air Supply
Love is All Around Wet Wet Wet, from Four Weddings and a Funeral soundtrack or Troggs (from the '60s)
Love Lift Us Up Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes
Love Me Tender Elvis Presley
Love Me Tomorrow Chicago
Love Of a Lifetime Firehouse
Love Song The Cure
Love Song Tesla
Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire ?
Love Will Keep Us Alive Eagles, Hell Freezes Over CD
Lucky One Amy Grant
Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet
Marry Me Neil Diamond
Masterpiece Atlantic Starr
May I have this Dance for the Rest of My Life Anne Murry (waltz) (country)
Maybe I'm Amazed Paul McCartney
More Sinatra
More Then Words Extreme
My Eyes Adored You Frankie Valley and The Four Seasons
My One and Only Love a jazz standard
Never Say Goodbye Bon Jovi
Never Tear Us Apart INXS
Never Thought That I Could Love Dan Hill
Night and Day Cole Porter
Now and Forever Richard Marx
Now that I've Found You Michael Bolton, Time Love and Tenderness CD
Once is Enough Lyle Lovett
Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty
One Good Woman Peter Cetera
One Hand, One Heart from West Side Story
One In a Million Larry Graham
Only You Frank Sinatra
Open Arms Journey
Power of Two Indigo Girls
Put Your Head On My Shoulder Paul Anka
Ready To Take My Chances Again Barry Manilow
Saved the Best for Last Vanessa Williams
Search is Over Survivor
Shape of my Heart Sting
She's Got a Way About Her Billy Joel
Simply The Best Tina Turner
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes The Platters
So This is Love from Cinderella
Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific
Somebody John Berry, from his self titled CD
Someday My Prince Will Come from Snow White
Someone Like You Van Morrison
Someone to Watch Over Me ?
Somewhere from West Side Story or Barbra Streisand
Songbird Kenny G.
Soul Provider Michael Bolton
Stand By Me Ben E. King
Standing Right Next to Me Karla Bonoff, from soundtrack of 8 Seconds
Starting Over John Lennon
Storybook Love Marc Knopfler, from The Princess Bride
Suddenly Billy Ocean
Sunshine on Leith The Proclaimers (waltz)
Take Me Back Tim & Mollie O'Brien (folk duet)
Take My Breath Away Berlin
Tennessee Waltz ?
That's What Friends Are FOr Dionne Warwick
That's What Love is For Amy Grant
The Best is Yet to Come ?
The Colour of My Love Celine Dion
The Flame Cheap Trick
The Glory of Love Peter Cetera
The Harbour of Each Other's Arms ?
The Love Theme From St. Elmo's Fire David Foster
The Maker Said Take Her Alabama
The More I see You Nat Cole
The Nearness of You ?
The Power of Love Jennifer Rush, Celine Dion
The Rose Bette Midler, Conway Twitty
The Spy Who Loved Me Carly Simon, from The Spy Who Loved Me
Sunshine on Leith The Proclaimers (a Scottish band)
The Sweetest Days Vanessa Williams
The Time of My Life Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, from Dirty Dancing
The Very Thought of You Cole, Bennett
The way you look tonight Frank Sinatra
The Woman in Me Needs the Man in You Shania Twain
Vision of Love Mariah Carey
The Voyage Irish singer Christy Moore
The Way You Look Tonight Fred Astaire
The Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
There's No Way Alabama
This is The Time Billy Joel
Through the eyes of love from Theme from Ice Castles
Through The Fire Chakka Khan
Through The Years Kenny Rogers
Time and Tide Basia
Time in A Bottle Jim Croce (waltz)
Tonight I Celebrate My Love Roberta Flack
True Companion Marc Cohn
True Love Patsy Cline
True Love Ways Buddy Holly
Try a Little Tenderness The Commitments
Turn Around Harry Belafonte (or Nanci Griffith)
Two Less Lonely People in the World Air Supply
Unbroken Chain Grateful Dead
Unchained Melody The Righteous Brothers
Unforgettable Nat King Cole/Natalie and Nat King Cole
Vision of Love Mariah Carey
Walk Forever By My Side The Alarm
Warmth of the Sun Beach Boys
We Can Last Forever Chicago
Wedding Song (There Is Love) The Lettermen
We're All the Way Clapton
We've Only Just Begun The Carpenters
What a Big Surprise Chicago
What a Wonderful World (This Would Be) Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke
What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?  
What do you do/The Glory of Love Lyle Lovett
What the World Needs Now is Love Jackie DeShannon, from Forrest Gump soundtrack
When a Man Loves a Woman Percy Sledge/ Michael Bolton
When I Fall in Love Celene Dion and Clive Davis, from Sleepless in Seattle/Nat King Cole
When I Look Into Your Eyes Firehouse
When I See You Smile Bad English
When I'm Sixty-Four The Beatles
When I'm With You Sheriff
When that Evening Sun Goes Down Van Morrison
Wild is the Wind David Bowie
With You I'm Born Again Billy Preston and Syreeta
When you put your heart in it Kenny Rogers ?
Woman John Lennon
Wonderful Tonight Eric Clapton
Wouldn't It Be Nice The Beach Boys
You and Me Against The World Helen Reddy
You are my home Billy Joel
You Are So Beautiful Joe Cocker
You Decorated My Life Kenny Rogers
You Light Up My Life Debbie Boone
You Mean The World to Me Toni Braxton
You Send Me, an R+B song Sam Cooke
Your Love Amazes Me John Berry
Your Own Special Way Genesis
Your Song Elton John
You're in My Soul Rod Stewart
You're My Best Friend Queen, Don Williams
You're The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me Gladys Knight
You're The Inspiration Chicago
You're the One Karen Carpenter
You've Got A Friend James Taylor


 

Songs for the Father/Bride Dance

Title

Composer

A Kiss to Build a Dream On Louis Armstrong
Butterfly Kisses  
Can You Feel The Love Elton John, from The Lion King
Childhood Proclaimers
Daddy's Girl John Paul Walters
Daddy's Hands Judds, Holly Dunn
Daddy's Little Girl Burke and Gerlach, Al Martino, Red Sovine
Father's Eyes Amy Grant
He Is, They Are Harry Connick, Jr.
Hero Mariah Carey
House on Pooh Corner Kenny Loggins and Messina
I Love to See You Smile ?
If I Could Write a Song (As Beautiful As You) Billy Craddock
Isn't She Lovely Stevie Wonder
It's Impossible Perry Como
Moonlight Serenade Miller, Glenn
More Andy Williams
My Dad Paul Peterson
My Girl The Temptations
My Heart Belongs to Daddy Cole Porter
Our Love is Here to Stay Michael Feinstein
Sentimental Journey ?
She Thinks I Could Rope the Moon John Michael Montgomery
Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof
Sunshine of My Life Stevie Wonder
Thanks Again Ricky Skaggs
Through the Years Kenny Rogers
To Sir With Love Lulu
True Love Ways Buddy Holly
Turn Around (You're A Young Girl) Harry Belafonte, Nanci Griffith
Unforgettable Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole
What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke
Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
You Make Me Feel So Young ?
You Are My Child Barry Manilow

 

Songs for the Mother/Groom Dance

Title

Composer

A Certain Smile Mathis, Johnny
A Groovy Kind Of Love Collins, Phil
Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel
Child of Mine Carole King
Close To You Carpenters
Do You Remember Collins, Phil
Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue Gayle, Crystal
Don't Know Much Ronstadt, Linda/Aaron Neville
Ebbtide Righteous Brothers
Evergreen Streisand, Barbara
Glory Of Love Cetera, Peter
Have I Told You Lately Morrison, Van or Stewart, Rod
I am Your Child Barry Manilow
I Just Called To Say I Love You Wonder, Stevie
I.O.U. (ode of thanks to his mother) Dean, Jimmy
I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song Croce, Jim
Imagine Lennon, John
I Remember You Bette Midler
Just the Way You Are Billy Joel
Kiss Me Goodbye Clark, Petula
Mama Thomas, B.J.
Moon River Williams, Andy
Moondance Morrison, Van
Moonlight Serenade Miller, Glenn
More Williams, Andy
My Way Sinatra, Frank
One Moment In Time Houston, Whitney
Perhaps Love Domingo, Placido & J. Denver
Rock And Roll Lullaby Thomas, B.J.
Sea Of Love Honeydrippers
Show Me The Way Frampton, Peter
So Much In Love Garfunkel, Art
Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof
Tender Years Cafferty, John
Thanks Again Ricky Skaggs
That's Amore Martin, Dean
That's What Love Is For Grant, Amy
The Impossible Dream Williams, Andy
The Long and Winding Road Beatles
The Power Of Love Jennifer Rush, Celine Dion
The Rose Midler, Bette
The Warmth Of The Sun Beach Boys
The Way We Were Streisand, Barbara
Through The Years Rogers, Kenny
'Til The End Of Time Como, Perry
Times Of Your Life Anka, Paul
What A Wonderful World Armstrong, Louis
Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
You Decorated My Life Kenny Rogers



 

Songs for the Bride and Brother

Title

Composer

Brotherly Love Keith Whitley and Earl Thomas Connally
Come Dancing The Kinks
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother The Hollies
I Wish You Love Nat King Cole or Natalie Cole or Barbara Streisand
Lean On Me Bill Withers
Memory Barbara Streisand or Barry Manilow
Rainbow Connection Kermit the Frog
Through The Years Kenny Rogers
Unforgettable Nat King Cole or Nat and Natalie Cole
What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
Wind Beneath My Wings Bette Midler
You've Got A Friend James Taylor or Carole King



 

Songs for the Cake Cutting

Title

Composer

??(cakewalk song) Gottshalk
??(cakewalk song) Scott Joplin
Push It Salt and Peppa
SugarPlum Fairy ?
When I'm 64 The Beatles



 

Songs for the Bouquet Toss/Garter Toss

Title

Composer

Dance of the Flowers (from the Nutcracker) ?
The Stripper David Rose
Legs ZZ Top
Wild Thing The Troggs
Who Let the Dogs Out Baha Men
U Can't Touch This MC Hammer

 

Songs for the Last Dance

Title

Composer

A Kiss to Build a Dream On, from Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack Armstrong
Anything for Your Love Eric Clapton
Bang Bang David Sanborn
Could I Have This Dance (For the Rest of My Life) Anne Murray
Goodnight Sweetheart Nat King Cole
Happy Trails Van Halen or Roy Rogers
Hit the Road Jack Buster Poindexter or Ray Charles
Hot Hot Hot Buster Poindexter
I Could Have Danced All Night, on Come Dance with Me Sinatra
I've Had the Time of My Life Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Last Dance Donna Summer
Lost Together ?
Blue Rodeo ?
Melt With You Modern English
Mickey Mouse Club Alma Mater Mickey Mouse Club
Moonlight Serenade Glenn Miller orchestra
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye Steam or The Nylons
Saved the Best for Last Vanessa Williams
That's What Friends Are For Dionne Warwick and Friends
The Last Dance Sinatra
Turn Your Lights Down Low Bob Marley
Wasn't That a Party The Rovers
What a Wonderful World, from Good Morning Vietnam soundtrack Armstrong
Wonderful Tonight Eric Clapton
 

 

 
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--Brown Wedding Reception, 2001

 

"The reception is over, and all anyone asks us now is: When's the next party?  Thanks for a wonderful time!"
--Eisner Wedding Reception, 2001

 

 
 

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