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Ceremony to Reception | Only Wedding Song Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Wedding Song Checklist

Creating a wedding song checklist is essential for couples who want to make sure their big day runs smoothly.

Music plays a significant role in setting the tone and ambiance for a wedding ceremony and reception, so selecting the right songs is crucial.

From the processional to the first dance, every moment that involves music should be carefully planned and organized.

To avoid any last-minute confusion or mishaps and ensure that everything goes according to plan, creating a comprehensive wedding song checklist is a must-do task on every couple’s wedding planning to-do list.

Wedding Song Checklist

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that is filled with love, emotion and joy, and there is no better way to make it more memorable than with the perfect songs that will forever capture the essence of your love story.

To ensure you don’t miss out on any important tunes, creating a wedding song checklist is an essential step in the wedding planning process.

Why is a wedding song checklist important?

A wedding song checklist is important for a few reasons:

  1. Helps to set the mood: Music sets the tone for different parts of your wedding day and can create a specific atmosphere depending on the song choice. Having a playlist ready ensures that the music fits the ambiance you want to create.
  2. Avoids last-minute stress: Wedding planning can be overwhelming, so having a wedding song checklist can help reduce stress by providing a clear plan and timeline for choosing and organizing the music.
  3. Ensures no important songs are missed: There are a lot of songs to consider for a wedding, and it’s easy to forget a few important ones. A wedding song checklist makes sure that all essential songs are included, such as those for the first dance or procession.
  4. Personalization: A wedding song checklist allows you to personalize the music selection. Choosing songs that have special meaning to you and your partner can make your wedding more unique and memorable.

Overall, a wedding song checklist ensures that the music used during your wedding day is organized, well thought out, and helps create the atmosphere you’ve envisioned.

Wedding Ceremony Songs

The of songs you may need for each part of your wedding ceremony can vary depending on the length of time and any personal preferences.

Here are some general guidelines:

Wedding Prelude Music

These songs can also be referred to as pre-ceremony music, seating music, guest arrival, or arrival music.

Typically, 15-30 minutes of music is played before the ceremony as family/guests arrive and find their seats. You may want to select 3-5 songs to play during this time.

Processional Songs

The term “Processional Songs” refers to the music played as the wedding party makes their way down the aisle. They may also be known as entrance music, aisle music, or wedding march.

Depending on the number of people in the procession, one or two songs may suffice. For example, one song can be chosen for the parents and grandparents, and another for the ring bearer, flower girl, bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Bride Entrance Song

These songs can also be referred to as bridal procession music, bride’s walk song, or wedding processional song

The bride’s entrance is one of the most important moments of the ceremony, and the song played during this time should reflect the tone and style of the wedding.

One song is typically chosen for the bride’s entrance.

Interlude Songs

These songs can also be referred to as ceremony music, transition music, or special moment music.

If there are any special moments during the ceremony that require music, such as a unity candle lighting or Sand Ceremony, you may want to choose a separate song for these interludes.

Recessional Songs

These songs can also be referred to as exit music, recessional music, or wedding exit song.

The recessional song is played at the end of the ceremony when the newlyweds and the wedding party exit the ceremony space.

One or Two songs are typically chosen for the recessional.

Postlude Songs

The term “Postlude Songs” refers to the music played after the wedding ceremony has concluded, as guests are exiting. These songs may also be known as exit music, reception music, or send-off music.

Typically, 10-15 minutes of music is played during this time.

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and the number of songs and timing can vary based on your personal preferences, the length of your ceremony, and any specific needs or requests you may have.

Work with your wedding planner, DJ or wedding band to create a customized playlist that reflects your unique style and helps create the ambiance you desire for your special day.

Wedding Reception

Here are the general guidelines for selecting music for the other parts of your wedding celebration:

Cocktail Hour

During the cocktail hour, which typically takes place after the wedding ceremony and before the reception, cocktail hour music is played to create a relaxed and festive atmosphere.

The number of songs you may need for this portion of your wedding celebration can vary, but generally, you’ll want to choose around 15-20 songs to play during this time.

Dinner Music

During the dinner portion of the reception, it’s common to play background music that is soft and easy to listen to while guests are eating and socializing.

You may want to choose around 30-40 songs to play during this time.

Wedding Party Grand Entrance

Once the reception gets underway, it’s customary to introduce the wedding party as they enter the reception area.

You may want to choose a fun and upbeat song for each couple or individual in the wedding party.

Newlywed’s Grand Entrance

The Newlywed’s Grand Entrance typically involves one song played as the couple enters the reception venue.

However, some couples may opt for multiple songs, such as one for the bridal party and another for the newlyweds.

The chosen song(s) should reflect the couple’s personality and set the tone for a fun reception.

The DJ or band can help with timing and cues to ensure a seamless entrance.

First Dance

The first dance is one of the most special moments of the reception, and you’ll want to pick a song that holds special meaning to you as a couple.

One song is typically chosen for the couples first dance.

Father-Daughter Dance and Mother-Son Dance

These dances are an opportunity for the bride and groom to share a moment with their parents.

One song is typically chosen for each dance.

Dollar Dance

The dollar dance is a fun tradition where guests pay to dance with the bride or groom.

A few songs can be chosen to play during this time.

Bouquet Toss

The bouquet toss is a fun moment where the bride throws her bouquet to the unmarried women at the reception.

One song can be chosen to play during this time.

Garter Toss

The garter toss is another fun moment where the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg and tosses it to the unmarried men at the reception.

One song can be chosen to play during this time.

Cake Cutting Songs

The cutting of the cake is a traditional part of the reception, and you may want to choose a song to play during this moment.

Last Song

The last song of the night should be a memorable one that gets everyone on the dance floor. One or Two songs can be chosen as the last song of the night (1 Fast and 1 Slow).

Again, these are just general guidelines, and you may want to adjust the number of songs or timing based on your specific preferences and needs.

Work with your wedding planner or DJ to create a playlist that reflects your unique style and helps make your wedding celebration unforgettable.

DJ Song Requests

A wedding DJ’s job is to keep the party going and ultimately create an unforgettable experience for the newlyweds and their loved ones.

Often times, guests will request certain songs to be played during the reception, which can add to the fun and excitement of the celebration.

It’s important for the couple to give their DJ a heads up on any specific requests they may have, while at the same time ensuring that the overall vibe of the reception remains cohesive.

Do Not Play Songs

Creating a do not play list for your wedding DJ is an excellent idea as it allows you to have complete control over the music played at your wedding.

By providing a list of songs or genres that you do not want to hear at your reception, you can avoid any potential awkward or uncomfortable situations.

Furthermore, a do not play list allows you to curate a unique and personalized playlist that matches your musical taste and overall wedding theme.

By providing your DJ with an idea of your preferred music, you can create a playlist that reflects your style and sets the perfect ambiance for your special day.

Our Wedding Song Lists

With all the different music out there, it’s difficult to decide which one would truly capture your relationship and be something you both love for years to come.

That’s why we’ve put together some of our favorite wedding songs to give you inspiration when selecting your own special tune.

Whether it’s country, pop or rock – with these tried-and-true hits in mind, you should find your ideal match without any stress!

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience, but creating a wedding song checklist can help alleviate some of the stress.

A comprehensive checklist should include the bridal party entrance song, bridal processional song, cake cutting song, and dollar dance songs.

The playlist for the wedding reception music is also an essential element that should be thoughtfully constructed.

It should cater to the preferences of the wedding guests, entire wedding party, and the couple. A well-rounded playlist should include fun songs and upbeat music that gets everyone on their feet.

It is also important to include a special song that has significant meaning to the couple as well as slow songs that cater to the romantic mood of the event.

The wedding reception music is not just background noise but is an essential element of creating a lasting and memorable experience for everyone involved.

Finding the perfect wedding songs can be one of the most enjoyable yet challenging parts of planning your special day.

Wedding Song Stats

Planning a wedding involves many details, and choosing the right music is one of the essential elements that can make a significant impact on your special day.

From the moment you walk down the aisle to the last dance at the reception, each song can contribute to the overall ambiance of your celebration.

  1. The average couple spends approximately 3-4 hours selecting their wedding songs. (Source: The Knot)
  2. The most popular wedding song of all time is “At Last” by Etta James.
  3. The most popular first dance song is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran.
  4. The most popular father-daughter dance song is “My Girl” by The Temptations.
  5. The most popular mother-son dance song is “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.
  6. The most popular wedding reception song is “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars.

With so many options available, it’s crucial to take the time to select the perfect wedding songs that reflect your personal style and love story.

Whether you are looking for classic love songs or modern hits, the right music can set the tone for a beautiful and memorable wedding.

Use Checklists to help you plan and organize

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming task for any bride and groom. With so many things to keep track of and coordinate, it can be easy to forget important elements that are essential to making the big day special and memorable.

Some of the key components that require careful planning include the bride’s dress, the groom’s tuxedo, the bridal party’s attire, invitations, RSVP management, venue selection, wedding planner, photographer, flowers, catering, cake, linens, honeymoon arrangements, rehearsal dinner, rings, shower, and more.

Keeping track of all of these details can be made much easier with the help of a wedding checklist.

A wedding checklist is a comprehensive guide that outlines every single detail that needs to be taken care of during the wedding planning process.

It helps to ensure that no stone is left upturned and that all of the necessary components are taken care of in a timely and thorough manner.

With a wedding checklist, brides and grooms can feel confident that they are on top of everything and that their big day will be everything they have always dreamed of.

Planning a wedding requires a great deal of time, attention to detail, and careful coordination.

A checklist can help simplify the process, ensuring that all key components are accounted for so that the couple and their guests can relax and enjoy the special day.

From the bride’s dress to the groom’s tie, from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding vows, every single aspect of a wedding can be taken care of .

Wedding Music Checklist FAQ

What is a wedding song checklist?

A wedding song checklist is a list of songs that are commonly played during different parts of a wedding, such as the ceremony, reception, and dances.

It’s a helpful tool for brides, grooms, and wedding planners to ensure that they don’t forget any important songs and that the music flows seamlessly throughout the day.

How do I create a wedding song checklist?

You can create a wedding song checklist by researching popular wedding songs for each part of the day and organizing them into a document or spreadsheet.

You can also consider personalizing your playlist with songs that have special meaning to you and your partner.

How many songs do you give a DJ for a wedding?

We suggest providing the DJ with a list of 15-20 songs that must be played, which should include the first dance, father-daughter dance, and mother-son dance, followed by a list of genres and artists that you prefer.

A good DJ will take your preferences and curate a blend of songs that will keep the dance floor packed for the entire night. 

How many songs should I include in my wedding checklist?

The number of songs you include in your wedding playlist depends on the duration of each event and how much music you want to play.

A good rule of thumb is to have at least 20-30 songs per hour of dancing, but you can adjust this based on your preferences and the length of your reception.

What if I forget to include a song on my checklist?

Don’t worry! If you forget to include a song on your wedding checklist, you can always add it later or ask your DJ or band to play it on the spot.

The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the music on your special day.


While there are numerous decisions and arrangements to be made for a wedding, one of the most special is the choice of songs.

It can be hard to choose just the right songs to create a perfect atmosphere or that captures the feelings you and your significant other share.

A wedding song checklist can help simplify this task — but it’s important not to get overwhelmed when checking off each item!

Only pick out what resonates with you and don’t forget that in the end it’s all about celebrating your new life together!

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Ceremony to Reception | Only Wedding Song Checklist You’ll Ever Need