Dear Bride-to-Be,

2010 June 7

Dear Bride-to-Be,

You have a lot to think about between now and your big day: the menu, the flowers, the band, your dress, seating arrangements, planning the ceremony, cake tastings, scheduling fittings, selecting bridesmaids dresses that your bridesmaids “will wear again.”, and transportation logistics. But there is another item that you need to add to the prenuptial to-do list, something that often goes unaddressed: filtering the reception playlist for the wedding band. Most of you incorrectly assume that because a band plays weddings, they need no guidance from you beyond your selections for the first dance and the father daughter dance. Well they do. Somehow a handful of godawful songs have become staples at receptions. These songs are either downright terrible, decent songs that have awkward beats that clear the dancefloor, the wrong song by the right artist, and/or worn-out overplayed songs whose day has come and gone. These songs will be played at your wedding if you don’t put your pretty pedicured foot down.

I know this wasn’t on your Pottery Barn registry, but my wedding gift to you is a Do Not Play list to send to your wedding band. The list could go on and on, but here is the short list of popular wedding band songs that you should aim to avoid.


  • Play that Funky Music White Boy- Wild Cherry
  • Get Down Tonight- KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Ladies Night- Kool and the Gang
  • Mony Mony- Tommy Ridell
  • I’ll Take You There- The Staple Singers
  • We Are Family- Sister Sledge
  • That’s the Way I Like It- KC and the Sunshine Band
  • My Guy- Mary Wells
  • Hot Hot Hot- Buster Poindexter
  • I Second That Emotion- Smokey Robinson
  • Tracks of My Tears- Smokey Robinson
  • Stop In The Name Of Love- Supremes
  • The Twist- Chubby Checker
  • Jungle Boogie- Kool and The Gang
  • Who’s That Lady- The Isley Brothers
  • Mr. Big Stuff- Jean Knight
  • Sweet Home Alabama- Lynard Skynyrd (this could be controversial but I vote no)
  • Dancing In The Street -Martha & The Vandellas
  • The Way You Do The Things You Do-Temptations
  • Do Ya Think I’m Sexy-Rod Steward
  • Everybody (Have Fun Tonight) – Wang Chung
  • I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
  • YMCA-Village People
  • Low Rider-War
  • Wipeout- The Surfaris
  • The Macarena
  • Electric Slide
  • And I’m gonna go ahead and say it. Don’t Stop Believing- Journey. Yawn.

Now for the slow songs. In general, slow songs are intended for couples, make the singles feel single, and make most dancers lose the momentum that has been building as a result of the amazing playlist and open bar you have provided. The occasional slow dance is fine, but please ensure that the band doesn’t play the following songs for those choice slow dances:

  • Have I Told You Lately- Rod Stewart
  • Actually any song by Rod Stewart
  • Here and Now- Luther Vandros
  • Still The One- Shania Twain
  • Hero- Mariah Carey
  • Another Sad Love Song- Toni Braxton
  • I Can’t Tell You Why- The Eagles
  • Love Will Keep Us Alive- The Eagles
  • Don’t Want to Miss a Thing- Aerosmith
  • Saved the Best for Last- Vanessa Williams
  • When I Fall In Love- Celine Dion

It’s not the table linens, the font you used on your invitations, or the monogrammed cocktail napkins that people will remember from your big day. Give a damn about the details that actually mean something! Being a control freak about choosing a great band and hand-picking the playlist is the only area where you have my permission to be a borderline bridezilla. Your guests will thank you and you will have a ball.

Have a Happily Ever After,


P.S. Brick House?

7 Responses
  1. CharMar permalink
    June 8, 2010

    AMEN, Jennifer. Amen. PS – that do not play list looks very familiar!

  2. June 8, 2010

    I thought I should share it with all future brides to be 🙂 It’s the least I can do!

  3. June 8, 2010

    great post; how often do you see a do-not play list? some of them are very, very true

  4. June 10, 2010

    You got those ones right on! I glad you took the time to post this although I don’t see a wedding anywhere in my near future. 🙂

  5. July 28, 2010

    Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town.

  6. Char Bax permalink
    July 23, 2011

    Just cut and pasted directly into my “Master Wedding Planner” spreadsheet!

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