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First dance

How to Make a Wedding Playlist

After a tearful and beautiful wedding ceremony, there is no better way to have fun and let loose than dancing at the reception. Of course, you will need a great playlist of music to keep the party going.

Setting up a perfect reception playlist is no easy job considering all of the things you have to take into account such as how long the reception will last, where to fit slow dances in, and songs to get guests on the dance floor.

To make it easier, these suggestions ease the planning process of your wedding reception playlist for your exciting wedding party. 

5 Tips to Create a Playlist for Your Wedding Reception

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you set up your playlist for your wedding reception. As you take note of these, be true to you and your fiancé’s musical tastes. Nothing is worse than having to listen to music you don’t like on your big day. Enjoy the process and you will be ready for a fun reception. 


Deciding on a DJ or Creating Your Own Playlist

Wedding DJ

Many couples hire a DJ to create and play the playlist for their wedding receptions. Although this is a great way to ensure success from a professional, hiring a DJ can be quite pricey.

On average, a professional DJ would cost a couple $600-$1,500 to hire for a 4-5 hour wedding. Lower prices may reflect the lack of experience from the DJ’s skills. 

If hiring a DJ is too much for your budget, you can definitely create your own playlist. There will be some obstacles like checking the transitions from song to song and the timing of each song. However, with the convenience of technology, there are many platforms to create your own playlist without needing professional skills. 

Spotify is a great app to download music and create playlists. With only $10 a month, you can remove all of the advertisements so the songs can play without any interruptions. Also, once downloaded, you will not have to worry about any internet loss. The songs will play no matter where you are located. 

Don’t be worried if you cannot hire a DJ. In fact, creating a playlist with your fiancé or with friends and family may turn out more fun than you think. 


Choose Your Favorite Songs with Your Fiancé

first dance

One of the most romantic moments of a wedding will be the first dance between the groom and bride at the reception. This is the perfect slot to include that one song that you and your fiancé absolutely love.

Don’t be pressured to pick a song that seems acceptable by the guests. This is your moment, so choose the song that represents your love for each other. 

When searching for other songs to play after the first dance, throw in a mix of your favorite dance songs with slower music. If your reception lasts a few hours, the guests will get burned out from dancing the entire time. Inserting one slow song per 5 upbeat songs will allow you and the guests to relax and talk to each other. 

Have fun when choosing your song list. This is your big day after all. 


Request Songs from Friends and Family

friends at reception

It is likely that you will struggle to find over 120 wedding songs for your playlist to last the entire reception. Asking friends and family for a list of songs is a great way to relieve some of the pressure from you and your fiancé and include music that you may have not thought of. 

These requests can be handwritten, especially if you decide to host a wedding playlist-making party. However, if you find yourself too busy to speak one on one with everyone directly, you can set up a public playlist on your music platform for others to add their song selection. 

Spotify offers an option for you and others to add songs that will play in the order you would like. This is just one of the many platforms that makes wedding playlists easy to create. 

Let others help you and your fiancé make the perfect wedding reception playlist. 


Identify Wrong Song Choices

first dance

Keep in mind that a wedding is a romantic event. You should avoid non-romantic or negative song choices. Also, take note of which song will be played at specific times. You don’t want the Cupid Shuffle to be playing when the bride and her father are having a father/daughter dance. 

If you have requested songs from friends and family, make sure to review the song choices to eliminate the ones that do not match your musical style. It is important to stay open to multiple genres, but you do not want to dislike the majority of your playlist. 

Overall, a good playlist displays the style and love of the couple. Love the songs and you will enjoy the reception. 


Review the Playlist

dancing at wedding

Once you have created the playlist, all there is left to do is the final touches. Take at least thirty minutes out of your day to listen to the playlist in order to correct any issues with transitions. 

You want to avoid any awkward silences between each song. Also, make sure the list is in the correct order for your reception. As said, there should be one slow song for every upbeat song. Position the songs in a way that the hype is built and gradually slows down. 

Once you have listened to and rearranged your songs, you are ready for your wedding day!


Questions Also Asked

How many songs do you need for a wedding playlist?

This answer depends on how long your reception will last. A good estimate will be to add 120-150 songs to your playlist for a two to three-hour reception. If you are unsure about how long the reception will be, add even more songs to prepare for a lengthy reception. It is better to have too much music than too little. 


Do you need a DJ at a wedding?

Many couples decide to DJ their own wedding. With the technology we have, it is just as easy to let a smart device play the songs. You will have to check the transitions and timing of each song before the wedding to make sure the reception music does not have any awkward transitions or songs that do not match the mood. 


What songs should you NOT play at a wedding?

Always try to play romantic songs or songs that will make the crowd want to dance. Avoid any non-romantic or negative songs. Songs like “Fake Love” by Drake will be very ironic for the occasion unless that is the idea you are going for.

Also, take into account who will be there. It is likely that you would want to play a vulgar song in front of little children or your elders. You can make a “do not play” list for undesirable songs. 



Making a wedding playlist will take effort and patience. However, don’t let yourself get stressed over the song choices. Wedding music is supposed to be fun and emotional, so enjoy the process to ensure the best outcome. Let your musical passion show through your wedding reception playlist. 

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Morgan Wilson

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