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wedding do not play list

Creating a Wedding Do Not Play List

One of the most exciting parts of your wedding day is the amazing party you will throw after the ceremony. But among the merriment, there are certain songs you don’t want to hear at your wedding – that’s why many couples create a wedding “do not play” list for their reception. 

Dancing, drinking, and laughing with all of your closest friends and family will be the best way to celebrate entering into a new part of your life. Plus, everyone loves a good party!

Everyone knows that a good party can be quickly ruined by a bad song. From tunes that don’t fit the theme to the tempo, the switch to one bad song can have everyone leaving the dance floor, sitting down, or checking the clock and leaving.

The best way to avoid this is to create a wedding do not play list.


Picking Music for Your Wedding

wedding music

If you’re not far enough along in the wedding planning process to be thinking about specific songs, start by thinking about what kind of music you want at your wedding.

Does your wedding have a theme? If you’re thinking rustic, you might want to do indie songs or country music. If you’re having a beach wedding, check out some tropical house jams.

It also depends on what sort of entertainment you’re having– a band and a DJ have different ways of going about what they choose to play. Maybe you’re just linking up your phone to a speaker and doing it yourself!

Whatever it may be, it affects the music at your wedding. If you’re unsure, you can read our article about choosing between a band or a DJ here.


How To Create a Do Not Play List

Once you know what kind of entertainment you want to have at your wedding reception, it’s time to book your date and to think about what kind of music you want.

It’s all dependent on your taste in music– if you’re a fan of Top 40, then check out today’s top hits. If you’re a vintage babe, pick your decade. Your wedding is supposed to reflect you!

However, as much as it’s about what kind of music you love, it’s also about what kind of music you hate!

Is there a particular artist or genre you just can’t stand the sound of? People you’re afraid of offending with certain jams? These are all reasons to ban certain songs or artists from your ceremony.


What Is a Wedding Do Not Play List?

bride and groom dance

A wedding do not play list is exactly what it sounds like. Just as a playlist is a list that you like and want to play, a do not play list is songs you do not like and do not want played. There doesn’t need to be much more to it– there’s not a certain length you need to reach or anything.

By making a wedding do not play list, you’re ensuring that your wedding will be exactly as you want it, and you won’t have to hear any songs that you dislike or that bring up bad memories during your special day.


How to Choose What Songs to Avoid

couple holding hands

Obviously, the first step to creating a wedding do not play list is to think of what you want to avoid. If this isn’t coming easy to you, you can go online and check out popular songs and wedding playlists. If some stand out as big no-nos, include them on your list!

There are also some songs that are worth avoiding for reasons other than simply not liking them.

There are some tunes that are way overplayed at weddings, and people just don’t want to hear them anymore. There are others that are good for certain occasions, but are too sad or too sexual for a wedding. Some couples loathe the traditional line dance songs.

For suggestions, you can look at our list of the worst wedding songs of all time.


How to Create a Do Not Play List

couple sitting

Creating a wedding do not play list can be done in a few different ways. If you’re someone who uses a music software like Spotify or Apple Music, you can use that to compile a list of songs or albums that you want to be off limits.

If you’re a bit more old-fashioned, a Word document or handwritten list can work as well! The best thing to do is to communicate with your entertainment vendors so that you can get your list to them in the most efficient way possible.

For more about your entertainment, you can check out our article on questions you must ask your DJ.


DJ vs. Band

dancing to band at wedding

The songs that you put on your list may vary based on what kind of entertainment you’ve booked. For example, you may want a DJ to play specifically very-high energy mixes, or their general playlist. Some DJs have styles and genres that they like to work within specifically.

A band might be a bit more limited, as they will have a standard list of songs that they already know, or certain songs that sound best with the band’s instruments or singer’s voice. The best thing to do in this situation is talk to the band on a personal level and come up with an approved list of songs for them to play.


Choosing Songs They Should Play

Philadelphia Wedding DJ

On the other hand, you may not even know which songs you definitely want them to play! Choosing songs for your do not play list is just as important as choosing the songs you definitely want to hear on your big day!

If you’re unsure what songs take a high play priority for you, think about the opposites of the songs on your do not play list.

What artists are special to you, or to your relationship? Do you have special songs for loved ones that you want to honor?

We have articles on best dance songs, mother-son dance songs, father-daughter dance songs, and more to help you find the perfect jams for your big day!


What to Do If They Play the Wrong Song

So you’ve made your do not play list– but what happens if they play it anyway? While this may seem like a nightmare, don’t make a big deal about it. It’s possible that someone requested the song directly and the DJ complied.

Just quickly sneak away from the party and address the entertainment directly, reminding them that you didn’t want to hear this song. Hopefully, they will then seamless phase the song out and your attendees won’t notice.


More About Planning Your Ceremony

Here at Yeah Weddings, we’re here to help you plan every aspect of your wedding day. From the perfect songs for your cocktail hour to reception entrance songs, be sure to keep reading for all of your planning needs.

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Katie Sheets

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