When I was planning my wedding, I did a lot of research to figure out the “right” songs to play. After listening to hours and hours —and hours — of music, I came to the realization that there is no such thing as a“wrong” playlist If it’s right to you, then do you, boo.
With that being said, I wanted to tell you about my wedding playlist. Our playlist is not for everyone, but it was perfect for our wedding. You may not choose the same songs, but maybe it will inspire you to complete your perfect wedding list.
** Before we start, my husband did not have too many opinions about music, so I did pick out a majority of the songs. But I did run every song by him except the song I walked down the aisle to.**
What He Walked Down the Aisle To:
While I was listening to the hours of music, I knew I wanted an instrumental song that pulled my heartstrings a bit. I found lots of pretty songs but none that tickled my fancy.
Until I watched The Greatest Showman.
I immediately knew that I needed “A Million Dreams” in the ceremony. Along with the beautiful melody, I loved the lyrics and the meaning of the song.
We can live in a world that we design
'Cause every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it's gonna take
A million dreams for the world we're gonna make
As much as I love Hugh Jackman singing this, I found a really pretty piano version by Kim Bo.
What I Walked Down the Aisle To:
Again, I wanted a song I connected with, one that would make me cry if I was a happy crier. I tossed some ideas around, and was thinking of an instrumental version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” but it just wasn’t me.
As a Disney lover through and through, it just made sense to play ”I See the Light” from Tangled. Finding an instrumental version ended up being a bit tougher than anticipated, but I found a version that was actually billed as a lullaby It was perfect — sweet and simple.
Tip: if you have your heart set on a certain song but can’t find an instrumental version, adjust your search. Google a lullaby or string quartet version of what you’re looking for. A high-quality karaoke version may even work in a pinch.
Lots of couples have “their song” picked out long before the wedding day. We did not.
The go-to first dance song at the time was a very popular Ed Sheeran song… which we both hated. That was out.
We really like singing “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen, but that wasn’t a slow song. I looked into the version they played in Disney’s new fireworks show, “Happily Ever After,” but they never released the full version.
We joked for years that our first dance song would be “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)”, and even went as far as finding a slow “romantic” version on Youtube — only for it to magically disappear when I tried to download it.
So, while we painted our house, made dinner, and did all our other day-to-day chores, we listened to music to try and figure out what “our song” would be. After hours of listening to Spotify, we decided on “Just the Way You Are” by Billy Joel. It wasn’t a typical first dance song (at least not at this time), but I really liked that it. It was not super serious and pretty simple (seeing a pattern?)
As a cheerleader in elementary school, halftime during the “homecoming” game was reserved for a choreographed father-daughter halftime routine. My dad and I both REALLY wanted to re-enact a routine we did together because it was hilarious and so fun… but the song was mixed specifically for my squad like 15 years earlier. We searched for the song on Youtube. Couldn’t find it. We searched for the video of us dancing to it. Couldn’t find it. We were at a loss.
So my dad decided on “Rainbow Connection”.
He actually had this song picked out for a long time, since he was originally going to use it as his father/daughter dance with my older sister. But they ended up changing the song (for any of you that are curious, they danced to “Return to Pooh Corner” by Kenny Loggins. My sister did ballet to this when she was younger, so it was like things came full circle).
Anyways, he picked out “Rainbow Connection”and I found a fun jazzy version so Kermit did not have to sing it.
I asked Kevin to write a little blurb about this because it was his song.
“My mom said it was my sisters’ song, and I hate Phil Collins” — Kevin
First Dance for Everyone:
This is an important song because it gets the party started and sets the tone for the night.
We REALLY wanted to play “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B. Honestly, that song is a BOP. But our DJ thought it might upset the older crowd, and advised us not to open with it. So, we played “Can’t Stop This Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. Still a bop and it brought the crowd onto the dance floor — which was great for our photographers. They got LOTS of great dancing pictures.
We ended up playing “Bodak Yellow” later in the night, and it slayed. I honestly think my grandma and mom came out to dance to this song BECAUSE IT ROCKED SO MUCH.
Tip: Consider your audience. Yes, it’s your party, but you don’t want to make your conservative great-aunt uncomfortable. Consider playing a mix of fast and slow songs from various decades if your guests are of all ages, and save the racier stuff for later in the party after easily-offended guests have left.