Time & again when meeting with clients, one of their main priorities is the dance party. They want everyone to have fun, they want a full dance floor and they want unforgettable songs. Some even feel like it has to be EPIC. I mean, it’s your wedding. Our goal is always to help you create memories to last a lifetime. Sometimes it is easy to figure out what you want. You know what you love dancing to, what your parents and grandparents like, what makes you get up from your dinner table when you’re at someone else’s wedding. But what about what you don’t want? Sometimes that is way tougher to pin down. Still – almost every DJ or Band leader is going to ask you for it: you DO NOT PLAY list. How do you figure that one out if it is tougher to remember what doesn’t get you in the mood than what does? Never fear – here to help! Check out these suggestions for your Do Not Play list:

1. Sad Love Songs: Come on! with this one, man. This is a no brainer. Even though some sad love songs are beautiful and seem romantic, I’ve got two words for you on this: TIME & PLACE. There’s a time & a place for those sad, sappy romantic songs that get you choked up. For most people, it’s usually on the couch after a rough break up with a pint (or two) of ice cream or a bottle (or two) of wine. On the dance floor at your wedding is not the time and place! Skip the sadness and go for the joy. You and your guests deserve to have one night of all happiness!

Worst offender: My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from Titanic) by Celine Dion. Seriously – HE DIES at the end of the story. No excuses. This is not a wedding song.

2. Break up songs: Along the same lines as the sad love songs are break up songs. Why would you want that mojo at your wedding? For real, Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats may be your favorite Rock It Out In The Car song, but it doesn’t belong at your wedding. Just. Don’t.

Worst offender: Jesse’s girl by Rick Springfield. Not joking on this one. Read the lyrics. Understand this: No matter how much of a heartthrob Rick Springfield was at one time, a song about wanting to steal your friend’s girl is not right for your wedding dance party.

3. Kitschy songs: This category is so tough because drawing the line of where silly fun ends and overly cheesy begins is a bit different for everyone. Some of our clients LOVE the organized group dances a la Cha Cha Slide, Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, The Wobble, etc. but others think they are lame. One song we would have never expected to hear at a wedding is The Hokey Pokey – but for the first time this year we had a couple put this on their MUST PLAY list. And get this: the crowd loved it! Wherever the line goes for you, figure it out and communicate accordingly. We suggest you also consider the following since they come up on Do Not Play Lists often:

  • The Macarena
  • Celebrate
  • Love Shack
  • We are Family
  • The Chicken Dance
  • Gangnam Style

Worst offender: Cotton-eyed Joe by Rednex. This 1800’s folk song was redone by Swedish musicians and for some reason people think it is a good/fun song. Literally have no idea what they are thinking. Rumors abound that the song is about STDs. Whether or not there is truth to that, why risk it?

4. Songs you (or your guests) would find offensive: Many of our clients like to set up their song lists along a timeframe – specifying that some of the more hardcore rap/dance songs are only played later in the evening (ostensibly after Grandma has gone home and the kids have gone to bed). This can definitely be helpful – but it is also good to consider if there are songs that you find personally offensive or that you feel your guests might not enjoy for similar reasons. Of course, this can also become a rabbit hole, so try not to let it stress you out too much, but do consider it if you have a group that offends easily.

Worst offender: We cannot even bear to share the name/artist of the actual song, but we once heard a bouquet toss done to a super profane song about pimps & ho’s. Not cool, man. Not cool.

5. Kids songs: With the massive popularity of animated movies, we’re hearing some of these soundtrack songs more and more at weddings. If that’s your speed, go for it. For most folks, though, they want their wedding to be remembered as timeless, elegant and fun. Belting out some of these songs can be so fun, but is better left to Sunday mornings in your jammies.

Worst offender: Let It Go from Frozen. We love Frozen, too – but honestly there are so many better choices for your wedding music. In fact, there is probably not even enough time to play all of the great songs that will keep all of your guests engaged with the party! Save these 5 minutes for a song that will fill your dance floor, not send half of the folks to get another drink.

Whether you agree with these specific selections or not, take the time to plan this portion of your wedding music. We know you will not regret it and you and your guests will have a great time because of it! Happy planning!