Wedding Planning Guide
Photo: The Flashdance
Every love story needs a great soundtrack. The music you choose for your ceremony and wedding reception songs will set the tone for your guests and create memories that will stay with you forever. Whether you choose a DJ, 10-piece band, or a custom playlist on shuffle, your music style and song choices should be reflective of who you and your future spouse are.
However, from the ceremony processional to the first dance, figuring out the perfect wedding songs can be overwhelming. So if you're not sure where to start, here's a rundown of the best songs for every major wedding moment.
PROCESSIONAL WEDDING SONGS
Songs that are perfect for the wedding party's walk down the aisle.
RECESSIONAL WEDDING SONGS
End the ceremony on a high note with one of these songs.
ENTRANCE WEDDING SONGS
Kick off the party with the perfect reception-entrance song.
FIRST DANCE WEDDING SONGS
Songs that will make your first dance a moment to remember.
FATHER-DAUGHTER DANCE WEDDING SONGS
The sweetest songs for your dance with Dad.
MOTHER-SON DANCE WEDDING SONGS
Songs recommendations for your and your mom's moment in the spotlight.
Minted's Top 50 All-Time Wedding Songs
We've put together an epic wedding songs starter kit for you, with killer songs for every wedding moment, from your ceremony entrance to the very last dance.
"All of Me" by John Legend
Fun fact: This epic 2013 ballad by John Legend was inspired by his then-fiancée, now wife, Chrissy Teigen. The couple actually shot the song's music video in Italy, just a few days before their wedding in Lake Como.
"The Luckiest" by Ben Folds
This love song by Ben Folds is defined by his piano playing and wistful vocals, and is guaranteed to get everyone in the room misty-eyed. Key lyrics: ''I don't get many things right the first time / In fact, I am told that a lot / Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles, and falls brought me here / And where was I before the day that I first saw your lovely face / Now I see it every day and I know that I am, I am, I am, the luckiest."
“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson
This toe-tapping song from 1967 belongs on your wedding reception songs playlist—it's guaranteed to get guests on their feet and onto the dance floor.
“Man on Fire” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
If you're planning to kick off the reception with a romantic first dance and then immediately invite all guests to join you on the dance floor, then this is our first dance pick for your wedding songs list. The verses repeat the line, "I want the whole damn world to come dance with me"—lyrics that will definitely get folks out of their seats.
"You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates
We love this '80s classic for the end-of-ceremony processional: It's upbeat, energetic, and festive—all the right ingredients for your celebratory ceremony exit.
"Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
The hard part is actually narrowing down the Beyoncé hits to just a few faves. Our pick for the dance party is "Crazy in Love," which the couple actually danced to for their first dance at their wedding in April 2008. I mean, if it's good enough for Bey and Jay…
"I Choose You" by Sara Bareilles
The beat on this one might be a little tricky for your first dance (but then again, it might be the perfect excuse to sign up for dance lessons to learn to foxtrot!). We also think it's a great choice for the ceremony—particularly for your ceremony entrance and walk down the aisle.
"Marry Me" by Train
Another great choice for the ceremony processional—either for your attendants' entrance into the venue or for your own walk down aisle.
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
What makes this 1971 R&B song an enduring wedding classic? Lyrics that speak to a lifetime commitment (“whether times are good or bad, happy, or sad") and it's easy, danceable beat. A perfect addition to your wedding reception songs playlist.
“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
This tune is perfect for the ceremony recessional. It's celebratory and full of joy—everything you and your new spouse will want to hear as brand-new newlyweds. Plus, the song is the perfect way to kick off cocktail hour.
“First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes
This song’s sweet lyrics ("Yours is the first face that I saw") and catchy beat make this a great choice for couples looking for a more modern ceremony processional song.
“You Make It Easy” by Jason Aldean
Country music fans will love this song for their first dance, with its soulful, romantic lyrics like, "You're my sunshine in the darkest days / My better half, my saving grace / You make me who I wanna be / You make it easy."
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" by Stevie Wonder
Another great pick for the recessional. The song title is so fitting because you'll likely be exiting the ceremony to sign the marriage license with your officiant and make it official!
“Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen
Our pick for the very last dance of the night—there's really no better way to end the dance party than with guests singing at the top of their lungs, ‘Why can’t we give love a chance?’”
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston
There's nothing quite like an '80s dance hit to get guests on the dance floor, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can attest. The royals chose this Whitney Houston classic as their reception-entrance song.
Photo: Joseph Rogero
"Wake Up" by Arcade Fire
This one may not be for everyone, but we love it as an unexpected song for your ceremony entrance. The opening vocals are soaring and epic. A perfect song as you begin to make your way down the aisle.
"Best Part" by Daniel Caesar featuring H.E.R.
Searching for a more contemporary song for your first dance as newlyweds? This romantic R&B number is easy to dance to and the lyrics will resonate with a lot of couples (“You’re the coffee that I need in the morning / You’re the sunshine in the rain when it’s pouring").
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" by Justin Timberlake
Consider this song for your reception entrance. The combination of its danceable rhythm and singable lyrics will have your guests on their feet cheering for you and your new spouse as you enter the party.
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
Sorry, we couldn't resist another Stevie Wonder song. This jazzy tune is perfect for a sentimental father-daughter dance, especially if the two of you have some serious moves to show off on the dance floor.
"Hoppípolla" by Sigur Rós
This ethereal, dreamy song by Icelandic band Sigur Ros would be a wonderful choice for your walk down the aisle.
"All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem
This one is another jam to consider as the last song of the night. Imagine dancing and singing the lyrics "If I could see all my friends tonight," surrounded by all of your loved ones. it doesn't get more epic! Bonus: The track is over seven minutes long, which means you'll get to extend your last dance for a few more precious moments.
"Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order
This synth-pop hit by the British band New Order is sure to get all of the '80s babies out of their seats and onto the dance floor.
“Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
Looking for a great closing song? If the goal is to get your guests to get in on the singing, this classic singalong feel-good tune fits the bill perfectly.
“Bye, Bye, Bye” by NSYNC
Obviously, this song would be great to play at the end of the reception, too. The '90s nostalgia will get everyone singing and dancing, guaranteed.
“My Girl” by The Temptations
This Motown favorite features sweet lyrics that capture father-daughter affection without going overboard. And the up-tempo beat means you and your dad can have some fun with your dance steps, while the well-known lyrics will have guests singing along.
"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" by Natalie Cole
This song is a rom-com soundtrack staple—and for good reason. It's upbeat, romantic, and is sure to get all your guests swing-dancing across the dance floor.
"Yeah!" by Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris
Everyone's ears will perk up at "Peace up, A-town down" and will get to their feet to crowd the dance floor...
“Wannabe” by the Spice Girls
Nostalgia is always a hit during the reception dance party and this '90s radio staple will not disappoint.
"All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo
This 1997 single is just one of those essential wedding songs every millennial seems to play on their wedding day. Make a mental note and see if it is played at the next millennial wedding you attend.
“Make a Little” by Midland
It's fitting that this country band formed after meeting at a wedding in Wyoming. Consider this tune for either the ceremony processional or your entrance into the reception.
"I'll Be Your Man" by Zac Brown Band
With lyrics like "There was a time when I thought I knew love until you came into this world / Time keeps on flying but you're always gonna be my baby girl," it's no wonder this country hit is a sentimental father-daughter dance favorite.
Photo: Jen Huang Bogan
“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton
Sure, the title and lyrics are all about booze. But the song's sentiment is lovely and sweet ("I've looked for love in all the same old places / Found the bottom of a bottle always dry / But when you poured out your heart I didn't waste it / 'Cause there's nothing like your love to get me high"). And your first dance as newlyweds is all about being drunk on love. For this reason, we think Tennessee Whiskey should make the shortlist on your potential wedding songs collection.
“Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
Country fans and non-fans alike will be shouting the lyrics to this classic Garth Brooks song, which is why it's another great pick for the last song of the night (p.s. they'll never realize the song is actually about a man who crashes his ex's wedding!).
". . . Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears
Have your DJ play this song to get the bridesmaids on the dance floor.
"Hey Ya" by Outkast
Sure, this song is played at every wedding. But you know you want to see Grandma shaking it like a Polaroid picture out on the dance floor.
"The Shining" by Badly Drawn Boy
The opening strings and horn, the sweet strumming, and sentimental lyrics make this a great choice for the wedding processional, especially if you're marrying outdoors in the sunshine.
"I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)" by Stevie Wonder
How many Stevie Wonder songs will we feature on our wedding songs list? You will just have to keep scrolling through our list to find out! This song has beautiful lyrics ("And the words of love I speak to you, will echo in your mind / I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever”) and an easy-to-dance-to beat, which means it's a perfect first-dance pick.
"Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G.
Save this one for hour two of the dance party, when the older guests are winding down but the dance floor is still raging.
“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe
This song from Monáe’s much-celebrated album “Dirty Computer” is sexy, groovy, and totally dance floor-worthy.
"LOVE." by Kendrick Lamar feat. Zacari
If you’re hip hop fans, add this sweet yet still edgy song to your wedding songs list. Rumor has it that Lamar wrote this song for his long-time girlfriend. How romantic is that?
"Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens
Featured on the Call Me By Your Name film soundtrack (2017), this song features the whispering magic of Sufjan Stevens' voice accompanied by the lilting melody of a fingerpicked guitar.
"Moon River" by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean has one of the smoothest voices around and his cover of “Moon River” is a soulful and modern tribute to the original.
“Let’s Get Married” by Bleachers
It's cutesy, fun, and has that perfect ’80s pop vibe that will get everyone out on the dance floor.
"Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Every wedding songs list needs a little Bob Marley and this reggae tune is the perfect addition to your wedding cocktail hour playlist.
"Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas
Somehow, this song still works like magic. Ask your band or DJ to play this party anthem when it's time to get guests up and moving.
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
The song's lyrics fit the occasion: "I told you you could always count on me darling / From that day on, I made a vow / I'll be there when you want me."
"No One" by Alicia Keys
This song has become a classic wedding jam and is just as good every time you hear it.
"Mr. Brightside" by The Killers
If "Mr. Brightside" doesn't play at a party, is it even a party?
"Dancing in the Moonlight" by Toploader
A must-have song if you're having an outdoor wedding reception and dance party.
"Kiss" by Prince
This is a high-energy song that will get your guests out on the dance floor in no time. Or, you could save this wedding song for the cake-cutting, instead.
Photo: Kyle John Photography