10 Commandments of Wedding Music


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First dance

10. Thou Shalt Not Use an iPod

No matter how good your personal taste in music, the last thing you want at your reception is that clicky sound of an iPod wheel because some drunk ass who thinks he knows what’s up has stopped the current song and is scrolling through your music library looking for “that one Queen song.”

9. Thou Shalt Not Include Songs with Instructions

That means absolutely no Cha Cha Slide, I don’t care how much you want to hop two times.

8. Thou Shalt Not Hog the Playlist with Thy Favorite Band

You may be a lady who loves her Ramones (and we applaud you, Punkzilla), but your guests need to be able to dance reasonably well – and by dance we don’t mean 2-stepping and pogo-ing.

7. Thou Shalt Not Choose any First Dance Song Longer Than 2 Minutes and 30 Seconds

Bride and Groom First Dance
You may not want this moment to end, but we do. Image courtesy Alice Harold (Flickr)

Even if you forced poor Groomzilla into 3+ months of dance lessons, if he can’t twirl you around like that first dance Patrick Swayze has with Cynthia Rhodes in Dirty Dancing (you know, the one with the pink dress and the high slit?), own that dance spotlight for only a brief amount of time. The two of you embracing and sort of rocking back and forth in basically one spot makes for a lovely picture and really boring entertainment.

6. Thou Shalt Not Choose any First Dance Song That Could Also Be Played at Thy Funeral

It’s a happy occasion. Pick a song other than Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World medley. It’s one of the top songs to play both at children’s funerals and at weddings. Think about it.

5. Thou Shalt Not Include Songs with Well-Known Choreography

YMCA at a wedding
Seriously? This is what you envisioned your wedding to be like? Image courtesy twerksome21 (Flickr)

From the Y.M.C.A to the Electric Slide, a ‘zilla wedding is no place for grape vines and arms that spell out letters.

The only exception to this commandment is BeyoncĂ©’s Single Ladies for the sole purpose that if you and your bridesmaids are good enough to strip down to leotards and stilettos and perform it full out, for the love of all things sparkly, don’t let me stop you.

4. Thou Shalt Not Play Journey

Same goes with Bon Jovi and Lynard Skynard and Niel Diamond. The only exception to this rule is if your name is, in fact, Sweet Caroline.

3. Thou Shalt Not Play Music That Encourages Excessive Grinding

dirty wedding dancing
Those shoes were made for grinding.

When the liquor is flowing, the only thing stopping your guests from “doing it” on the dance floor is a couple layers of satin and a pair of chinos. No one needs LL Cool J or Lil’ Jon greasing the wheels. Keep the references to “getting low” to a minimum, and when in doubt, stick to 50s bee bop.

2. Thou Shalt Have a Special, Blow-Out Song that Knocks Everyone Off Their Feet

Maybe you know Ms Minelli and can go all Sex and the City: The Second Movie with a live performance. Or maybe a talented minion can write you your own wedding song. You deserve it.

1. Thou Shalt Play Shout and Thou Shalt Love It

Shout Wedding
Yes. The song is that good. Image courtesy Brunk Photography

It is hands down the best wedding reception song of all time. If you’re trying to avoid it because “oh, everyone plays Shout and I want to be different” you are a crazy and I demote you from your Bridezilla status. It won’t be until everyone is on the dance floor getting a little bit softer now that you understand why The Isley Brothers hold such a sacred spot in the wedding world.

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