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PLANNING YOUR RECEPTION

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Use the above link for assistance in selecting songs for your reception! 
 
 
 
Purpose of This Page:

This page is designed to help brides and grooms plan their wedding reception. It is most helpful for selecting music for each reception formality, such as the Bridal Dance or Mother Son Dance. If you already have a good idea about what music you would like, you might be best served by simply clicking the “Download Reception Planner” link above. This will download a form which will ask you what music you would like for each formality, in chronological order as they would traditionally occur. Remember that it is YOUR day and I am here to serve You, you may choose to have your wedding performed differently, this is just a guide. 

 

Cocktail Hour: 

Most wedding receptions are booked for five hours. These five hours are measured from the time the music starts to the time the music ends. The first hour is usually Cocktail Hour. This is when your guests first arrive to the reception. They find their table, socialize, get a drink and have some hors d’oeuvres. Meanwhile the bridal party is finishing up with pictures, arriving at the reception and having some drinks and hors d’oeuvres themselves in a separate room from the guests. Cocktail music is usually played softly as background or ambience music.  Most couples allow their DJ to select the cocktail music. You may also decide to play a certain mix C.D. or playlist that you developed. Below are examples of what might be played during cocktail hour.

Jazz

Modern Love Songs

Classic Love Songs

Mix of Modern and Classic Love Songs

 

 

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Grand Entrance: 

When the bridal party is ready to be introduced into the room, the Grand Entrance can begin. I will line everyone up at the entrance to the reception room and announce each couple one by one in this order, parents, flower girl and ring bearer, bridesmaids and groomsmen, maid of honor and best man, then the bride and groom. You will want to pick a song to be played for your Grand Entrance. Some couples pick one song for everyone, some pick one song for themselves and one for everyone else and some pick one song for each couple, often having each couple select the song they want played when introduced. Grand Entrance songs can be funny, romantic, climatic or personal. Some examples of Grand Entrance songs are listed below.

“I Gotta Feeling” Black Eyed Peas

“Lets Get It Started” Black Eyed Peas

“Best Day of My Life” American Authors

“Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO

“Beautiful Day” U2

“You Make My Dreams Come True” Daryl Hall & John Oates

“We are Family” Sister Sledge

“Levels” Avicii

“Feel This Moment” Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera

“All You Need is Love” The Beatles

After the Grand Entrance the bride and groom can go directly into their first dance and or cutting the cake. Most couples choose to have the first dance and cake cutting done after dinner, but if you choose to do it before dinner, this is when it would occur. Doing the first dance before dinner means less time spent after dinner on formalities, which means your guests will be dancing sooner after dinner. Cutting the cake before dinner means the same and can help to speed up serving the cake after dinner. The decision is yours. Again, most have their first dance and cake cutting after dinner. You may want to ask your venue for their opinion based on their needs.

 

Maid of Honor and Best Man Speeches:

This is done right after the Grand Entrance or after the First Dance and Cake Cutting if you are doing those before dinner. Usually the Maid of Honor will speak on behalf of the bride and or groom then the best man will speak on behalf of the bride and or groom. Sometimes the bride’s father also speaks to welcome everyone.

 

Blessing:

Most couples choose to have a priest, rabbi or family member say a prayer before dinner is served.

 

Dinner Hour:

Dinner usually lasts for about an hour. The bridal party eats first and therefor is finished first. Some bride and grooms like to say hello to each table when they are finished eating.  Music during this time is played softly as background or ambience music. Most couples allow their DJ to select the dinner music. You may also choose yourself or make a mix C.D. or playlist. Below are examples of what might be played during Dinner Hour.

Classical

Jazz

Modern Love Songs

Classic Love Songs

Mix of Modern and Classic Love Songs

 


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Cake Cutting:

The cake is cut after everyone has had a chance to eat. Below are examples of songs that might be played for Cake Cutting.

“Sugar, Sugar” Archies

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” James Taylor

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” Def Leppard

“Better Together” Jack Johnson

“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” Four Tops

“You’re My Best Friend” Queen

“Sweetest Thing” U2

“Happy Together” The Turtles

“Birthday Cake” Rihanna featuring Chris Brown

 

 

 

 

First Dance:

After the cake cutting is the First Dance. This is the couple’s first dance as husband and wife and is usually a slow song. After the first dance, the bridal party is usually announced onto the floor for another slow song. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the First Dance.

“All of Me” John Legend

“At Last” Etta James

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” Elvis Presley

“Then” Brad Paisley

“Bless the Broken Road” Rascal Flatts

“My Best Friend” Tim Mcgraw

“Marry Me” Train

“You and Me” Lifehouse

“Into the Mystic” Van Morrison

“Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran

 


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Dance Music:

After the First Dance I usually like to play a half hour or so of music  before anymore formalities to get your guests up and out of their seats. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Dance Music. 

“Wobble” VIC

“Don’t Stop Believing” Journey

“Cupid Shuffle” Cupid

“You Shook Me All Night Long” AC/DC

“Cha Cha Slide” DJ Casper

“Yeah” Usher featuring Ludacris & Lil Jon

“Love Shack” B-52’s

“Shout” Isley Brothers

“Twist and Shout” Beatles

“Hey Ya” Outkast

“Billie Jean” Michael Jackson”

“Friends in Low Places” Garth Brooks

“Sexyback” Justin Timberlake

“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” Whitney Houston

“Blurred Lines” Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell & T.I.

“Thrift Shop” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

“Party Rock Anthem” LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and Goon Rock

“Turn Down For What” DJ Snake featuring Lil’ Jon

“Celebration” Kool & The Gang

“Ice Ice Baby” Vanilla Ice

“Old Time Rock & Roll” Bob Seger

“P.Y.T.” Michael Jackson

“Dancing Queen” Abba

“September” Earth Wind and Fire

“Fancy” Iggy Azalea Featuring Charli XCX

“Shots” LMFAO Featuring Lil’ Jon

“Cruise” Florida Georgia Line

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” Michael Jackson

“Party In the U.S.A.” Miley Cyrus

“Get Low” Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz featuring Ying Yang Twins

“The Twist” Chubby Checker

 


Father Daughter Dance:

After the guests have had some time to dance, if you choice to, comes the Father Daughter Dance. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Father Daughter Dance. 

“I Loved Her First” Heartland

“Butterfly Kisses” Bob Carlisle

“The Way You Look Tonight”  Frank Sinatra

“Father Daughter” Paul Simon

“My Little Girl” Tim Mcgraw

“My Girl” Temptations

“My Wish” Rascal Flatts

“Unforgettable” Nat King Cole with Natalie Cole

“Daughters” John Mayer

“Have I Told You Lately” Rod Stewart

 

Mother Son Dance:

After the Father Daughter Dance, if you choice to, comes the Mother Son Dance. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Mother Son Dance. 

“What a Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong

“A Song for Mama” Boyz II Men

“I Hope You Dance” Lee Ann Womack

“In My Life” The Beatles”

“Over The Rainbow” Israel ‘Iz’ Kamakawiwo’ole

“You Raise Me Up” Josh Groban

“You Are the Sunshine of My Life” Stevie Wonder

“Don’t Blink” Kenny Chesney

“Forever Young” Rod Stewart

“Days Like This” Van Morrison

 

Bouquet Toss:

After the Mother Son Dance if you choice to, comes the Bouquet Toss.  All the single ladies are called to the floor as the bride turns her back to them and tosses her bouquet of flowers for the single ladies to try and catch. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Bouquet Toss. 

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” Cindi Lauper

“Single Ladies” Beyonce

“Move B***H” Ludacris featuring Mystikal

“Hit Me with Your Best Shot” Pat Benatar

“Where Them Girls At” David Guetta featuring Flo Rida & Nicki Minaj

“Ladies Night” Kool & the Gang

“Girls” Beastie Boys

“Just a Girl” No Doubt

“Oh, Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison

“Girls, Girls, Girls” Motley Crue

 “Movin On Up” Jan’ et DuBois

  

Garter Removal, Toss and Put On:

For the Garter Removal, the bride sits on a chair placed on the center of the dance floor and the groom removes the garter from her. Next, all the single men are invited onto the floor as the groom throws the garter for them to try and catch. Legend has it that the man and woman to catch the garter and bouquet are the next to get married. The man who caught the garter will then put it on the lady who caught the bouquet. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Garter Removal, Toss and Put On. 

“Bad Boys (Cops Theme)” Inner Circle

“I’m a Man” Chicago

“Manish Boy” Muddy Waters

“Oh Yeah” Yello

“Nasty” Janet Jackson

“I’m Too Sexy” Right Said Fred

“Big Girls Don’t Cry” Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

 

Dance Music Continued:

Unless you choose to have a Money Dance, all the formalities are now finished and the rest of the evening is all dance music.

 

Money Dance:

A money dance is when guests get a chance to do a shot and dance with the bride and or groom by placing money into a moneybag. Please be sure to let your venue know if you plan on having a money dance, as they will need to make arrangements for the shots. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Money Dance. 

“For the Love of Money” O’Jays

“Money, That’s What I Want” Barrett Strong

“If I Had $1,000,000” Barenaked Ladies

“With a Little Help from My Friends” The Beatles

“Money” Pink Floyd

“She’s Everything” Brad Paisley

“How Do You Talk to an Angel” Heights

“I Get Carried Away” George Strait

“We Danced” Brad Paisley

“Heaven Must Have Sent You” Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams

  

Last Song:

The last song is the final song your DJ will play before packing it up and calling it a night. This is usually a slow song, but you may choose to have a slow song right before the last song and make the last song an upbeat song. Below are examples of songs that might be played for the Last Song. 

“Save the Last Dance for Me” Michael Buble

“Last Dance” Donna Summer

“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

“Take Me Home Tonight” Eddie Money

“Time of Your Life” Green Day

“Wonderful Tonight” Eric Clapton

“At Last” Etta James

“Glad You Came” Wanted

“The Time” Black Eyed Peas

“One More Time” Daft Punk

 

 

Hopefully this webpage was helpful in planning your reception. Positive and constructive feedback is welcome to help improve it for future brides and grooms.