How to Choose Slow Dance Songs for a Wedding Reception
Be sure to have some slow dances but don't overdo it
By MiShaun Taylor
After the wedding ceremony is over, guests are ready to shake their groove things to an upbeat melody at the reception. However, this is one of the most romantic nights of your life, so you can't let it pass by without any slow, romantic songs added to the mix. Slow songs should be picked carefully and spaced accordingly to make sure the guests don't nod off on the sidelines.
- What You Need to Know
- Contact members of the wedding party and friends and family to get a list of their favorite slow songs, in addition to the favorite songs of the bride and groom.
Choose a first dance song. The first dance is the most special and symbolizes the love between the bride and groom. You should pick a song that is unique to your relationship. Perhaps you would like a song that you used to sing to each other or a song that was popular when you first started dating. Maybe you can recall the song that was playing the first time you kissed. You should choose something that is special to you as a couple rather than try to please all of the guests.
Decide how much of the reception should consist of slow songs. Although you might dream of a reception jam-packed with slow, romantic songs so you can gaze longingly into your new spouse's eyes, you don't want guests leaving early because they can't stomach any more Bryan Adams songs. Slow songs should make up only one-fourth of your wedding reception playlist.
Space the slow songs out. You should place one slow song inbetween every four or five fast and upbeat songs. It usually takes a couple of songs to get people out on the dance floor, so you don't want it to switch over to a slow song as soon as they get out there. Also, most people at the reception, especially after they consume a little liquor, are ready to get out on the dance floor and boogie. Back-to-back slow songs would be disappointing to this crowd. However, it's good to break up the monotony of fast songs with a slow song every now and then to give the dancers a break.
Choose popular and familiar songs. Nothing pulls people out to the dance floor better than a song they enjoy or one that invokes a happy memory. That's why you should choose songs that are either popular today or were popular in the past. You might consider adding in an "oldies" song for your parents and the in-laws. This will make them feel included.
When choosing slow songs, you should also pay close attention to the lyrics. Some songs might have a misleading romantic title while the lyrics discuss breakups and cheating. For a good mix of popular slow dance songs, visit Pop Culture Madness. See Resources for link.
Compile your list of songs and give it to the DJ or band. Although some couples might feel comfortable leaving the song choices up to the DJ, the only way you can really ensure that you will have a variety of songs played that you like is to make the list yourself. He doesn't have to follow the specific order, but explain to him how you would like to have the slow songs spaced out. If you decide to rely on the DJ to pick the songs because you don't have the time to create a list, you can at least inform him of any songs that should not be played or the music genre you prefer. For a free downloadable checklist, visit Chica and Jo's website. See Resources for link.
About the Author
With more than 15 years of writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in wedding-related articles.
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Play a little something for everyone. Young and old alike enjoy dancing to the oldies. And throw in some nostalgic tunes for you and your friends, such as a top song from the year you graduated from high school. You may even want to set up a space on your website for song requests and compose a playlist from that.
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A style of music that traditionally involves many musicians and incorporates horn instruments and vocalists. Popular in the '30s and '40s.View the Full Weddings Glossary