How Many Songs Do You Need For A Wedding? Useful Planning Tips 2022 (2023)

How Many Songs Do You Need For A Wedding? Useful Planning Tips 2022 (1)

When planning your wedding reception, you will need to choose music for various parts of the wedding ceremony and reception.

You may also want to consider hiring an MC or emcee to help keep things organized and running smoothly.

Here is a look at how many wedding songs you will need for a typical wedding, as well as some other things to consider when choosing the music for your special day.

How many songs do you need for a wedding?

There is no definitive answer when it comes to wedding songs.

The number of songs you need will depend on the length of your reception, as well as the overall tone you want to set for the event.

Ceremony Music

Typically, there are seven to eleven total songs for a wedding ceremony. This includes the bride’s walk down the aisle, the wedding party entrance, the prelude (if applicable), and the recessional. You can also choose to have additional songs played during the ceremony, such as during the lighting of the unity candle or during communion.

3 Hour Reception

For a three-hour reception, you will need at least 45 songs. This will give you enough time to play a variety of music, including slower songs for dancing and upbeat tracks for when the party really gets going.

4 Hour Reception

If you are planning a four-hour reception, then you will need 60 songs or more. This will allow you to have even more variety in your music, as well as provide a longer soundtrack for your bridal party and guests to enjoy.

Dinner Music

Finally, if you are having dinner at your wedding, then you will need 20 songs or more for background music.


Wedding music can play an important role in setting the tone for your big day, so be sure to choose them carefully!

Just play the best of the best – from the first song to the last song – no filler.

What songs do I need for a wedding?

When it comes to wedding songs, there are a few key moments that you’ll need to pick tunes for.

For the wedding ceremony, you’ll need prelude music three to five songs, a processional songs for when the bridal party walks, one songs for when the bride walks down the aisle, one to two songs for during the unity candle or signing of the register, and one songs as a recessional song for when you walk back down the aisle as a married couple.

The bride’s walk down the aisle is one of the most important and emotional moments of a wedding. As the bride makes her way to the altar, all eyes are on her. T

his is a moment that will be remembered forever, so it’s important to choose a wedding song that perfectly captures the mood. There are many traditional wedding songs to choose from, but some modern brides are opting for more unique selections.

Whether you choose a classic ballad or a contemporary pop song, make sure it reflects your personal tastes and style and sets the tone for your special day.

Then, for the reception, you’ll need a first dance song, a father/daughter dance song, a mother/son dance song, a bouquet toss song, a garter toss song, a cake cutting song, and a last dance songs.

Ceremony Music:

  • – Prelude: three to five songs
  • – Processional: one to two songs
  • – Bride Entrance: one song
  • – Unity Candle/Sand – Signing of the register: one to two songs
  • – Recessional: one song

Reception Music:

  • – Grand Entrance: one to two songs
  • First dance song: one song
  • – Father/daughter dance: one song
  • – Mother/son dance: one song
  • – Wedding party dance: one song
  • – Bouquet toss: one song
  • – Garter toss: one song
  • – Cake cutting: one song
  • – Last dance: one song

You can pick any songs you like for these moments – they can be sentimental ballads, upbeat pop tunes, or anything in between.

The most important thing is that they reflect your taste as a couple and help to make your wedding day even more special.

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A band typically plays how many songs at a wedding?

A wedding band typically plays 3-4 sets of music, with each set lasting about 45 minutes. The number of songs in each set varies, but a typical set list might include 15-20 songs.

The live band will usually take a brief break between sets, giving guests a chance to mingle or dance. When choosing wedding songs, it’s important to consider the flow of the entire evening.

The first set should include upbeat, danceable songs that will get guests on their feet and set the tone for the rest of the night. The second and third sets can be a mix of slower, more romantic tunes and faster, more energetic numbers.

Is the band going to play the ceremony music?

And the final set should be all about generating excitement and getting everyone out on the dance floor for one last round of fun.

FYI – during the breaks you might need to provide music or you can ask the band to play some songs.

Number of Slow Songs Can I Play at a Wedding?

One of the most important aspects of wedding planning is choosing the right music. After all, a wedding is a once in a lifetime event, and you want everything to be perfect.

While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding music, there are some general guidelines that can help you make your choices.

For example, many couples choose to include a few slow songs during their reception. This provides a chance for guests to unwind and enjoy a romantic moment on the dance floor.

But how many slow songs should you play?

There is no magic number, but as a general rule of thumb, you can plan on playing one slow song for every three or four up-tempo songs. This will ensure that there is plenty of time for dancing without feeling like the night is dragging on.

With careful planning, you can create a wedding playlist that will keep both the bride and your guests moving all night long.

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Other things to consider:

  1. Do you want live music or recorded music?
  2. Do you want a band or a DJ?
  3. What type of music do you want? (e.g., classical, jazz, rock, pop, etc.)
  4. Do you have any specific songs that you want played?
  5. Do you have any songs that you do not want played?
  6. Who will be responsible for choosing and organizing the music? (e.g., the bride, the groom, a parent, friend, the wedding planner, etc.)
  7. Do you want an MC or emcee to help coordinate the music and other events during the reception?

Create a Do Not Play Playlist

Choosing the perfect wedding playlist can be a delicate balancing act. You want to choose songs that will get your guests moving and create an unforgettable atmosphere, but at the same time, you don’t want to play any songs that might offend or upset anyone.

If you have specific songs that you definitely don’t want to hear on your big day, it’s important to make a do-not-play list for your DJ or band. That way, you can rest assured knowing that those songs will not be played, no matter what.

Some brides choose to avoid well-known wedding songs. Others prefer to steer clear of more sentimental tunes. And still others simply want to avoid any song with profanity or suggestive lyrics.

Whatever your reasons for wanting certain songs off the wedding songs list, be sure to communicate your wishes to your wedding entertainer in advance. That way, you can enjoy your wedding day stress-free, knowing that the music will be just right.

Tips to pick the perfect wedding songs

When choosing the music for your wedding, you will need to decide what type of music you want. This can be based on your personal preferences, the theme of your wedding, or the type of atmosphere you want to create.

If you are not sure what type of music to choose, ask your friends and family for their recommendations, or consult a professional wedding planner or DJ.

Few things to keep in mind

First, think about the overall tone you want to set for the event. Do you want something light and joyful, or something more romantic and intimate?

Second, consider your guests. What kind of music do they usually enjoy?

Third, pick songs that are your favorite songs and have special meaning to you and your partner. These could be songs, a slow or upbeat song that were popular when you first met, the same song your parents danced to, or ones that hold personal significance for your relationship.

Fourth, look at these song list to get song ideas to keep the music flowing

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  • 300+ Best Love Songs of All Time | 50’s – 2020’s Romantic Songs
  • Top 300+ Best Slow Songs of all Time | Powerful Love Songs

By keeping these things in mind, you can choose wedding songs that will reflect your unique style and create a memorable day for all.

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The average wedding lasts about four hours, which means you’ll need quite a few songs to keep the festivities going.

Most weddings will have between 50 and 150 songs. This may seem like a lot, but remember that you’ll need music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. If you’re struggling to come up with enough song choices, talk to your DJ or bandleader.

They should be able to give you some suggestions based on their experience.

In the end, the most important thing is that you choose a mix of songs that will keep the bride and groom, family and your guests entertained all night long.

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How many songs do you need for a wedding? Useful Planning Tips 2022


How many songs are needed to plan a wedding? ›

How Many Songs Should You Pick? A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.

What do you need songs for in a wedding? ›

When planning, keep in mind choosing songs for these 10 important moments on your special day!
  • Prelude.
  • Processional.
  • Bridal Processional.
  • Recessional.
  • Reception Entrance.
  • First Dance.
  • Father/Daughter Dance.
  • Mother/Son Dance.
3 Aug 2017

How many songs should be in a registry office wedding? ›

How many songs do I need for my wedding ceremony? Traditionally, music is used to mark three parts of the service: the entrance, signing of the register and the exit. You'll need one song for the entrance, one song for the exit, and up to three for the signing of the register.

How many songs do you need for reception entrance? ›

Typically, one song is played for the entire bride party entrance, with a second song being played for just the bride and groom's entrance. Once the bride and groom are introduced and enter the reception area, they should proceed to the dance floor for their first dance.

How many songs should a set be? ›

An average setlist consists of roughly 15 three-minute-long songs making the show 45min long altogether. The number of songs can vary though because some songs are longer and that should be taken into account while making a setlist.

How many songs do I need for a 3 hour set? ›

As a general rule 12 songs = 45 mins, 16 songs = 1 hour. As a 3 hour gig is usually 2 x 45 min sets, 1 x 1 hour set, you should have at least 40 songs up your sleeve, ready to go.

What is the number 1 wedding song? ›

Top 10 Wedding Songs of All-time
  • 1. “ Can't Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. ...
  • 2. “ At Last” by Etta James. ...
  • 3. “ Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. ...
  • 4. “ Marry Me” by Train. ...
  • 5. “ Bless The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts. ...
  • 6. “ All Of Me” by John Legend. ...
  • 7. “ I Don't Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith. ...
  • 8. “
4 days ago

How many songs do you need for a 4 hour wedding reception? ›

If your reception lasts a few hours, the guests will get burned out from dancing the entire time. Inserting one slow song per 5 upbeat songs will allow you and the guests to relax and talk to each other.

What is the most used wedding song? ›

Top 25 Wedding Ceremony Songs
  • This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole.
  • All of Me - John Legend.
  • Speechless - Dan + Shay.
  • Tenerife Sea - Ed Sheeran.
  • Can't Help Falling in Love - Haley Reinhart.
  • Over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.
  • Lucky - Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat.
  • Stand by Me - Ben E. King.

Do you have to list songs in wedding program? ›

Like the prelude, you can list the song title, composer and performer. These are optional; however, your formatting for the prelude and processional should match.

How long should a wedding song last? ›

The average song is 3 minutes long. It can take 20 seconds for a couple to prepare and get from the entrance to their seats or the dance floor. As you increase the number of introductions, add on another song.

How long should my wedding playlist be? ›

If you're making the set list on your own, make sure to include PLENTY of music. Depending on the length of the reception, think 3-5 hours worth. Don't forget to include a few extra songs for each event just in case the cocktail hour or processional goes a little long or is delayed. Add a mix of genres.

How many songs do you pick for wedding ceremony? ›

How many songs do you need for a wedding ceremony? There are three big moments to pick music for: both of your processionals (one song each) and the recessional. Your partner's processional could also be the song the wedding party walks down the aisle to, or they can have a tune all their own, as you'll have.

What is a good entrance song? ›

75 Awesome Reception Entrance Songs
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO.
  • I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas.
  • Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac.
  • Marry You – Bruno Mars.
  • Beautiful Day – U2.
  • Greatest Day – Take That.
  • I Predict a Riot – The Kaiser Chiefs.
  • Crazy in Love – Beyonce.

What songs do you not play at a wedding? ›

See more cliche songs below.
  • Chicken Dance.
  • Hokey Pokey.
  • DJ Casper – Cha-Cha Slide.
  • Los Del Rio – Macarena.
  • ABBA – Dancing Queen.
  • Sister Sledge – We Are Family.
  • Psy – Gangnam Style.
  • Vanilla Ice – Ice Ice Baby.
13 Sept 2022

How many songs is a 1.5 hour set? ›

For average bar band playing covers, a typical 45-minute set would be 10-12 songs IIRC. So times that by 2 = 20-24 songs.

How many songs is a 2 hour set? ›

That works out to 15 songs per hour or 30 songs for a two hour, two set gig. Add 4 or 6 more “back pocket” songs, especially if you won't be taking a break between sets.

How many songs do you need for 6 hours? ›

A music CD holds 80 minutes worth of songs or 26 songs with a few minutes to provide a short space between each song. Six hours would be 60x6 or 360 minutes or 120 three minute songs.

How many songs do I need for 5 hours? ›

Depending on what kind of music will be played, your average song works out to be about 3-4 minutes each. Now we do some simple math. Let's go in the middle with 17 songs per hour. Multiply that by 5 and we get 85 songs.

How many songs is a 1 hour show? ›

It depends on how fast you are going through songs. But I would say about 15 to 30 tracks in an hour.

How many songs do I need for 4 hours? ›

First, you will need about 20 songs an hour. For a 4 hour party that is 80 songs, maybe 100 to be on the safe side or to have a few extra in case the party goes a little long. It's not a lot of songs and usually people have the problem of what to cut out as opposed to finding enough songs.

What is the number one wedding song of 2022? ›

To do this, Hitched used Spotify's Playlist Miner to search for the most popular songs from the most popular public playlists that used the terms “weddings” and “first dance” within them and can reveal that the most popular wedding song for 2022 is Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran featuring Beyoncé.

What are the most cliche wedding songs? ›

14 of the Most Overplayed Wedding Songs
  • The Chicken Dance.
  • I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas.
  • Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars.
  • Cupid Shuffle by Cupid.
  • Don't Stop Believin' by Journey.
  • Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex.
  • Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.
10 Jul 2020

How many songs should you give your DJ for wedding? ›

Try not to request too many songs

“You've got to trust their judgment,” Groh says. “Give them 10 or 20 of your favorite songs and let them do the rest of the work. And if you want to see dancing, make sure the songs are danceable.

Is 3 hours long enough for a wedding reception? ›

4-5 hours will be your best bet for reception length. Do note that the ceremony isn't included in this, as it's just the reception (and cocktail hour, if you'd like to count that). Some people think that less than 4-5 hours is perfect and I really feel that even 3-4 hours would be plenty.

Do you play slow songs at weddings? ›

With over half of the people attending a wedding being a couple, wedding slow dance songs are a must have at any reception. Now that doesn't mean to overflow your reception with an enormous amount of wedding slow dance songs.

What's the most requested song? ›

Top 200 Most Requested Songs
1Ronson, Mark Feat. Bruno MarsUptown Funk
2JourneyDon't Stop Believin'
3Walk The MoonShut Up And Dance
4CupidCupid Shuffle
150 more rows

What is the most used song title? ›

According to”Hold On” is the most common song title to hit the Top 100 Billboard charts with 16 songs.

How do you pick a wedding entrance song? ›

The song should reflect that moment, so we suggest picking a tune that's upbeat, romantic, and positive. Something like U2's “Beautiful Day” or “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)” by Stevie Wonder, or even “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé are all fun choices that work perfectly for that moment.

Does music play when the groom walks down the aisle? ›

The groom should have his own song playing when he walks down the aisle, don't you think? Well, we agree. Groom processional songs are an important part of the ceremony for the wedding couple to discuss.

Does the bride walk down the aisle to a different song? ›

Wedding music commences, either a separate song for the Bridesmaids to enter and a different song for the Bride. Alternatively, the entire wedding party can use just one song. Groom, Best Man and Groomsmen are standing up front facing towards the seated guests.

When should wedding music start? ›

Ceremony Music Basics

It usually starts when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party—family, attendants and bride.

Who walks down aisle at wedding? ›

Suggested Wedding Procession Order
  • Officiant. Your officiant is generally the first person to walk toward the altar, signifying the ceremony is about to commence.
  • Grandparents. ...
  • Parents. ...
  • Mother of the Bride. ...
  • Groom. ...
  • Wedding Party. ...
  • Ring Bearer. ...
  • Flower Girl.
20 Jul 2020

How much should I spend on wedding music? ›

The average wedding band costs $4,019 according to a real wedding study. This depends on your budget, where and when you're getting married. In some places, couples will spend an average wedding band cost of $720. The costs can go as low as $500 and hitting up $900.

What is a fun wedding song? ›

Upbeat wedding songs
  • 1 Love On Top – Beyoncé ...
  • 2 I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston. ...
  • 3 Marry You – Bruno Mars. ...
  • 4 Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen. ...
  • 5 You Make My Dreams – Daryl Hall & John Oates. ...
  • 6 You & Me Song – The Wannadies. ...
  • 7 A Sky Full Of Stars – Coldplay. ...
  • 8 Never Too Much – Luther Vandross.

What should a wedding playlist look like? ›

Ideally, a wedding reception's playlist would include both upbeat and moody tunes, or rapid and slow tempos. There are periods for people to dance closely together, times for people to dance slowly, and times for people to go have a drink so they can enjoy the dance floor even more.

What is the bride entrance song called? ›

1. “Bridal Chorus” by Richard Wagner. Waaaaay back in 1850, German composer Richard Wagner composed a piece for the opera Lohengrin titled ”The Bridal Chorus.” Brides are still walking down the aisle to it today. Some people call it the “Bridal March.” Some people know it as the “Here Comes the Bride Song.”

Should parents be introduced at wedding reception? ›

Follow the Basic Order. A wedding introduction typically follows a standard format: Parents of the bride: Parents can walk in together as spouses if still married, individually if widowed or divorced, or with escorts of their choice. Parents of the groom: Introduce all parents by name and role, i.e.: Mr.

What should guests not do at a wedding? ›

Things Wedding Guests Should Never Do
  • Skip the RSVP. ...
  • Treat the couple like travel agents. © Rawpixelimages | ...
  • Wear white. ...
  • Disregard the dress code. ...
  • Show up late. ...
  • Show up too early. ...
  • Arrive giftless. ...
  • Bring a plus-one if you weren't offered one.
9 Mar 2020

What is not appropriate for a wedding? ›

Steer Clear of Anything Too Casual

No one wants to quit their coziest clothing like yoga pants, slippers, and jeans. But these have no place at a wedding. Even if a wedding is casual and relaxed, still dress with respect. No flip, flops, shorts, or jeans should be on your list of options to wear.

What is the role of songs in a wedding? ›

Your wedding music is the soundtrack of your wedding ceremony. It sets a romantic atmosphere and allows guests to take part in the joy of your union. Without music (or with the wrong playlist), chances are most guests would find excuses to leave right after the cake is cut.

What is the purpose of a wedding song? ›

Whether being escorted by your father or your partner, you will want to make an entrance. The wedding entrance music lets your guests know you are on your way, and they all stand and wait in anticipation!

Do you need music at a wedding? ›

Most weddings will have between 50 and 150 songs. This may seem like a lot, but remember that you'll need music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. If you're struggling to come up with enough song choices, talk to your DJ or bandleader.

Do I need music to walk down the aisle? ›

To make a grand entrance, you're going to need to pick a suitably grand entrance song to walk down the aisle to. Your choice of processional song will help set the tone for the rest of your wedding ceremony, and you can continue your chosen musical theme for other important moments, such as your first dance song.

What songs should you not play at a wedding? ›

50 Songs To Avoid On Your Wedding Day
  • You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi. BonJoviVEVO. ...
  • You're So Vain – Carly Simon. Carly Simon. ...
  • Fake Love – Drake. One Dance. ...
  • Mother In Law – Ernie K-Doe. MANNY MORA. ...
  • All My Exes Live in Texas – George Strait. ...
  • Love Stinks – J. ...
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division. ...
  • Highway To Hell- AC/DC.
15 Jun 2022

What is the most important role in a wedding? ›

Officiant. This is perhaps the most important role in the wedding since they're in charge of helping you say “I do.” Today, anyone can become a registered officiant online so this role can be filled by a close friend or family member rather than an ordained minister or judge.

Who picks the music in the wedding reception? ›

A wedding DJ sets the tone for your reception by playing the right songs at the right times, and reading the crowd accordingly. If you want your party to be a total rager, they'll know the right tunes to put guests in a dancing mood.

When should you have music at your wedding? ›

Usually, you'll need some music during the walk down the aisle (we'll get to that a bit later!). You'll also want a few songs during the signing of the register if you're having a civil ceremony. This is then followed by a song during the recessional, which is when the newly married couple exits.

Does the groom walk in to a song? ›

The groom should have his own song playing when he walks down the aisle, don't you think? Well, we agree. Groom processional songs are an important part of the ceremony for the wedding couple to discuss.

When should a song be sung at a wedding? ›

Ceremony Music Basics

It usually starts when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony. Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party—family, attendants and bride.

Does the bride walk to a different song? ›

Wedding music commences, either a separate song for the Bridesmaids to enter and a different song for the Bride. Alternatively, the entire wedding party can use just one song. Groom, Best Man and Groomsmen are standing up front facing towards the seated guests.

How do I arrange my wedding playlist? ›

Tips for Creating the Perfect Reception Playlist
  1. If you're making the set list on your own, make sure to include PLENTY of music. ...
  2. Add a mix of genres. ...
  3. Play 1 slow song for every 5 fast songs. ...
  4. Avoid any overly-negative or non-romantic songs. ...
  5. Listen to your entire playlist. ...
  6. Stay true to your musical tastes.

Who walks down the aisle first? ›

The Grandparents of the Bride: The bride's grandparents walk down the aisle first. Once they reach the front, they are then seated in the first row, on the right side. In Jewish ceremonies, the bride's family and guests sit on the right and the groom's family and friends sit on the left.

Do you need 2 processional songs? ›

Most civil ceremonies will have: One song during the processional (walk down the aisle / bridal entrance) Three songs during the signing of the register. One song during the recessional (exit of the married couple)


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