Jul 19, 2021

Wedding Music Checklist: The Ultimate Guide for 2021

By Jenny Eastwood

Wedding music can be one of the most important details to get just right. Our wedding music checklist will help you find the perfect songs for each moment of your big day. from processional music and first dance tunes all the way through to a roaring after-party.

Planning the music for your wedding day is a daunting task. There are so many decisions to make, and it can be hard to know where to start! There are so many fantastic wedding love songs out there to choose from. Whether you're working with a wedding planner or going it alone, in this wedding music checklist, we will outline every single type of music you need for not only your wedding day itself but the events in the week leading up to it. We'll talk about ceremony music, wedding anniversary songs, wedding music ideas, wedding party songs, dance music, romantic music, wedding song choices, wedding reception songs, wedding cocktail hour songs, wedding entrance songs, and much, much more!

Before the Wedding

 When you think of the wedding songs list, you're probably thinking of the ceremony, reception, and party. But what about the music for your pre-wedding events? There are so many exciting things that need to be done in the weeks leading up to your beautiful wedding day, and music can help set a mood and enhance each memorable moment along the way.

Engagement party song

It's your engagement party, and you're in charge of the playlist. It will set the tone for what everyone can expect during your very own wedding season, so choose wisely! Your closest friends and family will be celebrating with lots of enthusiasm - make sure they have a great time by choosing songs that match their moods.
The best way to ensure a memorable engagement party that captures each and every sentimental moment is by ensuring the music you play includes something for everyone. You can choose from numerous genres, instruments, and artists, maybe even with a few funny songs in there, all while adding variety so that not one person will feel left out of the fun!

Our pick:

Happy by Pharrell Williams

When this tune comes on, you can't help but get up and dance! Set the mood for the night with this uplifting crowd favorite.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Because I'm happy/Clap along if you know what happiness is to you."

Jumpsuit is one of our Auckland wedding bands.

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Bridal shower entry song

There are so many parties before the actual wedding party. The bridal shower is one of the most important, though, and your bridal party friends have planned just about everything down to what you'll eat! They even got some great music lined up to help set the mood while you open gifts and mingle with guests at this event.

 Our pick:

 Sunday Morning by Maroon 5

You can't go wrong with a Maroon 5 song at the bridal shower. Whether it's Sunday morning or not, this upbeat and fun track from them will have everyone feeling their best on any day of the week.

 Favorite lyrical moment: 

"That may be all I need. In darkness, she is all I see, come and rest your bones with me, driving slow on Sunday morning... Well, I never want to leave"

Daniel John is one of our Auckland wedding acoustic artists. 

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Bachelorette party song

After you've decked yourselves out in your best bachelorette attire, it's time to celebrate. Whether the party is at a bar or club, make sure good tunes are playing throughout. And what better way than with an ultimate girl night playlist? The perfect soundtrack will be made up of current hits and old favorites that'll get everyone on their feet for hours!

 Our pick:

 Dynamite by Taio Cruz

 Kick-off your evening with a song that will get the whole car in the mood to party!

 Favorite lyrical moment:

"I throw my hands up in the air sometimes, saying ayo, gotta let go, I wanna celebrate and live my life, saying ayo, baby, let's go!"

 Neo Trio is one of our Auckland wedding bands.

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Wedding week music

Looking forward to the big day? It's time for a celebration! For your wedding songs list, make sure you have some feel-good, upbeat wedding songs. Why not put on a dance party with friends and family this week before saying, "I do?" There's nothing like a killer playlist to help relieve stress from planning.

Our pick:

American Boy by Estelle

This mood-booster is guaranteed to lighten the mood and help you and your S.O. unwind in the week leading up to the big day.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Take me on a trip I'd like to go someday. Take me to New York; I'd love to see L.A. I really want to come kick it with you. You'll be my American boy."

 Kid Radio is one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Morning of the wedding music

With all of the planning and preparation that goes into a wedding, it's important to remember not to let any last-minute stress get you down. With your favorite upbeat songs playing in the background as friends help with hair and makeup or getting dressed for their big day, there can be no doubt this is going to be one fantastic celebration!

Our pick:

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours) by Stevie Wonder

An absolute classic banger will get you and your girls smiling and tapping your feet as you get ready for your big day.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Oowee baby, you set my soul on fire

That's why I know you're my heart's only desire."

 Blue Steel is one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Wedding Ceremony Music

You've waited so long for this day to come. Every detail has been planned meticulously, and it all culminates in the ceremony—the pinnacle of your wedding day when you finally get to marry your love. But what about music? How can you make sure that every moment is enhanced with the perfect tune to accompany it? Below, we've listed our top picks for every single critical moment on your big day.

Processional song

The ceremony is full of tradition and emotion. A wedding processional welcomes your wedding party and flower girls. It sets the tone for what's to come, which makes it so crucial that your processional music speaks volumes about who you are as a couple—even before exchanging vows in front of all those watching eyes! The atmosphere at your 'I do' moment will be set by choice of music.

Our pick:

Perfect by Ed Sheeran

This lovely tune is a class love song for weddings. It's also one of the most romantic love songs on our list.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Well, I found a girl, beautiful and sweet

Oh, I never knew you were the someone waiting for me."

J. Coynash is one of our Auckland-based wedding acoustic artists. 

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Bride entrance song

It's time for the big moment! A bride's entrance song sets the tone for her walk down the aisle to meet her groom-to-be. Do you want something classic, lighthearted, and upbeat, or have specific music in mind? Choose a song that speaks to your unique love story to capture your special connection.

Our pick:

At Last by Etta James 

A timeless classic slow song, perfect for this particular moment.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"At last

My love has come along

My lonely days are over

And life is like a song."

Whiskey At Midnight is one of our Wellington jazz wedding bands. 

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Wedding Interlude song

A brief interlude song can be an excellent way to add some fun during your wedding ceremony. For example, suppose there's a break in the ceremony for the register signing when no one will be speaking. In that case, you may want to use this time as an opportunity to play some soft background music, some classic wedding songs, or for someone else with musical talent (maybe even yourself) to take center stage and play that special or favorite tune on their instrument!

Our pick:

Cruisin' by Gywneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis

Capture the moment you and your love make it official with this romantic love song classic!

Favorite lyrical moment:

"And if you want it, you got it forever

I could just stay here beside you and love you, baby."

Belle Isle is one of our Auckland Acoustic wedding duos.

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Recessional Song

You're finally married! The right wedding recessional song will help you make your debut as newlyweds and celebrate the momentous occasion as you walk past your loved ones. It's also a great way to get everyone excited for the party to follow.

Our pick:

Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake

How could we resist this soulful number which is all about dancing and loving your dance partner?

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance

Feeling good, good, creeping up on you

So just dance, dance, dance, come on."

Bang Bang is one of our Auckland wedding show bands. 

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Wedding Postlude and exit song

So you just tied the knot and are ready to walk down that aisle. Wedding exit songs keep the energy going as guests stand up and get prepared to head to the reception and after-party!

Our pick:

Kiss by Prince

A classic hit that's upbeat and energetic and will get everyone excited to dance later! It also sets the tone for the rest of your reception.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"You don't have to be rich

To be my girl

You don't have to be cool

To rule my world

Ain't no particular sign

I'm more compatible with

I just want your extra time and your


Arcade Avenue is one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Wedding Reception Music

Now that you've said "I do," it's time to say goodbye to your butterflies and have a blast with your friends and family! From cutting the cake to cutting it up on the dance floor - there are so many ways you can make this night one for the ages. Whether it's old school classics or hot new tunes that you're looking for, we've got all of your favorite songs right here in our wedding reception playlist checklist!

Cocktail hour playlist

The cocktail hour allows the guests to relax and savor their appetizers before the reception starts. To set the mood, you'll want some mellow music that won't overpower conversation but will also transition into more upbeat tunes as they get closer to being seated at dinne

Our pick:

Moondance by Van Morrison

A lowkey, soulful crowd favorite that will appeal to guests of all ages! 

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Can I just have one more Moondance with you, my love?

Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love?"

Goody 2 Shoes is one of our Auckland wedding acoustic duos. 

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Grand entrance song

You've set the tone for your wedding, but how will you show up? Your entrance is one of those big moments that everyone anticipates. You should go all out with a grand reception entrance song to reflect both of your personalities and get your wedding guests excited about what they might expect throughout the rest of this special event.

Our pick:

Crazy in Love by Beyonce

This crowd-favorite is the ultimate entrance song for every power couple. The moment you two walk in, you'll have all eyes on you!

Favorite lyrical moment: 

"It's the beat that my heart skips when I'm with you

But I still don't understand

Just how your love can do what no one else can."

The PepperJacks are one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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First dance song

When it comes to first dances, many couples have their song that they'll instinctively go to; one that will always hold a symbolic, romantic, and maybe nostalgic meaning for them. The first song you dance to as a married couple should be one of your favorites, whether by your favorite artist or the radio station on when you started dating. Throw in some coordinated moves if you're feeling adventurous!

Our pick:

Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran's "Kiss Me" has long been a favorite among lovers, and it seems like no one can get enough of this song. The lyrics are perfect for any special occasion, but you can never go wrong with this one for a first dance!

Favorite lyrical moment: 

"My heart's against your chest
Your lips pressed to my neck
I'm falling for your eyes
But they don't know me yet
And with this feeling I'll forget
I'm in love now"

Dan Milward is one of our Auckland Acoustic Wedding artists. 

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Parent dance song

Finding the perfect song for your mother-son or father-daughter dance can be daunting. Whether you're looking to get emotional with a tearjerker wedding tune or keep it light and fun with some classics from years past, here is our top pick of songs that will warm the hearts of all your guests.

Our pick:

Yellow by Coldplay

This is an excellent pick for a parent-dance song or even a first dance song with beautiful lyrics and a perfect beat for a heart-felt slow dance!

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Look at the stars

Look how they shine for you

And everything you do

Yeah, they were all yellow."

The Pickups Duo is one of our Auckland Acoustic Wedding duos. 

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Wedding Party starters

The traditional dances and speeches are out of the way, so it's time to invite all your guests onto the dance floor. Make sure you have a mix of crowd-pleasing hits from top songs in recent years to old favorites that everyone will appreciate!

Our pick:

Footloose by Kenny Loggins

An absolute banger guaranteed to get everyone tapping their feet! Dare your guests not to dance when this tune comes on.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Tonight, I gotta cut

Loose, Footloose

Kick-off your Sunday shoes

Please, Louise

Pull me offa my knees

Jack, get back

C'mon before we crack

Lose your blues

Everybody cut Footloose."

BSA is one of our Hamilton Wedding Party Bands. 

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Wedding anniversary songs

The Longest Married Couple Dance Off is one way of getting your guests up on that floor in celebration instead of sitting at tables all night long! If you're unfamiliar with this anniversary dance, here's how it works: You'll need your band leader or D.J., who must ask all of the happily wedded guests onto the dance floor and excuse them one by one. In the end, you'll see who's been married the longest! 

Our pick:

All Night Long (All Night) by Lionel Richie

The party is always with this tune! With a Caribbean vibe that lights up the dancefloor, Latin-Caribbean jam drums up an atmosphere of fun and excitement. Also, turn out the non-English lyrics which are actually just nonsense syllables that he made up! 

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Well, my friends, the time has come

To raise the roof and have some fun

Throw away the work to be done

Let the music play on"

Sam Allen is one of our Auckland and Hamilton Acoustic Solo Wedding artists. 

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Bouquet toss song

When the bride tosses her bouquet, tradition says that whoever catches it will be next to get married. These days people often break with this custom and choose a single woman who does not want children or already has plans for marriage to catch the bridal bouquet (and prove she is lucky!). In any case, it's worth picking funny wedding songs to add to the bouquet catcher's dance!

Our pick:

You Can't Hurry Love by The Supremes

The perfect, upbeat, and fun tune for single women looking to find their future wedded spouse!

Favorite lyrical moment: 

"My mama said, "you can't hurry love

No, you'll just have to wait"

She said, "love don't come easy

Well, it's a game of give and take"

You can't hurry love

No, you'll just have to wait

Just trust in the good time

No matter how long it takes."

Bang Bang is one of our Auckland Wedding show bands. 

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Garter toss song

The Garter toss is a hilarious tradition that can be a little nerve-wracking when your parents and in-laws are in the audience! Not to mention the added stress of being the center of attention if you're an introvert. Help break the ice during this cheeky tradition by choosing an upbeat, lighthearted wedding song. 

Our pick:

No Diggity by Blackstreet

This 90s R&B jam is a crowd-pleaser while providing just the right amount of sexy suggestion as the bride's garter comes off!

Favorite lyrical moment:

"I can't get her out of my mind (Wow)

I think about the girl all the time (Wow wow)."

Soul 9 Yards are one of our Auckland Wedding bands. 

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Cake cutting

After you've said 'I do,' the wedding reception meal is over, and toasts have been given, it's time for dessert! The only thing that can mean after all of this hard work: the wedding cake. Start with a playful song so your wedding guests will gather around as they watch you take your first slice into an unforgettable moment because...YUM.

Our pick:

Cake By The Ocean by DNCE

"Cake by the Ocean" is a song that will always have us want to dance. Even if Joe Jonas and DNCE never intended for this musical masterpiece to be about cake, it has everyone thinking of all things sweet!

Favorite lyrical moment:

"I keep on hopin' we'll eat cake by the ocean." 

The Goods are one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Slow dances

The perfect wedding playlist isn't just about the wedding party songs that get your guests dancing. There are also a few moments throughout where slow songs fit more appropriately. The soft music will set the perfect tone for your coupled-up guests to share intimate moments with their loved ones.

Our pick:

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

It is a beautiful song to remind your friends and family of how magical the day is and how wonderful it is to be surrounded by loved ones.

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Then I look at you

And the world's alright with me

Just one look at you

And I know it's gonna be

A lovely day."

Soul 9 Yards is one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Grand exit wedding song

With the party ending, what better way to end it off than with a bang. Take some time and think about your last dance song, as this will really affect how people feel when they leave after such a fantastic night of celebration. Do you want them feeling energized for more partying? Or perhaps wanting to slow things down in a romantic mood?

Our pick:

Last Dance by Donna Summer

What makes this song so great is the changing dynamics. This catchy tune starts out slow to give guests one last chance to get close, but then it picks up and becomes a classic high-energy groove!

Favorite lyrical moment:

"Last Dance, Last Dance for love

Yes, it's my last chance

For romance tonight."

The Pepperjacks are one of our Auckland wedding bands. 

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Choosing beautiful wedding songs for your big day is not an easy task. However, we hope that our wedding music checklist of ideas will help you find the perfect music choices for each part of the event!

If you still haven't found exactly what you're looking for to make your special day perfect, get more wedding music ideas by checking out our incredible wedding bands and wedding disc jockeys on our website. Whether you're looking for party bands, 90s band, dance music, age-long classical wedding music, wedding disc jockeys, jazz bands, string quartets, or acoustic tunes, you'll find it all on Findaband.

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