A Complete Guide For Creating Your Wedding Playlist


Bride and groom dancing

If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show, you may have noticed that music is what sets the tone for each scene. It helps guide the audience, letting them know how they should be feeling and how quickly or slowly events are progressing. As you can imagine, the same can be said for your wedding playlist! Before you download all your favorite songs, save them to your newly created Wedding Playlist in iTunes and call it a day, take a moment to learn the ropes with our complete guide for creating a wedding playlist!  

Emotional Tone

After attending hundreds of weddings, we can tell you where your wedding playlist matters most: Walking down the aisle, recessional, first dances and bridal party entrances. During these moments, guests seem to shift their eyes, and for this topic, most importantly ears, to the bride and groom. With that, consider the ways you would like your wedding playlist to make people feel:

  • Do you want your aisle walk to be fun and light, so you don’t break down in tears at the altar? 

  • Or, would you prefer something more serious that conveys the gravity of the eternal vows you and your partner are making?

  • When your closest family and friends enter the reception, do you want them to pop, lock and drop it? 

  • Or, calmly enter the space to their assigned seats?

The music you choose for your wedding playlist in these moments dictates the emotional response of everyone in the room. Of course your mom will cry regardless of the music, but for everyone else, it does make a difference! Therefore, we’d highly recommend starting with a timeline of your event. Once your schedule is solidified, imagine the ideal reaction you would like to see from your guests during each section. From there, whether you choose to use a DJ or create your own personal wedding playlist, pair each event with songs that enhance the tone you’re trying to convey.

Photo Credit: SGCreative

Photo Credit: SGCreative

Is DIY or DJ best for you?

As you can probably tell, no party was ever truly complete without music. So, it makes sense that the reception is where the bulk of your wedding playlist will be utilized. No matter what you choose to do, DJ or DIY, providing some direction usually yields better results than no direction. From our experience, we’d recommend reviewing our lists below, to ensure you’ve thought through some of the most important points for creating your wedding playlist:

General Questions (good for DJ and DIY):

  • What is your timeline of events, broken down to the minute?

  • What emotions did you determine you’d like to convey during those events?

  • Are there specific songs that you’ve chosen for those events? (i.e: First Dance)

  • Are there specific genres you like or dislike?

  • Should the playlist remain PG? Or, does anything go?

  • Does your venue have restrictions on volume?

DJ Specific:

  • How much creative control can they apply?

  • Should they accept song requests from guests?

  • Should they act as an MC?

  • Share a list outlining how to properly pronounce names (i.e: Shauna | Shaw-Nuh)

DIY Specific:

  • Think through all of the equipment you will need; laptop, speakers, generator, etc. Then, check with your venue or wedding planner to ensure everything you need will be available for you prior to the ceremony.

  • Do you have someone to monitor the playlist, so you don’t have to stop mid entrance to change the song?

  • Make your playlist longer than anticipated. If your party-people don’t want to leave the dance floor, a few extra songs may make the night!

  • Do you have a team in place to assist with the removal of the necessary equipment?

  • Will you accept song requests, or is the playlist planned down to the song? If you will not accept requests, consider making a sign and placing it on the music table so people know.

By thinking through these points in advance, it will allow you the creative freedom to dive into the fun parts of creating your wedding playlist; song choice vs. logistics.

Team Effort

Your wedding day is about you and your partner. As you consider your wedding playlist, try bringing it back to what will make both of you the happiest you can be. To make this process a little easier on you both, we’ve shared some pro tips on how to streamline your playlist selection process:

  • Put post-it notes in both of your cars. Every time a song comes on the radio that makes you smile, or dance in your seat, write it down (at the next red light) and stick it on your dashboard. Then, each night or every week, collect the post-it notes and see if those songs are ones you’d like to hear on your wedding day.

  • If you’re open to guest input, consider putting a line on your RSVPs that asks for song requests in advance. For example:

    •  “I will dance if you play _______________”

    •  “What song will get you on the dance floor? _______________”

    •  “A song that would get me out of my chair and on the dance floor is _______________”

With the abundance of responses you get by trying the tips above, it may be exactly what you and your partner need to create that rockstar wedding playlist list you were hoping for!

Bride dancing to her wedding band.

Have fun!

No matter what, your wedding day will be full of emotions. Whether you are a 90’s chick or classic rock kind of bride, your guests will always remember the moments that matter most.

Try to have fun creating your wedding playlist, so on your future anniversaries, you can put those songs back on and remember the joy you had in not only creating the playlist but the joyful moments in which they were played.

Good luck and have fun!

Contact us for more information on how we can tell your love story. We would love to walk you through our amazing packages, wedding albums, canvases, and other print photography products. We look forward to providing you with more information on our Wedding Videography and Wedding Photography and the opportunity to introduce you to our team!