Songs for our Wedding Reception...please help!

Ok, here’s the deal. Irishfella and I are getting married in September (I know it’s a way away, but I like to be organised) and I need some help picking out some songs.

We’ve got a jazz band for the main evening entertainment, but will have an hour or two at the end of the night when we’ll just put on some compilation CDs and dance.

Here’s the problem.
Irishfella and I share a fairly odd taste in music. By odd, I mean eclectic and wide ranging, rather than experimental Scandinavian tone poems.While we could choose hundreds of songs that WE would listen to, they’re not the sort that a)you could dance to, or b)other people would have ever heard of. Since the aim of a wedding reception is to entertain our guests, it would be cruel to inflict our muscial tastes on them!

As an example, we’re probably the only couple in the world who have seriously considerd playing Super Furry Animal’s “Hello Sunshine” as our first song, and Irishfella would love to end the night with the full 30 minute version of “The Man Don’t Give a F**k”.

At the moment we’re mostly listening to Leonard Cohen, The Libertines, Kasabian, The Zutons, Super Furry Animals, Scissor Sisters, Johnny Cash, Elton John, Goldie Lookin’ Chain, Dolly Parton, Roots Manuva, Mercury Rev and Nina Simone.
I think you can see our problem.

Help me think of some good (non cheesy) dancing music for the end of a wedding reception, that’s going to appeal to our guests, without making us want to run screaming from the room.

The Doors’ *People are Strange * always goes over well at a wedding.

My wife and I had two songs which we danced to. Paul McCartney and the Wings’ “Maybe I’m Amazed”, which was a bear to dance to. We danced a very slow Fox Trot. The second song was “Best Friend” by Queen. That was much easier to dance to. We danced a more lively bop step.

One of my fave songs from our reception was “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan. A sweet (no pun intended), slow love song:

Your love
is better than ice cream.
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
and your love
is better than ice cream
everyone here know how to fight

and it’s a long way down
it’s a long way down
it’s a long way
down to the place where we started from

Your love
is better than chocolate
better than anything else that I’ve tried
and oh love is better than chocolate.
Everyone here knows how to cry

and it’s a long way down
it’s a long way down
it’s a long way
down to the place where we started from.

Sniff sniff Makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

So you’re looking for some dance songs?

You Can’t Hurry Love
Mustang Sally
Twist and Shout
Ready Teddy Freddy
I Feel Good
Medium Oldies
Take a Chance
Saturday Night
Staying Alive
Every Breath You Take (yes I know what the song really means)
With our Without You
There She Goes
We Got the Beat

Newer Stuff
Walking Around in the Sun (Travis)
Beautiful Day
That song by that girl, you know.
That other song by those guys
Paradise by the Dashboard Light (terrible dance song)
A Love Song from a Different Point of View (good to dance to but the parents may object)

Jay Ferguson - Thunder Island

Can you hear me now calling your name from across the bay.
A summers day laughing and a hiding .
Chasing love out on Thunder island.
She was the color of the Indian summer ,
and we shared the hours without number.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for good 70’s rock/pop. :wink:

Check your local ordinances. In most jurisdictions, you cannot have a reception without Proud Mary, the Chicken Dance, YMCA, and the Hokey Pokey.

She’s in Ireland.
She’ll have to have Danny Boy.

You could probably get by with quite a bit of the Johnny Cash, actually. He’s got a lot of stuff that’s eminently suitable for weddings, and most of it is surprisingly danceable, especially if you can two-step. I actually meant to compile a mostly Johnny mix CD for our wedding but didn’t get around to it. Song I meant to include (some are lovey-dovey, others somewhat less so):

I Walk the Line
Oh, What a Dream (probably not danceable, but a very nice background number)
All Over Again
Happiness is You
Flesh and Blood
'Cause I Love You
Flesh and Blood
What Do I Care
When the Roses Bloom Again
Folsom Prison Blues
Luther Played The Boogie
Frankie’s Man, Johnny
Cocaine Blues
A Boy Named Sue (again, not danceable, but awfully fun)

I think you could also get by with a lot of Elton John and maybe some Dolly. These are all pretty safe choices, as far as people knowing who they are, and they’re artists you like. Although, really, I’ve found that it doesn’t so much matter whether people are familiar with music, so long as it’s enjoyable. I’ve also found that, just like every other aspect of planning a wedding, no matter what you do somebody’s not going to like it. Just pick out stuff from your collection you think is danceable and other people won’t actually hate, and you should be fine.

My bad- I had the US rules. Yes Danny Boy is a must.

This is Ireland: Danny Boy will probably be sung by a drunk uncle being escorted from the premises well before the dancing has officially started!

As for dancing…I love Irishfella for many reasons, his skill on the dance floor is not one. Anything more complicated than standing on the spot and swaying, or jumping up and down madly is out. The 10 inch height difference doesn’t help matters either!

We’ve already decided that Nina Simone’s “Turn me On” and Johnny Cash’s “If I were a Carpenter” are being played at some point.

Being from Northern Ireland we’ll be having the Undertone’s “Teenage Kicks” and possibly a little Ash or Snow Patrol…but we’ll see.

I think I’ve almost persuaded him that a little modern r n’b would be ok, as the one song guaranteed to get our friends on the floor is Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”, a song he hates with a passion. Odd but true, it’s a floor-filling standard at almost every Irish nightclub, usually played back to back with “California (knows how to party)”.

If your DJ is worth hiring, he’ll have a feel for what to play. My pal Cathy gave her DJ a list of songs not to play (“Love Shack” topped it) and let him cut loose.

You know the white, suburban version of “Boys ‘n’ tha Hood”? You must play that one. Also, “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliot.

What about some rock songs, like on a rock radio station (I’m thinking of the playlist from the local y108 ( radio station here - they’re pretty good, and a lot of it I wouldn’t mind playing for my family at my wedding (October). They tend to dislike my taste in music (or they think they do, because they didn’t like what I was listening to at the age of 15, but that’s another story!)

So things like Kiss, the Stones, AC/DC, Thoroughgood, Steppenwolf, Pearl Jam, U2 um…I listen to this station every day as my alarm and I can’t even say what else they play right now! Bed time for me hehehe. But anyways, just some generally good music that most people will have heard and will be easily danced to. The station I mentionned has an online player if you want more specific songs.

I think around here there is a by-law that you must also play “La Danse des Canards” and “Time warp”, and I think the “Grease” Medly has made it onto the list. I know at my wedding (October), I won’t be able to stop them! But I’m gonna toss in some Nine Inch Nails and Perfect Circle and stuff like that (especially since an APC/NIN concert was our first “date”) and I know my mom and sister will groan (but who are they to talk - they own all…4? 7? 34? “women and songs” CDs!) Maybe even some Flaming Lips, and there’s a good chance that Ben Harper will be played too.

Gee, I should start making MY list!

Did I mention my wedding was in October?

sigh this is what happens when your laptop goes back a page, thereby losing your entire post, all because you moved the mouse on the mouse pad at just exactly the wrong spot and angle forcing you to rewrite things…urrrgggh.

If you have a jazz band, have them kick things off with “In the Mood” :smiley:

I’m going to disagree a bit with the other posts here.

It’s your wedding and your party; play the music you want to hear. I got married six months ago, and we had no dance floor. We don’t dance, so we figured the attendees could restrain their happy feet for a few hours. We did take a first dance (to Willie Nelson’s “Hand’s On the Wheel”) but that was it; the rest of the reception was eating and drinking and toasting and socializing.

Just my $0.02.

A wedding reception in october cries out for Polka!
Perhaps some tunes by The Happy Schnapps Combo.