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You’ve set the date and chosen the venuemenu and decor—so what’s left to decide? Music. While it might seem like an insignificant detail, the music you play during your event helps to set the tone for your affair. Do you want a subdued, quiet night or do you want to party club-style? Do you want to play classic rock, Motown, music from your childhood or current Top 40 hits? What songs will you play during your ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and beyond? Selecting the perfect playlist can seem like a daunting task, but if you get a professional involved, he or she can help you narrow down your choices.

At Robert Ryan Catering & Design, we rely on the expert advice of our preferred disc jockeys from Silver Sound Entertainment. We’ve tapped DJ Todd Frederick for his top tips for planning music at your wedding.

  • Talk to your DJ—he or she is a professional and will help you plan your perfect playlist. Your playlist is highly personal and should reflect your personalities.
  • Your playlist should be separated into three groups, starting with the songs or musical styles you absolutely do not want played at your party. Next, determine the songs or musical styles that are absolute must-haves on the list. After determining those two lists, the DJ can fill in the rest of the music based on your preferences.
  • The big trend for wedding recessional music in the last few years is to move away from traditional classical music. The recessional is a time for celebration after you’ve already tied the knot. Think of songs like “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles, “Happy” by Pharell or “Sign, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder. Another popular choice is music by Vitamin String Quartet, who turn popular music into classical masterpieces.
  • Your first dance song choice should be highly personal. Is there a song from a favorite movie that you saw together or do you share a favorite artist? Read through lyrics and find words that resonate. Of course, your DJ can always make suggestions, too.



What are some current hot songs to consider? Silver Sound Entertainment has an extensive song list that can help inspire you. Here are some of their top picks:

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Current Songs

“Shut up and Dance,” Walk the Moon

“Cake by the Ocean,” DNCE

“Honey I’m Good,” Andy Grammer

“Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars),” Mark Ronson

“Sugar,” Maroon 5

“Turn Down for What,” DJ Snake & Lil Jon

“Classic,” MKTO

“Time of Our Lives,” Pitbull & Ne-Yo

“We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris),” Rihanna

“One Last Time,” Ariana Grande


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First Dance

“Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran

“All of Me,” John Legend

“At Last,” Etta James

Mother–Son Dance

“Have I Told You Lately,” Rod Stewart

“My Wish,” Rascal Flatts

“I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack

Father-Daughter Dance

“My Girl,” Temptations

“Isn’t She Lovely,” Stevie Wonder

“I Loved Her First,” Heartland


Remember, the DJ works for you. Do you want the music louder or softer? Tell the DJ. If you want to change up your original plans, tell the DJ. You get the idea! DJ Todd’s favorite quote is, “The lady in white is always right!” It’s your day—let the music flow, relax and have fun!

Ready to start planning your party? Schedule a consultation with one of our event managers today! Robert Ryan Catering & Design includes a wedding cake with all wedding packages.

Robert Ryan Catering and Design plans and executes over 400 events each year, boasts a five-star rating on WeddingWire and has received WeddingWire’s Couple’s Choice/Bride’s Choice Award seven years in a row. Learn more about Robert Ryan Catering & Design and tour our venuesSubscribe to our e-newsletter for exclusive offers, up-to-date news and recipes from our executive chef.

Ronna Dewey