Build the Perfect Reception Playlist with Modern Wedding Songs

Song Ideas for Modern Wedding Music with Style

A couple dancing at their wedding.
A couple dancing at their wedding. CaiaImageJV/Getty Images

Gone are the days of wedding reception music consisting of nothing but the same tired crooners and cheesy party standards. Couples today are choosing wedding music that reflects their own personal tastes whether they be traditional, more modern, or a mix of both. Wedding music need not be limited to the classic wedding songs. In fact, some of the best wedding reception playlists not only reflect the couple but contain a good balance of styles that encourage the festivities and continued celebration.

Building the Perfect Wedding Playlist

When working with a wedding DJ to plan wedding music, wedding planners and the couples should dedicate time to discussing not only the style of music they want at their reception but the specific songs they want to be played. Many wedding DJ companies have a comprehensive questionnaire for couples that can help the DJ to deliver exactly the experience the couples want. Others dedicate a meeting to answering those important questions.

When hiring a DJ, it's best to walk the line between giving good direction and dictating the entire playlist from the first song to the last. A good rule of thumb for planning wedding reception music is to work closely with the DJ so that they understand your style and preferences and providing a list of up to twenty songs that you definitely want to hear (some of which you might specifically earmark for those important dances like the first dance or the father-daughter dance).

Any more than that and you risk wasting the DJ's talent and your money. If there ​are songs that you definitely don't want to hear, list those as well.

Modern Wedding Songs to Consider

When you're building your must-have wedding must list or simply giving the DJ an idea of the style and feel you're going for you might consider having a private listening party.

Whether it's for the cocktail reception, dinner hour, first dance or later in the reception, these songs will bring style to the modern wedding music playlist.

Indie & Alternative Wedding Songs

Song Artist
La Femme d'ArgentAir
First Day of My LifeBright Eyes
Life Less OrdinaryCarbon Leaf
Find LoveClem Snide
ForeverGoldfrapp
By My SideBen Harper
Better TogetherJack Johnson
Lay Lady LadyMagnet & Gemma
Fade Into YouMazzy Star
New SlangShins
Say YesElliot Smith
Chasing CarsSnow Patrol
In the Waiting LineZero 7
Inside and OutFeist

Cool Covers of Old Classics

SongArtist
Make You Feel My LoveAdele
How Deep is Your LoveBird and the Bee
Sea of LoveCat Power
Bridge Over Troubled WaterQuincy Coleman
Bizarre Love TriangleFrente
Dance Me to the End of LoveMadeleine Peyroux
All You Need is LoveNada Surf
Wild HorsesSundays
Across the UniverseRufus Wainwright

Feel-Good Wedding Songs

SongArtist
Hey JudeBeatles
ForeverChris Brown
I Gotta FeelingBlack Eyed Peas
EverythingMichael Buble
Say Hey (I Love You)Michael Franti and Spearhead
You Are the Best ThingRay Lamontagne
Just the Way You AreBruno Mars
Life is BeautifulKeb Mo
Into the MusicVan Morrison
I'm YoursJason Mraz
Hey Soul SisterTrain