Wedding Songs and Party Songs: How to Select Them

by Robbie Schlosser · 3 comments

Thanks in advance for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas. I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation. Tell me what you think, and I'll reply. Promise.

In my opinion, to plan a successful wedding reception, we should select wedding songs to include something for everybody.  Same when we select party songs.

Magnolia Jazz Band, wedding in Healdsburg,  2012Here we are, entertaining at a gorgeous garden wedding in Healdsburg.  We always hope that all the wedding songs we play will help all the guests have a wonderful time.

Of course we can’t please everyone with all the wedding songs we play.  So the challenge is to help everyone enjoy all the wedding songs, whether or not every song is their personal favorite.

How do we manage this?

Nearly every day I’m helping people select wedding songs, and here’s one way I often recommend.  For each guest, be sure to select some music they will enjoy.

Why does this work?  Simple.  Wedding guests usually find themselves on a room filled with people they like.  At least most of them.  And when they see most of their friends having a good time enjoying the music, they’re likely to share the mood and have a good time, too.

In other words, we can select a variety of music.  And we should know that each wedding song we select will be enjoyed by many, but not necessarily all, of the wedding guests.

Selecting wedding songs doesn’t have to be like those political debates we love so much, where each contender attempts to persuade us his side is better than the other.

Similarly, selecting wedding songs doesn’t have to be like a tug-of-war, where one side wins because the other side loses.

Selecting wedding songs doesn’t have to be like a negotiation, where each negotiator defends his position, expecting that ultimately all parties will agree to a tolerable solution somewhere in between.

Instead, this should be a process of inclusion, not exclusion.  The wedding songs you select can cover a range of styles, to include some favorites for each of your guests.

YOUR TURN.   How do you select party or wedding songs?

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Thanks for reading this article. I appreciate your interest and hope you get a few good ideas here. Got one or two? I'd love to hear what you liked. Please write me a little COMMENT below. Start a conversation -- I'll reply. Promise.

By the way, does a friend need help selecting wedding or party music? Do them a favor: EMAIL this article, or SHARE it on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

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Meanwhile, the Magnolia Jazz Band entertains at weddings and parties throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. If you are ever nearby, you’ll love catching us in action, seeing and hearing us create a great mood.

How can I help you? Call 408-245-9120 or use Planning a celebration? Ask about our availability.

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Sometimes whoever hires us will provide a few tunes they’d like to hear, or an entire list, or sometimes they give no preference at all. Since for weddings, my group (and many of the other groups I play in) bill ourselves as background music, it almost doesn’t matter what we play as long as we don’t play so loud that the guests can’t hear themselves have a conversation. Of course we play requests if we know them.

Robbie Schlosser

Thanks, Cassie.  
Sounds familiar!  
We’re both like a waiter in a restaurant.  We help people focus on what they’re in the mood for, offer helpful suggestions for suitable choices and how to decide, and then delight them by delivering their choices flawlessly.

Nothing trivial about being the background at a wedding.  On the contrary, it’s usually crucial.  The best background creates the perfect atmosphere to allow the highlights stand out.


When I got married 25 years ago, my now ex husband and I chose a band that played the most recent music. We were only 20 and 21 so I am not sure we truly considered what all our guests would like. If I were to get married now, well to be honest I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to choosing music so great question to ponder, thank you 🙂

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