Happy Valentine’s Day! To celebrate, I’ve compiled a playlist of love songs from all genres and decades for a unique mix that’s perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Alternatively, this playlist would work well for romantic dinner music selections at a wedding reception. I tried to keep the atmosphere light, full of love and affection, with the level energy building as the dinner part of the evening comes to a conclusion and the celebration begins!
Back when I used to play bars and clubs, I would play a ton of 90s R&B to open the night; in my opinion, no other genre of music set the perfect atmosphere, mood and tone for a good party like some great uptempo 90s R&B. As it turns out, with a little bit of research and proper programming, it’s also a great genre to feature during a wedding reception’s Cocktail Hour.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we love our country music and with so many country barns and rustic-themed venues, it’s a perfect genre for Northwest wedding receptions. However, from my experience, the majority of my weddings heavily feature the country genre during cocktail hour and dinner, but not so much during the open dancing portion of the night, aside from a couple of well-known songs such as “Friends in Low Places“. Many just don’t know how to waltz, two-step, west coast swing, etc.
So with that in mind, my 2017 Country Cocktail Hour Playlists tend to feature songs that are mid- to up-tempo, as I prefer to save my slower tempo country songs for the first half of dinner and for those romantic slow dances later in the night. Also, they are more conducive to what my couples want: people drinking beer, socializing, and laughing out loud!
Over on my Facebook page, I posted a simple question: What was your First Dance song at your wedding?
The following nineteen songs, all varying in genre – contemporary, country, classic rock, crooners, soul, indie, alternative, etc. – were posted in the comments. And all of them serve as great suggestions for engaged couples struggling to pick that perfect First Dance song.
Aww yeah! As a 90s kid who wasn’t much for grunge music, there were two things I liked: country and hip-hop music. To this day, when I opt to listen to some hip-hop and r&b, I listen to the songs of this “Golden Era” most of the time. And there’s so many songs to choose from! More than likely, I will do a couple of versions of this playlist as most of my brides and grooms love to get down to some 90s hip-hop and/or r&b at their wedding reception!
And so this list isn’t cliché, “Baby Got Back”, “Ice, Ice Baby”, “U Can’t Touch This”, “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It”, and “Jump Around” won’t be found on this list.
I love a good soul song because deep down, you can’t help but feel moved by it. Soul music gets you to sing-a-long, it gets you to tap your toes, and it puts you in a good mood. And that’s why I believe soul music is a great choice for the cocktail hour of a wedding reception.
And the best part is: soul songs range from the 1960s through today. Gospel, jazz, blue-eyed, Motown, neo, funky, retro, and more, are all inspired by soul music. Even different cities have its own soulful sounds, like Memphis, Chicago, Detroit, Philly, and New Orleans. Or go international and try some British soul. It all works; especially at a wedding reception!
And now, let’s finish our review of 75 timeless First Dance songs – from classic hits to modern selections – with the final 25 song selections of the list. And as mentioned before, please use these song lists as a starting point in your search for the perfect First Dance song for your wedding.
On Friday, I posted part one of a three-part series on timeless First Dance songs, which was received with great reception. Today, we continue our review and listen to the next set of 25 timeless First Dance songs, ranging from tried-and-true classics to modern hits.
What makes for a timeless First Dance song? I would say that it’s a well-written song that comes from the heart and soul and one that never goes stale. Timeless first dance songs are also as simple as they are beautiful. And when it comes to choosing that perfect romantic song for your First Dance, it’s a selection you just can’t go wrong with.
Last week, I started a three-part series of songs selected by my 2015 clients for their formal dances. You can listen to part one – Father-Bride Dance Song Selections of 2015 – by clicking this link or part two – Mother-Son Dance Song Selections of 2015 – by clicking this link.
As always, I’ve embedded the songs via Spotify, where applicable, for your listening enjoyment. For those brides-to-be and grooms-to-be working on their wedding music, I hope you find these playlists helpful as you select the perfect song for your own First Dance and subsequent parent dances.