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!
One final note: this playlist isn’t a definitive order. Feel free to switch it up, or sub your favorite country songs in. Also, it’s also 90 minutes long, which is a typical duration of time that I prefer to build my cocktail playlists for; in the event there is delay or what not, we’re covered and not having to resort to playing a song twice. No repeats 😉
So, for y’alls listening pleasure, let’s crack open an ice-cold beer and listen to some country songs I’m including on my Country Cocktail Hour Playlist this summer:
Florida-Georiga Line – “H.O.L.Y.”
A small music programming tip: know what the recessional song is. More than likely its mid-tempo or faster, so start your Country Cocktail Hour Mix with a song of a similar tempo as a nice bridge from the end of the ceremony to the start of the reception. “H.O.L.Y.” is well-known country song with a sing-a-long hook that’s well known; therefore, I like it as my bridge song.
Zac Brown Band – “Loving You Easy”
Carrie Underwood – “Heartbeat”
I just love Carrie’s voice in this song. No one could have performed this better than her.
Thomas Rhett – “Make Me Wanna”
Brett Eldridge – “Drunk on Your Love”
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “Fishin’ In The Dark”
This is one of the multigenerational classic country songs that every one knows and loves. I believe a good playlist has a balance of contemporary and classic; this is one of those must include classics.
Kip Moore – “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck”
Kip’s “Hey Pretty Girl” also works, but I like it better in my dinner playlist.
Brothers Osbourne – “Stay A Little Longer”
George Strait – “Check Yes or No”
Another multigenerational classic that is almost a no-brainer.
Blake Shelton – “Honey Bee”
Another great Blake song would be “Sangria”. Personally, I prefer “Honey Bee”. Your mileage may vary.
Randy Houser – “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”
Kenny Chesney feat. P!nk – “Setting The World On Fire”
If I’m building a country playlist, you can bet the farm I’m including my favorite artist, and the guy I named my bulldog after, in it at some point.
Keith Urban – “Somebody Like You”
Faith Hill – “This Kiss”
Conway Twitty – “I’d Love To Lay You Down”
I like to include songs people love, but aren’t expecting at all. This is one of those songs.
Hank Williams – “Hey Good Lookin'”
Middle of the playlist, I like to do a quick three-song classic country set here. Here’s song two.
Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire”
And song three. And let’s be real: it ain’t a good Country Cocktail Hour Playlist without some Cash.
Luke Bryan – “Drunk On You”
A lot of Luke Bryan songs work, but I like this one at summer weddings for the line: “I’m a little drunk on you, and high on summertime.”
Jon Pardi – “Head Over Boots”
Chase Rice – “Gonna Wanna Tonight”
Locash – “I Know Somebody”
Old Dominion – “Snapback”
Jason Aldean – “Tonight Looks Good On You”
Little Big Town – “Little White Church”
At this point in my Country Cocktail Hour Playlist, we are nearing the Grand Entrance segment. It’s time to build the energy up.
Dustin Lynch – “Seein’ Red”
This was my favorite country song released in 2016. It’s straight fire.
Thomas Rhett – “T-Shirt”
Eric Paslay – “High Class”
In addition to it’s extremly uptempo energy, the last lyric of the chorus is absolutely money: “Tonight we high class.” I don’t know ’bout you, but it is absolutely perfect for a country wedding.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on my Country Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist. Please leave them in the comments below.