Wedding Music Guide: 6 Tips for a Great Playlist | Austin’s Best DJs

When planning your wedding music, you have to think about the many components of the wedding, as well as your guests and their musical preferences. Most people make the mistake of creating just one playlist with all their favorite love songs for their wedding. It’s important to remember is that a wedding music playlist is more than just a bunch of songs to slow dance to. Wedding music, if prepared properly, can make one of the happiest days of your life feel just a little bit more magical.

If you need help picking out your wedding music, here’s a handy guide that could help you get started on how to pick the perfect songs for the different parts of your wedding.

Wedding Music Guide
Wedding Music Guide

Pre-Wedding Music

Believe it or not, it’s actually a great idea to create a playlist for when you’re getting ready for the wedding! Choose some fun, upbeat songs that are sure to put you in a great mood as you prepare for a fun, memorable wedding day! When you’re surrounded by your friends and family, singing along to some of your favorite songs, this is not only fun, it may even help you relax as you prepare for the big day!

Prelude Wedding Music

Guests will likely show up at the wedding venue around thirty minutes before the actual ceremony begins, so it’s always a great idea to have soft music playing in the background. Your prelude (pre-ceremony music) playlist will help your guests feel more comfortable as they mingle and wait for the ceremony to begin.

Be sure to coordinate with your DJ, if you have a particular playlist in mind. Otherwise, your DJ should already have the perfect background music for your prelude. Additionally, some couples choose to hire wedding musicians to play for the prelude, ceremony, and cocktail hour. Live wedding musicians are always a nice, entertaining touch! 

Wedding Ceremony Music

Now comes the moment you’ve been planning for months, possibly even years, for, the wedding ceremony! Wedding ceremony music is often the hardest playlist for couples to come up with. There are hundreds, if not thousands of suggestions online.

Our advice is to start with your genre. What genres do you and your significant other love? Can these songs be played during your wedding ceremony or prelude?

If not, perhaps there are wedding string remakes of your favorite songs! Basically, these are classical music type remakes of your favorite songs. Check out the Vitamin String Quartet catalog for tons of great ideas. They really do an amazing job remaking some of your favorite hits.

Cocktail Hour Music

Most DJs have appropriate ambiance music for this part of the reception, but it’s still best to coordinate with your DJ about your musical preferences. Remember, you’ll likely be away, taking post-ceremony photos with your wedding party and families, but you may still be able to hear the music.

If you have a live wedding musician performing then be sure to coordinate this with your DJ, as well, in order to have the best transitions from the DJ’s music to the live wedding musicians.

As for what music to select: go for upbeat, but not too loud. Guests will be doing a mix of mingling, eating, and maybe even dancing, so it’s best to choose music that is perfect for all three. Cocktail hour is always a lot of fun! 

Wedding Reception Music

This is where your song choices really matter since there are a number of special dances and moments in this particular part of the wedding. You will have to choose an appropriate song for each of the following things:

  • The Grand Entrance and Announcement of the Newlyweds (and wedding party) – You can choose one song for everyone, or choose one song for your wedding party, and one for your grand entrance.
  • The Couple’s First Dance – This can be one song or a mix of songs created by your wedding DJ. Check out our online music library for a great list of the most popular wedding songs. Simply click on the “most requested” section to see all of the lists! 
  • The Father-Daughter Dance – This can also be one song or a custom mix made by your DJ. Check out our “Country Father/Daughter Songs” article for great song ideas. 
  • The Mother-Son Dance – As with the other special dances, this can be one song, or a special mix of songs. Simply click the link (mother-son dance) to check out the 21 most popular mother/son dance songs!

Other parts of the reception you might want to pick out songs for include:

  • The Cake Cutting
  • The Garter Toss
  • The Bouquet Toss
  • The Last Song of the Night 
  • Private Last Dance (with the couple only)
  • The Send-off  

Again, be sure to visit our online music library page for great examples for all of these songs. We’ve done the hard work for you!

Wedding Video Considerations

Make sure to coordinate with your wedding videographer, photographer, and your DJ about all of the different songs you’re using and the transitions. It can give your videographer and photographer an idea of your personality as a couple, and tailor the wedding video to your tastes. 

They could also incorporate the music in the video just to better present a reminder of the most special day in your lives. It’s also a great idea to have your wedding planner give all three of these vendors a copy of the timeline. Your DJ should already have a copy, but just in case, it’s always good to give him/her the most current copy. 


Music is the essential background component of a wedding. The music can either highlight or ruin the mood of what should be the happiest day of your lives. We suggest to choose your songs carefully and make sure to coordinate with everyone involved in the planning process. An experienced DJ can guide you in the right direction if you’re having trouble picking the right songs. 

For more information on wedding music and DJs in Texas, send us a message. Our experienced professional DJs definitely have what it takes to make your special day memorable and fun! 

-Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths

Jason Alexander Rubio

Jason has a Master's of Education (MEd), and a Master's of Public Affairs (MPAff). and has been in the DJ field for over 2 decades as a DJ, nightclub owner, radio show DJ/host, bar/club DJ, concert & festival organizer/promoter, and is the co-founder and owner of Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths, Radio DJ Drops, Rent Letters Now, and Quince Expos. Jason is also a certified wedding/event planner and has written articles/been featured in The NY Times, Brides, Style Me Pretty, Bustle, Disc Jockey News, DJ Times, DJNTV, The DJ Insider, Mobile Beat, My Wedding Songs, Fox Business News, NBC, ABC, Telemundo, and Wedding Planner Magazine.Jason also published his book "Succeeding in the Wedding Business," in January of 2023. He currently writes all of the wedding/event planning tips and blogs to help everyone plan their event, successfully!