Wedding Reception Songs

One of the many highlights of your wedding day is the first dance you share with your significant other, and all the other dances that follow. The first dance is always selected with extreme care by the bride and groom, a song that can convey their emotions to each other in the best way possible. However, that doesn't mean the other songs played on the wedding reception should be selected with any less care. You obviously want your wedding to be a memorable day, not just for you but for all your guests as well. Having good music to keep them entertained is definitely a way to do that.

So, what are the popular wedding songs that make all people go crazy at weddings? According to several online polls, these are the songs that have everyone dancing to them at weddings:

  • All of Me by John Legend
  • At Last by Etta James
  • Marry You by Bruno Mars
  • Make You Feel My Love by Adele
  • Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
  • Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars
  • Cupid Shuffle by Cupid
  • A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
  • Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
  • Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
  • You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
  • Love Shack by B-52's
  • Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  • Cha Cha Slide by DJ Casper
  • We Are Family by Sister Sledge
  • Single Ladies by Beyonce
  • Forever by Chris Brown
  • Dancing Queen by ABBA
  • Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

Legal issues

While good music undoubtedly adds a great deal to your wedding, you don't want your big day to be followed by possible legal repercussions, because you played unlicensed music. Songs are strictly considered to be intellectual property under copyright laws. Playing music in public may infringe copyright. If you have purchased the song off iTunes, you are entitled to limited use of the song, but this does not include playing it in public. Therefore, licensing is a thing you need to consider before you play music at your wedding. The best option might be to hire a wedding DJ, if your budget allows. They should have all the licensing issues sorted out already.

However, a DJ is an option not everyone wants or can afford. Often an MP3 player or iPod is the preferred choice. In that case, the definition of public is what matters. If the only people attending your reception include your immediate family and close friends, they are not regarded as public and you can play any music at your reception as long as you have paid for the music. This means if you have downloaded it from iTunes or have it on a CD you purchased. However, you cannot burn the music onto CDs to give to your wedding guests as a gift.

But you need to pay licensing fees if you are having your wedding reception at a venue that is not closed off and the public has access to it. In that case, even when you have paid for the songs on iTunes or you have bought the CD, you will have to pay additional licensing fees. However, you don't need to contact Bruno Mars or John Legend for it personally. There are intellectual property rights societies and authorities that can provide you the required license in exchange of a fee. You will then be legally entitled to play these songs at your wedding reception.

Note that music copyright and licensing laws may vary from country to country. So the above are only general guidelines. Your wedding venue or a professional wedding planner should be able to provide you with more information.

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