Planning a wedding reception? We all know how stressful that can be! Venues, wedding dresses, invitations, churches, registry offices, caterers, wedding entertainment…the list goes on. If you’re looking at hiring a live band, no doubt somewhere near the bottom of that list is “which songs do we ask the band to play?” Too many slow songs will guarantee an empty dance floor; too many fast songs risks giving uncle Pete a heart attack.




So, how to choose the perfect songs for you both you and your guests? Well, let’s start with the all important first dance. By all means you can ask for suggestions from friends and family but at the end of the day, the first dance needs to be YOUR SONG. And while your other half may say “I’m happy with whatever you want to choose”, this might actually mean “I’m dreading the first dance so much that I’m going to get so tanked up beforehand so don’t even think about planning any choreography.”

It’s clear that you need to reach a happy medium. So as you stand on the dancefloor with your slightly inebriated other half gently swaying even before the music has started, all eyes are on you. Hopefully you’ll have chosen a song that’s not a twelve minute long epic, and one that’s only mildly embarrassing for your partner, has your friends who are planning their wedding reception inwardly seethe with jealousy, and you might just get to choose a song that means something to the both of you. Good luck with that!




Your first dance will be over in a flash. And now here’s the real test – you spent approximately 46 hours going through your Ipod playlists, collating guests’ song requests (you asked each guest to write a request on their RSVP? Really? Wow!), rejecting the obscure / sweary / bizarre ones, trying to remember the name of the song you danced too on your hen night, adding the song you like that plays on the car advert. Job done, you’re exhausted. You hand the list over to your band. What happens next?

One of four things. 1.) You don’t hear from your band for another month, then you get an email saying “we can only play two of your requests.” 2.) You never hear from the band again 3.) The band says “we can learn some of the songs but will charge you £786 per song learnt.” Or 4.) The band calls you the day after you send the playlist and says “thank you! We can play most of these, we’re happy to learn some of them and the rest will be included in the DJ music we’re providing for you and we won’t charge any extra.” Please, let it be number 4!




Assuming you have hired a good quality professional band, the answer will be number 4. So let’s jump back a step. Which songs are you going to choose? It’s a good idea to take a look at the bands’ playlist. If it’s not on their website, ask them to provide a sample playlist. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise some of the songs – you probably know them by a different name. And remember, it’s your big day – you have the right to ask your band to play more modern songs, or stay away from a particular genre; but also remember that professional bands are usually very good at reading crowd reactions and may change the playlist to ensure a full dance floor.




So, with that said, here’s a list of some of the most popular songs currently played by professional bands at wedding receptions as of January 2017.

50s, 60s & 70s
• Twist And Shout – The Beatles
• Higher and higher – Jackie Wilson
• Don’t stop me now – Queen
• Superstition – Stevie Wonder
• You Really Got Me – The Kinks
• I’m A Believer – The Monkees
• Don’t stop – Fleetwood Mac
• I feel good – James Brown
• Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
• One way or another – Blondie

80s & 90s
• Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
• Summer Of 69 – Bryan Adams
• Town Called Malice – The Jam
• Teenage Kicks – The Undertones
• Dancing on the ceiling – Lionel Richie
• Sweet Child Of Mine – Guns N Roses
• Wonderwall – Oasis
• Everlong – Foo Fighters
• Song 2 – Blur
• Place Your Hands – Reef

00s & 10s
• Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon
• Mr. Brightside – The Killers
• Rude – Magic
• Shake it off – Taylor swift
• Can’t stop the feeling – Justin Timberlake
• Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis
• Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys
• Valerie – Amy Winehouse
• Happy – Pharrell Williams
• Shut Up & Dance – Walk The moon

First Dances
• All of me – John Legend
• Thinking out Loud – Ed Sheeran
• All you need is love – The Beatles
• Stand by me – Ben E King
• How long will I love you – Ellie Goulding
• I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
• At last – Etta James
• The One- Kodaline
• Chasing cars – Snow Patrol
• I wanna marry you – Bruno Mars

There you have it, one of the most comprehensive lists of the most requested songs that live bands get asked to play at a wedding reception, print them off, note them down and pick out your favourites! of course this is not a limited list, we can play pretty much anything! for more inspiration take a look at our playlist click here.

If you are looking for non-cheesy wedding entertainment without the “groan factor”? We’ll let you into a secret. You don’t need to hire an amateur band. You don’t need to hire a large events band. For a superb nights’ entertainment, hire HARD TO HANDLE BAND.

We’re perfect for small to midsized wedding receptions! A live wedding band playing great dance floor friendly music. Totally entertaining. A broad mix of live songs from the 1960s through to the modern charts. Two hours of live band music plus complementary DJ music. We’re highly versatile. We’re brilliantly entertaining. We won’t let you down. We’re HARD TO HANDLE BAND. Find us at