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Awkward First Dance Songs


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by Lucy Bennett, Deputy Editor

Awkward First Dance Songs | A Practical Wedding

Have you ever found yourself driving down the highway, listening to the radio, and thinking, “This is so pretty, it would make an amazing first dance song!” And then you lean in a little closer, and realize the lyrics are… about a one night stand? (I’m looking at you Sam Smith.) Yeah, us too. So, we made you a follow-up playlist to last week’s awesome first dance songs: a selections of tunes you might want to avoid for your first dance song. You know, the ones that contain lyrics that it turns out are actually pretty sad, dark, or just not about love at all.

If you’ve picked some of these songs intentionally, because of their lyrics, we commend you! You are more badass than we are, or maybe you just like a little melancholy mixed into your love song (hello, my people). But if you’ve picked one of these because it sounds pretty and you didn’t really listen to the lyrics… now might be the time to hit replay and take notes.

Awkward First Dance Songs from APracticalWedding on 8tracks Radio.

1. “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
2. “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
3. “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls
4. “(You Can Have My Husband But Please) Don’t Mess With My Man” by Irma Thomas
5.  “Just a Friend” Biz Markie
6. “Bound 2″ Kanye West
7. “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum
8. “White Wedding” by Billy Idol
9. “As Long as You Love Me” by the Backstreet Boys
10. “Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie
11. “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran
12. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
13. “No Rain” by Blind Melon
14. “I’ll Fight” by Wilco
15. “Cop Car” by Keith Urban
16. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is the Deputy Editor of APW and a freelance designer/writer hybrid. When not coming up with weird self-challenges, she can be found marathoning TV shows or playing board games. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, her moderately internet-famous pup, and two cats. She takes herself very seriously.

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  • Erin

    And let’s not forget that old stalking classic, “Every Breath You Take,” by Sting… Creeper.

  • Sarah E

    How did BSB make the list? The lyrics to me read “Your past/our differences don’t matter, what matters is the love we share.” Does everyone else interpret them differently?

    . . .As a side note, listening to “90s at noon” on the local radio station today, I again was hit with the urge to put a bunch of the cheesy 90s boy band ballads I love into the reception playlist. Le sigh.

    • Another Meg

      Mmmmmm 90s boy bands. I went to a wedding recently with a reception that featured a hat trick of middle school songs. Wanna be by the Spice Girls, Backstreet’s Back by BSB, and…Bye Bye Bye. It was amaaaaaaaaaazing.

      • KC

        Oh, man. I was on a road trip with former roommates about 5 years ago; we stopped at a gas station, and I do not presently remember which of the Cheesy 90’s Boy Band Songs was playing over the gas station loudspeakers (I Want It That Way, maybe?), but *a car full of guys* was dancing and lip syncing along to it while their tank filled. It was fantastic. Heeey, spontaneous two-car flash mob!

      • Aubry

        Were you at my wedding? My girls and I frequently rock out to 90’s awesome pop, especially Spice Girls. I was threatened that bad things would happen if there was no Spice Girls :)

        • Heather

          Also my wedding! And to this day, Spice Girls brings me right back to the dance floor of my reception, with college friends, high school friends, cousins and colleagues who had never met ROCKING OUT together. It was awesome.

      • Erin

        I want Bye Bye Bye at my wedding sooo bad. And I want to break out my Darren’S Dance Grooves DVD in advance for a refresher on the choreography.

        • KC

          I think that would be especially hilarious if you had an “and in honor of our ex bf/gfs, who brought us part of the way to where we are today…” sweet announcement and then had a full bridal party dancedown.

          Also: there is a DVD? of dance moves? Oh help.

          • Erin

            Haha ..I couldn’t get my bridesmaids to participate, but I could probably get away with requesting the dj make an announcement for my high school BFF (who I went to 5 NSYNC shows with between 1998-2002) to join me on the dance floor for it. ….And Darren’s Dance Grooves is a CLASSIC sold-by-infomercial instructional DVD from the choreographer behind “Bye Bye Bye” and Britney’s “U Drive Me Crazy (STOP Remix)” videos. A true 90s relic!

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        We had post wedding kareoke and totally rocked the 90s pop tunes.

      • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

        OMG Bye Bye Bye. How did I forget this? Adding it to the list.

    • Allie

      Oh yeah, I’m sure your reading of it is 100% what they were going for, BUT I can see how the lyrics for the chorus could read as “The only thing I care about is that you’re into me, because I’m super desperate.”

      Also, I have to say this because a part of my 4th grade self has never left me: ~*~ *NSYNC RULEZ! ~*~

      • MC

        Exactly. In middle school my friends and I used to joke about just how little the narrator of the song seems to care. Like, the person they’re singing to could be a serial killer, tax evader, or just boring, but if you love ME, that’s what matters. But I can definitely see the more romantic reading of it now that I’m not 12.

      • Sarah E

        Yeah, I totally get that, and have wondered myself where my dear BSB would draw the line with their lovers.

        • KC

          Maybe “at 18″ – that would screen out a lot of their adoring fans at that point *and* keep things legal… (just observing that the song does not say “don’t care how old you are”…)

          But yes. “I don’t care who you are” is not actually all that romantic of a sentiment?

      • Erin

        Fellow NSYNC fan here, and I used to use this song as proof of their superiority over BSB. …The BSB would love you even if you’re an axe murderer! Clearly they have poor judgememt!

        • KC

          But only if you loved them, which axe murderers wouldn’t! (kidding. I’m sure that they had many axe-murdering fans.)

    • Gwen

      I snuck Spice Girls, Vitamin C, and ATC onto our reception play list! My husband was fine with it as he knew he was already being difficult with his “no male vocalists” rule (he absolutely hate listening to men sing – I’ve never seen anyone with such a strong aversion).

      • BD

        Wow really? Most guys I know are the opposite – they prefer male vocalists (which never made much sense to me either).

        • Sarah

          This is off topic, but I’ve noticed the same things with movies/tv shows… the thinking seems to be anything with a female protagonist is automatically sappy, romantic, lame crap.

        • Alyssa M

          Biggest fight to date with my brother was when he decided he didn’t like any music with a female vocalist. Sexist ass.

          • anony-nony

            I’d say about 90% of the music on my husband’s iPod has a male vocalist, and in fact those bands are completely male. The few female vocalists he does have on his iPod are certainly talented, but he also happens to find them really hot, so… go figure. He’s not an overtly sexist guy, but his attitude towards women in music still irks me.

        • moonlitfractal

          My husband used to say this (he ‘just didn’t like the sound’) but later changed his mind. One of his favorite bands has an operatic soprano as lead vocalist! (well, until she left the band last week. so sad.)

    • Becca

      I don’t care who you are
      Where you’re from
      What you did
      As long as you love me

      Sounds pretty bleak to me :D I’m getting the same reading as Allie and MC. I remember thinking this was funny at 12ish, too!

      • Erin

        I had the opposite reaction – at 15 I thought that was a very romantic sentiment, but now? Oh honey…

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I regret the decision to include it now, because it’s stuck in my head. DAMN CATCHY BOY BAND TUNES.

  • Chalk

    Paolo Nutini’s “Coming Up Easy.” I wanted to use this as our first dance song because it ends with “It was in love I was created and in love is how I hope I die” repeated over and over, and it’s really a beautiful song. Then my husband had me listen to the lyrics closer and pointed out the song was about Nutini’s issues with drugs. Oh well.

  • Elizabeth

    Somewhat related – I’ve always found “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton to be an odd choice for a father-daughter dance. And I’ve probably seen it done 3-4 times.

    • Amanda L

      THIS! It’s a song about a guy that gets too drunk to drive and has to have his wife basically pour him into bed. Nothing about that really screams ‘first dance’ or ‘father/daughter dance’ to me.

      • Heather

        hahaha I think my bff said they were thinking about using that song for father/daughter dance for her wedding. Which, I mean, I guess they’re going for sort of the surface cheese- you look wonderful tonight, etc, but maybe haven’t listened to the words very carefully.

        • Cleo

          And isn’t it supposedly about a woman that Eric Clapton was cheating on his wife with?

          • Kirsten

            I believe it was George Harrison’s wife, who he later married.

    • pajamafishadventures

      oooh, your comment makes me want to see an “awkward father daughter dance” playlist.

      • Natalie

        YES!!!

      • BeeAssassin

        I second this request! I haven’t personally seen too many awkward ones but have heard stories…

        My dad requested “In my Daughter’s Eyes”. I was wincing a little at how cheesy it was, until I got to the last verse, and I started tearing up. (In my daughter’s eyes I can see the future / A reflection of who I am and what will be / Though she’ll grow and someday leave /Maybe raise a family / When I’m gone I hope you see how happy /she made me /For I’ll be there /In my daughter’s eyes). He’s older, I’m the first of his kids to get married, I think he thinks he may not be around to see anyone else get married….trying to figure out how to avoid the waterworks on the actual wedding day.

        • KC

          If the cheese isn’t violently untrue to your relationship/life, go for the cheese! Father/daughter songs are totally allowed to turn the cheese up to 11. :-)

        • Alyssa M

          Aww, if it makes you cry, go for the cheese! It’s super infantalizing, but I want Taylor Swift’s Best Day as a tribute to my parents (not doing dancing) because out seriously makes me happy cry when I listen to it.

      • but i don’t like it anyway

        “Hotel California” – headdesk

        • KC

          Did someone… ever… actually do that? Because… yikes.

          (also, I would nominate “basically any about sex” for awkward father/daughter dance material)

          • but i don’t like it anyway

            yes. yes they did. i cringed.

          • KC

            That must have been some sort of inside joke and/or bribe (“I will only do a father/daughter dance if you let it be Hotel California…” or something). I hope? Or maybe none of the people involved ever listened to the lyrics? Or maybe the DJ screwed it up somehow? I… don’t even know.

          • but i don’t like it anyway

            I think the dad just liked the song. It definitely felt really awkward to some of us who were watching because it seemed totally straight faced, but I don’t know.

          • pumpkinpicker

            Brown Eyed Girl is on so many lists. No.

        • NicoleT

          I can’t stop laughing about that song as a father/daughter dance! Hilarious!! You seriously made my day

          • but i don’t like it anyway

            haha i’m so glad :)

        • soontobe

          Ok. off topic, but my mother in law played Hotel California at her husband’s memorial service. It’s still one of her favorite songs. I think she only hears “blah, blah, blah…CALIFORNIA,” over and over again. I tried telling her it was about drugs and debauchery but- did I mention she’s my mother in law?

      • MDBethann

        I’m intrigued to see that list.
        We played it safe with “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban because my dad has always been one of my 2 biggest cheerleaders. AND it was the only way I was going to get a slow dance to Josh Groban at the wedding (I love his music, hubby does not – I think he was jealous of the large poster I had in my condo when we started dating).

  • Julianne Smith

    What about the Death Cab song? Is it just a little too…morbid for the occasion?

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Personally, I think it’s romantic. BUT. I think it’s one of those songs you DEFINITELY want to listen to the lyrics first, really closely. For reasons Christina has listed above.

      • Julianne Smith

        I get it. Yes. But I also think it is romantic :]

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        The thing about weddings is that you’re promising to stay with that person till death do you part. With that in mind, I don’t think you need to exclude readings or music about death. But isn’t that song about a suicide pact?

        • KH_Tas

          I was considering the song from the ‘readings including death’ point of view, but thinking just now, it does sound like a suicide pact

        • Alyssa M

          Suicide pact??? That’s so not how I read it. Especially because it starts with SOMEDAY you will die…

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            Love of mine some day you will die
            But I’ll be close behind
            I’ll follow you into the dark . . .

            If there’s no one beside you
            When your soul embarks
            Then I’ll follow you into the dark . . .

            You and me have seen everything to see
            From Bangkok to Calgary
            And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
            The time for sleep is now
            It’s nothing to cry about
            Cause we’ll hold each other soon
            The blackest of rooms

          • Alyssa M

            See, I see the lines

            “You and me have seen everything to see
            From Bangkok to Calgary
            And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
            The time for sleep is now”

            as implying that they’re now old and have lived long full lives. They’ve been there done that, someday has come, and one of them is dieing, but it’s OK, cause it won’t be too long till they’ll be together in the afterlife.

            Maybe I’m just an optimist cause I like the song.

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            You know what? That makes sense. I was reading those lines as that of someone suffering depression and feeling worn down, like there’s nothing else in the world to see. And now is the time for them to die together.

            I like your version WAY better.

          • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

            Yeah, it’s more like, “I can’t live without you, so when you eventually die, no matter where your soul goes, I’m going with you.” I figure it’s inappropriate for weddings because it’s basically like, “Nuns are mean.”

          • Alyssa M

            Yeah I really see it the way you do. I feel like suicide is a possible interpretation… but only if you make a really negative leap…

            I always envision one of those elderly couples that one partner dies and the other one goes just a few months later.

    • Jessica

      We did it as our last dance song to shut the party down.

  • Christina McPants

    Funny story – a friend walked down the aisle to “Follow You Into the Dark.” That song starts out with “Someday you will die,” which is kind of awkward in that specific moment. (It was a lovely wedding and I totally appreciated the sentiment, I just wish someone had gotten the DJ to start a different part of the song)

    • Aubry

      darn that awkward first line. I actually love that song and the first phrase, but maybe they could have faded in or something?

  • pumpkinpicker

    I am MASSIVELY lyric focused so it drives me nuts when people play breakup/creepy songs at weddings. Hell, I’m continuously annoyed at the “vows are spoken to be broken” line in Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode, I love the song, but even that one line cuts it right out for my wedding (still considering One Caress, though not for the first dance).
    Hence, the painstakingly curated no DJ dance party I have planned. :)

    Oh, and why the hell do people play Paradise by the Dashboard Light at weddings? Just about as tasteful as a ball-and-chain cake topper :/

    • MC

      I am also massively lyric-focused, and my fiance is really not, which made for some hilarious-in-retrospect agonizing on my part when we exchanged mix CDs at the beginning of our courtship. Turns out some people will put “Mad World” on a mix CD for their significant other just because they like Donnie Darko and wouldn’t think twice about it!

      • pumpkinpicker

        One couple I’m friends with used “Burn” by The Cure from The Crow soundtrack as their first dance.

      • pumpkinpicker

        Hahaha I just remembered that when things started getting really serious with my SO he posted the video for Islands by The XX for me on FB.

        That was definitely a bit of an “Um… are you trying to say something?” moment.

      • ART

        my high school boyfriend sent me Paint it Black as a romantic gesture…? oh high school :)

      • moonlitfractal

        I feel this. I’m not even that lyric focused, but my husband and I are both metal fans and the mix he gave me when we started dating included -musically amazing- song about a woman who attempts suicide three times. Um.

  • Acorn88

    You forgot “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder. I was at a wedding and thinking, “Am I the only one who doesn’t understand what he’s singing about?!”

    • up_at_Dawn

      He’s singing about sneaking around on his girl with his former lover. Very not-wedding appropriate.

    • Alyssa M

      Oh God I HATE that song. It’s so icky. I can’t believe somebody used it in their wedding!

  • Cleo

    1. I was recently at a wedding where the first song they played after the hora was “I Will Survive.” Great song, but…not really for weddings?

    2. Afternoon Delight (I have a friend who mis-used it because they thought it sounded pretty and was about people just having fun in the afternoon…even after the Arrested Development episode aired!)

    3. Wedding Dress by Matt Nathanson. Title sounds perfect, but the lyrics are a bit regretful. I’ve never heard this used at a wedding, but thought it could be a dangerous one.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      I think we’d been married a year before I finally clued my husband into what an afternoon delight was. He also just realized this past week that Kokomo by the Beach Boys is about sex as well (it mentions an afternoon delight, he thought they were just enjoying the time of day that happens after 12:00pm).

      • mcguire10

        Oh my goodness, Kokomo was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid. Haven’t really thought about it much, but now that you mention it… *facepalm*.

      • MDBethann

        I didn’t realize that either! I loved that song when I was younger and just figured (in the song) “afternoon delight” was referring to a mixed drink. As I got older, I was introduced to drinks like “sex on the beach” so it NEVER dawned on me until now that “afternoon delight” in the song referenced sex. Ooops!

    • L R

      I’m a fan of Matt Nathanson, and even HE has mentioned that he doesn’t know why people use this song at their weddings. It’s clearly about not wanting to settle down.

  • Nikki T

    “I will always love you” annoys me to no end! It says right there, If I SHOULD STAY, I will only BE IN YOUR WAY….
    Let’s not dance to that…

  • joanna b.n.

    I’m on the fence about the Adele song. I’d love to know why it made your list…

    • Karen

      We actually used the Billy Joel version of this song as our first dance and I don’t regret it at all – but totally just Googled it to make sure that I hadn’t missed something major after reading this list! My guess is that the line about “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet” means that the person is still deciding between two others…which I guess is not the greatest sentiment for a wedding (where, you know, presumably the mind HAS been made up). But we really loved the rest of the lyrics so went for it! Though now I’m concerned that someone else will interpret differently and make me second-guess…ha! The risk I take =)

      • MDBethann

        We went with Billy Joel too, but used “Just the Way You Are.” Good lyrics and the beat is a rumba so we were able to use steps from our dance lessons. Wowed our guests with it and they didn’t even realize we messed up a few times (we did and were laughing about it, which meant big smiles while dancing instead of awkward, nervous faces).

    • Ana Aguilar

      Yup. It has one really awkward
      line “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet” and then something about storms on the highway of regret …. We used it
      as our first dance after over thinking it so much! But in the end we figured
      most people wouldn’t pick apart the lyrics and we loved the sentiment of making
      the other feel loved. So we went for it. No regrets. Also, Adele.

      • Helen

        Yeah, we had someone sing it at our wedding, and figured this could be a song about when we were first getting together. Post rationalisation much?

  • macrain

    I have always loved the song “No One’s Gonna Love You” by Band of Horses, but then I googled the lyrics. Here is how it starts-
    It’s looking like a limb torn off
    Or altogether just taken apart
    We’re reeling through an endless fall
    We are the ever living ghost of what once was

    It’s a beautiful song, it’s just about breaking up.

    • KC

      So many great/catchy/singalongable songs are about breakups. Oh, well – at least there’s compensation for people who are in the middle of break ups that there’s a lot of fantastic soundtrack music for it? I mean, weddings are good, with or without soundtrack, but breakups suck, so… compensations are good?

      • macrain

        Interestingly, one of the best moments from a friend’s wedding on the dance floor was Taylor Swift’s “We are never ever getting back together.” It’s surprisingly danceable and a great sing along. Breakups do inspire so much good stuff!

      • http://www.cantabridgette.blogspot.com CaitlinSumner

        Ugh, seriously. Every one of my favorite beautiful Indigo Girls songs is about a breakup, it was so disappointing when it came time to put together the wedding playlists…

      • ART

        We had “Ue o Muite Arukō” (“I look up when I walk / So the tears won’t fall / Remembering those happy spring days / But tonight I’m all alone”) on our dinner playlist, mostly as an inside joke because my mom always puts it on every party playlist she ever makes, and we DID actually have two Japanese speakers at our wedding so we just sort of hoped they’d be too busy eating to notice/listen closely. My mom totally noticed and was all “OMG! I love this song!” – Boom!

    • Aubry

      Yeah, totally “Slow dancing in a burning room” by John Mayer for me. I love it, but when you listen it is definitely about a doomed relationship ending :(

      • ART

        Yeah, beautiful song – it’s one of my husband’s favorites to play on guitar when he’s just messing around and it’s so pretty, but also a bit of a bummer!

      • Erin

        I am a big John Mayer fan but he really doesn’t have any wedding appropriate songs. …I could see the Katy Perry duet becoming a popular choice but I don’t like using songs by real life couples who have since split up as wedding songs. …I hope he finds happiness one day and writes a good wedding song!

        • h

          He does have a couple of them! There’s “Love is a Verb,” which I find a little too obvious for a wedding song but that’s just me being contrary. And “Not Myself”, which is what we used…it’s my favorite song of his because it’s exactly what I would write if I weren’t completely lacking an inner poet. (I made my husband listen to it when we first met and told him it pretty much summed up what dating me would be like. I figured it was a good sign when he didn’t run.)

          Oh, and I think my exact words the first time I heard “Who You Love” were, “FFS, why didn’t you guys just get tattoos of each others’ names if you wanted to doom your relationship?” :)

  • Mezza

    I once played piano for a wedding where the bride requested that I play “Yesterday” by the Beatles and “Good Riddance” by Green Day, and she walked down the aisle to Sting’s “Fields of Gold.” Oooookay. At least the first two were just instrumental versions!

    • KC

      I dimly hope they were going for music-as-sarcasm?

      • Mezza

        I actually really don’t think so! Nothing about this wedding was particularly ironic; it was pretty traditional in every other respect. If only, though.

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          I’m super lyrics focused, but my husband does not care about them. At all. He likes what he likes because he likes it. He barely registers the lyrics if he likes the music. Maybe they were like him in that respect??

          • Amberley

            My fiance is like that! That’s why I was skeptical when he requested a song, but I listened to it and its actually a really beautiful song and perfect for a first dance.

            (btw the song is “Promise” by Kellie Coffey. Its the song they play after the fireworks at epcot and is also know as the “leaving epcot song”)

  • Violet

    I actually love the concept of this list as relates to the original inspiration for the OTHER list: Etta James singing “At Last.” Because sometimes the context matters. I attended a wedding of a 24 year-old marrying another 24 year-old, and their first dance song was “At Last.” I guess I wondered how guests who were older reacted to such a song for such young ‘uns. I mean it’s fine, but it kinda made me chuckle.

    • Seria

      We married at 35, and specifically avoided any song like “At Last” that implies there was somehow something wrong with single life or that we were getting married “late”.

      • Helen

        Yeah totally! !e really liked the Katy Perry/John Mayer song “You love who you love”. But since we’re a gay couple, both previously straight aligned, with a fairly fraught coming out process, we thought it sounded a bit defensive!

  • pajamafishadventures

    I would nominate “Marry You” by Bruno Mars as a song that has NO PLACE near a wedding. Our marriage is going to be about waaaaaaay more than “looking for something dumb to do”
    And I love “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers but then towards the middle you get “I don’t think you’re right for him” and you realize he’s singing to someone who is apparently with someone else. That realization made me sad.

    • Violet

      Not to get too snarky, but I HATE his song “Just the Way You Are.” Yeah, because only male gaze matters, so her opinion of herself is invalid. Suuuuuuuure. Makes me angry. If I don’t think I look good any particular day, no man better come along and ARGUE with me about it!!
      [end rant]

      • pajamafishadventures

        I actually think that one is sweet/kinda like it (not a Bruno fan in general) but I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND where you’re coming from because I feel that way about “What Makes You Beautiful”

        • Violet

          Ack! I Googled that song because I don’t know it (I’m not super with-the-times) and it’s way worse- he literally says she’s wrong! Oh no…

      • Erin

        Ha! I feel that way about Fuel’s “Bad Day,” like, really? You had a bad day because you smeared lipstick on your face and your shoelace broke? Wipe it off and change the laces! But… then it also occurs to me that the song might be about depression, so…that also makes it a really awkward first dance song.

        • Violet

          Yeah, *definitely* no “Bad Day” for first dance song!!

      • Erin

        I am so there with you! I actually adore Bruno, but this song just feels like he’s reciting a laundry list of what women are supposed to want men to say to them!

    • http://cheriarmour.com Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

      Agreed. The song is like, the furthest thing you want your husband to tell you on your wedding day.

    • Alyssa M

      Yeah, that line in Ho Hey made me sad. I LOVE that song. It was my jam for a while there, but there’s no way I’m using it in my wedding because of that.

      • pajamafishadventures

        I had whimsical dreamsicle visions of our attendants walking down the aisle with their SOs to that song, leading the way for us, and then… yup, can’t bring myself to use it anymore.

  • KEA1

    At the cocktail hour of a friend’s wedding several years ago, the jazz combo was playing background music and I happened to catch that they were playing Rodgers and [either Hart or Hammerstein and don’t remember]’s “Everything I’ve Got.” Which is a catchy tune. And the title sounds like it oughta be a great wedding song. But the lyrics start with, “I have eyes for you to give you dirty looks…” and go from there. I had a very hard time not giggling openly. :) (couple is still very happily married, btw)

  • macrain

    You guys know that song “Rude” by Magic? (The chorus goes-Marry that girl/Marry her anyway). I feel like someone will mistake that for a good wedding song. It’s actually a pretty weird song, period.

    • Ellen

      My now-husband wanted that to be our first dance song. I listened to the lyrics and firmly put my foot down :)

    • swarmofbees

      I know! I heard it when I was madly trying to put together our wedding playlist and briefly thought “marry that girl?” sounds good to me! Then I listened a little closer and decided that perhaps it didn’t actually belong at a wedding.

    • up_at_Dawn

      Yeah…I dislike that song too. It’s weird. Also: if he wants to marry her- he’s asking the wrong person (her dad).

  • http://cheriarmour.com Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

    This is great! We did “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles. It was amazing!

  • Maria

    Also, although this is more applicable to the ceremony, Pie Jesu. Seriously. That’s a *funeral* song, but people ask for it all the time at weddings because there have been some well-known popera settings of it.

  • Glen

    Our DJ played “You shook me all night long” by AC/DC (definitely not on our recommendation list) and “Pumped up kicks” by Foster the People (we had asked for a different Foster the People song, but I guess he couldn’t find it or get rights to it?). A few people scratched their heads then danced anyway.

    We did play “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” as our last dance of the night. I realize Billie Joe wrote it about a gf moving away, but we thought of it more as an honest wish to our guests (great time and great memories) and as an acknowledgement of the not-always-easy paths we took to get to that point. Plus Green Day is just awesome.

    • Kat Robertson

      Oh my gosh. My husband begged me to have the DJ play “You Shook Me All Night Long” when we entered the reception. This was one of the longest, most ridiculous arguments while we planned the wedding. I finally won with the logic that “My GRANDMOTHER will be there!”

      • KC

        Nothing like setting yourself up for *even more* hot-juicy-sex jokes. (at least, my elderly relatives were *terrible* about this. Maybe your grandmother would actually be shocked, rather than taking it as inspiration?)

      • ART

        I really, really wanted Carry Out by Timbaland/Justin Timberlake on our dance playlist but that part got kind of screwed up and it never played. I just wanted one measly little raunchy song and did not get it…wah.

      • EF

        I’d love to include a bunch of journey, including ‘any way you want it’….but….um…awkward. I’ll stick to singing it loudly whilst I wash the dishes.

    • Alyssa M

      Oh my god. I would have been SO ANGRY about pumped up kicks. That song makes me angry when I hear it in a restaurant, I would rip that DJ new one.

      Not I’m kind of fuming

      • pumpkinpicker

        I went to an Islanders/bruins hockey game and they played it every time one of the teams scored a goal. I wanted to shake someone by the face.
        I kinda like the song, but at least I recognise how inappropriate it is for, well pretty much everything.

        • Alyssa M

          Are you kidding me? I would have been SO UPSET. Can we not play a peppy catchy song from the point of view of a mass shooter in fucking celebration of anything? Having read the band’s intentions with the song I can accept it’s existence… but lets not pretend that peppy beat makes it a happy song… urg

  • egerth

    Thanks for this! I was at a wedding which did a slideshow to Adele’s “Someone Like You.” It was awkward.

    Lyrics like, “I heard that you’ve settled down / That you found a girl and you’re married now. / I heard that your dreams came true / Guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.”

    • Erin

      Was the ex running the slideshow?

      • egerth

        Right? Sadly no…

    • sara g

      Talk about the worst song to play at a wedding! Who on earth thought that was a good idea?!

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    Hahah, this actually tempts me to suggest Stay with me, since our relationship started by being drunk in a bar at a mutual friend’s party and making out with each other- didn’t go home with him that night (he asked), but I did go home with him the second night we met at a mutual friend thing at a bar (and then kept my pants on to sleep because I didn’t want him to think I was too easy. damn uncomfortable jeans)

    • Jess

      I’ve always kind of thought it would be funny to play a one-night stand song if we get married… He came home with me, and I did not keep my pants on!

      • Guest

        We debated this for that same reason, but ended up going with “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies instead.

        • Jess

          The debate would be between a song he really loves about things not quite going according to the big flashy plan, but sticking around any way… and an inside joke for our group of friends. It’s a fun and semi-romantic song, still kind of one night standish, more likely to get us laughing than crying. And our friends would probably join in like half way through.

          I could see the first one being a little too personal/unhappy – maybe we play it on our own at the end of the night.

  • Michelle

    What about “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boys II Men. I feel like that was on many wedding playlists for a long time and it always drove me nuts. Did everyone just miss the whole chorus? “And I know you’re shining down on me from heaven/like so many friends we’ve lost along the way/And I know eventually we’ll be together/one sweet day.”

    • Moe

      Some of Mariah’s lyrics are creepy/desperate/stalker-ish
      You’ll Always Be My Baby
      My All
      We Belong Together

  • Ali

    I’ve definitely heard ‘Love the One You’re With’ at more than one wedding. Not sure that’s quite the right sentiment!

    • Erin

      I’m never quite sure about the sentiment of that song.

  • AR

    This is a super fun playlist. When we were trying to choose mother-son dance songs, we used Google to find some inspiration…and some of the song lists we found included some really creepy options if you paid any attention the lyrics.

    • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

      “Not While I’m Around” is okay unless you know the context. Sweeney Todd should not be a source for ANY wedding songs.

      • Alyssa M

        ROFL!!! Now I’m kind of desperate to incorporate something from Sweeney Todd. That’s so bad it almost comes around the other side to being awesome.

        • Heather

          My husband actually danced with his mom to the Jamie Cullum version of Not While I’m around. He edited a few verses out, though- it was far too long. But his cover is pretty great. It can be done! Plus, only maybe 10 of 200 people knew the origins, so we felt okay about it.

  • SarahG

    A very dear friend of mine had his mother/son dance at his wedding to a super cheesy song about mothers and sons composed BY THE DJ and performed BY THE DJ, with cheesy synthesizer music and everything. It included a lyric that went “my son, as I hand you over to this new woman…” UM WOT. My friend is a super easygoing dude and I doubt he even noticed, but I was like, this is the most awkward thing I have encountered in at least a week. Also, I love my friend and his wedding was total WIC and total sweetness, so I just want to throw out there that even if you end up with an awkward wedding moment — it will be OK and will not ruin your wedding :)

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      Oh, my. Anyone who dismisses what DJs actually do, please read this for who NOT to hire. Yikes.

      We had that realization when the DJ at one of my dearest friends’ weddings announced her dad’s new girlfriend/former mistress as her mother. And then when someone corrected him, he announced her mother’s actual name, but pronounced it incorrectly. It was very, very tense.

      Good DJs are ultra prepared, and are really, really good at working a crowd. Bad DJs bring the party to a screeching halt.

  • Moe

    The Mr. and I have a standing debate about “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys.
    “If you should ever leave me
    Though life would still go on believe me”

    • SarahG

      Yes — a friend of mine vetoed this even though it’s their actual song, because of the first line. I was in the pro camp — I think it’s a great song. But I get why she was worried what “message” it was sending.

      • Moe

        Thank you both. I’m forwarding your comments to the husband. “See?! The ENTIRE INTERNET agrees with me!” :D

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          It’s totally romantic!

      • CJ

        It’s my fiance’s favorite song ever, so he couldn’t imagine walking in to anything else. (And he claims that Paul McCartney says it’s the best song ever written too.)

        BUT — we’ve agreed that we will probably edit out the first line, and get the DJ to start the song later.

    • Helen

      Nah – it’s awesome. You THINK it’s not romantic, but it totally IS!

    • Juliet

      I’ve always felt like there is confusion about this song, because it’s easy to hear the lines out of context of the whole stanzas. Here:

      I may not always love you
      But long as there are stars above you
      You never need to doubt it
      I’ll make you so sure about it

      God only knows what I’d be without you

      If you should ever leave me
      Though life would still go on believe me
      The world could show nothing to me
      So what good would living do me

      See, it’s a bit of clever wording/word play. The first stanza is saying essentially, “I may not always love you, but as long as there are stars in the sky, I will.” It’s very sweet!

      • MDBethann

        I think the lyrics are incredibly romantic! And “leaving” doesn’t necessarily mean a break up – it could mean death too. To me, it implies that “you” are the singer’s one true and only lifetime love.

  • Helen

    My BIL got married in Japan. Their weddings super prescriptive, so they had to select from a limited number of songs. Still, I’m not sure that “All By Myself”, sing by a Japanese woman in the style of Celine Dion was the best walking in song. Also featured: an instrumental version of “That’s All I Ask of You” from Phantom – actually pretty appropriate…

    • MDBethann

      I can see “All I Ask of You” – the lyrics are appropriate, though it is sung in desperation between Christine & Raul because they are afraid of the Phantom. But “All By Myself”??? How is that wedding song? I think I listened to that song on repeat in high school when I was lonely & pining for a guy…..

  • Caitlyn

    At my cousin’s wedding (10? years ago) they gave out homemade CDs as favors. And one of the songs on it was “Better Man” by Pearl Jam. I have spent years wondering why on earth they picked that song. I figured I was over-thinking it, but then a couple years ago, I was visiting my aunt and uncle (also their aunt and uncle) and somehow this cousin came up in conversation and my aunt said, “you know, their wedding was so lovely, but I’ve always wondered…” and I immediately interrupted and said “I know, the song, WHY did they pick that song”. I felt somewhat vindicated that I wasn’t the only one who was still wondering years after the fact.

    • Hannah B

      Maybe it was an inside joke. My mom and her sisters have a parody version of it they sing when they get together called “Butter Man” – example lyric: ” she dreams of butter not low fat spread, can’t find the butter man” etc . Perhaps it was included with a wink ??

  • Kimberfly

    My husband wanted us to use “Falling Slowly” from Once until I pointed out that the first stanza is creepy–“I don’t know you/but I want you/all the more for that.” I was in favor of Ingrid Michaelson’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” because it pretty much sums us up, but he wasn’t sold on it. In the end, we didn’t have any dancing so it didn’t matter! Now we joke that ALL THE SONGS are our songs. It works.

    • Erin

      For me, Falling Slowly is also a depressing choice when you look at how the couple from the movie’s real life relationship imploded after the song made them so famous

      • Hannah

        Did it really “implode”, as you say? My impression was that Hansard and Irglova had an amicable breakup, but I also didn’t investigate closely.

        • Erin

          Was it amicable? Perhaps my memory is clouded by my interpretation of the situation, which was, “If my boyfriend and I won an Oscar together, and he hogged the mic and didn’t let me speak during our acceptance speech ….DEALBREAKER!!!!”

    • Alyssa M

      Totally walking down the aisle to Ingrid Michelson’s can’t help falling in love!

  • laddibugg

    “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston”

    The original version was written by Dolly Parton to a friend/partner so it’s no good for a wedding either.

    My vote is for With or Without You, by U2

  • april

    Ha! I know a couple who used an acoustic version of “follow you into the dark” for the bride’s walk down the aisle. I definitely found it weird, especially given the song’s atheistic overtones and the fact that the groom is in a Christian rock band …

    • Alyssa M

      I freakin love that song, even as a Christian who gets the overtones, but I’m not using it cause it would weird my family out.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

        Mostly it’s on here because I *love* the song, but I knew it wasn’t wedding material when it happened to come on Pandora and my mother-in-law asked us if the song was about someone committing suicide after their lover/partner dies. Which…is a semi accurate idea of what the song could be about.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Hah! Part of the fun of making our iTunes playlist for our wedding was finding all the songs that would’ve been really weird and awkward and laughing about it.

    My husband did play on the piano and sing “Somebody” by Depeche Mode for me at our reception, but he changed the lyrics just slightly as you can when you perform a song live so it was more appropriate.

    • ART

      Mine put some weird ones on our playlist that I had to veto, like “Mrs. Robinson,” just no.

      • KC

        Yeah, there’s funny-and-ever-so-slightly-inappropriate, and then there’s full-stop No. And Mrs. Robinson would definitely be on that latter list…

        • ART

          Right? he was oblivious to that. I had to call in reinforcement (my mom) to be like, nope.

    • lady brett

      i made an “unwedding” playlist along with my wedding playlists when i realized that skipping some of the most amazing music i have due to theme problems was making me sad. it is a damn amazing playlist, too.

  • Erin

    My greatest contribution to the first wedding I was a bridesmaid at was suggesting the bride listen to the lyrics of Bittersweet Symphony before taking the dj’s advice to use it for their reception entrance.

    • Kirsten

      I just played a wedding quartet gig in which this was the bridal party entrance for the ceremony. I still don’t understand.

      • Erin

        For the ceremony? Even worse! There is more to the song than tge swelling (plagarized) strings, people! It was an appropriate choice for the end of Cruel Intentions but NOT to kick off your wedding!

    • Violet

      You are a hero. Don’t ever forget that.

  • NicoleT

    Okay, public service announcement: One Love by U2 is NOT a good song to use, however pretty it sounds. Bono’s reaction once he found out that couples were using it as their first dance song says it all: “Are you mad? It’s about splitting up!”

    • Erin

      THANK YOU!! I figured this out in middle school and it has driven me crazy as a wedding choice ever since. That being said, my fiance suggested we play “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” just to confuse our guests.

      • KC

        That would be really, really funny (but… probably only to you, and it’s obvious enough lyrics-wise that more than one or two people would probably be wondering what on earth you were thinking). But that would still be really, really funny! :-)

    • CJ

      I wasn’t considering “One.” But I hope “All I Want Is You” is okay! Do I need to listen to the lyrics more carefully? I was thinking about walking in to that one. The Vitamin String Quartet version anyway.

  • H

    How do people feel about Ave Maria for a walking-down-the-aisle song? I won’t be having a Catholic wedding but like the idea of using it as a gesture for my Catholic family (plus I’m obsessed with it as a gorgeous song) but I know that some people associate it with funerals. I’ve definitely heard it at funerals but also know a lot of people who used it in weddings…HALP!

    • Kara E

      Well, the Ave is part of the mass, but I think it would be a bit…odd for religious people to see it used as a processional (at least for the bride). However, I think one of the settings (maybe Gound’s?) could be lovely as part of a prelude/seating of other important people.

      • H

        It’s actually very commonly used as a processional – especially in Latin American countries. I had a cousin walk down the aisle to it for her Catholic ceremony in a church. So I’m not too concerned about that, more just concerned about the funeral aspect of it. But anyway, just listened to it on Spotify and got goosebumps – so I think I’ll go for it!

        • Hannah B

          which version? The one by Schubert or the the Bach /Gounod? The Schubert is the more known one. I’m just curious!

    • Ana Aguilar

      I used Ave Maria in my catholic wedding, and I actually had originally planned to have it as my walk-down-the -aisle-song because it’s sooo eerily beautiful in my opinion. I don’t think it’s too commonly associated with funerals. But! My super traditional super Catholic church had very strict guidelines about music. And since Ave Maria is a praise to the Virgin Mary/ hymn to the virgin, using it as the backdrop to me struttin’ in was a no-no. Sigh. They crushed my vision, but when I ran this by my mom, she agreed on it being inappropriate for that time. All this to say, if your family are very conservative Catholics, you may not be honoring them as much as you think if you decide to use it for your processional. But if you don’t feel that’s your case…it is a beautiful song to have in your ceremony. I had it played in the background at the end of the ceremony while leaving an offering to the virgin, before the recessional.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      “Ave Maria” is Latin for “Hail (or Hello) Mary.” The full line is what’s recited in the Rosary, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” (You can google a more contemporary translation.) Most of the text is from Luke 2.

      The Rosary, of course, if a very common Catholic devotion used in many contexts. In some communities it’s recited before or after every Mass, or at some point every day. It has also become part of the mourning rites in Catholic communities. It’s not necessarily added to the funeral Mass, but may be recited outside of church.

      Personally, I think the use of the Ave at weddings is like the use of Pie Jesu or a few other very, very common Catholic prayers/hymns – People choose them because they’re all the Catholic music they (or their guests) know, not because they’re good for weddings.

      • Hannah B

        Fun fact: The famous Schubert “Ave maria” was originally in German as the tune was a part of a dramatic song cycle about the LADY OF THE LAKE, the Walter Scott poem, wherein the heroine was praying to Mary. Someone else entirely adapted the text to fit the Latin version of the prayer. Which is why whenever someone sings the “ave maria ” text it sounds gorgeous and then the rest of the latin is kinda like..oh, he set that syllable there? We don’t know who adapted it, but it is by FAR the most commonly known version, even though Schubert didn’t set that text originally. Also, I usually only ever hear one verse sung at a wedding (of 3), which is only half of the text, so only half the prayer gets sung!

    • Steph

      My Catholic MIL requested it, so our (bluegrass!) band is doing a version of it for when the attendants walk down and switching over to some Van Morrison for us. I personally associate it more with funerals, but my family read 1 Corinthians at my grandmother’s funeral, so we’re a little backwards :)

    • Wedding player

      I’m a pianist and organist and I used to play a lot of Catholic weddings, and a lot of people used this song as a processional or recessional. Mostly as a recessional, but in my opinion it is a million times better than the traditional wedding march, which was the most requested Catholic processional. The traditional wedding march is victory battle song! It’s also insanely musically boring (oooh a pentatonic scale with a seventh played over and over!) Ave Maria, with the right singer (or violinist or celloist) and a decent pianist is beautiful.

  • ART

    Oh, unrelated but at the super wonderful, romantic B&B we stayed in for our honeymoon, “Brick” was on the playlist in the living/dining room, so we probably heard it 3 or 4 times during that week. It was such a buzzkill, I almost said something to the front desk.

    • notquitecece

      That is a HUGE pet peeve for me. I always get irrationally angry at the singer for being so unsupportive/self-centered about his girlfriend’s abortion. Like, really? You’re just going to wander around whining about your feelings?

      • ART

        No kidding, that song (besides being one of the most depressing, no redeeming emotions songs in the history of music) just gives me this feeling in the pit of my stomach like OMG why, why did any of this happen and why are you telling me about it, now I dislike you and I’m terribly sad. It was a really weird song to hear multiple times on our honeymoon. I think I will write to them, now that I’m transported back to that feeling.

        • Erin

          I just looked up the lyrics and now this makes so much more sense! I thought you meant “Brick,” as in “Houuuuse! Mighty might just lettin’ it all hang out…” And that seems totally honeymoon worthy to me!

  • Kara E

    Probably on the no-no list, but we danced to “Almost Like Being in Love” (we had a jazz/swing band). It’s about…almost being in love, but it’s such a sweet falling in love song (the guy is in denial) that we both got a kick out of it. Perhaps some people thought it was awkward, but we did pick it on purpose. And my dad and I danced to the childhood lullaby that he always sang. Between that and singing it at my G’pa’s funeral, I can’t sing it to my own daughter yet….

    • ART

      Oh, I love that song, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, he’s just being silly. Plus I love Brigadoon even though it’s ridiculous, so I actually had that song stuck in my head the whole morning of the wedding :)

  • Guest

    I don’t understand why people are using “Make you feel my love” by Adele for a first dance (because- listen to the lyrics), when they could be using her song “One and only” much better for a wedding :)

  • Alison M

    Part of me feels like it is not a real dance party unless you play Ginuwine – Pony. But another part of me is very worried that my grandma will stay too late and be horrified.

    • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

      I’m fighting to add Ginuwine to the play list for sure. That and ‘Push It’ scream ‘dance party’ to me. Ah, the 90s.

      • Hannah B

        totally played “Push It” at my wedding, right after “This is how we do it”

  • Caitlin_DD

    My Sharona… ugh….

  • macaroni

    This! I’d like to add “Two” by Ryan Adams and “Jolene” by Ray LaMontagne. I have an acquaintance that uses the “It takes two when it used to take one” line in reference to her marriage (like with hashtags on pics of her & her husband) and all I can think is “Isn’t that song about breaking up?” Ditto with “Jolene” – it was my fiancé’s song with his ex right before me. When he told me that I (perhaps insensitively) said “Well that was doomed from the start.” :/

    • ART

      OMG Jolene (Dolly Parton…). Great song, BUT. How could any version of that be a “their/our song”??! That slowed-down version that was going around a few months ago was like a dagger to the heart.

      • ART

        ohh LOL different song. WHEW. Still though – off to look up your version’s lyrics!

        • macaroni

          Haha I was going to reply with the lyrics! Admittedly I think it was more her song that made her think about him (or something, she’s a bit wacky), but it’s definitely not a happy song. And oh god if someone said Dolly’s “Jolene” was their song I would be very sad for them indeed.

          Ray’s lyrics just in case!
          http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/raylamontagne/jolene.html

  • Kelsey

    So this isn’t first dance, but rather father-daughter, but I sincerely wish that my mom wouldn’t have revolted at the thought of my dad and I dancing to “Man needs a maid/Heart of gold” live at Massey Hall by Neil Young. While some people hear the song and think its about a guy who’s a misogynist jerk, it’s actually about a young man realizing the fact that love is scary, and if you’re not ready to put yourself out there you’re not ready for a real relationship. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my parent’s very unhappy marriage it’s “To give a love, you gotta live a love. To live a love, you gotta be part of”. It’s the advice my dad is too afraid to give me, in song form. Plus the fact that my dad and I have shared our love for that album since I was little and we would play it full blast in his truck.

  • KH_Tas

    I (and Bernard Fanning, who wrote it) would nominate “On my mind” by Powderfinger (was that one well known outside Aus?)

  • rebeccastob

    I think the most inappropriate song I heard at a wedding was It wasn’t me by Shaggy – it was lateish in the wedding so I think everyone was just having a good time dancing and liquored up but getting caught cheating and denying it doesn’t seem very wedding appropriate.

    • Ally

      HAHAHA! that is amazing. it actually would have gone over pretty well with my friends at our wedding, but I can’t even imagine actually playing it.

  • Sarah

    I love the idea of playing ‘Jackson’ as an exit song… it’s fun, it mentions marriage, and I was introduced to Johnny Cash by my beloved. It’s totally inappropriate lyrics-wise (“We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout, We’ve been talkin’ ’bout Jackson, ever since the fire went out”), but in every clip I’ve seen Johnny Cash and June Carter seem to have glints in their eyes!

  • http://alithompsonart.com/ Ali

    Bound 2! :D I think we’re going to play Bound 2 at the reception, just because we’ve watched the video together so many times that it’s now A Thing in our relationship.

  • JDrives

    MAN I wish “Stay With Me” was about something else, perfect first dance song.

  • Travs

    Ooh I’ve been waiting to see if this topic would be discussed! My FH and I have picked Sam Cooke’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” as our first dance, which is definitely a breakup song. Really, it’s just an awesome song we both love, which is why we picked it. When my sister got married recently they first-danced to Screamin Jay Hawkins “I Put a Spell on You” and it was one of the highlights of the wedding! I don’t think the first dance song has to be a typical “love song” necessarily. (Although, that said, years ago my other sister had to veto the Ben Folds Five song “Brick” from her wedding DJ’s playlist, which I can’t imagine why anyone might think that was wedding-appropriate tune…yikes!)

    • ART

      hah! see “Brick” discussion elsewhere in the comment thread – I actually did get my honeymoon B&B to delete it from their playlist as well. Eep.

      • Travs

        Haha amazing! I think my sister’s actual instruction to the DJ upon noticing that was “no abortion songs at my wedding please.”

  • anonemoose

    I once heard Flame Trees by Cold Chisel played at a wedding. I don’t know if anyone outside Australia knows that song, but it’s definitely not romantic.

  • B.

    I can’t lie – I definitively do NOT understand the usage of “No Children” by The Mountain Goats as a wedding first song…which I’ve seen more times than I really would have ever expected. I’ve yet to hear an explanation that makes up for the horribly bleak, alcoholic, depressing lyrics that imply emotional abuse and destruction, including the ones that try to claim that it’s about loving each other through the hard times and how love can be twisted sometimes. To me, no matter how it’s sugar coated, it’s still a song about a fundamentally dysfunctional relationship and about two people who hate each other, even if they still rely on each other in a disturbing, co-dependent way. Not exactly something to seek in a marriage.

  • JZ

    True story: just the other day I was listening to “Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins (okay, okay, it was in “If I Stay”) and I thought “that might be a lovely first dance song!”
    Um, yeah. It’s about feeling suicidal.

  • Lindsay Rae

    I asked my father if he had a song in mind for our dance together… and he said that I should pick because I know the lyrics of songs better, that he hates listening to a song he thinks is nice and then by verse two realizes it’s about drugs. HA!

  • H

    I’m really late chiming in, but THE craziest first dance pick I ever heard at a wedding was (not kidding) “Dust in the Wind”. What a downer! O_O

  • E.K.

    A co-worker told me that her sister picked Jimmy Eat World’s “Hear You Me” and I was shocked. It’s beautiful song that I love, but the bridge definitely references death.

  • kjb

    Oooops! We love Make You Feel My Love by Adele :(
    Didn’t realize it wasn’t wedding appropriate!