Playlist: Now Featuring Your Weddings!

Over the past few months, we’ve loved getting to know the APW community better through your musical choices. Better yet, we love that this feature allows us to use the community’s great taste to build wedding playlists that rock and, more importantly, are useful.

But recently it occurred to us that something might be missing from the way we’re currently approaching music: actual wedding playlists. Because it’s one thing to have a huge list of first dance songs in front of you to choose from, but it’s another thing entirely when you can see how other couples have put together their wedding musically holistically over the course of the whole day.

So here’s how this goes. We want your wedding music. So if you loved your wedding playlist, then head over to our submissions page and drop us a line with the following:

  • Your Name and Your Partner’s Name
  • Three to five photos of your wedding
  • Eight to twelve songs featured at your wedding, and what they were used for
  • One sentence sum up of your wedding’s vibe

And voila. If your wedding music is chosen, it’ll show up in a post much like this one.

For the most part, these are going to be highlight posts, like this one. But, if you are one of those people who breathes music, or if you were just particularly pleased with your self-DJed reception, we want your playlists too (if you’re willing to share). So if you think this might be you, then you can also head over to our submissions page and send in all of the above, except you should include the whole set list. We won’t be able to create a playlist with all the songs you include, but we will be able to format your playlist so that others can download the set list and make it their own. Hurrah for sharing!

I for one am thrilled to listen to the results and to experience your weddings through a totally different medium. In the meantime, since this is a new feature, we thought we’d kick off the inaugural run with a staff playlist. So today, I hope you enjoy my relaxed, beachy wedding set to ukuleles and hair metal. For the three of you out there who love Styx, today is for you.

Beach Wedding Mix from practicalmaddie on 8tracks Radio.

Maddie’s Wedding Mix

  1. Family Processional: “One Love” by Bob Marley
  2. Wedding Party Processional: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  3. Bridal Processional: “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
  4. Recessional: “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, as performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  5. Replacement First Dance Song: “Come Sail Away” by Styx*
  6. Parent Dance: “Changes” by Kelly Osbourne, featuring Ozzy Osbourne
  7. Parent Dance: “God Speed, Sweet Dreams” by The Dixie Chicks
  8. Last Dance: “Renegade” by Styx

*Our actual first dance song was an original song written and performed by my uncle, which is sadly not available on the internet.

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  • Class of 1980

    What about a sixties/seventies playlist of mine that wasn’t created for a wedding?

    It’s the songs I loved as a child.

    • meg

      DO IT.

      • Class of 1980

        Well, okay then! ;)

        • fermi

          Please do!

  • Zoe

    I’m SO glad this is happening! I’m using DJ iPod for my wedding in July and, despite being very musical and marrying another musician, we are struggling. I really really really hope someone who loved their reception playlist chimes in! Don’t be shy, ladies!

  • carrie


  • Katherine

    YES!!!! Thank you for this!!! I can’t wait to see all the submissions! We’re self-dj’ing our wedding next year and I’m fretting over making it all work. I have a 4 & 1/2-hour playlist already set up, but it’s continually getting additions/deletions as I listen to it over & over to figure out what works & what doesn’t. This playlists idea is perfect!!

  • Steph

    Just have to tell you Maddie how much I love your choice of ceremony music! I love the wedding we had, but part of me will always yearn for the beachside wedding fantasy I had in my head (however, when it rained cats and dogs on our wedding day I felt so validated in my decision to not spend an entire year stressing over the weather)

    • MDBethann

      As one of your bridesmaids, I was grateful for an indoor ceremony too. :-)

      You’ll just have to renew your vows at the beach some day :-)

  • Samantha

    Yes! Thank you for helping make self-djers lives easier and more fruitful!

  • I have to believe there’s more than three of us who love Styx.

    • carrie

      Ummmm…I was singing Renegade at the top of lungs in the car this morning and considered “Oh, mama, I’m afraid for my life…” lyrics as my FB status. I do this every time I hear that song.

    • Rebekah

      You bet your buns. Their Best Of cd has been on repeat for a month in my car.

      • Maddie

        I love you all.

  • Sam

    So how does the music for the ceremony thing work? Obviously the songs are longer than it takes to walk down an aisle. So do you just cut them off? Or do you do some work ahead of time and edit them down somehow (um HOW?)? This is a mystery for me that has been floating in the back of my head trying to ignore. Cuz I don’t have time for that shit!

    • Lizzie

      Our wedding wasn’t very formal, so this might not work for everyone, but we had a single processional song for everyone. It was still too long, but it was also kinda repetitive and had no words (instrumental-only version of Us by Regina Spektor:, so we had a friend who understands basic musical phrasing controlling the music and once we were all in place, she just faded the volume down then shut it off. I asked her pretty last-minute to do it and she spent maybe 15 minutes checking out our sound system before the ceremony. I think we gave her a bottle of wine as thanks. We were all about simplicity.

  • Caroline

    Thank you! This is so exciting. I’m particularly exited to see the stylists of people’s FULL playlists, so please submit those too!

  • I’m really excited about this! And I too hope to see playlists for the full reception. I thought it would be so easy to think of all the best dance songs off the top of my head, but somehow it’s not.

    • One More Sara

      I was just thinking about that for the next themed playlist: best dance party starting songs, or just favorite songs to hear at a wedding. Sweet Caroline is hands down at the top of my list for that. (I made my SIL’s husband play it at his 30th bday when there were too many drunk people near the playlist, and it was one of the only songs that was actually played through the end.)

    • I keep a “Dance Party” list on my phone (have for years!) full of songs to play at dance parties. Anytime I’m at a party or a wedding or anything and something’s played that gets everyone dancing, I write it down!

      That said, I think a Dance Party playlist very much depends on your guests. For my friends, you could just put on R Kelly’s greatest hits and we’d be happy all night. Other people hate R&B and hip hop and want something else, like 60s music or Neil Diamond.

    This is amaaaaaaazing *______*

  • One of the things I’ve had to “let go of” for my wedding is a DJ . . . that is, I didn’t want one, and my fiance (WHO DOESN’T EVEN DANCE!) does. I mean, I understand his reasoning – sound system, having someone in charge of the music, someone to announce when toasts are, etc, but I’m still miffed about it. I really want to hand the DJ my playlist and make him play only that, but I’m guessing that would be pretty rude.

    • Emilie

      Are you me? So glad to hear I’m not the only one with this problem.

    • No it wouldn’t be rude! We did exactly that. We got frustrated with the prices of DJs so we decided to do it ourselves, but then a friend recommended a guy who DJs as a hobby, and since I was very specific about what I wanted played (and NOT played), I just gave him a list and he was totally fine with it! Any good DJ should be willing to play all the songs you want, even if it’s like, almost the whole reception!

  • I would love to see some “Getting Ready Playlists” too! I know that’s largely personal taste, but I’m looking for upbeat suggestions that I can play as we all get our hair and makeup done. I don’t think my usual showtumes/Ani DiFranco/ Tori Amos is going to cut it. :-)

  • Katie

    What happened to the Recessional Songs playlist you said you would do?! It was mentioned in the Unexpected Parent Dance songs post.

  • albert

    I suppose I’ve selected an unbelievable and interesting
    watch tv