reception dinner playlist

Capitol Inspiration: A Sample Reception Dinner Playlist

You remember Brad & Amanda’s awesome, modern DC wedding with all the music inspired details? Well Brad is back AGAIN to share their reception dinner playlist for all of you looking for the perfect music to play during your cocktails or seated dinner.

Reception Dinner Playlist Song Suggestions:

Brad shares:

While being a DJ the music probably was the thing I was most particular about, but second to that was the food, after eating at hundreds of weddings over the years I wanted something a little different, Amanda is a vegetarian that eats seafood, while I love Cuban sandwiches and chicken so we tired to get a unique mix that was within our budget.

For [the] Dinner [Playlist] I continued to intersperse song suggestions from our guests response cards, but took into consideration that people wanted to talk and so I toned it down a bit from the cocktail mix.

As you will see next, Brad took some SERIOUS consideration into each and every song that was played at their wedding. But I guess, what else do you expect from a music-loving, DJ by night, groom?

The Ultimate Wedding Dinner Song Playlist:

1.The Best is Yet to Come-Tony Bennett: My wife’s family are big Tony Bennett fans, so it was a perfect song to kick off the dinner.

2. LOVE-Nat King Cole: This song is very recognizable, upbeat and elegant so it fit right in.

3. Is You Or Is You Ain’t My Baby-Renee Olstead- I put this in for my parents and aunts and uncles, I gave them copies of her CD when it came out in 2004 and they all loved it.

4. Knock Me A Kiss-Louis Jordan- This was a song for a friend of mine from college that was at the wedding with her husband and I just so happened to DJ their wedding and this was their first dance.

5. Summer Wind- Frank Sinatra:  This is my wife’s father’s favorite Frank Sinatra song.

6. Only You-The Platters: This was a song that my wife’s aunt and uncle put this on their response card.  They are big Doo-Wop fans. When it came on during dinner, they got up and danced to it.

7. Shining Star-The Manhattans: This was a song my wife picked out, it was one of her favorite songs growing up.

8. 3 Little Birds-Bob Marley:  I knew we had several Bob Marley fans in the crowd and this song is real nice for a wedding dinner.

9. Shower the People-James Taylor: Another of my wife’s family’s favorite songs, they are big James Taylor fans.

10. (Lights Went Out in) Massachusetts- The Bee Gees: My wife’s family is from Boston and she said this was a family favorite for all of them growing up.

11. Of course I had to have a little fun and include a few things for myself so after the Bee Gees track I cut in the intro of Eazy-E’s Radio where it sounds like a radio tuning dial going through the stations, then before the song kicks in I cut into a St Ides commercial with Ice Cube and The Geto Boys, a heavily sought after rarity by 90’s rap fans.  I didn’t know how I was really going to work something like that in, but this rare 60 second commercial track was a nice little surprise for some of my friends at the wedding that recognized it.  I then blended into the instrumental version of Dr. Octagon’s Earth People for about a minute, since my wife thought the original version with the lyrics was a bit too much.

12.  Destiny-Zero 7:  My wife and I are both Zero 7 fans, we saw them in concert at the 9:30 club in DC a couple times over the years and own all their albums. This is my wife’s all-time favorite Zero 7 track, but there are a lot of Zero 7 songs that work well for dinner mixes.

13. Rien Ne Va Plus- Funk Factory: This is an extremely rare and hard to find chill 70’s funk track it was used in the Beasties Boys song Car Thief off of Paul’s Boutique. I got it off an import CD series called Right On! Rare Break Beats and Grooves, but it is now finally available on itunes.

14. C.R.E.A.M- El Michels Affair: This is a jazzy soul instrumental version of the Wu-Tang Clan song, the group has an entire CD of these instrumental covers of Wu-Tang tracks.

15. Insects Are All Around Us-Money Mark: I discovered this song off of Money Mark’s album Keyboard Repair on the legendary Mo Wax label when I was a freshman in college. Money Mark is the Beasties Boy’s key boardist and this was one of the most interesting CDs I had ever bought at the time.

16. Love and Happiness-Monty Alexander:  I read about this song on a blog a few years ago, it is an instrumental cover of Al Green’s Love and Happiness, I searched for it for years, I could not find it as a download, on a used CD, or on vinyl. Then one day I came across an import CD called Strange Funky Games and Things, it was filled with rare and hard to find funk and soul songs and this track was on it!  I had to put this in the dinner mix.

17. Zou Bisou, Bisou-Jessica Pare: My wife and I are big fans of Mad Men and this song was sung in the show by Jessica Pare who plays Megan Draper.  I had been getting some requests over the past couple of years for French pop songs and they sound kind of nice during dinner or cocktails, so this song worked out great and was recognized by our other Mad Men fans in the crowd, I also had a friend at the wedding that is from Paris.

18. Everything-Michael Buble: We had a lot of Buble fans in our crowd and one of the Bridesmaids had her first wedding dance to a Buble song.

19. Mandolin Rain-Bruce Hornsby: This was another favorite song of my wife’s and I never knew it until I was working on the dinner mix. I wondered what other favorite songs she had been keeping secret until our wedding.

20. This Must Be The Place- Talking Heads: I have always been a Talking Heads fan since I was a little kid, I loved their videos in the 80s, one of my favorites was Wild Wild Life. I found out at my sister’s wedding that my brother in law is also a fan, so I added this track in the dinner mix.

21. You Are The Best Thing-Ray LaMontagne: This song is very fitting for a wedding and is a favorite artist of my wife’s and several of our guests that were at the wedding. I’ve played a few of his songs for first dances over the years.

22. You Are the Sunshine of My Life-Stevie Wonder: This was the only song that came up twice on our response cards, so I felt I had to put it in the mix.

23. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You-Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: This was another first dance for friends of mine where I was the DJ for their wedding.

Now THAT is a thoughtful, carefully planned out playlist! Thanks so much for sharing Brad!

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