21 Wedding Songs You Might Want to Skip (Because Other Couples Definitely Do)

Did any of these songs make your wedding do-not-play list?
by Amy Levin-Epstein and Parker Butler
Bride as DJ at wedding reception
photo by STACY HART PHOTOGRAPHY

We're not saying these are terrible songs (okay, to be honest, we're not huge "Chicken Dance" fans), but many couples choose to put these 22 songs on the do-not-play list. What do you think about these controversial wedding jams? 

  1. 1. "Celebration," by Kool & The Gang

    Why Skip It: Unless you want your wedding to have something in common with every eighth grade graduation that's ever taken place in a school gym, you might want to tell your DJ or band to skip this one.

  2. 2. "Cha Cha Slide," by DJ Casper

    Why Skip It: We're guessing you and your guests have the ability to come up with your own dance moves, so let's nix this step-by-step group dance lesson.

  3. 3. "We Are Family," by Sister Sledge

    Why Skip It: It's your wedding—we know your family is there. Plus, it'll be stuck in your head for weeks and weeks after the wedding (and not in a good way).

  4. 4. "Hot in Herre," by Nelly

    Why Skip It: This is a stand-in for all the overplayed, inappropriate club songs that have a tendency to creep into weddings. As a general rule, avoid songs with references to "juice" and stripping (unless you have the world's most open-minded grandparents and super-mature flower girls).

  5. 5. "I Gotta Feeling," by The Black Eyed Peas

    Why Skip It: After years of being played at every Sweet 16, bar mitzvah and prom, we're betting even Fergie would agree that it's time to give this one a rest.

  6. 6. "YMCA," by Village People

    Why Skip It: The fact that everyone knows the words, everyone knows the dance and it fits lots of occasions—between innings at a baseball game, for instance—does not automatically qualify this song as a must at your wedding.

  7. 7. "Chicken Dance"

    Why Skip It: At a wedding, everyone's dressed to the nines and feeling festive. Is this really the best time to make people flap their arms in front of everyone else?

  8. 8. "Every Breath You Take," by The Police

    Why Skip It: The Police are legendary, but the tune is a little high school dance-ish (and honestly the lyrics are kind of creepy in the context of marriage).

  9. 9. "Macarena," by Los Del Rio

    Why Skip It: You may know how to do the dance—but do you really want to? Besides, everyone has a few certain relatives they'd rather not see get down with that hip-swivel move.

  10. 10. "Stayin' Alive," by Bee Gees

    Why Skip It: There aren't too many people who know more than one line and one dance move to this song—leave "Stayin' Alive" to the Saturday Night Fever reruns.

  11. 11. "Total Eclipse of the Heart," by Bonnie Tyler

    Why Skip It: This song is worth skipping if only to avoid any guest from reenacting the profanity-laced rendition made famous from Will Ferrell's wedding in Old School.

  12. 12. "My Heart Will Go On," by Celine Dion

    Why Skip It: We're not passing judgment on Celine (she's an absolute legend for so many reasons), but Titanic propelled this song into the realm of romance cliché. Besides, given the devastating nature of the movie, this song feels a bit tragic for a wedding.

  13. 13. "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," by C+C Music Factory

    Why Skip It: There's a dance floor, there's music and it's a wedding. Your guests will know when it's time to dance—there's no need to weave it not-so-subtly into the lyrics.

  14. 14. "Love Shack," by The B-52s

    Why to Skip It: If the super-repetitive chorus of this song isn't enough of a reason to put this song squarely on your blacklist, its "overplayed to death" status definitely will.

  15. 15. "Mony Mony," by Billy Idol

    Why Skip It: Not sure what Billy Idol is singing in this song? Nobody else is, either. When that's the case, a good 10 percent of sing-alongers will find a way to say something objectionable.

  16. 16. "The Hokey Pokey"

    Why Skip It: Despite popular belief (and the lyrics), this children's dance tune is not what it's all about—especially on your reception dance floor. Odds are most of your guests will know when to put their right foot in and their left elbows out without having to be told. 


  17. 17. "Cupid Shuffle," by Cupid

    Why Skip It: A dance-along tune is entertaining for a minute or so but the repetitive moves soon become boring. Save your guests from feeling trapped on the dance floor by leaving this song in the mid-2000s where it belongs. 

  18. 18. "Happy," by Pharrell Williams

    Why Skip It: It might be a feel-good tune, but you can't deny it's been a bit overplayed. Your guests are likely to have heard this song one too many times, so make them happy by not having to sing about it. 

  19. 19. "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynard Skynard

    Why Skip It: This song might be a hit in a few places in the South, but not everyone wants to hear it at a wedding reception. 

  20. 20. "Turn Down for What," by DJ Snake and Lil Jon

    Why Skip It: When this song's beat drops, so will your guests' dancing moods. Leave it off the playlist to avoid its repetitive lyrics and an ear-numbing bass. 


  21. 21. "Electric Boogie," by Marcia Griffiths

    Why Skip It: Skip all of those redundant, step-by-step line dances at your reception and let your guests boogie down with their own moves (instructions not included). 

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