These 26 "Do Not Play" Wedding Songs Are a Hard Pass

Consult your band or DJ for fresh replacements for these annoying, corny and overplayed tunes.
Bride recording band playing at wedding reception
Photo: Anton Brehov / Shutterstock
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
by
Taylor Carson
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
Taylor Carson
The Knot Contributor
  • Taylor writes wedding venue roundups for The Knot.
  • Taylor was formerly the Assistant Managing Editor at Philadelphia magazine, and she continues to freelance for Philadelphia’s lifestyle and wedding verticals.
  • She received her degree in journalism, with a minor in English, from Temple University.
Updated Apr 15, 2024

Once you've booked your DJ or band, chatting with them about songs you love and those you'd rather avoid is a good idea. As part of this task, they'll likely task you with providing a list of "do not play" wedding songs. It may be hard to remember all the cheesy, overplayed or just plain inappropriate songs you absolutely do not want to play during your wedding. That's why we're here to help.

Below, browse 26 popular tracks that may evoke negative vibes. From classic wedding line dance songs to radio hits from this millennium, these "do not play" wedding songs may have fallen off your radar—but, unless you're a superfan, they likely won't be missed from your wedding playlist. Avoid them to keep everyone on the dance floor all night long. Once you've perused the list below and crafted a draft "do not play" list, bring your notes to your music vendor for review. They may have some song suggestions to add. Moreover, your music vendor is a great resource for all your questions and concerns as you're preparing to boogie the night away.

1. "The Chicken Dance," by Werner Thomas

"The Chicken Dance" song and accompanying choreography are probably ingrained in your brain—and guests'—from childhood. Like many other line dances on this list, it's better to leave off your playlist because it may cause those in attendance to evacuate the dance floor.

2. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)," by Beyonce

While "Single Ladies" can be a nice tribute to those who are single at your event, after spending 15-plus years on wedding playlists everywhere, it's somewhat overdone at this point. Plus, with the release of 2024's Cowboy Carter, the musical icon has many more current hits you can play in its place. Ask your DJ to queue up "Texas Hold 'Em" instead and watch all your pals flocks to the dance floor.

3. "Electric Boogie (The Electric Slide)," by Marcia Griffiths

Like "The Chicken Dance," the Electric Slide—both song and dance—can be extremely polarizing for people. The disco-style dance song was popular in its heyday, but it may be better left in the past at this point.

4. "Cupid Shuffle," by Cupid

The "Cupid Shuffle," originating in 2007, is a more modern line dance. However, after more than a decade in the spotlight being featured on playlists at weddings and special events, it is joining the ranks of other do-not-play wedding songs.

5. "Wobble," by V.I.C.

V.I.C.'s "Wobble" took the world by storm when it was released in 2009. But like other line dances on this list, it can be hit or miss among guests at your wedding.

6. "Cha-Cha Slide," by Mr C The Slide Man

You may be noticing a pattern with line dances at this point. The "Cha-Cha Slide," while a massive hit in decades past, is now one of the most-banned songs at weddings.

7. "Macarena," by Los Del Rio

The "Macarena" is another line dance track often banned from wedding playlists by couples. Why? You may have found it catchy or fun in earlier years, but now it can seem childlike or annoying.

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8. "Cotton Eye Joe," by Rednex

Rednex's "Cotton Eye Joe" may evoke feelings in guests more than any other line dance—and not necessarily in a good way. The tune has a torrid and problematic history; It is sure to have many guests heading back to their seats, the bathroom or the bar.

9. "Party Rock Anthem," by LMFAO (ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock)

LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" used to be the hype song for special events. (It even has two billion plays on YouTube.) But after a decade of constant exposure to the song, your guests may be over it.

10. "Happy," by Pharrell Williams

Despite its name, the 2014 hit "Happy" is quite annoying to many due to how much it has been overplayed in the past decade. Leaving it off your playlist will help you avoid eye rolls or sighs from guests who've heard it enough.

11. "Can't Stop the Feeling," by Justin Timberlake

Whether it's because "Can't Stop the Feeling" shot to the top of the charts as the lead single from the Trolls soundtrack or because it then was played on the radio seemingly every few minutes, many people feel overexposed to this Timberlake tune. Replace it on your wedding playlist with something more current.

12. "Shut Up and Dance," by WALK THE MOON

WALK THE MOON's "Shut Up and Dance" is a great song. But after a decade, its near-guaranteed spot on wedding playlists should be opened up to something more modern (and potentially less annoying) to guests. This is where you can lean on the pros–ask your band or DJ for their recs of fresh songs to replace this bop.

13. "Uptown Funk," by Mark Ronson (ft. Bruno Mars)

To put it simply, yes, "Uptown Funk" is a smash hit. However, it's one many people have had enough of. Keep the dance floor lively by leaving it off your playlist.

14. "Who Let the Dogs Out," by Baha Men

In 2007, "Who Let the Dogs Out" ranked number three on Rolling Stones' list of the 20 most annoying songs, proving the song has been irritating listeners for many years. Save spots in your playlist for songs that are instead beloved.

15. "All About That Bass," by Meghan Trainor

2014's "All About That Bass" was a trailblazer when it was released, but today many are tired of hearing it. It may even stir up a negative reaction in some guests, so it's better to leave off your list.

16. "Baby Shark," by Pinkfong

Believe it or not, playing "Baby Shark" at a wedding has been done before. Even if you have kids in attendance, save everyone from getting this song stuck in their heads by giving it top placement on your do-not-play list.

17. "The Hokey Pokey," by Ray Anthony

"The Hokey Pokey" is yet another sing-and-dance-along song that should be left off your playlist. Although many guests could likely sing along to the lyrics off the cuff, the song is often played at children's events.

18. "Old Town Road," by Lil Nas X (ft. Billy Ray Cyrus)

2019's "Old Town Road" was a highly requested reception song just a few years ago. Today, however, it may come across as annoying and/or overplayed.

19. "Shape of You," by Ed Sheeran

Similarly, Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You"—a smash hit in 2017—has since become very polarizing. Some guests may be happy to hear it, while others might find it overhyped, inappropriate or just plain unenjoyable. There are so many great Ed Sheeran wedding songs out there, so you can easily find an alternative.

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

The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" has stood the test of time, but it is also a frequent member of "do not play" lists at weddings. Guests, it seems, are simply over hearing it.

21. "A Thousand Years," by Christina Perri

"A Thousand Years" very well may be the most overused first dance song for couples. Unless you are dead set on using it yourself, we caution against having it play during your big day.

22. "YMCA," by Village People

"YMCA" is another song that frequently makes "do not play" and "most banned" wedding songs lists. It's a cliche tune at weddings and events.

23. "Celebration," by Kool & The Gang

"Celebration" is also a cliche wedding song, with lyrics that are a little too literal for your wedding celebration. Guests may take a bathroom or beverage break at this point in the night.

24. "Get Low," by Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz (ft. Ying Yang Twins)

Like others on this list, "Get Low" was a go-to party song at its peak. However, it has since become an obvious—and, to some, annoying—choice for receptions.

25. "Gangnam Style," by PSY

"Gangnam Style" is all the things that make a song not great for weddings—overplayed, annoying and a little cringe. And with more than five billion plays on YouTube and 400 million on Spotify, it's safe to assume people have heard it enough.

26. "Sweet Caroline," by Neil Diamond

Playing "Sweet Caroline" at a wedding can be controversial. Your guests may love it or roll their eyes. If it's a song you're considering including, think about your party and whether or not it will be enjoyed.

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