The Least Appropriate Wedding Songs Ever

A wedding couple enjoys their first dance.
Ned Frisk/Getty Images

Planning a wedding involves a lot of decision-making. After all, not only is it the bride and groom's special day, but it also necessitates being special in front of as many people as they can afford to feed. Sometimes, between deciding on the cummerbund color, the bachelor-party policy and the cake flavor, the music styling can get lost. All Things Considered recently asked its listeners and commenters to send in stories about the worst choices for wedding songs they've ever encountered.

Apparently, there's no shortage of people who make misguided choices for wedding processions, father-daughter dances, cake-cuttings and everything in between. Here are five of the least appropriate songs ever heard at weddings, but if you've heard something even worse, send us your story.

The Least Appropriate Wedding Songs Ever

Judy Collins' 'Judith'

Send in the Clowns

  • Artist: Judy Collins
  • Album: Judith
  • Song: Send in the Clowns

At my first wedding in Tahoe, we quickly found a minister to perform the ceremony without discussing the details. Everything seemed fine as I walked up to the preacher, except that the bridesmaid was doubled-over in laughter. I was only vaguely listening to the lyrics... --Darol Allen In 1978, my sister walked down the aisle to "Send in the Clowns." My mother picked it out, and to this day defends her choice. --Carrie Yankello Wow! Someone else chose "Send in the Clowns"? That was the best laugh my date and I ever had at a wedding. --Teresa Labella

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  • "Send in the Clowns"
  • Album: Judith
  • Artist: Judy Collins
  • Label: Asylum
  • Released: 1975
 
The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin''

You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

  • Artist: The Righteous Brothers
  • Album: 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
  • Song: You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

My husband has been a wedding DJ for over 20 years. He has lots of stories about weird wedding song choices, but my favorite is the couple that requested "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " for their first dance. Stunningly oblivious to the lyrics, or even just the title, they explained: "But we love Top Gun!" --Dana Robb

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  • "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"
  • Album: 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
  • Artist: The Righteous Brothers
  • Label: Polydor
  • Released: 2006
 
Louis Prima's 'Wildest'

Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody

  • Artist: Louis Prima
  • Album: Wildest! [Expanded]
  • Song: Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody

During the '80s, one of my cousins got married for the second time. Since her first was an elopement, she did a nice job with a church, harp and flute with organ for the music. It was all quite dignified; her father performed the ceremony. The reception was on the ocean, also very nice. When the master of ceremonies introduced the couple for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. XXX, the wedding band played "Just a Gigolo." Everyone under the age of 30 erupted into hysterical laughter. --Elisabeth Powers

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  • "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody"
  • Album: Wildest!
  • Artist: Louis Prima
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Released: 2002
 
Frank Sinatra's 'The Capitol Years'

The Lady Is a Tramp

  • Artist: Frank Sinatra
  • Album: The Capitol Years
  • Song: The Lady Is a Tramp

At our wedding party with a live band of musician colleagues of my husband, Howard was persuaded to get on stage and sing. He serenaded me with "The Lady Is a Tramp" in the style of Tom Waits. Unbelievably, we're about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. --Jennifer Hollingsworth [Editor's note: Some people find this song touching. But, as subtle and sophisticated as the lyrics may be, repeatedly singing the word "tramp" in the direction of one's new wife isn't to be encouraged.]

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  • "The Lady Is a Tramp"
  • Album: The Capitol Years
  • Artist: Frank Sinatra
  • Label: Capitol
  • Released: 1990
 
Carlo Bergonzi's 'The Sublime Voice'

Verdi: 'La donna e mobile' (Rigoletto)

  • Artist: Carlo Bergonzi
  • Album: Carlo Bergonzi: The Sublime Voice
  • Song: Verdi: 'La donna e mobile' (Rigoletto)

I attended a wedding where La donna e mobile from Verdi's Rigoletto was sung. I couldn't believe it! The translation from the Italian is "Anyone who trusts her is always wretched; he who opens his heart to her is lacking in caution." Did they really understand the lyrics? --Mike Comer

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  • "Verdi: 'La donna e mobile' (Rigoletto)"
  • Album: Carlo Bergonzi: The Sublime Voice
  • Artist: Carlo Bergonzi
  • Label: Decca
  • Released: 2001
 

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