Today on All Things Considered, listeners were invited to submit their stories about inappropriate songs heard at weddings. Please join the conversation in the comments section below.
A "friend" of mine is getting married this weekend, and I'll be supplying the music for the reception. My iPod will act as a virtual DJ, randomly grabbing songs from an eight-hour playlist I've put together. I originally thought I'd plan out every minute, putting every track in a specific order so that the slower, more reflective, romantic tunes come early in the evening while the faster-tempo songs come later, but that proved to be way too much work. So I've been testing the playlist out this week, just listening in the background as it randomly grabs various songs, and it seems to be working. Every now and then, I'll cut one that sounds out of place.
This isn't a playlist designed to get people dancing, though there are definitely songs in it that could. And I didn't want it to just be a bunch of mushy love songs. It's mostly meant to be background party music, so I went for a mix of classic romantic songs, like Chet Baker doing "Let's Get Lost" or Nat King Cole singing "Stardust," alongside current pop and rock like Peter Bjorn and John's "Objects of My Affection" or Benji Hughes doing "All You Have to Do Is Fall in Love." There are some wistful moments, like DeVotchka's "You Love Me"; funny moments, like Flight of the Conchords doing "Business Time"; and a lot of classic funk and soul. Really, if you want to get a party going, all you really need is a collection of James Brown tunes.
You can download a pdf of my entire eight-hour playlist for more ideas. But if I could only give 10 songs, I think these would work. It's a mix of some slower, more thoughtful songs and some tracks to get you moving:
"Find Love" by Clem Snide, from Soft Spot
"My Sweet Hunk of Trash" by Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong, from The Complete Decca Recordings
"Harvest Moon" by Neil Young, from Harvest Moon
"Cobrastyle" by Teddybears, from Soft Machine
"The Book of Love" by Magnetic Fields, from 69 Love Songs
"Song for You" by Alexi Murdoch, from Truth Without Consequence
"Objects of My Affection" by Peter Bjorn and John, from Writer's Block
"A-Punk" by Vampire Weekend, from Vampire Weekend
"My Baby Just Cares for Me" by Nina Simone, from Anthology (This is a very odd video, but the only one I could find with the original song)
"Get Up" by James Brown, from 20 Greatest Hits (Not much to see in this video, but the audio is good)
Here's a 2007 Morning Edition story about wedding music that NPR Music producer Stephen Thompson put together.
And here are some more love songs from a Valentine's Day list we put together a while back.
Tell us your favorite wedding party songs in the comments section below.