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i’ve got a rock & roll heart: my top ten wedding songs

June 5, 2015

044-jagger-theredlistI got engaged this past weekend and we’ve set a wedding date for later this summer. Of course, one of my first wedding planning tasks is creating the ultimate playlist. Me being me, I am handpicking every song. It’s a slow process and I usually sit down and add just a few at a time, then I use the playlist as it forms for background music whenever I’m cooking or cleaning, that way if I somehow hit a sour note in my selections I can make changes as needed. Or if my fiancée walks in while the playlist is rolling and says something like “I hate this song” I can at least consider removing it…. (Joking. Mostly… He’s stuck with me now.) I’m an Event Planner by trade – so ordering rentals and catering and figuring out logistics comes pretty easily and doesn’t inherently get me very enthused. But building this playlist is probably the aspect of the wedding planning that I am most pumped about (take that, dress shopping).

My best friend got married three years ago and he handpicked every song on his wedding playlists and I can’t even tell you the difference it made. Find me someone on earth who wants to hear “We Are Family” or “YMCA” at a wedding and I will find you a liar. The wrong music can take things south real fast and I’m not about to let “Celebrate” somehow sneak its way into my big day. So, I know what music I don’t want to hear – that part’s pretty easy, but what songs do I want?

I wrote a post several years ago about my top ten most romantic love songs and some of those are obviously going on the playlist. (My mom, who is being super chill about the whole wedding planning process has insisted on just one thing – that Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” be played at some point during the evening. Uhm, done.) But while I stand by the romance factor of all the songs on that list, I’m not sure “Lay, Lady, Lay” is exactly what I want to have playing in the background while I greet my grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins in the buffet line, if you catch my drift….

So, in that spirit I have created a list of my top ten wedding songs. Here they are, in no particular order, and I’d love to hear your picks in the comments. (Disclaimer: I will probably/definitely steal your picks and add them to my playlist. Obviously, this whole post is a pretty transparent ploy to get help with making it – so thanks, in advance).

My Top Ten Wedding Songs


1)      “True CompanionMarc Cohn – I’ve known this song would be part of my wedding since I used to play it on my CASSETTE player, so….

2)      “If I Should Fall BehindBruce Springsteen – This one has been on my wedding list almost as long as “True Companion.” Plus, the Boss and Patti Scialfa have been married for almost 25 years so he obviously knows what he’s talking about.

3)      “Give Yourself to LoveKate Wolf – This one is kind of a gimme because it’s literally written about a wedding day but it’s also just a beautiful sentiment.

4)     “True Love WaysBuddy Holly – Because you should always listen to your mother…

5)     “Angel Dream (No. 2)Tom Petty – Somehow, in a weird 90’s turn of events, Tom Petty created the soundtrack for the film “She’s the One” – one of Jennifer Aniston’s millions of romantic comedies. I don’t think I’ve even seen it, but the soundtrack is good and this sweet little song has always been one of my random Tom faves.

6)    “Baby, I Love You Terry Reid – Terry Reid’s version of this song makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That voice…

7)     “That’s How Strong My Love IsOtis Redding – Because if you have a wedding without some Otis Redding, you’re doing it wrong.

8)     “If I Needed YouDon Williams & Emmylou Harris – Written by the incomparable Townes Van Zandt, this is just truly one of the loveliest songs I know.

9)     “Can’t Help Falling In LoveElvis Presley – Kind of an obvious Elvis pick, but it’s a classic for a reason.

10)     “If Not for YouBob Dylan – Because this is my list, and Bob Dylan is in the Top Ten of everything in my life.

So, what would your picks be? Let’s hear ’em!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. mama permalink
    June 5, 2015 8:24 am

    Something That We Do, Clint Black. Because the sentiment is on point except for one lame verse that seems like filler. And you gotta have a little country in the mix. Suggestion only. Thanks for Buddy though.

  2. marketmanager@orcityfarmersmarket.com permalink
    June 5, 2015 11:19 am

    If not for you..Dylan, hands down the best!Jackie Hammond-WilliamsMarket Manager.Oregon City Farmers Market.503.734.0192

  3. Jan Murdock permalink
    June 5, 2015 6:16 pm

    Joe suggests Derek & the Dominos “I am Yours” and Led Zeppelin “Thank You.” The song that Joe & I consider our song is the Grateful Dead “Scarlet Begonias.” You can’t go wrong with the Beckerheads version of “And I Love Her.”

  4. Ann White permalink
    June 6, 2015 1:37 pm

    Van Morrison’s Moon Dance is on my top 10 list…

  5. Ann White permalink
    June 6, 2015 7:44 pm

    Uncle Bill’s suggestion: “Blue” by the Jayhawks. If you don’t know the song, check it out on YouTube. It’s not “blue” as in being depressed. It’s glorious blue!

  6. Sarah Hulin permalink
    June 8, 2015 2:52 pm

    A song that comes to mind is Home by Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros

  7. June 8, 2015 5:20 pm

    Thanks for all the great picks! This playlist is going to be the king of all playlists.

  8. Aunt Karen permalink
    June 8, 2015 8:26 pm

    Uncle Tbone picked all the songs for our reception and we had a great one. My suggestions are “Follow You, Follow Me” from Genesis and “Just Between You and Me” by April Wine (that was our “first dance” song). I also think in honor of how you two met (OK…loosely) “Bus Stop” by The Hollies.

  9. Ray Keys permalink
    June 30, 2015 4:04 am

    The Ship Song by Nick Cave
    The Wedding Song by Alejandro Escovedo
    Hope I am allowed to comment

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