Music is one of the best parts of a wedding, and if done right can leave your guests with lifetime memories of dancing the night away. Yet the music balance is delicate… Nothing shuts down a dance floor and ruins a wedding faster than bad, offensive music. Whether it’s an overplayed song or just a downright inappropriate tune, bad music can quickly lead to an empty dance floor, unhappy guests, and a miserable bride and groom.
There are a few rules to keep in mind when it comes to songs: if it will offend your grandmother, don’t play it. If it insinuates bad things will happen once you’re married, don’t play it. If it’s an obnoxiously cheesy or overplayed song, at least consider not playing it…
When planning a wedding, it’s wise to discuss the song list with your band or DJ far in advance of the wedding. Share your preferences, review the set list and – most importantly – ensure the band or DJ is well aware of the songs on your ‘do not play’ list.
While opinions vary, below is our roundup of top 5 worst wedding songs that should be avoided at all costs:
5.) “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
The classic Queen tune “Another One Bites the Dust” is one of the worst wedding songs out there. Newlyweds should envision their day as the beginning of a lifetime together, not the day they “bit the dust,” fell out of the game, and their lives ended. It’s similar to the best man yelling “don’t do it!” as the groom walks down the aisle: it’s tacky, not necessary, and just shouldn’t be done. Weddings are a day of happiness and all thoughts and wishes should be positive.
Save “Another One Bites the Dust” for a basketball game or competitive board game — just keep it far, far away from your wedding playlist.
4.) “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by R.E.M.
That whole “ball-n-chain” joke has been around since the beginning of time and for newlyweds, it’s really not that funny. Insinuating that once a couple is married, they’re tied down and thus ‘the world is over’ is just crude. The soon to be betrothed likely already have pre-wedding jitters (which is totally normal!) so why give them something else to worry about? Their lives are not over – they’re only just beginning.
If you’re planning a wedding, make sure this worst wedding song is on the ‘do not play list.’ If you’re a wedding guest, do not request this song. You make think it’s cute and in good fun, but some newlyweds may not agree and may not take it lightly. If you’re the bride, leave REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” off your playlist for the big day – in fact, make sure to tell your band or DJ’s it’s officially on the blacklist. Just remember – your lives together are only just beginning, and this is a happy, celebratory time.
3.) “Gold Digger” by Kanye West
Kanye West’s hit “Gold Digger” is certainly enough to make you want to get up and dance, but the lyrics are definitely not appropriate for a wedding; thus, its inclusion on our list of worst wedding songs.
The song mocks women who go after men for their money and often ‘seal the deal’ by getting pregnant. This could be offensive for couples with a significant age gap, or couples with a substantial difference in their financial standings.
Brides – add it to your blacklist. Guests – do not request this song at a wedding. While the bride and groom might find it funny for a minute, it could make an awkward scene if one—or both—seems offended. For these reasons, it’s definitely on our list of worst wedding songs of all time.
2.)“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion
All couples need a first-dance song to celebrate the fact that they are now husband and wife. A first dance song should be romantic. It’s a time for the bride and groom to gaze deeply into one another’s eyes and be grateful they found one another and are going to spend the rest of their lives together. Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” should not be that song. While we love the movie Titanic, its theme song is one of the worst wedding songs of all time. Do you think any of our favorite TV weddings played Celine Dion for their first dance? No.
Think about it: as soon as that flute solo comes on, you envision Rose and Jack in their final moments together as Jack sacrifices his life for Rose’s and slips into the icy waters below. We admit it, we sobbed like babies the first (okay, and second and third time) we saw the film. On the most romantic day of your life, you don’t want to be brought down by memories of a fictious character’s tragic death. The only tears on your wedding day should be tears of joy and happiness.
1.)“YMCA” by The Village People
We have a love/hate relationship with The Village People’s “YMCA.” Everyone from your grandmother to your 2-year-old niece begrudgingly knows the dance moves for “YMCA.” Sure, the Village People’s infamous tune is catchy, but it’s been done again and again…and again. You take a big risk by playing it because the truth is, no one really likes it. Either everyone will put their arms straight up to make the “Y,” or (more likely) guests will use those couple of minutes to go to the bathroom, refill their drinks, or go back for another piece of cake (ie: anything to avoid the dancefloor).
An empty dance floor where you can hear crickets is every bride’s worst nightmare and should be avoided at all costs (which is easy to do by ensuring only quality songs are played). The only thing worse than playing the YMCA would be following it with Los del Rio’s The Macarena, Otis Day and The Knights Shout, or Marcia Griffiths’ The Electric Slide.
Do you have a favorite wedding song? Or, one that tops our list of worst wedding songs? Tell us in the comments!