Saturday, 05 August 2017 02:00

The Classic Charleston Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist | Pt 1

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Super fun bridal party pose over at one of Charleston's most beautiful wedding venues | The Creek Club At I'on Super fun bridal party pose over at one of Charleston's most beautiful wedding venues | The Creek Club At I'on Valerie Schooling Photography

What do you think a playlist would sound like at your cocktail hour for your upcoming Charleston wedding that defines what it is like to be married in one of the world's best cities? It woulld probably sound like nothing you have ever heard before, especially if you are one of the hundreds or thousands of destination brides and grooms coming to the Holy City of Charleston SC. In my professional opinion as a wedding DJ, the playlist would include songs that conjure up the thoughts of a laid back, but formal affair over at the exquisite Middleton Place or a classy seaside suarez at Kiawah Island or Seabrook Island. It might also include local musicians like Darius Rucker, as well as regional artists like Edwin McCain and Jump Little Children or the Blue Dogs. The energy level of this playlist would be fairly upbeat and energetic, but not too crazy because we need to save that pent up energy for after dinner as you and your guests begin to cut a rug over at the luxurious Daniel Island Club.



This cocktail hour playlist has a lot of "Charleston" in it and is the first one I have designed in this series. It's been crafted and designed with my knowledge of Charleston wedding and music. The perfect mix of pop, Motown, country, alternative, Americiana, and even classic rock to provide a truly excellent vibe for the cocktauil hour at your Charleston wedding. At the end of the day, your cocktail hour, dinner music, and reception music need to create the ultimate soundtrack to the most beautiful of your life.

1. "Hold My Hand" | Hootie & The Blowfish
A Charleston wedding without a little Hootie might be compared to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the jelly. It goes well and this song takes back a lot of Charlestonians and South Carolinians back to the summer of 1994 when this band with roots to the Lowcountry began to hit it big. Be sure to check out a previous blog entry of my best ALL Hootie Playlist.

2. "Sugar" | Maroon 5
One of a handful of perfect pop songs with a great beat to loosen up your guests after the wedding ceremony while they have some great Lowcountry cocktails and socialize with friends.

3. "What's Wrong With Love Songs" | The Blue Dogs
With close to 30 years of making music, The Blue Dogs are a band with an Americana sound from Charleston.  The perfect sound for a Charleston cocktail hour indeed.

4. "For Once In My Life" | Stevie Wonder
A little bit of Stevie Wonder at your Charleston wedding goes a long way to entertaining your guests. The hardest decision about Stevie Wonder is which one of his songs to add into your playlist.  I chose this one because it's a great upbeat track after a serious wedding ceremony.

5. "Bennie & The Jets" | Elton John
This track shows up on a lot of wedding playlists and it sounds good all over Charleston, especially at downtown venues like Lowndes Grove, the Historic Rice Mill, or the Thomas Bennett House.

6. "Tears Dry On Their Own" | Amy Winehouse
The late Amy Winehouse's voice sounds so good and fits well in a mix of Motown songs. Take a listen to this track and you'll see what I mean. 

7. "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" | The Temptations
Here is that Motown I was talking about. This song offers a bit of a jazzy funky chill vibe. Don't let the nearly 12 minute You Tube scare you. There are much shorter version available.

8. "Carolina In My Mind" | James Taylor
You are in beautiful Charleston, South "Carolina" for your wedding.  It's a truly beautiful for your cocktail hour. If you are driving to Charleston for your wedding, throw this on in your car.

9. "Upside Down" | Jack Johnson
The vibe of Jack Johnson is quintesential Charleston. His laid back sound has bbeen very appealing over the years to brides and grooms getting married all over the Lowcountry.

10. "Wagon Wheel" | Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker making another appearance in this first iteration of the Classic Charleston cocktail hour playlist. Wagon Wheel sounds awesome at any time during your reception and is sure to get the guests on the dance floor.  There are some purists though who only want to hear the version by Old Crow Medicine Show.

11. "I Second That Emotion" | Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Another great Motown track that is upbeat and fun and absolutely perfect for a Charleston cocktail hour over at Alhambra Hall or at Harborside East after a beautiful wedding ceremony overlooking the harbor.

12. "I Could Not Ask For More" | Edwin McCain
He might be based out of the Greenville, SC area, but he's spent countless nights entertaining Charleston back in the late 80s and early 90s before going more mainstream. This is a beautiful song for brides and grooms.

13. "Come Out Clean" | Jump Little Children
Originally formed in Winston-Salem, the band came to Charleston in the summer of 1993 and eventually called the Holy city their home. This track is an upbeat song from the late 90s and received quite a bit of radio airplay.

14. "Down By The Seaside" | Led Zeppelin
This track made the list and became associated with coastal South Carolina one year for me as I was heading out to Kiawah Island to enjoy the scenery and beach.  It's not too edgy like a lot of Zeppelin, and I must invite you to head out to Kiawah Island while you are in town for your Charleston wedding. You'll fall more in love with the coastal region of South Carolina even more on the drive out there.

15. "Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay" | Otis Redding
Talk about stating the obvious. :) Another track that is a no-brainer for Charleston area weddings. If you are feeling a little creative, look up the Michael Bolton version. Bolton didn't do a bad job on it at all, but Otis Redding is always a huge hit on most of the playlists I see.

And there you have it, part 1 of my version of the Classic Charleston Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist. I hope you enjoyed listening to all these songs as much as I had putting this blog together. It's my goal through these blog posts to give brides and grooms ideas on how to begin putting their perfect playlist together. I'm here for you to discuss the music for your upcoming Charleston wedding and it's a passion of mine talking music with newly engaged couples. Click HERE to learn more.

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