With my last wedding of 2022 coming just 3 days before Christmas, I feel a little like Santa Claus checking my client's playlist way more than twice. :) But you know what? That's how I roll. I generally spend hours organizing a client's playlist so I always know which song to play next. It's no quick and easy ever because I want to make sure I have everything my client's want and then some. For this last wedding of 2022, my client's put me in charge of designing a playlist for when they partake in their plated dinner. A great dinner music playlist will come with it a variety of songs that are all about texture and flow, as well as the ability for guests to have casual conversation while enjoying dinner, but not have to worry about raising voices. After a cocktail hour which will consist of piano instrumentals while guests enjoy drinks at the bar, my client opted for the creation of a dinner music playlist which consisted of soft rock and easy listening songs. Over the years, I've developed quite the knack for putting these playlists together. After assembling this playlist, I was so proud of what I put together that I had to put it up on blog, as well as Spotify and share with current and prospective clients.
This selection of songs spans multiple decades, as well as multiple genres of music. If you've spent any time on my blog, you know that I've never had a shortage of playlist inspiration as it pertains to cocktail hour, but dinner music is different. While cocktail hour is often a chill time for the bridal party and guests, dinner is definitely a moment to sit down and have friendly banter while sipping on an adult beverage and indulging in a wonderfully catered meal. I've always believed that a playlist of dinner music selections should be softer, with a love theme. While there are a lot of wedding DJs who might see fit to throw on the same old tired songs, I've always taken it upon myself to dig deeper into my catalog and explore some wedding-worthy songs that brides and grooms might not think to request because they don't actively see the songs on all of the lists you see plastered all over Google. Since I'm in a constant state of music research, I've always found myself pushing the envelope a little more and playing songs not normally played, but songs that would be suitable. I've found over the years that mixing a set of music for dinner is more of an art-form for the best wedding DJs, and when I assembled these songs, I already envisioned how each song would transition into each other. I really appreciate you finding me and making it all the way to the end of this blog. If you continue back over to my blog, you'll find a lot more inspiration for cocktail hour playlists.
Download This Playlist Over On My Spotify @ DJ Mike Bills
For close to 3 years, I've maintained a Spotify account as a means to speak to my current and future clients so that they can receive inspiration when it comes to creating their wedding playlists. At this point, I've amassed over 150 different playlists designed to give the modern bride and groom inspiration when it comes to creating their all-important wedding playlist. All you need to do is head over to Spotify and search and begin to follow DJ Mike Bills. The order of the songs on this playlist can be rearranged to whatever you desire.
"Have I Told You Lately" | Van Morrison
While some of my clients over the years have preferred the Rod Stewart version of this song, it was the original version that was written and recorded by Van Morrison that has always tugged at my heart strings. Released in the summer of 1989 on the album Avalon Sunset, "Have I Told You Lately" would peak at #12 on the adult contemporary chart. For more of the Top Songs From 1989 For Your Wedding Playlist <----CLICK HERE
"You And Me" | Lifehouse
When this song was released in 2005, I was working at a CHR radio station (contemporary hit radio) where this classic Lifehouse track was in rotation. The song caught my eye and when I began honing my craft as a top wedding DJ, I knew I had to add it into my rotation. After all, "your" wedding day is about "you and him" "You And Me" would peak at #1 on both the adult contemporary charts, as well as the Adult Top 40 chart.
"What A Wonderful World" | Louis Armstrong
You'll see that scattered throughout this amazing selection of dinner music, there are a few classic songs like this. Back in 1988, this classic song was used in the movie Good Morning Vietnam, as well as the sitcom Family Matters. Due to the uptick in popularity, the song would break into the Top 40 on the Hot 100, and peak at #1 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Until I Found You" | Stephen Sanchez
Sometimes an artist comes along that blows you away. Stephen Sanchez did that for me in 2022. At 19 years of age, he released a song that instantly took me back to the 60s. There is also a version of the song he sings with Em Beihold that is currently in rotation at 105.5 The Bridge in Charleston, SC.
"Fields Of Gold" | Sting
It's hard to believe that at the time of the creation of this post that we are approaching 30 years since the release of Sting's album Ten Summoner's Tales. "Fields Of Gold" would be the second single to be released in the summer of 1993 and would peak at #2 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Unforgettable" | Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole
Back in the summer of 1991, the late Natalie Cole would release her album Unforgettable....with Love. The album would feature a duet with her late father, who would record the song many years earlier. Her version of the song would peak at #3 on the adult contemporary chart. For more of the Best 90s Music For Your Wedding Playlist From 1991, <---CLICK HERE
"I Knew I Loved You" | Savage Garden
Savage Garden was one of my favorite soft rock artists of the 90s. After their first release "I Want You" in 1996, the group became an adult-contemporary powerhouse for the rest of the decade. "I Knew I Loved You" would be released in September of 1999 and go all the way to Number 1 on the Hot 100 and adult contemporary charts. For more of The Best 90s Soft Rock For Your Wedding Playlist, <---CLICK HERE
"By Your Side" | Sade
Sade is so perfect for wedding playlists that I went out of my way to put together a Spotify playlist of her work. "By Your Side" was released in 2000 and can be found on her album Lovers Rock. The song would break into the Top 20 on the adult contemporary chart, and make it all the way to #2 on the Dance chart.
"Forever Young" | Rod Stewart
Originally written and recorded by the great Bob Dylan in 1973, "Forever Young" would be covered by Rod Stewart in 1988. Released in July 1988, Rod Stewart's version of the song would peak at #12 on the Hot 100. The song can be found on his album Out Of Order.
"You're My Best Friend" | Queen
When you get married, you are marrying your "best friend", so what better song to play at your wedding to talk about this beautiful friendship that has caused you to spend the rest of your lives together. "You're My Best Friend" can be found on the classic Queen album A Night At The Opera, (yes, the same one that has Bohemian Rhapsody on it). The song would peak at #16 on the Hot 100 in 1976.
"In Your Eyes" | Peter Gabriel
For the visitor to my top wedding DJ blog who is a fan of romantic, coming-of-age 80s movies, you probably turn this song up loud when you hear it. I am sure there will be a lot of grooms who read this blog who have been in Lloyd Doebler's shoes. You know, by trying to impress a girl! So what better way to do that than holding a boom box in the air outside her window with this song blaring. "In Your Eyes" can be found on the 1986 album, So. "In Your Eyes" would peak at #1 on the modern rock tracks chart.
"Now & Forever" | Richard Marx
Did you know that Richard Marx was one of the last concerts I saw before all of the COVID lockdowns began? Yep. I went to go see him because I considered him to be one of the pillars when it comes to 80s and 90s adult contemporary music. While Richard Marx had some more rockier tunes, he found himself on the adult contemporary charts from the late 80s through a lot of the 90s. "Now & Forever" can be found on the album Paid Vacation and was released as a single in January of 1994. The song would peak at #1 on the adult contemporary chart, and #7 on the Hot 100.
"This I Promise You" | NSync
I placed this song right after "Now & Forever" because it was written and produced by Richard Marx for NSync. "This I Promise You" can be found on the album No Strings Attached. Released in September of 2000, the song would peak at #1 on the adult contemporary charts, and #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Everything" | Michael Buble
Whether it's for a first dance song or in rotation during dinner at one of my weddings, "Everything" has become one of the most popular requests since it's release in 2007. You can find "Everything" on Michael Buble's 2007 album Call Me Irresponsible. The song would make it all the way to #1 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Coming Home" | Leon Bridges
I still remember how blown away I was when I heard Leon Bridges for the first time. I definitely was rushing out to the record store to grab every single album I could. "Coming Home" is in heavy rotation still, 7 years after it's release. Immediately when I heard "Coming Home", I was thinking about a 60s Motown, bluesy feel that would be perfect for dinner at a wedding. "Coming Home" would peak at #7 on the Adult Alternative chart in 2015.
"Faithfully" | Journey
This power ballad by Journey seems to pop up on a lot of recent playlists in recent years. Even couples in their 20s and 30s today have an affinity for power ballads of the 80s. What can I say? They have excellent taste in music. :) Please, I don't judge. Pause your reading of this blog to go get a Bic lighter for when you watch the music video. You can find "Faithfully" on Journey's Frontiers album. The song would peak at #12 on the Hot 100 chart. For more of The 80s Soft Rock Songs For Your Wedding Playlist <---CLICK HERE
"Carolina In My Mind" | James Taylor
I recently worked at a wedding where the groom was a UNC alum. Apparently, this iconic song from James Taylor gets played at a lot of their sports events. While the song did not do much on the Billboard charts, it reamins a strong request in 2022 by modern brides and grooms.
"Dreams"| Fleetwood Mac
Ah yes! The Fleetwood Mac portion of the dinner music playlist. Even before the guy on the skateboard uploaded a video to Tiktok while singing this song, "Dreams" has always been a popular request. I must admit that seeing "Dreams" re-emerge on the Hot 100 chart during that Tiktok popularity was a bit odd, especially when it was played around Dua Lipa and Drake, but that's where we are today with our listening habits. "Dreams" can be found on the iconic Rumours album, an album that is sure to become one of your all-time favorites once you listen to it in it's entirety. The song would make it all the way to #1 on the Hot 100 chart.
"Hungry Eyes" | Eric Carmen
Here's another one of those songs that by way of a lot of testing has found it's way into rotation at a lot of my weddings. "Hungry Eyes" was a song that is still in rotation on a lot of adult contemporary stations across the country. I personally think its a great fit for dinner time at a wedding. It was hard for anyone in 1987 to turn the radio on and not hear music from the Dirty Dancing Soundtrack. Released in the fall of 1987, "Hungry Eyes" would make it all the way to #4 on the Hot 100, and #2 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Your Song" | Elton John
There's not much more I can say about Elton John other than a lot of his music is perfect for dinner at your wedding. "Your Song" is truly one of Elton John's signature songs. Released in the fall of 1970, "Your Song" would become a Top 10 hit on both the Hot 100 and adult contemporary charts.
"Time After Time" | Cyndi Lauper
And I bet you thought that "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was Cyndi Lauper's first #1 song. No! Actually, "Time After Time" would be the follow-up to that song and become her first #1 song. Released in January of 1984, this ballad is an idea choice for the modern bride and groom who love 80s music.
"She's Got A Way" | Billy Joel
Originally released in 1971, "She's Got A Way" did not do much. It wasn't until the release of the live album Songs From The Attic in 1981 that "She's Got A Way" would be released as a single. The live re-release of "She's Got A Way" would occur in November and would peak at #4 on the adult contemporary chart.
"Make You Feel My Love" | Adele
And now for the second Bob Dylan song on this best mix of dinner music for wedding playlists. Originally written and released in 1997, Bob Dylan would feature this song on his album Time Out Of Mind. Garth Brooks and Billy Joel would also cover this song. Adele would cover the song in 2008 but it did not really gain popularity until the song began to be performed on X Factor in 2010.
"Marry Me" | Train
Even 12 years after it's release in 2010, this is a very powerful, yet fitting song for wedding playlists. It should be of no surprise that the song has also been used for wedding ceremonies. "Marry Me" would become a staple on adult contemporary when it was released and would eventually peak at #3 on the AC chart.
"Walking In Memphis" | Marc Cohn
Here's another one of those songs I decided to dust off and add into my best mix of dinner music for wedding playlists. Originally written and produced by Marc Cohn, the song would become the biggest of his career and one of the many great memories from the best year of 90s music, 1991. The song would peak at #7 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
"The Way You Look Tonight" | Frank Sinatra
And we wrap up this best mix of dinner music for wedding playlists with a wedding classic. Even in 2022, this song remains a heavy favorite for modern brides and grooms. The song has been covered by countless musicians, including the Lettermen in 1961 where the song would peak at #13 on the Hot 100. It would be Frank Sinatra's version that would become the most popular cover after it's release in 1964.
Interested In This Best Mix Of Dinner Music At Your Wedding?
What separates me from other inexperienced, unprofessional wedding DJs? It really comes down to my undying passion for the music. I didn't become a wedding DJ to sell you uplights or a photobooth. Becoming a successful wedding DJs was an outgrowth of the passion for music that was unleashed when I first stepped foot on the air and began my radio career. While I have an excellent voice for any announcements at your wedding, being a great MC is only a part of the job. Passion for the music is essential and is what truly separates the mediocre wedding DJs from the best wedding DJs. If you look at this playlist for dinner music again, you'll see I've assembled an amazingly beautiful set of music. Part of being a great wedding DJ isn't just about looking online at silly "Best Of" playlists assembled over the years, it's about being a professional wedding DJ who is in a constant state of research as it pertains. It's about being a professional wedding DJ who has a deep knowledge for the music and a wedding DJ who is always trying to better themselves for their clients. When I put this playlist together, I was not only thinking about my client, but I could see myself playing these songs at the actual wedding, and like I mentioned up above, how each song would transition into the other. This is how the mind of a true, professional wedding DJ works. I really appreciate you finding my website and blog. I've spent a considerable amount of time creating compelling content designed to help modern brides and grooms find the best wedding DJ for their big day. Thank you for makiing it all the way to the end of this blog. If you are interested in speaking to me about your upcoming wedding, please fill out a contact form and we'll set up a time for a quick call.