The key to a great wedding playlist is featuring songs that will get guests dancing with well-loved, recognizable tracks. The key to a bad wedding playlist? Choosing songs that are buzzkills! A way to make sure those tunes don't get played is to draw up a "do-not-play" list. Beyond removing overplayed songs that will make people roll their eyes (We're looking at you "Y.M.C.A."), make sure you pay attention to the lyrics too. Songs about breakups and affairs aren't what we would consider "perfect for a wedding." To help you out, here are 23 songs you'll want to drop from your wedding playlist.
Buzzkills to Skip
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," by Paul Simon
No need to give any ideas to a bride or groom with cold feet…
"Bitter Sweet Symphony," by The Verve
Many people have used this as a recessional song because of its epic orchestral moments, but these lyrics aren't the best way to start your married life: "'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life, try to make ends meet, you're a slave to money then you die."
"The Blower's Daughter," by Damien Rice
The chorus of "I can't take my eyes off of you," might seem like a romantic sentiment for a first dance song, but keep listening to the end. The last lyric is, "I can't take my mind off you…'Til I find somebody new."
"Wicked Game," by Chris Isaak
Despite being the song used on Friends when Ross and Rachel finally, you know, get together, it isn't as romantic as you'd think. The frequently misheard lyrics isn't "I wanna fall in love," it's actually, "No, I don't want to fall in love" in the first chorus.
"No One's Gonna Love You," by Band of Horses
While the lyrics, "No one's gonna love you more than I do" could be interpreted as romantic to some, this song is actually about the end of a relationship and includes such lyrical gems as, "It's looking like a limb torn off or altogether just taken apart," and, "We are the ever-living ghost of what once was." Too sad. Skip it.
"Skinny Love," by Bon Iver
This hauntingly beautiful song could be so perfect to walk down the aisle to if it didn't include lyrics like, "And now all your love is wasted? And then who the hell was I?"
"I Will Always Love You," by Whitney Houston
Contrary to popular belief, this song is actually about a breakup. A wedding is no time to speak of "bittersweet memories." Instead, incorporate some of Whitney's other classics like "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)".
"I Will Survive," by Gloria Gaynor
Another breakup song to add to the do-not-play list.
"Make You Feel My Love," by Adele
While this Bob Dylan cover is a love song, it's about the unrequited sort. Since you've already said your "I dos" it seems inappropriate to have your first dance to a song that says, "I know you haven't made your mind up yet…"
Songs That Have Been Played to Death
"I Gotta Feeling," by The Black Eyed Peas
Same goes for "My Humps." And "Let's Get It Started." Oh, let's be real, all Black Eyed Peas songs should be banned from every playlist ever.
"YMCA," by the Village People
Your wedding isn't a bar mitzvah. Don't confuse people and make people think they're at one by playing this.
"Celebration," by Kool and the Gang
Everyone has heard this no. 1 hit from 1980 enough times that it's time for it to be retired. If you want to get everybody out on the dance floor, try another classic that still holds up like the Isley Brothers' "Shout"?
"Thriller," by Michael Jackson
Unless you're getting married on Halloween, leave this one off your wedding playlist. There are so many better Michael Jackson songs to pick from anyway. Try "P.Y.T." or "The Way You Make Me Feel" instead.
"Cha Cha Slide," by DJ Casper
Line dances of any kind should be banned from weddings. That goes for "Macarena" and "The Chicken Dance," but you probably already knew that…
Awkward Tunes to Avoid
"Chandelier," by Sia
Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux had their first dance as a married couple to a live performance of this song, but with completely unromantic lyrics like, "I'm the one 'for a good time call'/Phone's blowin' up, they're ringin' my doorbell/I feel the love, feel the love" maybe save this one for the after party?
"Every Breath You Take," by The Police
Let's leave songs about boyfriends stalking their ex-girlfriends off your wedding playlist entirely.
"White Wedding," by Billy Idol
Depending on whom you ask, this song is about incest, or a shotgun wedding, or Billy Idol's ex-girlfriend marrying someone else while he's still in love with her. There's not a good choice in that whole lot, so leave this one out of your wedding day.
"Hot in Herre," by Nelly
Stay away from this one, just in case drunk Uncle Fred takes this one a little too seriously…
"Gold Digger," by Kanye West
Great song. So, so, so inappropriate for a wedding. Especially if there was a prenup…
"Fooled Around and Fell In Love," by Elvin Bishop
Yes, it's a love song, but nobody wants to listen to these lyrics on their wedding day: "It used to be when I'd see a girl that I liked I'd get out my book and write down her name. But when the grass got a little greener over on the other side I'd just tear out that page."
"Like a Virgin," by Madonna
No need to make everyone uncomfortable on your wedding night.
"Jessie's Girl," by Rick Springfield
It should go without saying that a song about jealousy and plotting to steal your best friend's girlfriend should never be played at a wedding.
"Brown Eyed Girl," by Van Morrison
You might want to reconsider picking this popular father-daughter dance song for your twirl with dad once you read these lyrics: "Sometime I'm overcome thinking about making love in the green grass behind the stadium with you, my brown eyed girl." Awkward, much?
Father-Daughter Dance Songs
Listen to the Playlist on Spotify