20 Wedding Cocktail Hour Musics You Will Like

 Favorite

It’s official! The big day is finally here! You are finally about to become man and wife, forever and always! What better way to celebrate this big day with your friends and family by playing the perfect playlist for your wedding cocktail reception! The entire wedding party will wish you well, and from the first dance to the last before you leave for your honeymoon, it will be a day you’ll never forget! Here are some wonderful songs we’ve compiled for your perfect wedding cocktail hour. 

A Playlist of Wedding Cocktail Hour Music

Moondance - Van Morrison

This Van Morrison classic is perfect for an autumn wedding, but most people love it any time of the year. Smooth, jazzy, and swingy, this is a great choice for a first dance for the bride and groom.

Enchanted – Taylor Swift

From the moment you met, you were enchanted by each other. Why not show the world your enchantment with this Taylor Swift classic?

Slide – Goo Goo Dolls

Hey, do you wanna get married and run away? Oh, wait! They’ll be sliding all over the dance floor with this millennial wedding classic!

You Are the Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder

Celebrate the best day of your life with the one you love with this Stevie Wonder classic! This is perfect for wedding cocktail hour music the world over! As soon as the chorus starts, couples will be dancing and there may not be a dry eye in the house—but in a cheer way!

Ain’t That a Kick in the Head – Dean Martin

A classic swinging tune from a classic swinging crooner, everyone loves Dean Martin! For more swinging good music, why not throw on Dino’s version of “You’re Nobody (‘Til Somebody Loves You)?

Alright – Jamiroquai

Get the joint jumping with Jamiroquai’s acid jazz-funk fusion classic, all about being in love and living forever! More people should play this at their receptions! Start a trend!

I Know You (I Live You) – Chaka Khan

Why not keep the groove going and the dance floor jumping with this early-80s classic from Chaka Khan? This is another underrated classic that should be played more often! 

Kiss On My List – Hall and Oates

Another classic 80s hit and an excellent “throwback” wedding cocktail hour music choice, this one never goes out of style. Upbeat, positive, and a song nearly every bride and groom loves, this one’ll keep the dancefloor packed without wearing people out.

Outstanding – The Gap Band

Another dance track from funk masters The Gap Band, this is another excellent song to dance to while honoring your new-formed life together.

Yellow – Coldplay

The quintessential late-90s love ballad, Chris Martin’s love song he penned for Gwenyth Paltrow has since become a wedding cocktail classic.

You’re All I Need to Get By – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

“Like the sweet morning dew, I took one look at you, and it was plain to see you were my destiny.” This is another one that doesn’t get enough play during cocktail hour. Hey, remember that trend a few songs up? There’s a “rougher” cover version of this from Mary J. Blige and Method Man, but this is the one that everyone knows and loves!

No Ordinary Love – Sade

You don’t share an ordinary love, and the whole world knows it. An excellent choice for cocktail hour, this is an excellent song for a “final” dance before the bride and groom leave for the honeymoon.

Paradise – Sade

“I’m yours, you’re mine, it’s like paradise”. This one is guaranteed to get people up on the dance floor and grooving!

My Funny Valentine -- Ella Fitzgerald or Chaka Khan

Either version of this smooth, sultry jazz classic is sure to set hearts aflame and get romantic thoughts going in everyone’s head in celebration of your special day.

Endless Love – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

The classic love song from the 1980s is a classic for wedding cocktail hour music as well as a non-traditional opener for the big walking down the aisle.

It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr.

A bit more “grand” than the standard, this is Connick, Jr., crooning at his absolute best! Broadway opener aside, this is destined to be a new classic!

Here Comes the Sun – Richie Havens

Havens’ rollicking cover of this Beatles standard is an unusual twist that will make the older guests smile and introduce the younger guests to a little-appreciated talent.

Hymne a L’amour – Edith Piaf

Piaf’s Hymn to Love is a near-forgotten romantic gem that shouldn’t be ignored. What could be more romantic for wedding cocktail hour music than a French love song.

Love Song – The Cure

Not the typical fare for these mopey British Goths, but a good song, nonetheless, and perfect for modern weddings.

The Girl from Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto

Tall and tan, young and lovely, everyone loves this smooth jazz classic that evokes summertime, wedding season, and a tasty cocktail while waiting for the bride and groom!

At Last – Etta James

As soon as those strings die down, everyone gets ready for the big entrance of the bride and groom the minute Ms. Etta James rings out those first two notes. This is a good one to play through the reception.

Somewhere (A Place for Us) – Tom Waits

For couples who have an appreciation for unusual voices with their choices, Waits’ cover of this Broadway classic from West Side Story is beautiful and gritty.

There are many more excellent love songs out there that would be perfect for the wedding cocktail hour music, and this should not be considered a “hard-and-fast” list of “must-play” reception music. People who prefer harder, louder fare may prefer more rock, just as people who are more interested in and prefer more popular music, country music, or jazz will have their favorites as well. So just make your own playlist with your favorite!