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What music do you play during wedding cocktail hour?

What is a wedding without music? It is one of the most important things to consider when planning a wedding. Wedding planning can be a daunting task, but what makes it fun and exciting is the idea that you get to personalize your wedding according to your personality, lifestyle, and preferences. One important segment of a wedding is the cocktail hour. Choosing the right music for the cocktail hour sets the tone of the wedding and impacts the guests’ mood.

Factors to consider when choosing music for cocktail hour

When choosing music for the cocktail hour, some factors need to be considered. The following are some essential factors to keep in mind:

1. Venue Type

The venue type sets the tone of the wedding, and the music genre should reflect that. If the wedding is taking place in a garden, then you may want to go for acoustic and classical music. This is because acoustic music complements well with outdoor environments and sets a calm mood. On the other hand, if the venue is a ballroom, you would want to choose a variety of music that appeals to everyone.

2. Guest Profile

Another consideration is your guest profile. While it is your special day, your guests’ experience is equally important. You want the music to be appealing to your guests across all age groups.

3. Time of Day

The time of day you choose for your cocktail hour can also impact the choice of music. If the wedding is taking place during the daytime, it would be better to go for light and upbeat music. This contrasts to evening weddings that may require more upbeat and lively music to get the party started.

4. Budget

Another critical factor to consider when choosing the right music is budget. You want to be diligent while selecting your DJ or band, making sure they are within your budget.

Music genres to consider for the cocktail hour

Here are some popular genres to consider during cocktail hour:

1. Jazz

Jazz music is timeless and a popular choice for cocktail hour. Jazz music sets a pleasant and relaxed ambiance, providing a perfect background for casual conversations and mingling. Jazz music for the cocktail hour can range from instrumental jazz, smooth jazz, or traditional jazz. Popular artists include Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington.

2. Classical music

Classical music is another excellent choice for cocktail hour. It has a certain elegance and class to it, making it perfect for wedding events. Classical music provides a quiet and soothing ambiance that complements weddings held in gardens or vineyards. Popular classical music choices include Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.

3. Popular and classic love songs

Every wedding, old or new, should include love songs. They add a romantic and timeless vibe to the event. Popular love songs such as “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley, “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole, and “You Are the Love of My Life” by Sam Cooke are a great way to get started. These songs help set the mood for the evening to come.

4. Line dance songs

If your cocktail hour is ending at dusk and a party is about to start, line dance songs are a great way to get the party started and include everyone. Line dance songs are also perfect for those guests who do not prefer to dance but want to join in on the fun. Popular line dance songs to consider are Cupid Shuffle, Cha Cha Slide, and Electric Slide.

5. Upbeat pop songs

Upbeat pop songs are another popular choice for cocktails hour. They keep the atmosphere light and create a party vibe without being overly loud. Popular choices include songs by Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams, and Shawn Mendes.


In conclusion, music is an essential component of a wedding, and choosing the right music sets the tone for the event. The cocktail hour serves as a time for the newlyweds and their guests to mingle, have conversations, and relax before the party begins. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right music that complements the venue, guest profile, time of day, and budget. With these factors in mind and the above music options, your guests will enjoy every moment of the wedding.