Weddings can be expensive – American couples spend more than $32,000 on average. You can save money by taking on some of the duties yourself, though. Thanks to the creativity and resourcefulness of so many who post how-to guides and do-it-yourself instructions on the internet, you can make almost anything from scratch. If you want to avoid spending thousands for a live band or a DJ, you can create your own wedding song playlist and trust jukebox software to handle the music for you.

All you need is a laptop or tablet, a power source, good speakers, and the best wedding songs of all time. A good jukebox program helps too. If you’ve ever made a road trip playlist – who hasn’t? – it can be easy as that. Choosing the best wedding songs ever comes down to what you and your soon-to-be spouse want. You want to make sure your guests have fun too, but in the end, this is your day and your reception, and the wedding playlist should reflect what you two want.

To start, you need to figure out what song the bride will walk down the aisle to. This is where you might want to splurge on a musician or ask a musically inclined friend to play a couple of favorite songs. If you want to set up a playlist for the walk, ceremony and recessional, it’ll be a shorter list of wedding songs, so you can load this to an iPod or smartphone.

Cocktail Hour
This is that limbo between the ceremony and dinner. As you and your partner catch your breath and get ready for the reception, everyone else can be at the reception hall eating cheese and chatting while your perfect playlist sets the mood. That mood is entirely up to you. It can be fun, sweet, romantic, reflective or whatever emotion you want to elicit from your guests. A good bet is to go with upbeat standards and R&B classics to put everyone in a good mood.

You don’t need music during dinner, but if you think it would be best to have some background music, go with something understated. Classical, jazz or ambient music is ideal to create atmosphere, fill in silent gaps and keep the party going, but not to inspire people to wolf down their food. This is an hour to an hour and a half that your guests are likely going to spend chatting and eating, so keep the volume a little lower too.

Dance Party!
This is the playlist where you don’t want to hold back. Of course, you’ll need to come up with a song for the first dance, and then the tracks for the mom-son and dad-daughter dances. After that, it’s all about setting the pace for the dance floor.

The best wedding songs ever don’t seem to change much over the years, and there’s a good reason for that: They’re crowd-pleasers. You want to inspire your guests to get out of their chairs and onto the dance floor to celebrate. So, whether you like them or not, it’s a good idea to include tracks like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin,’” Pharell’s “Happy” and “Hey Ya!” by Outkast. Be sure to add songs that mean something to you two, though. Mix up the list with a few slower-tempo songs, but for the most part, keep it light and fun. Plan for at least four hours’ worth of music to ensure the party doesn’t screech to a stop.

A good jukebox software program can make it easy for your guests to request songs too, so feel free to add way more songs than you plan to play and let your partygoers queue up songs on their own. As long as you’re all celebrating the union, make sure the music doesn’t stop.

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