The Perfect Cocktail Hour Playlist

When it comes to weddings and events, there are literally millions  of songs to choose from. A frequently asked question that we get is: “What type of music do I play for the cocktail hour?” The answer isn’t always easy, since everyone has their own unique taste and preferences; most of the time, however, our clients will choose from our genre list, on our wedding planning form.

If you have never planned a wedding, you may not know what Cocktail Hour is. Usually, Cocktail Hour is the time where the couples will take their pictures after the ceremony, and their guests enjoy appetizers and cocktails/drinks. Most of the time, Cocktail Hour is after the ceremony, but we also have done the Cocktail Hour before the ceremony, as well. So usually, the couple isn’t even in the same area where the cocktail hour is occurring, which means they rarely hear the music. So clients usually just ask the DJ for their input on what to play.

We provide a genre list for couples to choose from, and about 80% of the time, couples select “Acoustic” and “Jazz” or “Big Band.” The other 20% of the time, it’s “Country” and “Love Songs.” Keep in mind, we’re located in the Austin/central Texas area, so your couples may choose other songs. Overall, though, many of these songs are great hit songs and covers, that are great to play, everywhere. So here are the songs that we play most-often:

“Better Together” – Jack Johnson
“Let’s Stay Together” – Obadiah Parker I know no one will be better than Al Green, but this is a good cover. 🙂
“Wonderwall” – Ryan Adams Again, a great cover. Yes, it’s hard to beat the original 🙂
“Hey Soul Sister” – Train
“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
“Lucky” – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caliet
“You and Me” – Lifehouse
“Come Away With Me” – Norah Jones
“Don’t Stop the Music” – Jamie Cullum (Rhianna cover)
“Take me the Way I Am” – Ingrid Michaelson
“You Are the Best Thing” – Ray Lamontagne
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Hailey Reinhart
“L-O-V-E” – Nat King Cole
“At Last” – Etta James
“The Way You Look Tonight” – Frank Sinatra
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” – Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole

The above songs are the most requested cocktail hour songs that we play in the Austin and central Texas area. There are many more jazz and post-modern jukebox hits that we also play. If you’d like to hear each of the songs, here are the links to our most-requested Cocktail Hour songs. We hope this has been helpful!

head-shotJason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, in 1991, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events.

Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Though Jason worked in the education field since 2003, he continued to DJ public and private events, and later founded Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths, with his wife, Diana, who also DJs, in 2012. Today, Austin’s Best DJs provides music and entertainment for approximately 250 public and private events per year, in the Austin and central Texas area.

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Top 25 Wedding Reception Songs

There are many great DJ song lists out there. Simply doing a Google search will yield millions of results! So how do you narrow it down? The answer isn’t too simply, but here’s my best advice. Every DJ has his/her own preferred “go-to” songs, and the top songs that are played may also vary by region. Our company, Austin’s Best DJs, is based out of Austin, Texas, and we provide DJs and photo booths for about 250 events per year. Around 80% of our events are weddings. We tend to play many of the same songs at many of the weddings we do. We don’t play them because we’re too lazy to make a new playlist; we play them because they work! A hit is a hit and people want to hear and dance to songs they know and love. Your job, as a DJ, is to ensure that your clients and their guests have a great time! We know there are literally millions of songs out there and there may be some great songs that we left out, but these are the well know songs that we frequently play at weddings. That being said, here is our list of the top 25 upbeat, fun songs that get people dancing!

  1. “Shout” – Isley Brothers
  2. “Twist” – Chubby Checker
  3. “Twist and Shout” – The Beatles
  4. “Uptown Funk” – Bruno Mars
  5. “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas
  6. “Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
  7. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” – Whitney Houston
  8. “September” – Earth, Wind and Fire
  9. “Yeah” – Usher
  10. “Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey
  11. “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” – Michael Jackson
  12. “Cupid Shuffle” – Cupid
  13. “Wobble” – VIC
  14. “Hey Ya” – Outkast
  15. “Kiss” – Prince
  16. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
  17. “This is How We Do It” – Montell Jordan
  18. “Sweet Caroline” – Neil Diamond
  19. “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke
  20. “Low” – Flo Rida
  21. “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
  22. “Play That Funky Music” – Wild Cherry
  23. “Love Shack” – The B-52’s
  24. “Friends in Low Places” – Garth Brooks
  25. “Respect” – Aretha Franklin

Overall, these songs are great; however, you should always discuss your song list with your couple, to see what their preferences are, first. If they prefer different genres or aren’t too picky, the above songs are great go-to songs to build your playlist around. Again, there are hundreds more that we play, but these are the most played songs in our library, for weddings. The above songs usually pack the dance floor at weddings here in the Austin and central Texas area; however, these songs are great hits and should pack dance floors all over the country!

head-shotJason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, in 1991, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events.

Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Though Jason worked in the education field since 2003, he continued to DJ public and private events, and later founded Austin’s Best DJs & Photo Booths, with his wife, Diana, who also DJs, in 2012. Today, Austin’s Best DJs provides music and entertainment for approximately 250 public and private events per year, in the Austin and central Texas area.