Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ideas for Wedding Cocktail Hour Music

A wedding cocktail hour is a time to set the mood.  It is a transition point between the formal ceremony and the convivial wedding reception party that is to follow.  Ingredients for a winning cocktail hour mix include:  1) atmospheric selections that put guests in a great mood,  2) a mix of current and classic music appropriate for guests of all ages, 3) an increasing energy level as the cocktail hour progresses (and the drinks kick in!);  and 4) intelligent song selections that include re-inventions of classics and some international spice.

At Ambient DJ, we do not use stock cocktail hour mixes, but rather custom program each set to reflect the unique style of the event.  The list below is organized into mini-sets by genres, that can be mixed and matched to reflect your own tastes in music.  Thematically, no 'breakup songs' are allowed, but the most important factor is the "feel" of the song, so even if there are occasionally "bittersweet lyrics," these tracks are fine.  This track list would also work well for the softer moments of a wedding reception while guests are eating and conversing.

Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
The Best is Yet to Come - Tony Bennett
You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You - Dean Martin
Quando, Quando - Michael Buble w/Nelly Furtado

Peel Me a Grape - Ramsey Lewis w/Nancy Wilson
Speak Low - Cybill Shepherd with Stan Getz
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
I Put a Spell on You - Queen Latifah
Besame Mucho - Diana Krall

The Promise - When in Rome
Take My Breath Away - Berlin
Drive - The Cars
Eyes Without a Face - Billy Idol
You Get What You Give - New Radicals

My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Valerie - Amy Winehouse
P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care) - John Legend
Just the Way You Are - Bruno Mars
If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys
Cherish the Day - Sade
Set Fire to the Rain (Moto Blanc Dance Remix) - Adele 

All I Need - Air
I Only Have Eyes for You (cover) - Jamie Cullum
Whatever Lola Wants (Verve Remixed) - Sara Vaughan
So Come Voce - Thievery Corporation
Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
54B - Mudd

The Girl From Ipanema - Bebel Gilberto with Kenny G.
Aganju (Latin Project Remix) - Bebel Gilberto
Mas Que Nada - Sergio Mendes f/The Black Eyed Peas
Un Simple Histoire - Thievery Corporation

Classics (Oldies)
Best of My Love - The Eagles
Crazy Love - Van Morrison
Michelle - The Beatles
Love's Theme - The Love Unlimited Orchestra
Rise - Herb Alpert
Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione

Alternative Rock
Awake My Soul - Mumford & Sons
Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop - Landon Pigg
Marry Me (First Dance Mix) - Train
Baby I'm Yours - Arctic Monkeys
First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Such Great Heights - Iron & Wine
Thank You Too - My Morning Jacket

If I Should Fall Behind - Bruce Springsteen
Walking on the Moon - The Police
The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
One - U2 f/Mary J. Blige
Low Light - Pearl Jam
The Pump - Jeff Beck
Big Yellow Taxi - The Counting Crows f/Vanessa Carlton

New Age
Paint the Sky With Stars - Enya
Only Time - Enya
Bellissimo - Ilya

No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley
Close to You - Maxxi Priest
Red, Red Wine - UB40
Never Ever Worry - Lord Pretender
Jump in the Line - Harry Belafonte

Why Don't We Just Dance - Josh Turner
People are Crazy - Billy Currington
Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square
Highway 20 Ride - Zac Brown Band
Lost in This Moment - Big & Rich


Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ service based in Central New Jersey.  Our company prides itself on its deep musical knowledge and programming skills.  To learn more about our wedding, corporate and private party services, visit our website at


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  4. Excellent. I find these ideas very helpful as my brother wedding is very near and I am searching for the best music playlist for cocktails hour and the rest of the wedding function. I hope your playlist consist on an amazing tracks and the guests will surely love this playlist.
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