Play this, not that: Break up with boring wedding music

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

If you’ve been to a wedding at any point in the last decade, you’ve probably also developed an allergy to Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Even though those top-40 pop hits are sure to get your aunt and uncle on the dance floor, nobody wants to see them try (and fail) to do dances that haven’t been popular since you were in middle school. Here’s what to play instead, slow songs included.

1. Instead of “Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars)” by Mark Ronson, play “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd.

I think we’re all tired of “Uptown Funk.” Instead of boring your guests to death, play “Blinding Lights” for some catchy, ’80s-inspired energy.

2. Instead of “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, play “Lover” by Taylor Swift.

Every wedding calls for an acoustic slow dance, and “Lover” by Taylor Swift fits the bill. It’s sweet, it’s sappy, and it was released only five years ago, making it recognizable without being overdone or cheesy.

3. Instead of “Sugar” by Maroon 5, play “Adore You” by Harry Styles.

I’m putting everyone out of their misery by keeping them from ever hearing Adam Levine’s punched-in-the-gut wheeze of a singing voice at a wedding again. Instead, play “Adore You” by Harry Styles — a romantic pop masterpiece that keeps the vibes up without forcing your guests to try and name another member of Maroon 5.

4. Instead of “Shut Up and Dance” by WALK THE MOON, play “Dance The Night” by Dua Lipa.

If the “Barbie” craze of last summer teaches us anything, it’s that you can never go wrong with that soundtrack. “Dance The Night” is a perfect updated replacement for “Shut Up and Dance” — both about getting out on the floor, both high energy. “Shut Up and Dance” screams middle school, so if you’re marrying soon, reconsider putting this on your playlist.

5. Instead of “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, play “Best Years” by 5 Seconds of Summer.

“Marry You” is just a little bit on the nose, and who really wants to play a song about getting married because you’re inebriated, anyway? “Best Years” by 5 Seconds of Summer is a little-known bop, and it deserves more recognition.

6. Instead of “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, play “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey.

Lana Del Rey makes an amazing love song. “Video Games” makes use of romantic string instrumentals and sweet lyrics to earn its spot on any wedding playlist.

7. Instead of “All of Me” by John Legend, play “About You” by The 1975.

Boy, is this song corny. “All of Me” came out in 2013, and it hasn’t been put to rest since — until now. Opt for another more modern ballad instead. I saw a couple dance to “About You” during The 1975’s set at Austin City Limits, and the whole scene was so romantic I nearly fell to my knees.

8. Instead of “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond, play “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

You’ve got to have an oldie in there somewhere. Although “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” probably does play at most weddings, it should be played at all weddings, and I for one would much rather hear this than have to sit through “Sweet Caroline” again.

9. Instead of “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers, play “We Are Young” by fun.

Both of these songs pop up on those playlists on Spotify called “songs that get white people hyped,” and for good reason. Both are upbeat throwbacks that you can pump your fist to, cry to, scream-sing to and everything between.

10. Instead of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyoncé, play “CUFF IT” by Beyoncé.

I would never tell you not to play Beyoncé at your wedding. However, I think it’s time that we retire this old classic in favor of a new one in the making.