10 Songs to Play at Your Rehearsal Dinner

Each week, we feature music recommendations from Scratch Weddings, the nation's leader with the best wedding DJs at affordable prices. This week's post comes from DJ Ed-O, a musical star quickly rising to the top of the Philadelphia music scene. Through his years as a popular DJ in radio and the best in nightlife, he's cultivate a unique musical style that he calls his "audio fingerprint”. Couples are drawn to DJ Ed-O's eclectic musical prowess and personal approach to spinning weddings. "Providing the bride and groom with an experience that exceeds their expectations is the highlight of any wedding. If I can capture some of the feelings and energy that they value, then it helps me do a better job selecting the best music for their special day.”

Photo Credit: Erin Lindsey Images

The wedding rehearsal dinner is an occasion where the bride and groom can relax with their families and close friends — and forget about all of the stress associated with planning such a monumental event. Knowing that the wedding party needs to let loose, a great DJ plays music that stimulates everyone to have a great time and gets them pumped up about the wedding the next day.

When I DJ a wedding rehearsal dinner, I slowly build momentum over the course of the evening while mixing together classic and modern tunes from various genres. During mealtime, I play jazz, crooner, and R&B songs that provide a great aural ambiance for dining and conversation. As people finish eating, songs like Stevie Wonder’s “You are the Sunshine of My Life” facilitate an appropriate shift in mood from dinner to dessert. Sometimes, the father of the groom or another loved one calls for a toast at this point in the evening, after which the guests become chattier and more relaxed. The DJ should respond to such change in mood accordingly. I choose funky, up-tempo songs that make people want to sing alongand get into the groove in preparation for the big day!

Here is a sample rehearsal dinner playlist that gets you in the mood to party:

► “In a Sentimental Mood”  Duke Ellington
A jazz instrumental is the perfect way to kick off dinner music, and no one does a jazz instrumental better than the legendary Duke.

► "Now That I Have You" — Teena Marie
This soothing tune is an ideal choice to accompany dinner.

► “I Get a Kick Out of You”  Frank Sinatra
This one will make you sway in your seat  the perfect lyrics for a pre-celebration dinner.

► “Endless Love” — Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
A romantic classic as epic as this one is a sure way to set the mood before the big day.

► “My Funny Valentine”  Sarah Vaughan
A song that is nearly a century old and still beloved is well-worth being included on your dinner soundtrack.

► “Mona Lisa”  Nat King Cole
A charming tune from the buttery-soft voice of Nat King Cole will put all of your guests in the mood for love.

► “Feeling Good”  Nina Simone
Nearly every artist under the sun has covered this sultry classic, but there’s nothing quite like Nina Simone’s original to start the party.

► “It’s Now or Never”  Elvis Presley
Step into Graceland and out of your pre-wedding jitters  listen to Elvis: it’s time!

► “Cruisin’”  Smokey Robinson
This sexy R&B classic will get you out of your seat for a pre-dessert slow dance.

► “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”  Stevie Wonder
Stevie is a wedding hit machine  this is one of his many songs that perfectly frame the sentiment of the occasion.