Brian Spears

Poet, Editor, Teacher, Blogger.

The Anti-Wedding Playlist

When Amy and I were in Party City a few weeks ago being overwhelmed by the wedding aisle, we came across a CD of wedding songs, mostly sappy love songs. There was one really bad choice on the CD though–Extreme’s “More Than Words.” If you were alive in the 90’s, you probably know this song–sad guitar, mournful singer harmonizing with mournful backup singer, hints of power-balladism that never quite come through. Here’s the first verse(?):

Saying “I love you”
is not the words I want to hear from you
It’s not that I want you
not to say it but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn’t have to say that you love me
‘Cause I’d already know.

Not exactly the sentiment you want to hear at a reception, right?

So I decided to make my own CD’s worth of songs you really don’t want played at the reception. Feel free to add selections of your own in the comments.

1. Golddigger–Kanye West
2. Thank Heaven for Little Girls–Maurice Chevalier
3. Billie Jean–Michael Jackson
4. I Will Survive–Gloria Gaynor or Cake (I prefer the latter)
5. Leaving on a Jet Plane–John Denver
6. I’m Not a Player–Big Punisher
7. Me and Mr. Jones/Fuck Me Pumps–Amy Winehouse
8. Willow Garden–traditional, but I like the version by Big Smith
9. I Heard It Through the Grapevine–Marvin Gaye’s version in particular
10. Hey Hey What Can I Do–Led Zeppelin
11. Every Breath You Take–The Police
12. Divorce Song–Liz Phair
13. Bad Romance–Lady Gaga
14. Stand By Your Man–Tammy Wynette

I could do this all day, I think.

June 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Well “Boom I F*cked Your Boyfriend,” naturally….

    Comment by amy | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  2. Bossy – Missy Elliott
    Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad – Meatloaf
    You Don’t Own Me – Leslie Gore
    Is That All There Is? – Peggy Lee (I prefer the PJ Harvey version)

    You’re right… I could do this all day, too!

    Comment by Chelsea | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  3. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” by The Cars

    Comment by Ray Gibson | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  4. Dont forget “Babe, I’m gonna’ leave you,” by Led Z.

    Comment by Kent | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  5. I’m going to throw “Love the One You’re With” in there as well.

    Comment by Brian | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  6. After learning that my husband used to work at Disney, our DJ closed our wedding with the “Mickey Mouse Club” theme. I will never forgive him.

    Comment by Kim | June 7, 2011 | Reply

  7. You Can’t Have Me – Big Star
    Desperate But Not Serious – Adam Ant
    The Wrong Girl – Belle & Sebastian
    Song for the Dumped – Ben Folds Five

    Any song about how much you love a particular girl, named in the title, that has the same name as an ex of yours that wife knows about.

    Comment by MikeJ | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  8. I just want some skank – Circle Jerks
    Accidents will Happen – Elvis C. (or about 50 others by him.)
    Mr Wrong – Cracker

    Comment by MikeJ | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  9. Congratulations, Incertus!

    I was at a wedding where they played “Stand By Your Man” — in fact, the groom sang it. It was okay, though, they were the ironic type.

    Comment by ambignostic | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  10. “I Took Your Name.” REM

    No clue if it’s meant to be a relationship song or not, but if you take it that way, it’s nasty.

    Comment by Kristine Smith | June 8, 2011 | Reply

    • It seems to be more about identity theft, actually…

      Comment by Scamp Dog | June 8, 2011 | Reply

      • If you want an REM song, The One I Love has to be near the top of the don’t play list,

        Another prop has occupied my time….

        Comment by MikeJ | June 8, 2011

  11. Used to Love Her (but I had to kill her) – GnR

    Comment by NamelessGenXer | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  12. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, and pretty anything else from — Billy Joel
    Freebird — Lyrnyrd Skinner
    Kim — Eminem
    Thin Line Between Love And Hate — The Persuaders / The Pretenders

    As a genre, most death metal should probably be avoided at weddings too.\


    Comment by JGabriel | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  13. Lights of L.A. County – Lyle Lovett. (Although I think it’s a kick-ass song)

    Comment by Keri Knutson | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  14. “The Second Time Around”

    Comment by Chris Landee | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  15. I was just at my sister’s wedding in Mexico and the DJ, not knowing what it meant, ended the wedding reception with The Adams Family theme song. It was hilariously appropriate and true, but it didn’t go over well.

    Comment by Seth Fischer | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  16. If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night) — Me’shell Ndegeocello
    The One That Got Away — Tom Waits (or any of a hundred other Waits tunes)
    Love You in the Strangest Ways – Timbuk 3 (which we requested at our wedding, just to screw with people)

    Comment by mkhall | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  17. “anything you can do i can do better”

    Comment by q | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  18. Seriously? No one’s mentioned Panic at the Disco yet?

    I Write Sins Not Tragedies? Here, I’ll help you remember: ” ‘What a beautiful wedding! What a beautiful wedding!’ says a bridesmaid to a waiter. ‘And yes, but what a shame, what a shame the poor groom’s bride is a whore’.”

    Comment by emilylhauser | June 8, 2011 | Reply

  19. little omie wise (trad)

    Comment by q | June 9, 2011 | Reply

  20. “Last Dance With Mary Jane” — Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

    Comment by Niki | October 31, 2011 | Reply

  21. There is one by Whitney Houston that I cannot think of the name of the song right now, but a lot of people have it played at their weddings or receptions and in the song she is actually breaking up with her man. LOL!

    Comment by Princess Melissa Denham | January 8, 2012 | Reply

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