Monday, April 6, 2015

8 Slow Songs for Late in the Reception

Journey Record Cover
Wedding receptions tend to go through stages as the party progresses--there’s the slow filling of the dance floor, the peak dance phase where even the toddlers are jumping around, the “woo” phase when everyone’s feeling the three or four drinks they’ve had. These songs are for the tail end of the reception, when couples want to snuggle up and pretend it’s Senior Prom all over again. Here are some great slow jams to keep them swaying.

“Faithfully,” Journey
Sure, Journey’s cheesy. But they’re also kind of awesome. Early in the reception you can get everyone singing along to “Don’t Stop Believin’,” but Journey won’t desert you when it’s time to slow dance. Either this one or “Open Arms” has all the soaring balladry your guests need to keep on dancing.

“I’ll Stand By You,” The Pretenders
There’s a lot to say for the honesty and simplicity of these lyrics--”even though you suck sometimes, we’re in this together,” is a good theme for a wedding dance. This is one of those great rock ballads that just keeps building and building until people are singing along wiping away tears.

“What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
By this stage of the festivities, your guests should be feeling drained, tired, and blissfully happy. It’s a great time to throw on this simple, beautiful tune about the wonderful world we live in.

“Come Away with Me,” Norah Jones
There’s something inviting and entrancing about Norah Jones’s sleepy-sultry sound, and it’s in full effect on this tune. Perfect for hugging your significant other close and whispering in their ear.

“My Life,” The Beatles
You can’t go wrong with the Beatles at a multi-generational gathering like a wedding. This song has a sense of sweet nostalgia for the good times that have passed, but it also has the perfect wedding sentiment for a new couple.

“Such Great Heights,” Iron & Wine
The original by the Postal Service is an upbeat, electronica-tinged tune that might be a good way to get the dance floor filled at the beginning of the evening. This cover, though, keeps the adorably romantic lyrics but turns the energy down to an acoustic, half-speed, quiet and contemplative mood.

“I’ll Be,” Edwin McCain
This one was overplayed when it came out in the late ‘90’s, but it’s aged well. There’s a nice twist to the lyrics that keep them from sounding generic, and McCain’s voice has enough whiskey-tinged soul in it to keep the song from sounding too slick.

“Like Real People Do,” Hozier
The lyrics have an appealing darkness to them, and Hozier’s got pipes to spare, but he holds it in check for this quiet, intimate tune. The chorus’s “we should just kiss like real people do” should inspire some smooches out on the dance floor.

When the hour grows late and the party settles into a mellower vibe, make sure your DJ is equipped with slow-song suggestions to get couples hugging each other on the dance floor. A little sentiment and a little cheesiness is more than okay at this stage--everyone’s bound to be feeling a little sentimental after celebrating your special day. So give them a chance to hold each other and sway.

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