Anti-Wedding Songs

Okay, so a while back I posted something about how the wedding songs Red and I chose for the ‘important’ songs at our wedding were pretty anti-wedding when it came to their lyrics.  But I thought the post was a bit out of place and perhaps not really that interesting, so I took it down.

But it would seem that, of the page hits I get from Google, more often than not people are linking to my blog looking for anti-wedding songs.  So, for you random internet people who are probably looking for anti-wedding inspiration for your own weddings, I give you the songs from my wedding.

Starting with the main events:

Pre-ceremony music: Heartbeats by Jose González (chosen mostly because I love The Knife’s original Heartbeats but it wasn’t mellow enough for pre-ceremony music)

Song that played immediately after the ceremony ended: Just Like Honey by The Jesus and Mary Chain

First dance: First Day of my Life by Bright Eyes (chosen because it sounds like a nice and appropriate-enough song, but when you look at the lyrics they’re pretty awesome in the anti-wedding way)

Now, I say ‘anti-wedding’ because we didn’t want ABBA.  We didn’t want stupid love songs.  Basically we didn’t want anything that a wedding DJ would have played.  It’s not that we were anti-love.  We were just anti-wedding stupidery. Sure, the older women amongst the wedding guests were disappointed and didn’t end up dancing all that much, but I liked the music that played at the wedding.  I danced.  I had fun.  That’s all that matters.  For those people who were upset by the music and didn’t feel like dancing to it, we provided table football, Jenga, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Kerplunk, and a poker table.

And here’s a sampling of the music that played at the beginning of the reception:

  • Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix
  • Coffee & TV by Blur
  • Kaze Wo Atsumete by Happy End
  • Brick by Ben Folds Five (about an abortion)
  • Friday I’m in Love by The Cure
  • Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode
  • Needle in the Hay by Elliott Smith (everyone knows Elliott Smith isn’t all that uplifting; we love him anyway.)
  • Going the Distance by Bill Conti (from Rocky soundtrack)
  • Lover’s Spit by Broken Social Scene (about gay fellatio)
  • Anthems for a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl by Broken Social Scene
  • Mighty Wings by Cheap Trick
  • I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls
  • St. Elmo’s Fire by John Parr
  • Amie by Damien Rice

And a sampling of songs during the dance party section of the reception

  • More than This by Bill Murray, karaoke (from Lost in Translation Soundtrack)
  • Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
  • Now that I Miss Her by Elefant
  • Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
  • Polite Dance Song by Bird and the Bee (mostly because I couldn’t choose Fucking Boyfriend, as it was a little too inappropriate)
  • Life on Mars by David Bowie
  • Take My Breath Away by Berlin (mostly because it is Top Gun)
  • Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz
  • Little Bit by Lykke Li
  • Top Ranking by Blonde Redhead
  • A Forest by The Cure
  • My Sharona by The Ramones
  • SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
  • Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  • Ignition (remix) by R Kelly (yes!)
  • Music is my Hot Hot Sex by CSS
  • Heartbeats by The Knife (here it is!)
  • I Want You Back by the Jackson Five
  • Eye of the Tiger by Survivor (another Rocky song)
  • Hearts on Fire by John Cafferty (Rocky again)
  • The Boys of Summer by Don Henley
  • Pretty in Pink by The Psychedelic Furs
  • Geek U.S.A by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Plug in Baby by Muse
  • Cherub Rock by The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Beat It by Michael Jackson
  • Maneater by Nelly Furtado
  • When Doves Cry by Prince
  • Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen
  • True by Spandau Ballet
  • Send Me an Angel by Pet Shop Boys
  • Don’t You (forget about me) by Simple Minds
  • Time to Pretend by MGMT
  • Like I Love You by Justin Timberlake
  • Buddy Holly by Weezer
  • Too Young by Phoenix
  • Whoo! Alright – Yeah… Uh huh by The Rapture
  • Gigantic by Pixies (I’m pretty sure this one’s about liking big penis.)
  • New Year’s Day by U2
  • Baba O’Riley by The Who
  • Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Everlong by Foo Fighters
  • Panic by The Smiths

and the 80s power ballads that only those who stayed to the very end got the pleasure of hearing:

  • I Want to Know What Love Is (and I want you to show me) by Foreigner
  • November Rain by Guns ‘n’ Roses (Aside from the woman in the wedding dress in the music video, I think it’s safe to say this one’s not a wedding song.)
  • (I just) Died in Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew
  • The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
  • The Final Countdown by Europe
  • Burning Heart by Survivor
  • Rocket Man by Elton John


Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd



Although, perhaps one of my absolute favourite wedding songs that we played was Is This Love by White Snake.  I don’t think there could possibly be a better ironic anti-wedding song than that.  Somewhere, someone has a video of me and my sister singing this song loudly and enthusiastically while performing that classic ’80s eyes-clenched-closed-hands-balled-into-fists-and-waved-around-with-an-almost-pained-emotion move.  Sort of like this, actually.




  1. Dani · May 28, 2009

    I LOVE the original ‘Heartbeats’!! But didn’t know ‘Brick’ was about an abortion…sheesh. Anyway, great playlist! That + tabletop games sounds like a great time.

  2. molly · May 29, 2009

    This is a truly fantastic list of songs for the anti-wedding party. And I couldn’t agree with you more on ‘Is This Love’… that song is so cheesily fantastic. My favourite part is when he earnestly growls “So I can hoooold you in ma-aaaarms!” Ooh, chills. Whitesnake gave me chills.

    Can’t wait till MY wedding day now! Choosing the music must be the most fun part.

  3. risschris · May 29, 2009

    Yeah, it truly was the pièce de résistance of the wedding playlist.

    It occurred to me that I didn’t really tell the full story of that song to illustrate its true awesomeness at the wedding. So I edited the post to provide the background surrounding the truly marvellous song that is _Is this Love_ by White Snake.

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