Wedding Music Master Class 2018

Congratulations on your engagement! Now it’s time to start building the perfect soundtrack for your special day. Building an appropriate musical playlist for a wedding can be a daunting task.  Special songs such as parent dances can be particularly challenging.


Welcome to the Wedding Music Master Class, updated for 2018. This blog article is published by wedding entertainment specialist Ambient DJ Service. The Wedding Music Master Class is now in its sixth year of publication and contains over 2,000 hand-selected  and field-tested songs.

Who is Ambient DJ Service? Ambient DJ is a New Jersey-based mobile DJ company specializing in weddings.  Music is our business – and our passion!


Regrettably, there are many inferior musical playlists circulating the internet that were not compiled by working wedding professionals. To that end, we are sharing this Master List of our best song ideas for a wedding: from ceremony music, to the reception celebration with lists for Grand Entrance songs, First Dance, Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance, Cake Cutting, Bouquet and Garter songs and Grand Finale songs. We also share our Top 100 Songs for a 2017 Wedding, 98 Themed Cocktail Hour playlists, 12 Songs NOT to play at a wedding, 7 Musical Programming Tips for a Wedding, and more. The majority of the songs in this blog were used by our actual clients, while the rest were selected with great care with regards to lyrics, mood and danceability.  To our knowledge, there is no publicly available wedding music resource that is more comprehensive and up-to-date than the Ambient DJ Wedding Music Master Class.

Take a listen to our wedding playlists with the included links on Spotify. We recommend using Spotify as a powerful online resource to help organize your wedding song ideas. Create a free Spotify account, start a playlist, and begin adding your song candidates to it (note: the premium Spotify version at just $9.99 per month (first month free) is even more powerful and is highly recommended for music lovers in particular).

If you find these lists and ideas useful, please share them with a friend by posting on Social Media. You can follow us on Facebook here , on Instagram here , or on Pinterest here. We are a mobile DJ entertainment company servicing New Jersey, New York, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware with an expertise in weddings. If you are planning a wedding in these areas, please keep us in mind for your special day!

For a wealth of additional planning tips, check out our book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”. It is available as either a hard copy or ebook.  Also, special thanks to this year’s cover photo models – bride Jacalyn and groom Tom.  Photos used with their gracious permission.

Now let’s get into the music!  (click on table of content item to jump to that section)


Wedding Ceremony Music – Classical Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. Canon in D – Pachelbel
  2. Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major – Bach, performed by Yo-Yo Ma
  3. Sleepers Awake – Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. Sarabande – Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Air on a G String – Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone
  7. Nimrod (from Enigma Variations) – Edward Elgar
  8. Romantic Pieces, Op. 75 (Allegro Moderato) – Antonin Dvorak
  9. I Was Glad – Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (used by Prince William & Princess Kate)
  10. Spring (from The Four Seasons) – Antonio Vivaldi
  11. Bridal Chorus (“Here Comes the Bride”) – Richard Wagner (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  12. Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark’s March) – Jeremiah Clarke
  13. Trumpet Tune – Henry Purcell
  14. La Califfa – Sarah Brightman
  15. Nella Fantasia – Ennio Morricone
  16. Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
  17. Etude No. 2 – Philip Glass
  18. Gymnopedies No. 1 – Erik Satie
  19. Highland Cathedral – Phil Coulter (Celtic selection)
  20. Alla Hornpipe – G.F. Handel (recessional)
  21. Wedding March – Felix Mendelssohn (recessional) (* do not use for Jewish couples)
  22. Water Music: Suite No. 2 in D Major – George Frideric Handel (recessional)
  23. Scotland the Brave – Boston Pops Orchestra (recessional, Celtic)

To listen to these wedding ceremony song ideas on Spotify, click here.


Wedding Ceremony Music – Modern Selections (Prelude or Processional unless otherwise noted)

  1. From the Ground Up – Dan + Shay
  2. Songbird – Eva Cassidy
  3. Cowboys and Angels – Dustin Lynch
  4. Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk
  5. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  6. Like I’m Gonna Lose You (cover) – Jasmine Thompson
  7. Love Me Like You Do (cover) – Brooklyn Duo
  8. Beautiful in White (cover) – Matt Johnson
  9. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran
  10. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder
  11. River Flows in You – Yiruma
  12. Variations on the Kanon – George Winston
  13. Fairytale – Enya
  14. River Flows in You – Yiruma (New Age)
  15. Nocturne – Secret Garden (New Age)
  16. Love Story – Luc Serra (New Age)
  17. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
  18. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  19. 1, 2, 3, 4  (cover) – Vitamin String Quartet
  20. Crazy Little Thing Called Love (cover) – Paul Canning
  21. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  22. Halo – Beyonce
  23. A Thousand Years (piano instrumental) – The Piano Guys
  24. Bittersweet Symphony (instrumental only) – The Verve
  25. God Bless the Broken Road (piano instrumental) – performed by The O’Neill Brothers
  26. Angels – Robin Thicke
  27. This Ring – T. Carter Music
  28. Holocene – Cover Version of Bon Iver performed by Vitamin String Quartet
  29. The Prayer (instrumental) – The O’Neill Brothers (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  30. Here We Stand – T. Carter Music (candlelighting or sand ceremony)
  31. Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (candelighting or sand ceremony)
  32. All You Need is Love – Beatles (recessional)
  33. Sugar – Maroon 5 (recessional)
  34. Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder (recessional)
  35. You’re My Best Friend – Queen (recessional)
  36. Love on Top – Beyonce (recessional)
  37. Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi (recessional)
  38. Everlasting Love (This Will Be) – Natalie Cole (recessional)
  39. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne (recessional)
  40. Now That We Found Love – Heavy D. and the Boyz (recessional)
  41. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – OMI (recessional)
  42. I’m a Believer – Smash Mouth (recessional)
  43. Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s (recessional)

To listen to these wedding ceremony song ideas on Spotify, click here.

Helpful Hints – Looking for a blend of classical and modern? Check out the strings arrangements of classic rock, modern rock, Indie rock and dance music performed by the Vitamin String Quartet ( For special songs that were custom-written for weddings, visit T. Carter Music or Wedding Music Central. To read Ambient DJ’s interview with Wedding Music Central, click here. To read Ambient DJ’s interview with T. Carter Music, click here.

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Grand Entrance Songs for Wedding Reception

  1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  2. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)
  3. A Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay (pop/dance)
  4. Game of Thrones (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Ramin Djawadi (EDM)
  5. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  6. Theme Song from Star Wars (soundtracks)
  7. Best Day of My Life – American Authors (pop)
  8. On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons (pop)
  9. Feel So Close – Calvin Harris (dance/EDM)
  10. It Takes Scoop (Mashup) – Fatman Scoop (hip hop)
  11. Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon (dance)
  12. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson w/ Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  13. Turn up the Speakers – Martin Garrix (EDM)
  14. Boneless – Steve Aoki (EDM)
  15. Love on Top – Beyonce (R&B)
  16. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince (80s)
  17. Top Gun Anthem – Harold Faltermeyer (soundtracks)
  18. Hell Yes – Beck (alternative)
  19. Chank – John Scofield (funky jazz)
  20. Booty Swing – Parov Stelar (electro-swing)
  21. Happy – Pharrell Williams (pop)
  22. Forever – Chris Brown (pop)
  23. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  24. Time of Our Lives – Pitbull f/ Ne-Yo (dance)
  25. Tremor – Dmitri Vegas, Martin Garrix and Like Mike (EDM)
  26. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO (dance)
  27. Pump It Up – Danzel (dance)
  28. Bailando (Gregor Salto Remix) – Enrique Iglesias f/ Sean Paul (Latin/Trap)
  29. Now That We Found Love – Heavy D. and the Boyz (90s/dance)
  30. Paper Planes – M.I.A. (alternative)
  31. You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates (80s)
  32. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole (soul)
  33. I Blame You – Ledisi (R&B)
  34. When Love Takes Over – David Guetta f/Kelly Rowland (dance)
  35. Thunderstruck – AC/DC (rock)
  36. I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness (modern rock)
  37. The Final Countdown – Europe (80s glam rock)
  38. Let’s Get Married (Remix f/ Reverend Run) – Jagged Edge (R&B)
  39. Bring ‘Em Out – T.I. (hip hop)
  40. Beautiful Day – U2 (rock)
  41. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts (country)
  42. Theme Song from Pirates of the Caribbean (soundtracks)
  43. Theme Song from the Avengers (soundtracks)
  44. Sirius – Alan Parsons Project (i.e. Chicago Bulls theme song)
  45. Heavy Action – Johnny Pearson (i.e. Monday Night football theme song)
  46. Fox Football Theme – Twilight Trio (sports)
  47. Watch Me – Silento (urban line dance)
  48. Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix) – OMI (pop/Caribbean)
  49. Viva La Vida – Coldplay (modern rock)
  50. Welcome to the Jungle – Guns and Roses (rock)
  51. We Will Rock You – Queen (rock)
  52. Levels – Avicii (EDM)
  53. My House – Flo Rida (pop)

To listen to these wedding grand entrance song ideas on Spotify, click here.

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First Dance Songs – Modern or Alternative Selections

  1. Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur (acoustic)
  2. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (pop)
  3. Tennesse Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (country)
  4. Never Tear Us Apart – INXS (80s)
  5. Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett (country)
  6. From the Ground Up – Dan + Shay (wedding)
  7. Forever Like That – Ben Rector (acoustic)
  8. In Case You Didn’t Know – Brett Young (country)
  9. Perfect – Sara Evans (country)
  10. How Would You Feel (Paean) – Ed Sheeran (pop)
  11. The Nearness of You – Norah Jones (jazz ballad)
  12. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding (pop)
  13. Like I’m Gonna Lose You – Meghan Trainor & John Legend (pop)
  14. All of Me – John Legend (R&B)
  15. You are My Starship – Norman Connors (soul)
  16. Baby I’m Yours – Shai (R&B)
  17. Everytime I Close My Eyes – Babyface  & Mariah Carey (R&B)
  18. Angel of Mine – Monica (R&B)
  19. Your Love is King – Sade (jazz / R&B)
  20. Best of Me – Anthony Hamilton (R&B)
  21. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (soul)
  22. I Will Be There – Odessa (indie)
  23. Sea of Love – Cat Power (indie)
  24. Maps – The Yeah Yeahs (indie)
  25. Cinema (cover) – Jason Evigan (ballad)
  26. Last Night on Earth – Green Day (punk)
  27. Love Like You – Steven Universe (soundtrack)
  28. Love You ‘Till the End – The Pogues (alternative rock)
  29. Grow Old With Me – The Postal Service (indie)
  30. Hey Pretty Girl – Kip Moore (country)
  31. Whatever It Is – Zac Brown Band (country)
  32. Best Friend – Jason Mraz (pop)
  33. Marry You – Train (pop)
  34. I Choose You – Sara Bareilles (pop)
  35. You Are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne (folk rock)
  36. Wanted – Hunter Hayes (country)
  37. The Book of Love – Peter Gabriel (singer/songwriter)
  38. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri (pop)
  39. Just a Kiss – Lady Antebellum (country)
  40. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton (country)
  41. Me and You – Kenny Chesney (country)
  42. Smile – Uncle Kracker (pop)
  43. Cheerleader – OMI (Reggae/Tropical)
  44. Fade Into You – Mazzy Star (alternative rock)
  45. Such Great Heights – Iron & Wine (alternative)
  46. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes (alternative)
  47. I Only Have Eyes for You – Jamie Cullum (cover)
  48. Count on Me – Bruno Mars (pop)
  49. True Companion – Marc Cohn (folk rock)
  50. I Don’t Dance – Lee Brice (country)
  51. Mean to Me – Brett Eldredge (country)
  52. Head Over Heels – Rascal Flatts (country)
  53. Love Never Fails – Brandon Heath (acoustic)
  54. Of Crows and Crowns – Dustin Kensrue (Christian)
  55. You and Me – Lifehouse (modern rock)
  56. Tangled Up in You – Staind (rock)
  57. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz (pop rock)
  58. Better Together – Jack Johnson (folk rock)
  59. I’ll Be – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  60. Low Light – Pearl Jam (rock)
  61. Two Luv Birds – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  62. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  63. No One – Alicia Keys (R&B)
  64. Stay With You – John Legend (R&B)
  65. Suddenly – Adriana Evans (R&B)
  66. Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (adult contemporary)
  67. The Way You Look Tonight – Michael Buble (modern crooner)
  68. Fallen – Lauren Wood (from Pretty Woman sountrack)
  69. Lovesong – The Cure, or 311 (80s/New Wave)
  70. The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson (indie folk)
  71. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – The Talking Heads (for stripped down acoustic version, check out Shawn Colvin’s rendition) (80s/New Wave)
  72. All Mine – Portishead (electronic downtempo)
  73. Angels – The XX (electronic downtempo)
  74. Holocene – Bon Iver (indie rock)
  75. The Luckiest – Ben Folds (pop rock)
  76. My Favourite Book – Stars (indie pop)
  77. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (acoustic rock)
  78. I Could Not Ask for More – Edwin McCain (pop rock)
  79. When the Stars Go Blue – Ryan Adams (indie)
  80. I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie (indie)
  81. History in the Making – Darius Rucker (country)

To listen to these modern first dance song ideas on Spotify, click here.

First Dance Songs – Traditional and Timeless Selections

  1. When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge (soul)
  2. My One and Only Love – John Coltrane w/ Johnny Hartman (jazz/vocalist)
  3. Little Trip to Heaven – Tom Waits (jazz/vocalist)
  4. You Make Me Feel Brand New – The Stylistics (soul)
  5. The Closer I Get to You – Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway (soul)
  6. These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding (soul)
  7. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (jazz/big band)
  8. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (big band) or Tony Bennett (ballad)
  9. Crazy Love – Van Morrison (acoustic rock)
  10. My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone (soul)
  11. I Will – The Beatles (pop rock)
  12. Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts (country)
  13. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  14. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (rock)
  15. I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders (rock)
  16. Love of a Lifetime – Firehouse (rock)
  17. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis (oldies)
  18. Faithfully – Journey (rock)
  19. Heaven – Bryan Adams (80s)
  20. I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman (Christian)
  21. Songbird – Eva Cassidy (singer-songwriter)
  22. Don’t Want To Miss a Thing – Aerosmith (rock)
  23. I Want to Know What Love is – Foreigner (rock)
  24. Is This Love – Bob Marley (reggae)
  25. Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix (classic rock)
  26. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  27. Always and Forever – Heatwave (R&B)
  28. All My Life – K.C. and Jojo (R&B)
  29. Through the Fire – Chaka Khan (R&B)
  30. Here and Now – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  31. One in a Million You – Larry Graham (R&B)
  32. Ribbon in the Sky – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  33. For Once in My Live – Stevie Wonder (R&B / soul)
  34. From This Moment – Shania Twain w/Bryan White (country)
  35. It’s Your Love – Tim McGraw and Faith Hill (country)
  36. I Cross My Heart – George Strait (country)
  37. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery (country)
  38. How Deep is Your Love – The Bee Gees (disco/soft rock)
  39. I Just Want to Be Your Everything – Andy Gibb (disco/soft rock)
  40. Crazy for You – Madonna (80s)
  41. Lost in Love – Air Supply (soft rock)
  42. Into the Mystic – Van Morrison (soft rock)
  43. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers (oldies)
  44. We Have All the Time in the World – Louis Armstrong (jazz/vocalist)
  45. (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons – Nat King Cole (crooners)
  46. Follow You, Follow Me – Genesis (pop)

To listen to these classic first dance song ideas on Spotify, click here.


First Dance Songs -Used by Celebrities

  1. Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanion – “Beauty & the Beast” (Tale as Old as Time) – soundtrack – into “If I Can’t Have You” – Yvonne Elliman
  2.  David Tutera and Joey Toth  – “Rise Up” – Andra Day
  3. Idina Menzel and Aaron Lohr – “Por una Cabeza” (from Scent of a Woman) – Gerardo Matos Rodriguez
  4. Jennifer Aniston & Justin Theroux – “Chandelier” – Sia (live performance)
  5. Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt – “It Had to Be You” – Frank Sinatra
  6. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi – “Ribbon in the Sky” – Stevie Wonder
  7. Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odum – “Angel” – Anita Baker
  8. Michael Jordan and Yvette Prieto – “On the Ocean” – K’Jon
  9. John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette – “Forever in My Life” – Prince
  10. John F. Kennedy and Jackie O. – “I Married an Angel” – performed by The Meyer Davis Orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria, NYC
  11. Prince William and Princess Kate – “Your Song” by Elton John, performed live by Ellie Goulding
  12. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama – “You and I” – Stevie Wonder
  13. Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz – “First Day of My Life” – Bright Eyes
  14. Reese Witherspoon and Jim Tosh – “Make You Feel My Love” – Bob Dylan
  15. Shannen Doherty and Kurt Iswarienko – “My Baby Just Cares for Me” – Nina Simone
  16. Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman – “No One’s Gonna Love You” – Band of Horses
  17. Fergie and Josh Duhamel – “Sweethearts Together” – The Rolling Stones
  18. Ivanka Trump and Jason Kushner – “This Years’ Love” – David Gray
  19. Michael Buble and Luisano Lopilato – “Everybody Loves Somebody” – Dean Martin
  20. LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian – “When It Don’t Come Easy” – Patti Griffin
  21. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban – “At Last” – Etta James
  22. Shania Twain and Frederic Thiebauld – “I’m Your Man” – Michael Buble
  23. Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton – “No Doubt About It” – Neal McCoy
  24. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes – “Songbird” – Fleetwood Mac
  25. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards – “Open Arms” – Journey
  26. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan – “Last Night on Earth” – Green Day
  27. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley – “Heavenly Day” – Patti Griffin
  28. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott – “Amazed” – Lonestar
  29. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher – “Love Never Fails” – Brandon Heath
  30. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin – “Why Shouldn’t I? – Cole Porter

To listen to these celebrity first dance songs on Spotify, click here.

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Father-Daughter Dance

  1. Dance With My Daughter – Jason Blaine (country)
  2. Father & Daughter – Paul Simon (folk rock)
  3. Daddy Dance With Me – Krystal Keith (country) (for alternate version, try Krystal’s duet with Christopher Keith)
  4. Daddy Dance with Me – Christopher Keith (yes, it’s a separate and distinct version)
  5. I Loved Her First – Heartland (country)
  6. Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman (vocalist)
  7. Tupelo Honey – Van Morrison (singer songwriter)
  8. Walk With You – Edwin McCain (acoustic rock)
  9. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw (country)
  10. Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks (country)
  11. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  12. Ready, Set, Don’t Go – Billy Ray Cyrus (country)
  13. Just Fishin’ – Trace Adkins (country)
  14. Daddy’s Angel – T. Carter (Wedding/Country)
  15. Dad, You’re My Hero – Teresa James (Wedding)
  16. Daddy’s Little Girl – Michael Buble or Al Martino (vocalists)
  17. When You Need Me – Bruce Springsteen (singer/songwriter)
  18. I Believe in Happy Endings – Neil Diamond (vocalists)
  19. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (vocalists)
  20. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle (Christian)
  21. Daughters – John Mayer (pop)
  22. Daughter – Loudon Wainwright III (folk)
  23. My Little Girl – Steve Kirwan (wedding)
  24. Gracie – Ben Folds (singer/songwriter)
  25. Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce (singer/songwriter)
  26. If It Wasn’t For Your Love – Heather Headley
  27. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – “Iz” (Acoustic/Hawaiian)
  28. Look to the Rainbow – Astrud Gilberto (Brazilian/International)
  29. Tu Guardian – Juanes (Latin)
  30. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  31. Unforgettable – Natalie Cole w/Nat King Cole (wedding classic)
  32. Daddy – Beyonce (R&B)
  33. Ballerina Girl – Lionel Ritchie (80s ballad)
  34. Isn’t She Lovely -Stevie Wonder (soul) (note: we recommend editing out the intro section with crying baby)
  35. My Girl – The Temptations (Motown/Soul)
  36. Wildflowers – Tom Petty (acoustic rock)
  37. Father-Daughter – Michael Bolton (singer/songwriter)

To listen to these Father-Daughter song ideas on Spotify, click here.  Note: some of these songs were composed specifically for weddings and must be purchased from artist websites.

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Mother-Son Dance

  1. Never Alone – Jim Brickman f/ Lady Antebellum w/ Hillary Scott
  2. Loves Me Like a Rock – Paul Simon (folk rock)
  3. Mama – Lunchmoney Lewis (upbeat pop, fun song!)
  4. All to You – DJ Keo (country)
  5. My Wish – Rascal Flatts (country)
  6. Stand By Me – Ben E. King (soul)
  7. A Mother’s Song- T. Carter Music (wedding/country)
  8. On This Day – Christian Barnes (wedding)
  9. Mom – Garth Brooks (country)
  10. Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw (country)
  11. Don’t Blink – Kenny Chesney (country)
  12. I’ll Always Love My Mama – The Intruders (R&B/Soul)
  13. There You’ll Be – Faith Hill (country)
  14. Singing a Song for My Mother – Bohannon (R&B/Soul)
  15. A Song for Mama – Boyz II Men (R&B/Soul)
  16. You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban (classical)
  17. I Wish You Love – Luke Higgins (acoustic)
  18. Close to You – The Carpenters (soft rock)
  19. Child of Mine – Carole King (folk)
  20. Song for My Son – Mikki Viereck (wedding)
  21. It Happens in a Heartbeat – Teresa James (wedding)
  22. The Man You’ve Become – Molly Pasutti (wedding)
  23. You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman w/Lyle Lovett (Disney)
  24. The Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  25. I Hope You Dance – LeAnn Womack (country)
  26. Through the Years – Kenny Rogers (country)
  27. The Circle Game – Joni Mitchell (folk)
  28. Mae Querida – Tony Carreira (Portuguese)
  29. You’ll Be in My Heart – Phil Collins (pop)
  30. Happy Everafter In Your Eyes – Ben Harper (singer/songwriter)
  31. Forever Young – Alphaville (80s)
  32. Simple Man – Lynrd Skynrd (southern rock) or Shinedown (hard rock)
  33. What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong (classic)
  34. High Tide or Low Tide – Bob Marley (reggae)
  35. Baby Mine – Bette Midler (vocalist)
  36. The Perfect Fan – Backstreet Boys (Boy Band)
  37. Can’t Smile WIthout You – Barry Manilow (vocalist)

To listen to these Mother-Son song ideas on Spotify, click here.  Note: some of these songs were composed specifically for weddings and must be purchased from artist websites.

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Cake Cutting Songs

  1. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies (oldies)
  2. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (oldies)
  3. Sugar – Maroon 5 (pop)
  4. Cake by the Ocean – DNCE (pop)
  5. Everlasting Love (This Must Be) – Natalie Cole (R&B/soul)
  6. L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole (R&B/soul)
  7. Theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Ennio Morricone (soundtracks)
  8. Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar (80s)
  9. I Want Candy – The Bow Wow Wow (80s)
  10. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard (80s rock)
  11. Lips Like Sugar – Echo & the Bunnymen (80s/New Wave)
  12. Silly Love Songs – Paul McCartney & Wings (pop)
  13. I Got You Babe – Sonny & Cher (60s)
  14. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) – Marvin Gaye or James Taylor (R&B/soft rock)
  15. For Once in My Life – Stevie Wonder (Soul)
  16. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops (Motown)
  17. When I’m 64 – The Beatles (pop)
  18. Love is Strange – Mickey & Sylvia (oldies)
  19. Cut the Cake – Average White Band (disco)
  20. Candy – Cameo (funk)
  21. Wanna Grow Old with You – Adam Sandler (soundtrack)
  22. Super Mario Brothers Theme Song (soundtrack)
  23. Eat It – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (song parody)
  24. Candyman – Christina Aguilera (pop)
  25. Candy Girl – New Edition (R&B)
  26. Marry You – Bruno Mars (pop)
  27. Lucky – Jason Mraz f/ Colbie Caillat (pop)
  28. I Do – Colbie Caillat (pop)
  29. 1,2,3,4 – Plain White Tees (pop)
  30. Safe and Sound – Capital Cities (modern)
  31. Firecracker – Josh Turner (country)
  32. Honey Bee – Blake Shelton (country)
  33. Say Hey, I Love You – Michael Franti (dance)
  34. My Favourite Book – Stars (alternative)
  35. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses (alternative)
  36. Rain or Shine – Matthew Perryman Jones (rock)
  37. Love and Marriage – Frank Sinatra (vocalist)
  38. It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr. (big band/vocalist)
  39. Everything – Michael Buble (vocalist)
  40. Ice Cream – Sara McLachlan (vocalist)
  41. Marshmallow World – Dean Martin (crooner)
  42. Candy – Mandy Moore (pop)
  43. The Sweetest Love – Robin Thicke (R&B)
  44. By Your Side – Sade (R&B)
  45. The Power of Love/Love Power – Luther Vandross (R&B)
  46. Love Light in Flight – Stevie Wonder (R&B)
  47. P.D.A. (We Just Don’t Care) – John Legend (R&B)
  48. Birthday Cake – Rihanna (R&B) (note: loop chorus only… other lyrics are inappropriate!)
  49. Dearest (cover) – The Black Keys (rock)
  50. Spin Spin Sugar (Armand Van Helden Remix) – Sneaker Pimps (electronic)
  51. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen (rock)
  52. You’re My Best Friend – Queen (rock)

To listen to these Cake Cutting song ideas on Spotify, click here.


Bouquet & Garter Ceremony

  1. Single Ladies – Beyonce (Bouquet Toss)
  2. Dear Future Husband – Meghan Trainor (Bouquet Toss)
  3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (Bouquet Toss)
  4. Country Girl, Shake It – Luke Bryan (Bouquet Toss)
  5. Little White Church – Little Big Town (Bouquet Toss or Grand Finale)
  6. Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble (Bouquet Toss)
  7. Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison (Bouquet Toss)
  8. Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce (Bouquet Toss)
  9. Girls, Girls, Girls – Motley Crue (Bouquet Toss)
  10. Maneater – Nelly Furtado (Bouquet Toss)
  11. Where Them Girls At – Flo Rida, David Guetta and Nicki Minaj (Bouquet Toss)
  12. Holding Out for a Hero – Bonnie Tyler (Bouquet Toss)
  13. American Woman – Lenny Kravitz (Bouquet Toss)
  14. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups (Bouquet Toss)
  15. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani (Bouquet Toss)
  16. Theme from Mission Impossible (Garter Removal)
  17. Filthy – Justin Timberlake (Garter Removal or Grand Finale)
  18. I’m Too Sexy (Touch this Skin) – Black Stereo Faith (Garter Removal or Grand Finale)
  19. Bad Things (from First Blood) – Jace Everett (Garter Removal)
  20. Legs – ZZ Top (Garter Removal)
  21. The Stripper – Traditional (Garter Removal)
  22. Pink Panther Theme Song (Garter Removal)
  23. Foxey Lady – Jimi Hendrix (Garter Removal)
  24. You Can Leave Your Hat On – Joe Cocker (Garter Removal)
  25. Theme from the movie Jaws (Garter Removal)
  26. Hot Legs – Rod Stewart (Garter Removal)
  27. The Man – Aloe Blacc (Garter Toss)
  28. Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco (Garter Toss)
  29. Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins (Garter Toss)
  30. Peter Gunn – The Blues Brothers (Garter Toss)
  31. Theme from Rocky – Rocky Orchestra (Garter Toss)
  32. Oh Yeah (Yello) – from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Garter Toss)
  33. Bad Boys – Inner Circle (Garter Toss)
  34. Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top (Garter Toss)
  35. The Boys are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy (Garter Toss)
  36. Bad to the Bone – George Thorogood (Garter Toss)
  37. Big Pimpin’ – Jay-Z (Garter Toss)
  38. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf (Garter Toss)
  39. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen (Grand Finale)
  40. Keep Your Hands to Yourself – The Georgia Satellites (Grand Finale)
  41. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (Grand Finale)
  42. Let’s Get it On – Marvin Gaye (Grand Finale)
  43. You Sexy Thing – Hot Chocolate (Grand Finale)
  44. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth f/ Meghan Trainor (Grand Finale)
  45. I’m Too Sexy – Right Said Fred (Grand Finale)
  46. Sensual Seduction – Snoop Dogg (Grand Finale)
  47. Bump n’ Grind – R. Kelly (Grand Finale)
  48. I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Badd (Grand Finale)
  49. The Distance – Cake (Grand Finale)
  50. Pony – Ginuwine (Grand Finale)
  51. Hot in Herre – Nelly (Grand Finale)
  52. Cherry Pie – Warrant (Grand Finale)
  53. Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO (Grand Finale)
  54. Wild Thing – Tone Loc (Grand Finale)
  55. Whoomp! (There It is Is) – Tag Team (Grand Finale)
  56. Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart (Grand Finale)

To listen to these Bouquet and Garter song ideas on Spotify, click here.


Grand Finale (Final Song of Reception)

  1. Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble (contemporary)
  2. (I’ve Had the) Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (soundtracks)
  3. Time (the Dirty Bit) – The Black Eyed Peas (modern dance)
  4. One More Time – Daft Punk (electronic dance)
  5. Piano Man – Billy Joel (singer/songwriter)
  6. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker (country)
  7. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks (country)
  8. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Elton John (soundtracks)
  9. Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett (country)
  10. New York, New York – Frank Sinatra (crooners)
  11. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z w/ Alicia Keys (hip hop/R&B)
  12. Party Till We Die – MAKJ & Timmy Trumpet (EDM)
  13. Tremor – Dmitri Vegas, Martin Garrix and Like Mike (EDM)
  14. Sandstorm – Darude (EDM)
  15. Let’s Get Married (Remix) – Jagged Edge with Reverend Run from Run-D.M.C. (R&B)
  16. Times of Your Life (Good Riddance) – Green Day (punk rock)
  17. Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money (80s rock)
  18. Your Love – The Outfield (80s rock)
  19. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – Talking Heads (80s/New Wave)
  20. Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight – The Spaniels (oldies)
  21. Shower the People (live version) – James Taylor (folk rock)
  22. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton (soft rock)
  23. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  24. See You Again – Wiz Khalifa f/ Charlie Puth (pop / hip hop)
  25. Amazed – Lonestar (country)
  26. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (rock)
  27. Closing Time – Semisonic (rock)
  28. We Are Young – Fun w/ Janelle Monae (pop)
  29. Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry (rock)
  30. Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (alternative rock)
  31. Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root (alternative rock)
  32. Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen (rock)
  33. Don’t Stop Believing- Journey (rock)
  34. Last Dance – Donna Summer… for a modern day twist, try the Masters at Work Remix which gives the original a smooth house treatment (disco/house)
  35. Please Don’t Go – KWS (freestyle)
  36. Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull f/ TJR (modern dance)
  37. Feel This Moment – Pitbull f/ Christina Aguilera (modern dance)

To listen to these Grand Finale song ideas on Spotify, click here.


100 Songs for a 2018 Wedding (Mixed Genres) (compiled by DJ Iron Mike and DJ Gregg Ambient)

  1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (pop/funk)
  2. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)
  3. Rescue Me – Fontella Bass (soul)
  4. Just One Look – Doris Troy (soul)
  5. Come and Get Your Love – Redbone (rock)
  6. Do Wah Diddy – Manfred Man (oldies)
  7. Here I Am (Come and Take Me) – Al Green (soul)
  8. Land of 1,000 Dances – Wilson Pickett (soul)
  9. Get Ready – The Temptations (Motown)
  10. Nowhere to Run – Martha Reeves & the Vandellas (Motown)
  11. Respect – Aretha Franklin (Motown)
  12. I Just Want to Celebrate – Rare Earth (Motown)
  13. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – Four Tops (Motown)
  14. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (Motown)
  15. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker or Old Crow Medicine Show (country)
  16. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt (country)
  17. Honey, I’m Good – Andy Grammer (pop/country)
  18. Island Song – Zac Brown Band (country)
  19. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (pop ballad)
  20. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (country ballad)
  21. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars (R&B)
  22. Death of a Bachelor – Panic! at the Disco (alternative rock)
  23. Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers (modern rock)
  24. HandClap – Fitz and the Tantrums (alternative rock)
  25. Could You be Loved – Bob Marley (reggae)
  26. Tempted to Touch – Rupee (dancehall reggae)
  27. Turn Me on – Kevin Lyttle (dancehall reggae/soca/calypso)
  28. Temperature – Sean Paul (dancehall reggae)
  29. Apache – Sugarhill Gang (old skool)
  30. Planet Rocket – Afrika Bamaataa & the Soul Sonic Force (old skool)
  31. Cupid Shuffle – Cupid (line dance)
  32. The Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper (line dance)
  33. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
  34. You to Me are Everything – The Real Thing (disco)
  35. Keep it Comin’ Love – KC & the Sunshine Band (disco)
  36. September – Earth, Wind & Fire (disco)
  37. Do You Wanna Funk – Sylvester (disco/funk)
  38. P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) – Michael Jackson (disco)
  39. Super Freak – Rick James (funk)
  40. Spice Up Your Life – The Spice Girls (90s)
  41. Hey Mr. D.J. – Zhane (90s)
  42. Fired Up! – Funky Green Dogs (90s)
  43. Make the World Go Round – Sandy B. (90s)
  44. Finesse – Bruno Mars w/ Cardi B (pop/dance)
  45. Runaround Sue – Dion (oldies)
  46. Twist and Shout – The Beatles (60s rock)
  47. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin (oldies)
  48. Duke of Earl – Gene Chandler (doo wop / oldies)
  49. I Only Have Eyes for You – The Flamingos (ballad)
  50. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (crooners)
  51. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (soul)
  52. At Last – Etta James (soul)
  53. Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett (country)
  54. I’ll Always Love You – Tito Nieves (salsa)
  55. Despacito (Remix) – Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber (Latin pop)
  56. Havana – Camila Cabello w/ Young Thug (pop)
  57. Vivir Mi Vida – Marc Anthony (salsa)
  58. Mi Gente – J. Balvin w/ Willy William (reggaeton)
  59. La Vida Es Un Carnaval – Celia Cruz (salsa)
  60. Doe Locos – Monchy & Alexandra (bachata)
  61. Mi Reina – La Makina (merengue)
  62. Dos Locos – Monchy & Alexandra (bachata)
  63. Mi Ultima Carta – Prince Royce (bachata)
  64. Mi Reina – La Makina (merengue)
  65. Guallando – Fulanito (merengue)
  66. Danza Kuduro – Don Omar (Latin dance / Merengue)
  67. Bailar – Deorro with Pitbull & Elvis Crespo (EDM / Merengue)
  68. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones (classic rock)
  69. American Girl – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (classic rock)
  70. Holiday – Madonna (80s)
  71. How Will I Know – Whitney Houston (80s)
  72. What is Love – Haddaway (90s)
  73. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham! (80s)
  74. Higher Love – Steve Winwood (80s)
  75. Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears (80s)
  76. Stars – Simply Red
  77. I’ll Be There – The Jackson 5 (soul)
  78. Let Me Clear My Throat – DJ Kool (old skool)
  79. No Diggity – Blackstreet f/ Dr. Dre (R&B)
  80. Hypnotize – The Notorious B.I.G. (hip hop)
  81. In Da Club – 50 Cent (hip hop)
  82. Ignition (remix) – R. Kelly (R&B)
  83. Fantasy – Mariah Carey w/ Ol’ Dirty Bastard (R&B)
  84. Too Close – Next (R&B)
  85. Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison (R&B)
  86. Real Love (remix) – Mary J. Blige (R&B)
  87. Ride Wit Me – Nelly (hip hop)
  88. Scenario – A Tribe Called Quest (hip hop)
  89. Party in the U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus (pop)
  90. Shake it Off – Taylor Swift (pop)
  91. One Dance – Drake w/ Wizkid and Kyla (R&B)
  92. This Girl (Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners) – Kungs (dance)
  93. Fireball – Pitbull (Latin/Dance)
  94. This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris w/ Rihanna (EDM)
  95. Closer – The Chainsmokers (EDM)
  96. Shouts (Parts 1 and 2) – The Isley Brothers (soul)
  97. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond (sing-along)
  98. Party Till We Die – MAKJ and Timmy Trumpet (EDM peak hour)
  99. I Love It (Tiesto’s Club Life Remix) – Icona Pop (EDM peak hour)
  100. Game of Thrones (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Ramin Djawadi (EDM)

To listen to these Top 100 wedding song ideas for 2018 on Spotify, click here.

The Ambient DJ Service Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist Menu


The list below features the name/theme of the Cocktail Hour Mix, the selected accompanying cocktail, and the DJ who created the playlist in parentheses. Access the individual blog entries/playlists by clicking on the links.

  1. Alternative Rock Cocktail Hour, Craft Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  2. The Quintessentially Mixed Cocktail Hour, Long Island Iced Tea (DJ AQ). Click here.
  3. Good Vibes Cocktail Hour, Pina Colada (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  4. Head to Shoulder Dip Cocktail Hour, Hairy Navel (DJ Gary G). Click here.
  5. Retro Soul Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Havana Coconut Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  6. Smooth Sail Cocktail Hour, Malibu Bay Breeze (DJ Mike K). Click here.
  7. Back to the Eighties Cocktail Hour, Midori Sour (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  8. Beach Themed Cocktail Hour, Red Stripe Beer (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  9. Classic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tanqueray & Tonic (DJ Garrett B.). Click here.
  10. International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sangria (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  11. Country Wedding Cocktail Hour, Manhattan (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  12. Crooners Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jack Daniels on the Rocks with a Splash of Water (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  13. Chanteuse Wedding Cocktail Hour, The White Lady (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  14. TV Theme Songs Wedding Cocktail Hour, Coca-Cola with a side of Popcorn (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  15. Christmas Wedding Cocktail Hour, Eggnog (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  16. Boardwalk Empire / Great Gatsby Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rum Punch for a Crowd (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  17. Classic R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Ciroc Blue Ocean (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  18. James Bond Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vespa Martini that is shaken not stirred! (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  19. Valentines Wedding Cocktail Hour, Godiva Chocolate Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  20. Miami Vice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cuba Libre (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  21. The “Super Happy Hour” Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Bob Marley (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  22. The Brazilian Wedding Cocktail Hour, Caipirinha (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  23. The New Jersey Homegrown Wedding Cocktail Hour, Boat Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  24. The French Connection Wedding Cocktail Hour, 2010 Chateau Canon-la-Gaffeliere St. Emilion (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  25. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sloe Gin Fizz (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  26. The Super Funky Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Funky Cold Medina (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  27. The Acid Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour, Gimlet (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  28. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Miller High Life (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  29. The New York State of Mind Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bronx Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  30. The Disney Wedding Cocktail Hour, Vibrant Orange Juice Frosty (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  31. The Summer Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Jameson & Ginger Ale (DJ Spinz). Click here.
  32. The Colorful Wedding Cocktail Hour, Shot of Goldschlager (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  33. The Inspiring Women of Music Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brandy Alexander (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  34. The Psychedelic Wedding Cocktail Hour, Death in the Afternoon (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  35. The Surf’s Up Wedding Cocktail Hour, Italian Surfer (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  36. The 90s Grunge Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Whiskey Sour (Guest bloggers Pash & David). Click here.
  37. The “Nice and Easy” Wedding Cocktail Hour, Dirty Martini (DJ Greg Nice). Click here.
  38. The All Beatles Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bass Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  39. The Savannah Southern Charm Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade Mojito (Guest Blogger Cindy Brown). Click here.
  40. The All Covers Version Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1) , Tecate Beer (Team Ambient ). Click here.
  41. The Giants of Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , The Jazz Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  42. The Smooth Jazz Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Kahlua & Cream (DJ Gregg Ambient ). Click here.
  43. The Vintage Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Old-Fashioned (Guest Blogger DJ Ali Gruber ). Click here.
  44. The Acquired Taste Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Fernet Branca (Guest Blogger DJ Toad). Click here.
  45. The Jamaican Love Song Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Hummingbird (DJ Jazz). Click here.
  46. The Motown Wedding Cocktail Hour, The Last Word (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  47. The All-Broadway Wedding Cocktail Hour, Fuzz Greyhound (Guest Bloggers Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon) . Click here.
  48. The Fifty Shades of Grey Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bollinger La Grande Annee Rose (1999) (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  49. The Hip Hop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cristal Champagne (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  50. The Tropical Trade Winds Wedding Cocktail Hour, Barbados Rum Punch (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  51. The Reggae Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Red Stripe Beer/ Dirty Banana Cocktail (DJ Sully) . Click here.
  52. The Mellow Country Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Cherry Coke & Cola (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  53. The Space Travelers Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Astronaut (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  54. The Freestyle Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Dark and Stormy (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  55. The African Safari Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Castle Lager Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  56. The Sunset Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Mojito (Guest Blogger, DJ Troy Michael via Hawaii) . Click here.
  57. The 70s Soft Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist – Volume 2 , Scotch on the Rocks (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  58. The Bar Life Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Margarita (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  59. The New Orleans Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Hurricane (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  60. The Classy Covers Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Southern Revival (DJ Spinz) . Click here.
  61. The Blues Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Blonde Manhattan (DJ Marti Gras) . Click here.
  62. The 80s 90s Something Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Bottle of Zima (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  63. The “Lush” Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Botanist Cocktail (DJ Cloak Dagger) . Click here.
  64. The Boy Bands Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist (Volume One) , Bubble Martini (DJ Iron Mike) . Click here.
  65. The New Years Eve Style Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne (DJ Gregg Ambient) . Click here.
  66. The Valentines Day Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Frangelico on the Rocks (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  67. The New Age Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1), Maple Breakfast Stout (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  68. The 420 High Times Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Summer Shandy beer (Joint DJ Collaboration).  Click here.
  69. The Bossa Chill Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Caipirinha (DJ Dre Ovalle).  Click here.
  70. The Fourth of July Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Bottle of Budweiser (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  71. The Vineyard Vibes Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist, Bottle of 2012 St. Eden Vineyards Chardonnay (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  72. The 60s Gold Wedding Cocktail Hour Playlist , Zombie (DJ Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  73. The 1990s R&B Wedding Cocktail Hour, Espresso Martini (DJ Iron Mike). Click here.
  74. The “Cool, Relax” Wedding Cocktail Hour, Basilico (DJ Statle). Click here.
  75. The A List B-Side Wedding Cocktail Hour, Black Russian (guest blogger Darrell Gartrell). Click here.
  76. The Stone Cold Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Laid Back (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  77. The Bar Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bloody Mary (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  78. The Disco Love Wedding Cocktail Hour, Singapore Sling (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  79. The Far East Wedding Cocktail Hour, Suntory Whiskey on the rocks (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  80. The Doo-Wop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Tom Collins (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  81. The Spa Sessions Wedding Cocktail Hour, Serendipi-Tea (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  82. The Fashion Show Wedding Cocktail Hour, Negroni (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  83. The All Trumpet Wedding Cocktail Hour, Sparkling French Martini (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  84. The Fine Day to Say “I Do” Wedding Cocktail Hour, Aperol Spritz (DJ Linda Leigh). Click here.
  85. The International Excursions Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 2), Aguardiente Sour (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  86. The 80s Power Ballad Wedding Cocktail Hour, Bartyles & James Wine Cooler (Gregg Ambient). Click here.
  87. The Indie Folk Wedding Cocktail Hour, Hippie Juice served in Mason Jar (DJ Marti Gras).  Click here.
  88. The DJ’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour, Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar craft beer (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  89. The Retro Wedding Cocktail Hour, Pear Barbotage (DJ Nick Kaminski).  Click here.
  90. The Yacht Rock Wedding Cocktail Hour (Volume 1), Sex on the Beach (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  91. The Noc Boots Wedding Cocktail Hour, Black Diamond (DJ Cloak Dagger).  Click here.
  92. The Philadelphia Freedom Wedding Cocktail Hour, Poor Richard’s Tavern Spice Ale (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  93. The Indian Electronic Lounge Wedding Cocktail Hour, Kingfisher Beer (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  94. The Viva Las Vegas Wedding Cocktail Hour , La Paloma cocktail (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  95. The Sixties Soul Wedding Cocktail Hour, Brown Derby cocktail (DJ Iron Mike).  Click here.
  96. The Sunset Beach Party Wedding Cocktail Hour, Pineapple Mojito (DJ Ted Ganung).  Click here.
  97.  The 90s Pop Wedding Cocktail Hour, Cosmopolitan (DJ Gregg Ambient).  Click here.
  98.  The Sax Man’s Choice Wedding Cocktail Hour (Vol. 1)Sentimental Melody (Joseph Grillo).  Click here.

25 Key Songs for a California / West Coast Wedding

The following list was curated by our friend and respected industry colleague Dan Rosenbach. Dan is a NJ transplant who operates “Love in the Mix” located in the San Francisco Bay Area. As per Dan, “the following playlist is a collection of songs you might typically hear at the most modern San Francisco venue or a rustic vineyard setting in Napa. From country to hip hop, a summary of Bay Area flavors.”

Love in the Mix is the Bay Area’s freshest DJ and lighting design team. Featured in DJ Times Magazine and TLC’s Four Weddings, the company provides beautiful sights and sounds to create unforgettable weddings and corporate events. To learn more about Dan’s awesome DJ service, visit

  1. California Love – 2Pac Shakur
  2. California Gurls – Katy Perry f/ Snoop Dogg
  3. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  4. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  5. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  6. I Left My Heart in San Francisco – Tony Bennett
  7. Shakedown Street – The Grateful Dead
  8. (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  9. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  10. Regulate – Warren G.
  11. This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan
  12. The Sound of San Francisco – Global Deejays
  13. California Soul – Marlena Shaw
  14. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) – Scott McKenzie
  15. We Built This City – Starship
  16. Save Me, San Francisco – Train
  17. Bernie Lean – ATM
  18. Happy Ending – Sugarland
  19. My Wish – Rascal Flatts
  20. Blow the Whistle (clean) – Too $hort
  21. Playaz Club (clean) – Rappin’ 4-Tay
  22. Players Holiday – T.W.D.Y. f/ Too $hort
  23. Sprinkle Me – E-40 & Suga-T
  24. Game Recognize Game – JT the Bigga Figga & Mac Mall
  25. Get Stupid (Remix) – Mac Dre

25 Key Latin Tracks for a Wedding

The following list was compiled by Ambient DJ’s Latin music specialist Andre Ovalle, aka “DJ Dre Ovalle” – Dre’s selections below feature an assortment of Latin dance styles designed to appeal to a variety of cultures – including Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Vallenato, Cumbia and Reggaeton.

  1. Escapate Conmigo – Wisin & Ozuna (reggaeton)
  2. Siguela Bailando – Ozuna (reggaeton)
  3. Vacaciones – Wisin (reggaeton)
  4. Loco Enamorado – Abraham Mateo (reggaeton)
  5. Sobredosis – Romeo Santos (Bachata)
  6. Me Sobran Las Palabras – Zacarias Ferreira (Bachata)
  7. Just As I Am – Prince Royce w/ Chris Brown (Bachata)
  8. Nadie Como Ella – Marc Anthony (Salsa)
  9. Esa Boquita (Salsa Version) – J. Alvarez f/ Tito Nieves (Salsa)
  10. Amores Como el Nuestro – Jerry Rivera (Salsa)
  11. La Duena del Swing – Los Hermanos (Merengue)
  12. Vente Pa’ Ca – Ricky Martin w/ Maluma (reggaeton)
  13. Despacito (Remix) – Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber (pop)
  14. Timbalero – Hector Lavoe (Salsa)
  15. Rebelion – Joe Arroyo (Salsa)
  16. La Negra Tiene Tumbao – Celia Cruz (Salsa)
  17. Vivir Mi Vida – Marc Anthony (Salsa)
  18. Bailar – Deorro w/ Pitbull and Elvis Crespo (Electronic/Merengue)
  19. Stand by Me – Prince Royce (Bachata)
  20. Un Beso – Aventura (Bachata)
  21. La Luna Y Tu – Rafaga (Cumbia)
  22. La Gota Fria – Carlos Vives (Vallenato)
  23. Guallando – Fulanito (merengue)
  24. Volvi a Nacer – Carlos Vives (Vallenato)
  25. La Quiero a Morir – D.L.G. (Salsa)

Take a listen to our top Latin dance tracks on Spotify by clicking here


DJ Dre Ovalle, Latin Music Specialist at Ambient DJs

25 Key Country Tracks for a Wedding

This list is dedicated to our blog readers located in the South – we know there are many of you! A collection of classic and contemporary country tunes, ballads and line dances – this playlist will delight country music lovers from across the land.

  1. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show or Darius Rucker
  2. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
  3. Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  4. In Case You Didn’t Know – Brett Young
  5. Crazy – Patsy Cline
  6. H.O.L.Y. – Florida Georgia Line
  7. Island Song – Zac Brown Band
  8. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt
  9. I Don’t Dance – Lee Brice
  10. Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
  11. Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson
  12. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash
  13. Boot Scootin’ Boogie – Brooks & Dunn (line dance)
  14. Achy Breaky Heart – Billy Ray Cyrus (line dance)
  15. Copperhead Road – Steve Earle (line dance)
  16. Family Tradition – Hank Williams
  17. I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
  18. I Cross My Heart – George Strait
  19. Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
  20. Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big & Rich
  21. Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean
  22. Man, I Feel a Woman! – Shania Twain
  23. Redneck Woman – Gretchen Wilson
  24. Friends in Low Places – Garth Brooks
  25. Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
  26. Country Girl (Shake it for Me) – Luke Bryan

To preview these selected country songs on Spotify, click here

12 Songs Not to Play at a Wedding

  1. Hello – Adele. Despite being an emotionally powerful song, this hit single off Adele’s recent album is a break-up song. Substitute with her cover version of the Cure’s “Lovesong” or Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.”
  2. Stay With Me – Sam Smith. In this song, the emotionally tortured protagonist is a master of “one night stands” and proclaims “this ain’t love it’s clear to see, but darling, stay with me” and “deep down I know this never works, but you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt.” Hardly appropriate wedding fare!  Substitute with “Latch” (Disclosure with Sam Smith) or Smith’s fun cover version of Drake’s “Hotline Bling” set to a house beat.
  3. You’ll Never Find a Love Like Mine – Lou Rawls. This song oozes sex appeal with Rawl’s baritone voice over a vintage piano and strings disco arrangement. However, the premise of the song is that Rawl’s former partner will never find a love as good as his post their breakup. As a substitute, try George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby.”
  4. Easy – The Commodores.  This song deceptively sounds like a love song for Sunday morning in bed, but actually reflects the protagonist’s easy attitude as he segues out of a torturous relationship.  Lionel Richie fans are better served by wedding ballads like “Endless Love” or “Truly” – or upbeat selections “All Night Long” or “Dancing on the Ceiling.”
  5. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor. This song is about a woman’s turmoil and strength after a breakup. As a disco alternative at a similar tempo, try Cheryl Lynn’s uplifting “Got To Be Real.”
  6. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones. This infectious rock n’ roll jam regrettably contains lyrics that one music critic describes as “gross, sexist and stunningly offensive to black women” – trust us, the lyrics are that bad. If you love the Stones, try “Satisfaction” “Start Me Up” or another hit song from their extensive catalog.
  7. What’s Going On? – Marvin Gaye. If you enjoy hearing about war, picket lines and police brutality, then play this song at your wedding. Otherwise, try soulful crooner Gaye’s “Aint’ No Mountain High Enough” or super-funky “Got to Give it Up” which your DJ can then skillfully mix into Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”
  8. The Macarena – Los del Rio. Line dances at a wedding can be great ice breakers. However, this cheesy line dance has grown even more fungus with age. Modernize your wedding with a newer novelty dance such as the “Cupid Shuffle”
  9. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is an incredible rock band.  Yet this anthem is hard to dance to with its long, uncomfortable breakdowns. If you must play Zeppelin at your wedding, try “All of My Love” or “Thank You.” For a beach wedding, try their hidden gem “Down by the Seaside.”
  10. Gucci Gang – Lil Pump.  A hot 2018 hip song, this song – even in its super clean edited version – has no redeeming lyrical features.  Avoid this ratchet song like the plague for weddings.
  11. MotorSport – Migos w/ Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.  Downtempo dreary drug music whose radio edits do little to sanitize the lyrics and themes.  Save this song for the afterparty!
  12. Get It Together – Drake w/ Black Coffee.  Regrettably, Drake ruined the original soulful house version by Black Coffee with tortured and profain lyrics.

To preview these selected “no play” songs on Spotify, click here.

For additional thoughts on musical lyrics at wedding receptions, check out our article on that topic here.

Tips for Musical Programming at a Wedding

After engaging the services of a wedding DJ for your special day, a key task in the planning process is picking music for your wedding reception. Some couples are very “hands on” with the playlist, while others give a general direction to their DJ, trusting his or her expertise.

Assuming a four hour reception and 15 songs per hour, you would have a playlist of 60 songs. How many songs should you pick in advance? Our recommendation would be to prepare a list of up to 20 “must play” songs, plus another 20 “play If possible” tracks. That leaves an additional 20 tracks for your DJ to select. However, the DJ will pick these additional songs within your genre parameters. For example, if you love 90s dance music but dislike country music, the DJ would keep the mix within these guidelines.

In picking specific songs for your wedding reception, listed below are seven tips:

  1. Select a variety of musical styles. Your wedding reception will feature a wide range of guest ages, most likely from teenagers to older adults. You would be wise to select songs that cater to the various age brackets, so all guests feel like they are a part of your special day.
  2. Start your dance sets with recognizable oldies. For the initial dance set after your first appetizer course, begin with oldies genres such as 60s Rock, Motown, or Disco, to gain the trust of older guests. By doing so, they are more likely to go with the flow for your modern dance selections later in the night!
  3. Use non-danceable selections for cocktail hour or dinner music. If you enjoy non-danceable genres such as indie rock, use these selections for the atmospheric cocktail hour or dinner music. For open dancing after dinner, this eclectic fare will likely fail and result in a thin or empty dance floor.
  4. For open dancing, gravitate towards mainstream selections. After dinner, the DJ needs to quickly mobilize your diverse group of guests and create a packed dance floor. It is sound advice to use songs that are recognized by most guests! For example, young adults will recognize a classic party jam like “Shout” from the movies, while adult guests will have heard today’s super-hits by the likes of Pitbull, Rihanna or Jennifer Lopez on the radio.
  5. Consider using line dances as icebreakers. Yes, there has been a trend in recent years towards “non-tacky” DJ entertainment with minimal or no line dancing. You know, the usual suspects like the Electric Slide and Cupid Shuffle. That said, for the right crowd, line dances can quickly pack a dance floor with guests of all ages. The DJ can then guide this packed dance floor to the music that you really want to hear.
  6. Include several ballad sets. Wedding receptions are celebrations that should feature a combination of romance and fun. We recommend two or three ballad sets of two songs each. Incorporating slow dancing makes sense because; first, this allows your shy and older guests to join the action. Second, ballads are a welcome relief from extended sets of high tempo dancing. We recommend programming ballads in pairs because typically a couple will not get to the dance floor until the middle of the first song.
  7. Have a detailed discussion about music with your wedding DJ. Professional wedding DJs are highly experienced with musical programming and can provide suggestions that will enhance the quality of your event. Show the DJ your playlist and ask for their candid feedback. Have a detailed discussion with the DJ about your guest demographics that may provide clues on what music will work. Discuss your policy on fielding guest requests, line dances, and your expectations for the dance floor action. If you envision a mellower party, don’t be afraid to let the DJ know that a frenetic dance floor is not your goal.

If you found these playlists and tips helpful, for even more ideas check out our book available on Amazon “The Bride’s Guide to Selecting the Perfect Wedding DJ”.


Wedding Music Power Sets

A new feature of this year’s blog, we’re sharing some wedding DJ power sets to give you a sense on how we might structure sets at a wedding reception.   These sets are limited to 3-5 songs.  This section is under construction, so look forward to future sets as 2018 progresses!

Set:  90s Power Hour

  • Hip Hop Hooray – Naughty by Nature
  • Jump – Kriss Kross
  • Jump Around – House of Pain
  • It Takes Two- Rob Base & EZ-Rock
  • Poison – Bel Biv Devoe

Set:  Hot Latin Dance Set

  • Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber
  • Llororas – Oscar D’Leon
  • Mi Gente – J. Balvin w/ Willy William
  • Fireball – Pitbull
  • Danza Kuduro – Daddy Yankee

Set:  Classy Crooner Dinner Music

  • That’s Amore – Dean Martin
  • Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra
  • Quando, Quando, Quando – Michael Buble w/ Nelly Furtado
  • The Girl from Ipanema – Stan Getz w. Joao Gilberto & Astrud Gilberto
  • Desafinado – George Michael w/ Astrud Gilberto

Set:  Line Dance Fever

  • The Cha-Cha Slide – DJ Casper
  • The Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
  • Apache – Sugarhill Gang
  • Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill Gang
  • It’s Tricky –  Run-D.M.C.

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey that specializes in wedding DJ entertainment. Ambient DJ is a 20178 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award as well as of the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award.  We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! We would be delighted to perform at your wedding in the New Jersey / Philadelphia / New York Tri-State area, or destination wedding. For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at  Listen to a sampler of our DJ mixes at


New Jersey’s Top Wedding Venues (2018 Edition)

Through the years, Ambient DJs has provided wedding DJ entertainment in many of the finer banquet halls located throughout the state of New Jersey.  In this article, we share our top wedding venue selections for 2018.  This is our fifth consecutive year in preparing the study.

An important change for 2018… We have modified the study from a Top 25 Countdown to a non-ranked selection of our favorite venues in the key geographic regions of New Jersey.  These regions are (1) Central Jersey, (2) The Jersey Shore, (3) North Jersey, and (4) South Jersey/Cape May.  The reason for the change is that the list was getting too heavily skewed towards the North Jersey market where many of the state’s luxury properties reside.  Second, it was getting increasingly difficult to discern small differences between the highest rated wedding venues.

Tips for Selecting a Wedding Venue

New Jersey offers an incredible array of quality wedding reception venues that are as diverse as the state itself. From rustic farm weddings to summer celebrations in the heart of the Jersey Shore to romantic vineyards to luxurious banquet halls with the most decadent Viennese spreads that may leave you in a state of “food intoxication” – the Garden State is a great place to celebrate a wedding! We recommend couples to find a venue that suits your personal style. Do keep in mind that outdoors celebrations in unique venues can produce the most memorable parties, but that New Jersey’s weather is unpredictable.  You are well-advised to select a venue that offers a quality indoor alternative should the weather prove uncooperative.

One of the major trends that we’ve noticed in the New Jersey wedding industry is the creation of property portfolios by successful wedding caterers.  Examples include Landmark Hospitality (The Liberty House, The Stone House, Ryland Inn, The Boathouse at Mercer Lake, The Prallsville Mill), Seasons Catering (The Seasons, The Venetian, The Shadowbrook), the Clarks Landing group (Point Pleasant and Delran), Hotels Unlimited (The Windsor Ballroom, The Versailles Ballroom, The Sterling Ballroom, The Crystal Ballroom) and the Park Savoy group (Park Savoy, Nanina’s in the Park and the Park Chateau in East Brunswick NJ).  It’s exciting to see the emergence of wedding venue brands across the state offering consistent service quality.

What Makes an Exceptional Venue?

Factors that impress us:

  1. Natural beauty and ambience (how does the venue look both inside and out?);
  2. Friendly and service-oriented staff (preferably with long-term staff retention);
  3. Delicious food (DJs are often provided an entree);
  4. Venues that strive to deliver a personalized wedding experience for the bride and groom, and are not ‘wedding factories.’ The fact that a venue has multiple rooms doesn’t make it a wedding factory; rather, wedding factory refers to a mechanical approach to service;
  5. Well-maintained facilities – are the lobby, bathroom and parking lot clean and well-maintained? If a facility doesn’t care about its appearance, will it care about the details of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration?  As DJs, we possess a behind the scenes perspective that factors into our opinion of venues.

A bonus factor is a venue whose staff treats the DJ as a valued member of the wedding team. As DJs, we feel that love from the staff, and channel the good vibes back to the wedding guests. Conversely, a difficult banquet manager can present a barrier to us entertaining guests to the best of our abilities.  For ideas on how DJs can work better with wedding venues and other event pros, see our blog on this topic by clicking here.

Tips to Engaged Couples in Selecting a Venue

  1. Research your venue on WeddingWire (, the Knot (, Yelp ( or Google Reviews. Read what past clients had to say about their experience. WeddingWire, for example, rates vendors on the factors of 1) Quality of Service, 2) Responsiveness, 3) Professionalism, 4) Value, and 5) Flexibility. You can bet that a bride who spent tens of thousands of dollars on a reception venue will be eager to rave about a wonderful experience or critique a venue that fell short.  Take the time to read through a couple of dozen reviews to help gain a narrative behind the ratings.
  2. Take special note of venues that won a recent “Knot Best Of” award. The Knot Best Of Award is a respected industry award based on online ratings/reviews from real wedding couples. It is more difficult to win than the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice award.
  3. Don’t underestimate the factor of service; try to look beyond the decor of the room and the food. A poorly trained, lackadaisical or apathetic staff can reduce the guest experience, even at a beautiful venue.  Many of these banquet halls are extremely busy, yet it is still their responsibility to get all of the details of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration correct.
  4. Ask your wedding planner, DJ company or other wedding vendors for recommendations.
  5. Don’t assume that you can’t afford a top New Jersey wedding venue that carries the mystique of $250 per plate and up.  We’ve heard of incredible deals to be had from our client couples, particularly those who are flexible to consider off-peak dates.

The New Jersey Top Venues List

As a cross-check to our selections, we’ve listed in parentheses WeddingWire’s average aggregate star rating (maximum 5 stars) and number of WeddingWire reviews as of January 18, 2018.

We begin our survey in our home base of Central New Jersey.

Central New Jersey

The Park Chateau (East Brunswick).  Opened in March of 2017, the Park Chateau Estate and Gardens made quite a splash on the New Jersey wedding scene.  Located on 15 rolling acres, this ambition property captures the grandeur and scale of France’s Palace of Versailles.  In addition to vast gardens, the Chateau has its very own wedding chapel.  Service, food and decor wise, the property shares many influences from its sister property The Park Savoy.  However, things are done  on a far grander scale at the Park Chateau.  The first photo below is courtesy of photographer Simon Khalil (  Website: (29 reviews, 4.8 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).



The Hamilton Manor (Hamilton Township).  The Hamilton Manor is a modern venue in the Hamilton/Bordentown area that can host a wedding of up to 500 guests. Its Grand Ballroom features 20 foot high ceilings, antique chandeliers, a dramatic staircase for grand entrances and beautifully-restored mahogany floors.  The property includes a covered outdoor patio barn that can be used for onsite cocktail hours or wedding ceremonies, plus an additional outdoor ceremony area with a gazebo.  The Manor’s vintage 1936 flat bed red fire truck has proven popular for photo opportunities. Owner/operators, the Salzano Family, offer professional service with a smile!  For additional photo opportunities in 2018, the Salzanos are adding an outdoor landscaped water feature, as well as building a 300 foot pathway through the woods to the protected creek on the back end of the property.

Many North Jersey couples are choosing the Hamilton Manor based in Central NJ for its North Jersey style amenities, but at a Central NJ price point.  Website: (146 reviews, rated 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).



The Nassau Inn (Princeton). Our company is based in the Princeton area, and the Nassau Inn, located in Palmer Square, has always been a favorite of ours, capturing the history of this great town.  The Inn offers several classy, prestigious party rooms to choose from.  In an industry where rapid staff turnover and transient workers are the norm, it is refreshing to see many of the same waitstaff and banquet managers year after year at the Nassau Inn. Be sure to check out its recently renovated Prince William Ballroom.  Palmer Square, Princeton University and the iconic Princeton Record Exchange offer wonderful photo opportunities for wedding photos or an engagement photo shoot.  The wintery photo below is credited to our friend Kyo from Kyo Morishima Photography.  Website: (47 reviews on WeddingWire, rated 4.8/5.0 stars).



The Palace at Somerset Park (Somerset).  For those with champagne wishes and caviar dreams, the opulent Palace is the perfect venue. Located on a palatial estate, the Palace includes two magnificent ballrooms with separate entrances. The bridal suite, located upstairs, is a modern oasis of palatial dimensions. Use the outdoor balcony for your own private fireworks show.  Website: (244 reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


The Boathouse at Mercer Lake (West Windsor).  Located at the marina in Mercer County Park, the new Boathouse at Mercer Lake is nothing like the small, dark and somewhat dingy original “Mercer Boathouse” that was razed to make way for this recent $4.9 million overhaul.  The new “Lakeview Hall” which accommodates up to 250 guests is bright and airy.  The culinary offerings of the Boathouse have also been significantly improved with Crave Caterers (the offsite catering division of Landmark Hospitality) running the show.  The initial wave of wedding couples to use the Boathouse have left nothing but rave reviews!  Website: (9 reviews, rated 5.0 / 5.0 on WeddingWire).



The Grounds for Sculpture / RATS Restaurant (Hamilton).  This property is one of New Jersey’s hidden gems located in Hamilton Township near Trenton.  The impressive grounds provide the feel of a Paris museum, and there are several unique areas of the grounds to hold an onsite wedding ceremony. We in particular recommend the mysterious “Nine Muses” sculpture garden.  The reception party can follow at the onsite Seward Johnson Center for the Arts or the intimate Rats Restaurant set alongside a lake resembling Claude Monet’s Gardens at Giverny.  Even if you don’t select this venue for your wedding, the Grounds for Sculpture is a must-visit for any New Jerseyan and would also make a great locale for an engagement photo shoot!  Website: (28 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars)



Mercer Oaks (Princeton Junction). Located on a public golf course in West Windsor/Princeton Junction, the venue provides casual golf club elegance in a bright and spacious ballroom.  Delectable food and attentive service, led by the personable and longtime events manager Samantha Boudinot – are the other main attractions.  Mercer Oaks has a perfect 5.0 out of 5.0 rating on WeddingWire.  Website: (47 WeddingWire reviews, 5.0/5.0).


The Mountain Lakes House (Princeton).  Nestled deep in the woods of Princeton on 90 acres of natural preserve, the Mountain Lakes House is the perfect venue for an intimate outdoor gathering with its beautiful lakeside view.  Add delicious food and adult beverages from the venue’s list of recommended caterers, and weddings at the Mountain Lakes House are magical!  Website: (18 reviews, rated 4.6 / 5.0 on WeddingWire).


The Lambertville Station Restaurant and Inn  (Lambertville).   In 2014 the venue completed a $4 million expansion/renovation, also creating the new Riverside Ballroom. The Riverside Ballroom features high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows offering picturesque views of the Delaware River.  The cocktail hour space on the ground level is spacious and when the weather is pleasant can be open air, practically putting you on the river bank.  On the service side, Maitre D’ Neil  hustles from start to finish and is the only banquet hall professional that we’ve ever met who personally calls DJs prior to weddings to introduce himself.  The Riverside Ballroom offers delicious food (particularly the chicken artichoke entree) and is the perfect venue to capture the ambience of the Lambertville / New Hope area!  Website: (50 reviews, 4.5 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


The Jersey Shore

Clarks Landing Yacht Club (Point Pleasant). With a luxurious ballroom with high ceilings and panoramic windows fronting the water, a top notch management team and sumptuous food (particularly for cocktail hour), Clarks Landing is a standout selection.  An added plus is that DJs plug their mixing board into an in-house sound system with speakers built into the ceiling above the dancefloor.  The result is that dancers enjoy louder music, while guests seated at tables are not blasted out of the room (a frequent complaint against DJs and bands at weddings).  Regarding management, we’ve witnessed the intense and detailed staff prep meeting. Clarks Landing is clearly committed to superior service and the results show.  Clarks also wishes past wedding couples happy anniversary on their Facebook page and fondly recalls past weddings for years!  Website: (275 WeddingWire reviews, 5.0/5.0 stars).


The stunning Grand Ballroom at Clark’s Landing. Image from

The Shadowbrook (Shrewsbury).  We love the Shadowbrook for its picturesque gardens, perfect to host an onsite wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Indoors, its wood-paneled Oak Room and adjacent Horseshoe Bar inevitably host lively dance parties.  In February 2015, Robert Zweben who had been the sole owner for 20-plus years retired and sold the Georgian-style mansion and its surrounding 18 acres of property to the current owners of the renowned Venetian in Garfield and Seasons in Washington Township.  Upgrades to the property have been made since the acquisition.  Be sure to ask about the Shadowbrook’s caviar/vodka bar option for cocktail hour!  Website: (136 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars).


The Oak Room at the Shadowbrook

The Sunset Ballroom (Point Pleasant).   Located on the Point Pleasant side of the Manasquan Inlet, the bride can arrive for an onsite ceremony by boat. The venue offers beautiful views, delicious food and a friendly staff.  Pt. Pleasant offers many fun options for the “afterparty” and is also a family-friendly town for visiting guests.  Website:   (54 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars)

JT Wedding-1653

Crystal Point Yacht Club (Point Pleasant).   Another Point Pleasant entry for 2018, Crystal Point Yacht Club is located on the scenic Manasquan River, making a perfect backdrop for an onsite wedding ceremony.  The venue offers friendly maitre d’s and an attentive staff.  Website: (248 reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


The Versailles Ballroom (Toms River).   Part of the Hotels Unlimited group, the Versailles Ballroom located at the Ramada Inn is a standout pick for its service.  Maitre D’ Angel recently went above and beyond  to help us coordinate complicated logistics for a wedding. Thanks Angel!  Website: (136 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).

IMG_9214 (1)

North Jersey

The Pleasantdale Chateau (West Orange).  The Pleasantdale Chateau is the ideal venue for those couples seeking a luxurious fairytale wedding. This venue has that “wow factor” that begins the moment you drive onto the property and come down the driveway with the massive manor looming in the background. Enjoy your cocktail hour in the distinctive “Music Room,” chat with friends in the library and stroll through luxurious parlors.  Be sure to follow the Pleasantdale Chateau’s well-maintained Instagram account at @pleasantdalechateau to enjoy breathtaking images from events  Website:  (48 WeddingWire reviews, 4.8/5.0 stars).


A Fairytale Wedding Awaits You at the Pleasantdale Chateau


The Westmount Country Club (Woodland Park).  The “one and only” Westmount Country Club lives up to its namesake.  This venue shines for its artistic presentation of cocktail hour stations, designer martini menu, and epic dessert stations that roll onto the dance floor.   We particularly love the vibes in artsy Continental Room.  Let the wow factor begin!  Website: (211 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).



The Continental Room at the Westmount Country Club

The Park Savoy (Florham Park).  Our top rated wedding venue from last year’s study, this recently renovated turn-of-the-century mansion features cozy fireplaces, an exquisite bridal suite and details only seen in the great mansions of Newport Rhode Island, and is enhanced with floor to ceiling windows. Check out the intricate carvings on the ceiling above the dance floor, or take a stroll through the beautiful onsite gardens.  In terms of food, the Viennese style cocktail hours and dessert are a gastronomic delight. But what really resonates with us at The Park Savoy is the service.  Maitre D’ Vincent was a true professional from start to finish and even made our DJ feel like a guest.  Website: (271 WeddingWire reviews, 5.0/5.0).



The Estate at Florentine Gardens (River Vale).  This recently renovated and expanded Georgian-style mansion features expansive gardens, a grand ballroom with views of the gardens (the gardens look striking in the evening with the trees lit up), world class cuisine (the Chateaubriand is incredible), and an attentive professional management team and staff.  An in-house A/V company offers an exciting array of lighting and video options.  Website: (504 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


The W Hotel (Hoboken).   Hoboken is a trendy party town favored by young professionals.  The W Hotel is Hoboken’s premier wedding venue and offers a variety of spaces to hold an onsite ceremony, cocktail hour and reception party. “Lulu’s” lounge includes an outdoor patio fronting the water for an intimate wedding ceremony while its interior features modern lounge decor for cocktail hour.  The W. Hotel Hoboken offers a classic view of the New York City skyline that can particularly be appreciated from the honeymoon suite (of which we received a tour!).  Finally, the lobby of the W. Hoboken is a piece of artwork in and of itself.  Regarding the afterparty, wedding guests can continue to celebrate at the W Hotel’s in-house options, or else hit the hot local Hoboken night spots!  Website: (25 reviews, 4.8/5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


David’s Country Inn (Hackettstown).  Outstanding food and service in a venue oozing country charm, David’s Country Inn is a stand out venue in Warren County.  Built in 1840, this historic Victorian mansion is host to only one wedding per day.  For an onsite ceremony, the bride can dramatically process down a grand staircase. Regarding staff longevity,  the Falzarano Family has owned and operated David’s Country Inn for more than 38 years and several staff members have been with David’s for more than 25 years! Be sure to check out the antique coffee maker in the cocktail hour space.  Website: (133 WeddingWire reviews, 5.0/5.0 stars).


Explore David’s Country Inn at

The Madison Hotel / Conservatory (Morristown).   We love weddings at the Madison Hotel!  The English-style Conservatory is the top attraction at this historic and well-appointed hotel. The glass Conservatory, with its hanging plants is beautiful for either a daytime reception or intimate evening celebration dancing under the stars.  Website: (138 WeddingWire reviews, 4.8 / 5.0 stars)


The Loft at Jack’s Barn (Oxford).  The Loft at Jack’s Barn is a turn of the century feed mill barn located on four acres in beautiful Warren County.  This venue combines the rustic with the refined.  Owner-operator Darren is intimately involved in the business and has a very “hands on” and attentive style.  Don’t worry about dust and barnyard smells – Jack’s is impeccably clean and smartly decorated.  Website:  (20 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).



The Stonehouse at Stirling Ridge (Warren).  The architecture and design of the Stone House stand out, evoking a modern California lodge feel.  As per their website, “this space is designed with classic, clean lines, patterned wood and stone floors, a neutral color pallet and an appreciation for the scenic beauty that is part of this secluded location.” The food is exceptional, utilizing vegetables and herbs grown on a local communal farm. Choose from either the traditional ballroom or the newly opened “Lodge at Stirling Ridge” that fuses urban and rustic design elements.  We love how banquet manager Frank always greets DJs with a handshake and a smile! Website: (74 reviews, 4.7 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


The Grain House at the Olde Mill Inn (Basking Ridge).  The historic Grain House restaurant is the ideal choice for couples seeking an intimate, rustic style wedding.  With delicious food and an attentive and professional management  team, the Grain House is one of our favorite venues.  Be sure to say hello to “George” the colorful horse figurine located at the entrance!  Website:  (271 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 on WeddingWire).



The Barn at Perona Farms (Andover).  The newest addition to the Perona Farms estate (under family ownership since 1917) is its newly-renovated rustic barn.  The barn has been transformed into a modern facility and possesses a visual “wow factor” both inside and out.  The house uplighting is particularly striking.  Website: (178 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars).


The Barn at Perona Farms with Rockstar Wedding Couple Sarah and Michael

The Conservatory at the Sussex County Fairgrounds (Augusta).  Located on the Sussex County Fairgrounds, this luxurious venue offers a climate-controlled conservatory and  photo opportunities galore in the assorted beautiful gardens.  Website:  (14 reviews, 4.6 / 5.0 star rating on WeddingWire).



Jessica & Frank enjoy their first dance inside the Conservatory

South Jersey / Cape May

The Reeds at Shelter Haven (Stone Harbor).  A recent entrant to the Cape May area wedding scene, Reeds offers a modern, luxury boutique hotel featuring sparkling views of the bayside harbor from its Sweet Grass Ballroom.  The hotel is decorated in warm earth tones, richly inspired by nature and the sea.   The Reeds management team are friendly, professional and attentive to detail.  The food is also consistently delicious.  Many couples opt for the Reeds to re-kindle fond childhood memories of summers spent vacationing in Stone Harbor.  Website: (22 WeddingWire reviews, 4.7/5.0 stars)


The Reeds at Shelter Haven

One Atlantic (Atlantic City).  Situated at the far end of the Pier Shops across from Caesar’s Hotel & Casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk, One Atlantic is perched above the Atlantic Ocean, offering stunning views of the sea, beach and boardwalk through its floor to ceiling windows. Management is professional and communicative.  We also had a chance to sample the delicious food at an educational event hosted by The Knot during the Fall.  Important for DJs, particularly with the long distance load-in, is that the venue offers a modern audio system installed in the ceiling throughout the entire property that is easy to access with the help of an onsite audio tech.  While there are some special insurance requirements for wedding couples and vendors due to the oceanfront location, in our case the management made it a breeze to achieve compliance. One interesting facet of One Atlantic is that its Director, Elizabeth McGlinn, is a professional wedding officiant and conducts the onsite ceremonies!  Website: (153 WeddingWire reviews, 4.7/5.0 stars).


Clarks Landing Yacht Club (Delran). While smaller than its sister property in Pt. Pleasant,  the same impeccable service is evident in Delran.  The ballroom features large framed oiled paintings and beautiful waterfront views.  Not that it’s ever required, but the venue even provided the DJ with his own personal waitress for the wedding.  Talk about attention to detail! Wedding couples seem to agree with our assessment, awarding Clarks Landing Delran with a perfect 5.0 out of 5.0 WeddingWire rating.  Website: (84 WeddingWire reviews, 5.0/5.0 stars).

Tomasello Winery (Hammonton).  This venue is our top winery selection for 2018’s survey.  Couples can exchange vows in the picturesque Chardonnay Vineyard and then dance the night away in the romantic Crystal Ballroom. What makes Tomasello Winery unique against other wineries is that its food is prepared onsite by an Executive Chef rather than offsite by outside caterers.  Website: (22 WeddingWire reviews, 4.9/5.0 stars).


The Carriage House (Galloway).  The Carriage House is relatively new, having opened its doors about 10 years ago. The property is spacious inside and out, and beautifully designed as what is best described as a modern, opulent southern plantation. The Savannah Grand Ballroom is magnificent and reminiscent of an opera house.  The Carriage House offers an attentive staff, great food, and very reasonable package prices. Interestingly, the DJ booth is located on a stage one floor above the dance floor and guests.  Website: (207 reviews, 4.9 / 5.0 stars on WeddingWire).

Hotel Alcott (Cape May).  The Hotel Alcott is a restored Italianate-bracketed villa located a block away from the Atlantic Ocean in the charming town of Cape May, NJ. No need to settle for mass-produced banquet hall food – Hotel Alcott’s chef serves delicious entrees with artistic flair. The lobster bisque soup and filet mignon are must tries.  Website:   (24 WeddingWire reviews, 4.8/5.0 stars)


The Merion (Cinnaminson).  The Merion is a grand, majestic complex offering numerous magnificent European-designed ballrooms. The Empire Ballroom is a particular favorite of ours, sporting the perfect environment for a Great Gatsby/Roaring Twenties party. Many couples opt for the Skylight Ballroom (with its distinctive dome) on the third floor. The Merion’s Viennese-style cocktail hours and desserts are over the top and may leave you in a state of food intoxication. We also enjoy their special “Rose Parade” (at the beginning of a reception) and “Sparkler Entrance” (for the unveiling of the desserts).  Website: (225 review, 4.8/5.0 stars on WeddingWire).


Comments are welcome. Please let us know what venues would be on your list of favorites!  For any property owners/banquet managers interested in providing us an introduction to your venue, feel free to contact Gregg Hollmann at or p 609.672.1270

For More Information

Already booked a venue and need musical ideas for your big day? Then click here to view Ambient DJs’ “Wedding Music Master Class” that contains over 2,000 song ideas spanning ceremony music, First Dance songs, Parent Dance songs, Cake Cutting Songs, Bouquet Garter Songs, grand entrance songs, grand finale songs, 90 themed cocktail hour playlists and 12 songs NOT to play at a wedding.


About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is a full-service mobile NJ DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey specializing in wedding DJ entertainment.  Our marquee wedding entertainers/music mixologists include DJ Gregg Ambient, DJ Spinz, DJ  Iron Mike, DJ Cloak Dagger and DJ Greg Nice. Ambient DJ is a 2018 winner of the Knot Best of Weddings award (as well as a Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame winner), and of the WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award.  As of mid-January 2018, we had 205 WeddingWire reviews with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 stars.  Past wedding couples have complimented Ambient DJs’ detailed planning, personalized service, multi-cultural approach, exciting options and affordable pricing.

We have a deep passion for the music that we play and enjoy collaborating with our brides and grooms to create unforgettable parties! We would be delighted to perform at your wedding in the New Jersey / Philadelphia / Delaware / New York Tri-State area, or destination wedding.  For more info and to read our wedding reviews, visit us on the web at



The Karaoke Anthems of The Golden Rail Pub – Volume 1

Despite having a catalog of over 50,000 karaoke songs, guests tend to return to certain favorites over and over.  Now in my fourth year of a Wednesday night karaoke residency at the Golden Rail Pub in New Brunswick – here is a list of  perennial crowd favorites.


For most of the songs listed below, I have listed the first name of the Golden Rail patron associated with performing the song.  Following is an embedded Spotify playlist where you can listen to all of the songs.  Enjoy!

The Karaoke Anthems of the Golden Rail Pub – Volume 1

  1. MakeDamnSure – Taking Back Sunday (signature singer – Patrick)
  2. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance (Patrick)
  3. Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon (Artie)
  4. Sail – AWOL Nation (Darren)
  5. In the End – Linkin Park (Jason & Pat)
  6. Chop Suey! – System of a Down (Darien Obscurity)
  7. Hero – Enrique Iglesias (Bert)
  8. 1985 – Bowling for Soup (Ashley & Ali)
  9. All the Small Things – blink-182
  10. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton (Christina)
  11. Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera (Melissa)
  12. Mr. Brightside – The Killers (Aundrea)
  13. Save A Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big & Rich (“The Cowboy”)
  14. Alone – Heart (Cody)
  15. King of Wishful Thinking – Go West (Cody)
  16. Careless Whisper – George Michael (Lucas on Tenor Sax)
  17. Country Roads (Take Me Home) – Eric
  18. Endless Summer Nights – Richard Marx (Joe)
  19. It’s My Life – Bon Jovi (Kelvin)
  20. Take Care – Drake & Rihanna
  21. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion (Nick & Cody)
  22. Somebody to Love – Queen (Nick)
  23. 22 – Taylor Swift (various birthday queens!)
  24. I Wanna Dance with Somebody – Whitney Houston (Kim V.)
  25. Grillz – Nelly (Quinn and Emily)
  26. It’s Tricky – Run-D.M.C. (Quinn and Emily)
  27. Ignition (remix) – R. Kelly
  28. Roses – Outkast
  29. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  30. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey


The Hottest Karaoke Party in Central New Jersey

Located at 66 Easton Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ – in the heart of downtown New Brunswick and the Rutgers campus, The Golden Rail Pub hosts Central NJ’s hottest karaoke party on Wednesday nights (with yours truly, DJ Gregg Ambient) and on Sunday nights with DJ Ed.  Both parties span from 10 PM to 2 AM.  No cover charge, modestly priced drinks and a packed house!

Listen on Spotify

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central NJ.   Our portfolio of events includes weddings, family parties, teen dance parties For booking information, visit our website at 

DJ Gregg Ambient’s Top 40 Song Countdown of 2017

Happy New Year party people!

Methodology – I am a mobile DJ based in Central New Jersey and spin in a variety of settings from weddings to bars/clubs.  I am particularly fond of electronic and international music.  The selected songs below incorporate all styles of music and tempos with the songs in the #25 – #40 slots representing some songs that were personally enjoyable to me, but that may not have charted well or been heavily requested.  The Top 25 songs of 2017 are highly correlated to requests and dance floor impact captured at my 200+ performances during the year.

Musical Trends –  It’s a an exciting era to to be a DJ with so much music available across a variety of mediums.  The increasing popularity of streaming services like Spotify has enabled me to easily explore and organize all of the music from across the globe that I could ever want.  One of my other favorite places to research music is in the car listening to commercial-free Sirius radio.  Currently my favorite channels are Venus (Rhythmic Pop) and Chill (Channel 53).  Is there a catchy song in your daily travels that you want to identify?  Of course, use the free app Shazam.

As previously identified by my colleague Mike Bacon (aka, DJ Iron Mike), euphoric EDM music faded from the musical scene in 2017 and was replaced by a demand for mid-tempo tropical house compositions or collaborations between electronic producers like Calvin Harris with rappers like Migos.  “Trap Rap” (aka “drug music”) remained immensely popular with artists like Future, Migos and Lil Uzi Vert, and exotic dancer turned rapper Cardi B blew up big time with her hit song “Bodak Yellow.”  Ed Sheeran had a great year with Shape of You, Galway Girl and several ballads.  The members of “One Direction” also achieved great acclaim as solo artists in 2017 with hits like “Slow Hands” (Niall Horan) “Sign of the Times” (Harry Styles) and “Strip That Down” (Liam Payne).  Latin music was big in the pop arena, with mega hits by J. Balvin (“Mi Gente”) and Luis Fonsi (“Despacito”).

As we look into 2018, DJs crave a musical breakthrough with a new sound – and hopefully one that is more upbeat and dance floor friendly than trap rap at its dreary 60 to 70 beats per minute tempo.

Check out the list below, and you can listen to the songs on the Spotify playlist embedded later in this blog.

By, DJ Gregg Ambient, January 1, 2018

DJ Gregg’s Top 40 Countdown of 2017

40. Lights – Bobby Green f/ Whitney Philips (tropical house)

39. YES – Sam Feldt w/ Akon  (tropical house) * Love the warm happy feeling of this track and the synthesized Caribbean steel drums.

38. Strip That Down – Liam Payne w/ Quavo (R&B) * One Direction alumnus.

37. Call the Police – LCD Soundsystem (dance punk)

36. Perfect – Ed Sheeran (pop ballad) * The wedding ballad of Fall 2017 may become the wedding ballad of 2018!  A welcome development as wedding guests are tiring of Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”

35. Versace on the Floor – Bruno Mars (pop ballad) * Best suited for adult audiences.

34. Attention – Charlie Puth (pop) * I suggest using a remix to juice up the tempo and reduce some of the uncomfortable slowdowns in the original.

33. Sign of the Times – Harry Styles (pop) * One Direction alumnus

32. Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt (Country) – the top pop country hit of 2017!

31. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton (Country) – while this bluesy cover version was released in 2015, the song’s full power has grown on me like a fine Tennessee whiskey.

30. Game of Thrones Theme (Armin Van Buuren Remix) – Ramin Djawadi (soundtracks/trance)  * “Winter is Coming” but this song can ignite dance floors.

29. New Rules – Dua Lipa (pop)  * part rap, part pop – Dua Lipa’s unique vocal delivery works.

28. Disco T*ts – Tove Lo (pop/electronic) * Definitely opt for the radio edited version of this Swedish star’s song when families are in the building.  For a good laugh, check out the music video.

27. Rockstar – Post Malone w/ 21 Savage (hip hop / R&B).  * 21 Savage’s deadpan rap delivery will grow on you with time.

26. I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd w/ Daft Punk (R&B) * One of the only songs to repeat from the 2016 playlist.  The Weeknd with Daft Punk is a divine collaboration.

25. It’s Everyday Bro – Jake Paul w/ Team 10 (YouTube Rap).  * This is an example of the type of track being requested by teen dance audiences.  Songs that may not be commercially available (although this one is).  This track logged 167 million YouTube views.

24. Passionfruit – Drake (R&B)  * DJs, be sure to edit out the false start to this song.

23. Dile Que Tu Me Quieres – Ozuna (Latin/Reggaeton)

22. Vente Pa’ Ca’ = Ricky Martin w/ Maluma (Latin)

21. Slow Hands – Niall Horan (pop) * One Direction alumnus.

20. Malibu (Lost Frequencies Remix) – Miley Cyrus (pop/electronic)

19. Sorry Not Sorry – Demi Lovato (pop)

18. Chantaje – Shakira w/ Maluma (Latin/Reggaeton)

17. Rollin – Calvin Harris w/ Future and Khalid (electronic / R&B)

16. Slide – Calvin Harris w/ Frank Ocean and Migos (electronic / R&B)

15. Unforgettable – French Montana w/ Swae Lee (Hip Hop / R&B)

14. Wild Thoughts – DJ Khaled w/ Rihanna and Bryson Tiller (R&B) * DJs, of course you’d want to mix this with “Maria Maria” by Santana.

13. Humble – Kendrick Lamar (hip hop)

12. Mask Off – Future (hip hop)  * The hypnotic flute and Future’s chants of popular street drug names will draw you in.

11. Redbone – Childish Gambino (R&B)  * Such a soulful track!  DJ Iron Mike suggests the “Nick Bike Edit” – check it out here

10. Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man (alternative rock)  * Portugal.  The Man, a band from Alaska, has been together since the early 2000s and finally scored big with this hit!

9. Havana – Camila Cabello w/ Young Thug (pop)

8. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake (pop)  * Despite being released in 2016, the song’s presence and dance floor power remained strong in 2017.

7. Bad and Boujee – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert (hip hop).  * This song was massive in the first 4-5 months of 2017 but faded fast thereafter.  Lil’ Pump’s “Gucci Gang” (not included in this year’s countdown) could be 2018’s Bad and Boujee equivalent.

6. That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars (pop)  * This feel good sing-a-long by Mars is a great late night selection.

5. Mi Gente –  J. Balvin w/ Willy William (Latin/Reggaeton) * whether you opt for the original version or remix with Beyonce, this song’s intoxicating groove works on dance floors.

4. Bodak Yellow – Cardi B. (hip hop) * Cardi’s unique rap cadence and swagger made her an international superstar in 2017.

3. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran (pop) * A great party starter… for added percussion, we recommend DJ Cloak Dagger‘s Shape of You Moombahton Edit.

2. Despacito (remix) – Luis Fonsi w/ Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber (Latin/Reggaeton).  This massive global hit has scored 4.6 BILLION YouTube views just on the original version of the song alone.

1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars (pop).  It’s my first ever repeat #1 song!  Released on November 18, 2016, I saw the power of this track early on.  As predicted, 24k became a massive dance floor success with the right energy to get guests moving and grooving.. “players, put yo pinky rings up to the moon!”

Worst Song of 2017“Everyday We Lit” – YFN Lucci f/ PnB Rock.  A childish, ridiculous song!  Runner-up would be “Get It Together” by Drake that bastardizes the original song “Superman” by Black Coffee.

Listen on Spotify

Take a listen to the Top 40 on the Spotify playlist below.

More Select Music Videos

About Ambient DJ Service

Ambient DJ Service is an award-winning mobile DJ entertainment company based in Central New Jersey and servicing the New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and New York City markets.  For more information about DJ Gregg Ambient or any of our other talented music mixologists, vist us online at 


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