Surviving the Big Day: 12 Wedding Songs You Should Never Play

By Krystal Brown

While you might be tempted to just play your favorites, there are some songs that might be a bad idea to play at a wedding. These 12 songs that should be avoided.

“Hey Joe” by Billy Roberts

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Hey Joe” is a hit rock song released in 1960s, and has been an iconic favorite for decades since. Originally released by Billy Roberts and popularized with a Jimi Hendrix cover, the upbeat tempo and retro feel of the song make it popular to this day.

However, the lyrics, which tell the story of a man fleeing to Mexico after shooting his unfaithful wife, make it an inappropriate choice to play at a wedding.

“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion

woman giving thumbs down
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This song rose to popularity when it was used as the theme of the hit blockbuster movie Titanic in 1997. Many people fell in love with the song, but some of the themes of the song can be too depressing to play at a wedding.

The song is about unconditional love, with the implication being that the lovers will still be in each other’s hearts after one dies.

“All My Ex’s Live In Texas” by George Strait

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Divorce, breakups, and ex’s should be the last things on anyone’s mind at a wedding. The song “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” is a funny song, popular with fans of country music. However, the lyrics make it a poor choice to play at a wedding celebration.

“Kim” by Eminem

Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot via

Eminem is a rapper of worldwide acclaim with numerous hit songs, but “Kim” in particular should be avoided at weddings, even if the newlyweds are fans of rap and hip-hop.

Similar to “Hey Joe”, “Kim” is a song about a husband murdering his wife, with angry and violent lyrics. It’s graphic enough to be an especially poor choice if kids or sensitive relatives are in attendance.

“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

Image Credit: deagreez1 via

This popular quirky song might initially seem like a good choice for a wedding. It’s upbeat, and describes a couple getting together to do romantic things like enjoying drinks and going to the beach.

However, the full story told in the lyrics is that both partners in a couple were bored with each other and looking for someone to cheat with before coincidentally meeting up with each other again. It’s not a very positive note to start a marriage with.

“Every Breath You Take” by The Police

Image Credit: kues via

“Every Breath You Take” is a hit rock song that topped the charts in 1983, and has remained popular ever since. It is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song describes a stalker following and obsessing over a woman. Some people consider the lyrics romantic, but others find it deeply creepy.

“The Chicken Dance” by Various Artists

Image Credit: Shutterstock

“The Chicken Dance” has been a popular song to play at events of all kinds, including weddings, since its release in the 1950s. Over a hundred covers of this song exist in every style and language imaginable. While popular, it’s considered over-played and corny, and may be a bad choice to play at a wedding.

“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

Image Credit: Shutterstock

“Sweet Caroline” is a soft rock song released in 1969 that has enjoyed massive popularity and been a common choice to play at weddings. The reason it may be a song to avoid has more to do with the inspiration of the song rather than the song itself.

Neil Diamond revealed in a 2007 interview that the inspiration for the song was an 11 year old girl that he knew at the time, making the song subject flip from being romantic to gross and creepy.

“Single Ladies” by Beyoncé

Image Credit: Shutterstock

“Single Ladies” is an upbeat and popular song that won three Grammy awards in 2009. It’s popular at parties and dances, but should be skipped for weddings. The lyrics of the song are all about celebrating singleness, so it doesn’t make sense to play it at a wedding.

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke

Image Credit: luismolinero via

Released in 2013, “Blurred Lines” rose to popularity before becoming mired in controversy. Early proponents of the #MeToo movement decried the song as sexist, while the artist countered that it was about female empowerment. The song is best avoided to prevent misunderstandings, arguments, or hurt feelings at a wedding.

“You Give Love a Bad Name” by Bon Jovi

Image Credit: benzoix via

One of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits, this hit song is all about a romance that has gone sour. Despite its massive popularity, the story the song talks about a relationship falling apart into hate isn’t a good choice to play when walking down the aisle.

“I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton

Image Credit: AndrewLozovyi via

This song has an equally popular cover sung by Whitney Houston. While it is a popular song, the lyrics describe a bittersweet breakup between two lovers. Songs about breakups should be avoided at weddings.