You’ve snapped hundreds of photos of linens and flatware. You’ve decided that the frilly musketeer hat is a superior photo booth prop to the fedora. You even passed on shotgunning an Ice House with your old college roommates in the name of evaluating a unity candle.

Yes, this wedding season was a little different than the rest … because you are walking down the aisle next year, and your reception needs to be perfect.

Sure, the decorations, food, flowers, and dress are pretty important. But there’s one major area that most budding newlyweds seem to ignore, an overlooked area that can singlehandedly obliterate months of handwork and planning — reception music.

We’ve all been in that situation where you just want to light up the dance floor with a domestic beer in hand, but end up lurking in the shadows because you aren’t quite sure (or drunk enough to know) how to dance to “Sherry” by the Four Seasons.

So, please, put some effort into your playlist. Prohibiting overplayed or awkward-moment-inducing songs will ensure that your guests stay on the dance floor all night, making your reception the stuff of legends.

Not a musical connoisseur? No problem. Just keep the music post-1970, and make sure to avoid the songs below.

“Love Shack” by the B-52s
In the United States, there are roughly 2 million weddings per year. You can bet this song is played at 99.99% of them. Be a hero. Be part of the .01%.

“Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard and “Cherry Pie” by Warrant
Some things just can’t be unseen– like your cousin and her 40-something friends dumping pitchers of water on themselves and putting a Whitesnake music video to shame as they “dance” on tabletops.

“Electric Slide,” “Cha Cha Slide,” or any song with the word “Slide”
While everyone is smiling and clapping on the outside, they’re screaming in anger-filled-hatred on the inside. Other song-title words to avoid: scoot, shuffle, boogie, crawl, cowgirl or cowboy, train, murder, adultery.

Heavy/Trash/Death Metal Songs
Other than a deranged, stalker ex-boyfriend straight out of a Lifetime movie, the most unwanted guest at any wedding is a paramedic. So avoid the Metal music. Either your brother gets a bottle of Jim Beam smashed over his head, or your great aunt suffers a heart attack while frantically searching for the holy water in her purse.

“Closing Time” by Semisonic
This isn’t a bar…or the end of an eighth grade graduation dance. Also, the lyric “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end,” sounds like an allusion to an early divorce.

“F**k Her Gently” by Tenacious D
Hammered groomsmen + $200 of pooled cash + a DJ with credit card debt = the most awkward, unforgettable-in-the-worst-way moment of your life.

“Everybody Have Fun Tonight” by Wang Chung
Everybody was having fun tonight…until this song came on. And, do you really want songs ordering you around, telling you exactly what to do? What’s next, “Everybody Place Your Beer Bottles in the Recycling Bin Tonight”?

“Thank You” by Dido
Playing a song with a chorus that proclaims “And I want to thank you, for giving me the best day of my life,” will solidify your status as the lamest person in the world. Plus, that lyric seems to imply that every day thereafter is a slow, downward spiral.

“The Scientist” by Coldplay
It’s great to slow things down once in a while and cool that blazing dance floor. But people at your wedding should be crying tears of joy, not ones of bitter regret and self-loathing.

by
Jordan Hart