The Best Wedding Cocktail Hour Songs to Set the Mood

A Wedding Cocktail Hour is for mingling. There was little talking to one another before or during the wedding ceremony, so this is the time. Your musical ambience should set a mood, but not distract everyone from their introductions and catching up activities.

The mood is important. We believe that it should be filled with upbeat and positive music. The variety is also key. A great mix of artists and genres is a great idea for a playlist. The volume should be a bit louder than the dinner music, but not by much. Your guests should be able to casually converse above the music. The music on your list shouldn’t make the entire crowd want to dance – that is for later.

Here are a few featured songs that we’ve found are a great addition to a cocktail hour. The link to our full suggestions are in our Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

“Lovely Day” by Bill Withers

Few songs create a soulful vibe as quickly as this song does. With its amazing bass intro to the soulful singing, “Lovely Day” has it all to make your wedding guests feel all the feels.

“Buona Sera” by Louis Prima

Prima’s upbeat and romantic song is another one that creates a romantic, upbeat vibe. While this classic song is up-tempo, it isn’t a powerful dance song that makes you want to get out onto the dance floor. It is perfect for dinner or cocktail hour by keeping things light and playful.

“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson

Johnson has made a wonderful career with fun, romantic songs that seem to connect with real people. Couples can relate to his lyrics and his songs are written in a simple way that make the songs easy to listen to. “Banana Pancakes” is an upbeat and romantic song that is not overpowering. The song evokes a silly situation that we can all relate to.

“Faster” by Matt Nathanson

Here is another fun, silly and upbeat song that creates a great vibe for cocktail hour. The song is not a pounding drum song that makes people want to get onto a dance floor. It’s a song that keeps the pleasant feelings of the day and puts a smile on faces.

“Moondance” by Van Morrison

This wildly popular song is a wedding day favorite. The appeal is shared over all generations. Morrison wrote something that recalls the feelings from the big band era and the current songs on the radio. Not an easy feat, but this song does it easily. Your guests will enjoy it when this song comes on.

“Hey, Soul Sister” by Train

Train had a huge hit with this song. Ukulele songs have an upbeat tempo and the silly and romantic lyrics make “Hey, Soul Sister” a favorite when it comes on. This one has a crossover success throughout virtually all genres, making it a perfect fit for the many genres represented at a wedding.

Read and listen to our suggestions for The Best Acoustic Wedding Songs

“Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac

As one of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, this song is a light and relatable tune. Many people haven’t heard “Everywhere” in a while and the energy and feel usually perks everyone up and puts a smile on their face.

“Lucky” by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat

“Lucky” is a melodic, romantic and fun song. This song has the perfect vibe by two of the most popular artists of contemporary romantic songs. Songs that evoke an upbeat response without guests needing to know the song makes a perfect scenario for the cocktail hour time.

This list is (like all of our lists) a big mixture of genres and artists. We were going for the mood/vibe. Like our other lists, these songs are only suggestions. Choose the songs that feel right for your wedding and how you want the songs of the day to set the mood.

Here’s our inspirational list of songs:

Last Updated: January, 2023

Rick T

Rick T

Rick has been consulting with and performing for brides and grooms on the right music for their wedding day since (gulp!) 1987.

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