The Most Banned Wedding Songs Actually Make a Great Playlist On Their Own, TBH

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison

A great playlist — from a DJ or a trusty iPod — can make the difference between a fun-filled, dance-happy wedding bash and a sad, deserted dance floor. Making said playlist means more than choosing the right tunes — it also means banning the worst. FiveThirtyEight has assembled the worst wedding playlist ever. Use it to avoid annoying your wedding guests (or guests for any type of party) or, conversely, to create the worst dance party of all time. (I don’t know your life).

You know that moment: You’re having fun dancing like a fool at a wedding when a song so bad comes on that it literally clears the dance floor. Guests suddenly flock to the bathroom, the bar, anywhere they can to avoid the shuffling conga line threatening to overtake them. Such is the power of a bad song.

Couples planning weddings try to avoid such disasters by barring certain songs from their wedding playlists. FiveThirtyEight polled more than two dozen DJs about music selections for almost 200 weddings and compiled the info to create the ultimate no-play list.

FiveThirtyEight’s findings seem to generally fall into three major categories: The Obvious, The “That’s Kinda Surprising, But You’re Right That Song’s Been Totally Overplayed,” and The “WHAT NO THAT SONG IS GOLD.”

First on the list is the Chicken Dance, banned from nearly a quarter of weddings. Songs 2 through 8 are similarly all line dance songs, including “Cha Cha Slide,” “Macarena,” “Cupid Shuffle,” and “Y.M.C.A.” Also on the list are a number of ‘70s classics, like “Stayin’ Alive” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of the least popular songs are also the most popular songs. FiveThirtyEight created an “ultimate wedding playlist” last year, using playlists of wedding song “must haves” from 163 readers. Multiple songs appear on both the “ultimate” and “worst” wedding playlists, including “Shout,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Sweet Caroline.” Even the song at the very top of the 2016 “best wedding songs” list — Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” — isn’t safe, coming in at number 41 among “banned” wedding songs.

You can check out the complete “banned” list at FiveThirtyEight. I agree with most of the selections, except, of course, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” listed as number 47 of the “worst” wedding songs. That song is PERFECTION and I will not hear otherwise.