As a member of a wedding band, you learn some valuable lessons, such as it's not always about you. You're on that stage to help fulfill the bride's ideal of a fairy-tale wedding.
That means you'll likely be playing some pretty cheesy stuff. But that's all right. The job is to keep the guests on the dance floor and singing along to every tune. With the following set list in hand, everyone will live happily ever after—or at least until the bar runs dry.
10. Kool & the Gang, "Celebration"
This Toyotathon jingle is insipidly gleeful. But if there's "a party going on right here"—like, say, at a wedding reception—chances are good you'll be asked to perform it. Cheer up, though, it could be worse—the bride's mother could demand "The Chicken Dance."
09. The Carpenters, "We've Only Just Begun"
This lovely ballad actually started out as a jingle for a bank commercial before Richard Carpenter contacted songwriter Paul Williams and asked him to flesh it out for a single. With lines specifically about weddings ("white lace and promises," etc.), it's now money in the bank for wedding bands.
08. Bonnie Tyler, "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Many brides want their wedding day to be an epic pageant, flawless in every detail. Leave it to Jim Steinman, the man behind Meat Loaf, to capture that operatic quality in a power ballad. Forever immortalized in the reception scene of Old School, nothing says "I fuckin' need you more than ever" like this Tyler hit.
07. The Psychedelic Furs, "Pretty in Pink"
Ever since John Hughes borrowed this song for his coming-of-age flick of the same name, most people associate it with romance and assume the chorus ("Pretty in pink, isn't she?") is literal. Which makes it fun for wedding bands, considering that the lyrics are actually about a party girl and "pink" is a metaphor for "nude."
06. KC & the Sunshine Band, "Shake Your Booty"
It hasn't been cool to like KC & the Sunshine Band since... well... ever. But break into this tune and every single wedding guest will bust out of the disco closet and onto the dance floor. Careful with that tempo, though- today's average booty is quite a bit larger than it was in KC's heyday.
05. Outkast, "Hey Ya"
Keep those bodies shake, shake, shakin' like a Polaroid picture with this four-chord wonder. And wear 'em out with a protracted version of the call-and-response section: "Don't make me break this thing down for nothing, ladies!"
04. Aerosmith, "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
This Diane Warren-penned power ballad, from 1998, was Steven Tyler and crew's biggest hit in years. It's not exactly rock 'n' roll, but if you're playing a conservative affair, it might be the closest you can get. Hey, if badass Joe Perry can suck it up night after night, so can you.
03. The Rolling Stones, "Wild Horses"
The authors of "Under My Thumb," "Stupid Girl" and "Bitch" probably aren't an obvious quarry of wedding material. But you can always give this one a shot: Mick and Keef's rare display of vulnerability will switch on the waterworks every time.
02. Grand Funk Railroad, "Some Kind of Wonderful"
A man professing his love for his woman can be a truly touching thing. Or it can be totally embarrassing. You can make it a manly proposition with this rousing R&B tune by Mark Farner and Grand Funk. Unlike Farner, however, you might want to leave your shirt on and forgo the headband.
01. Neil Diamond, "Sweet Caroline"
Neil Diamond rules. He wrote hits for the Monkees, perfected the sideburn comb-over, and, if you were born 40 or so years, probably soundtracked your conception—if not fathered you himself. And then there's this anthem, a slam dunk for any wedding band. "Sweet Caroline" will have guests actually believing that "good times never seemed so good." Well, "Sweet Caroline" and an open bar, anyway.