When mulling over which songs are appropriate to put on a playlist for the reception, you want something that’s going to be fun and meaningful. Naturally, songs that intone the idea of wedding bells is a necessary component. The reception just wouldn’t be complete without at least one.
What’s great about wedding bell songs is how they encompass a wide range of genres and musical tastes. The list of the 9 wedding bell songs below is some of the most popular.
“Wedding Bell Blues” by Laura Nyro and The 5th Dimension’s cover of the same song are ideal. But so is “Wedding Bells” by Hank Williams Jr. and all the many replicas done by other artists throughout the years.
Please note, however, many of these have sad lyrics that may be heart wrenching for some guests. So, whichever one you pick, please be sure you are deliberate and considerate in regards to where you play it during the festivities.
Wedding Bell Songs
You will also like these other wedding songs post for the ultimate play list on your big day:
1. “Wedding Bell Blues” – Laura Nyro
Best Lyrics: “. . . your voice . . . a choir carousel / . . . am I ever gonna hear . . . wedding bells?”
Released in 1966, this classic folksy pop-blues from yesteryear portrays a woman in love who’s impatient yet doting to get married. The lyrics succinctly portray this cute conundrum and you can feel it as well:
It has an uplifting, foot tapping beat that’s excellent to play at any point during the reception. This is good for a first dance or as the song that welcomes the dance floor to the rest of the guests.
However, you could use it for the bouquet toss if you’re planning on doing that since the women catching it aren’t/won’t be married.
2. “Wedding Bell Blues” – The 5th Dimension
Best Lyrics: “Oh but Bill . . . [. . .] I wanna take my wedding vows,”
The 5th Dimension’s version of Laura Nyro’s song in 1969 is what most people recognize. The singer, Marilyn McCoo, was actually engaged at the time to one of the other members of the band, Billy Davis Jr.
While the original is fantastic in its own right, this has more of a bluesy feel with a faster tempo and more soulful energy. When she sings, you can almost hear the desire coming out from deep within her gut.
3. “Wedding Bells” – Tiny Tim
Best Lyrics: “Wedding bells . . . ringing, birdies . . . singing / Children . . . playing . . . ”
For an original tune with a doo-wop 1950s sound, try “Wedding Bells” by Tiny Tim & The Hits. Released in 1958, this song encapsulates the feel and mindset of the people at the time. It has a lovely beat that mixes blues and R&B in a classic way with dreamy, colorful words. The lyrics say it all.
4. “Wedding Bells” – The Jonas Brothers
Best Lyrics: “I don’t wanna hear . . . bells prove . . . we can’t try”
Of course, there’s always “Wedding Bells” from the Jonas Brothers. This is a unique song harkening back to the relationship Nick Jonas had with Miley Cyrus. At the time, she was getting ready to marry Liam Hemsworth and this song is a token of Nick’s feelings about it and her.
Truly, it’s one everyone paid attention to immediately upon its release. While the lyrics are a little sad, they have propelled the song to land on many wedding playlists.
5. “Wedding Bells” – Hank Williams Sr.
Best Lyrics: “I planned a little cottage . . . bought a little band of gold . . . the future looks . . . dark and cold.”
“Wedding Bells” by Hank Williams Sr. is a prime wedding song pick. Recorded in 1947 and named the best folk country tune in 1949, it’s about unrequited love and the desire for a bride that will never be. It’s a tear-jerker, but it was so popular that several other artists covered it.
6. “Wedding Bells” – Dean Martin
Best Lyrics: “So wedding bells will never ring for me.”
This cover by Dean Martin puts a more big band type of spin on this Hank Williams Sr. classic. If you or your guests aren’t into folk or country, then you’ll still have the words without the twangy singing or guitar.
If the older folks at the wedding enjoy the “Rat Pack” (Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr etc) from the 1950s and 1960s, this will really get them up and dancing. What makes this tug on the heartstrings is Dean Martin’s voice when he sings the very last prose.
7. “Wedding Bells” – Jerry Lee Lewis
Best Lyrics: “. . . I see . . . roses . . . blossom from an orange tree . . . / . . . while the organ plays . . . let me pretend that I am there.”
Even Mr. Great Balls of Fire himself, Jerry Lee Lewis, covered Hank Williams Sr. with his own twist. Released in 1967, it displays his amazing piano skill and sweet, melodic vocals.
This is excellent for a first dance or as a dance with the bride and her father (or father-in-law). Such a selection is a prime choice for when the wedding guests lean toward tastes that involve country or folk.
8. “Wedding Bells” – Lissie
Best Lyrics: “Wedding bells will never ring for me.”
For a modern spin to the Hank Williams Sr. song, this version by Lissie is particularly endearing. Instead of a man singing about losing the love of his life, it’s now a woman. This isn’t nearly as country as other versions, but the folk sound is still all there and she retains Jerry Lee Lewis’s conveyance.
It’s a lovely song to hear; especially when she sings the chorus. Her raspy, emotional and sweet voice tug at the heartstrings.
9. “Wedding Bells” – Godley & Creme
Best Lyrics: “I knew I should have told you all I wanted was to have some fun / . . . [. . .] . . . / . . . you wanted . . . the permanent one / . . . [. . .] . . . / Oh I’d do it but the pleasure isn’t worth the pain / We’d run out of track before we got on the train.”
A synth-pop a cappella group from the UK, Godley & Creme devised their own flavor with unique lyrics. It’s one of a kind and a great choice for weddings bestowing a theme from the 1980s. It’s a little cheesy but also very meaningful and perfect for everyone on the dance floor.
The sentiments are similar as other songs mentioned so far, but it’s about a woman who he didn’t intend to marry but she expects it.
These wedding bell songs are the best and most popular tunes for a wedding reception playlist. They span country, folk, blues, classic rock and even modern pop. Whichever one you select, make sure it will be pleasing to most people in attendance. This means you must be judicious in its placement.
Are there any songs with actual wedding bells playing and not the topic of wedding bells?
At the time of this writing, no songs were available with actual wedding bells in them. Almost all songs in regards to wedding bells surround the topic in some way, shape or form.
When should you play the Hank Williams Sr. version of “Wedding Bells” (or any cover thereof) at the reception?
Because of the nature of the lyrics and the heartbreaking mood of the delivery, it’s better to play this version of “Wedding Bells” later in the evening.
However, it may work excellently as a song for the bride and her father depending on their relationship. But, if it takes on a special or particular meaning for you personally, then any time during the reception will be ideal.
Of the songs listed above, which one is good for the bridal entrance?
“Wedding Bells” by Tiny Tim and The Hits is the best for a bridal entrance into the reception hall. It’s cute, upbeat and captures the magic of the day. It’s not boastful or sad and it’s a wonderful way to begin festivities.