“Punk for Parents” iPod playlist

Posted by

It's time for another Real Offbeat Playlist — this time it's Becca's! Becca and Adam had a rock ‘n' roll wedding and tried to tow the line between the music they loved and making all their guests happy.

Records hanging in the windows

Music was super duper important to us. We just could not imagine leaving song choices in anyone's hands, which made doing an iPod reception the obvious choice. Having more experience playing shows and dealing with gear, I gave Adam the job of finding somewhere to rent a PA and a mic. From what he told me, it wasn't that hard to find. Aside from the PA and mic, the only other thing we needed was an MC. My friend and usher, Allegra, agreed to do it. So all that was left was the music …

Adam and I met and bonded over our love of punk. So the big question when it came to wedding music then became: “How do we play our favorite love(ish) songs… and not have our parents covering their ears, annoyed?” Our game plan was to divide the playlists as follows:

  • Ceremony music: whatever we wanted 🙂
  • Cocktail/dinner music: our favorite punk (and some non-punk) songs, which we would play at a low volume so people could converse
  • First dance
  • Father-daughter dance
  • Dancing music: mostly rockabilly, 80s, new wave, and early rock ‘n roll. Basically, songs we liked that were danceable and parent-friendly. We threw in a few early 90s pop songs as well.

It seemed to work out incredibly well, other than my dad complaining that “Baby got back” was inappropriate for the kids (as well as another song in the dancing section — can you guess which one?).

There was a slight snafu with our fantabulous MC starting with the wrong playlist. This leads me to my last piece of advice: load your iPod with ONLY your wedding playlists. And have a back-up iPod also loaded with only the wedding playlists.

On to the music …


  • Officiant, groomsmen, and groom walk out: “I Will Dare” by The Replacements (hear it)
  • Flower girl and bridesmaids walk out: “Question” by The Old 97s (hear it)
  • Bride and parents walk out: “Chapel of Love” by the Dixie Cups (hear it)
  • Recessional: “… And I Will Be With You” by The Mr. T Experience
  • Extra stuff for while people are leaving: “Oh oh I love her so” (hear it), “She's the one” (hear it), and “I wanna be your boyfriend” (hear it) by The Ramones

If you know the lyrics to the first three songs, you may have noticed that they progress from just-starting-to-date to proposal to getting-married. Awww.

The story behind the somewhat-out-of-place “Chapel of Love” is that back when I was an ice skater, that song was always played during ice shows to signify a marriage. All of us would always end up in the back, standing by the curtain, tapping our feet and waving our hands. Basically, it made me laugh.

Cocktails/Dinner (best of):

  • “Million Bucks” by All (hear it)I_0604
  • “The Boy Done Good” by Billy Bragg (hear it)
  • “Gemini” by Connie Dungs (hear it)
  • “All Mine” by Dance Hall Crashers (hear it)
  • “Sealed with a Kiss” by The Eyeliners (hear it)
  • “Good Good Things” by The Descendants (hear it)
  • “Let's Do It” by Greg Graffin and Joan Jett (hear it)
  • “80” by Green Day (hear it)
  • “Under the Hedge” by Ted Leo (hear it)
  • “When I'm with You, I'm OK” by Ultimate Fakebook (hear it)
  • “Song for a Mix Tape” by The Ataris (hear it)
  • “Destination You” by Material Issue (hear it)
  • “Do Your Feet Hurt” by MxPx (hear it)
  • “Totally” by Screeching Weasel (hear it)


First Dance:

Dad + Daughter Dance

Father-Daughter Dance:

  • “Forever Young” by The Pretenders (hear it)


Dancing! (best of):

  • “Into the Groove” by Madonna (hear it)Dancin'
  • “Oh Boy!” by Buddy Holly (hear it)
  • “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King (hear it)
  • “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” by Full Blown Cherry (hear it)
  • “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper (hear it)
  • “Hairspray” by Rachel Sweet (hear it, buy it)
  • “Vacation” by The Go Go's (hear it)
  • “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash (hear it)
  • “Come on, Let's Go” by Ritchie Valens (hear it)
  • “Brown-eyed Handsome Man” by Wanda jackson (hear it)
  • “He's All Mine” by Kim Lenz and The Jaguars (hear it)
  • “What's Inside a Girl?” by The Cramps (hear it)
  • “Veronica” by Elvis Costello (hear it)
  • “Luv Luv Luv” by Pansy Division (hear it, buy it)
  • “And Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals (hear it)
  • “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements (hear it)
  • “I Love Rock ‘n Roll” by Joan Jett (hear it)
  • “Ain't That a Shame” by Fats Domino (hear it)
  • “Hey Muchachita” by Big Sandy and His Fly-rite Boys (hear it)
  • “Do You Wanna Dance?” by The Ramones (hear it)
  • “Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters (hear it)

Now, bring it on! We all want to hear your kick-ass playlists! Spandex-clad hair metal? Film noir? 40s big band? 90s trance? Send us YOUR offbeat playlist!

Meet our fave wedding vendors

Comments on “Punk for Parents” iPod playlist

  1. Thank you for some awesome ideas! I’m having a devil of a time coming up with songs for my reception and you reminded me of quite a few I want to make sure and add. Sounds like you had a rocking wedding.

  2. I love this list! I’m a Pretender is one of my favorites (you’re list actually has a lot of my favorites).

    My bride and I are working on our music and it’s been tough since she’s a poppy girl and I’m a punk rock dirtbag. But I think we’re going to have a great time and people will certainly dance, now that I can steal so many of these songs from you!

  3. So many good calls on this list but ‘The Boy Done Good’ tops it for me – I think our guests are definately going to have some Billy Bragg forced upon them.

  4. I loved reading your article!! I am just starting the process of planning our wedding playlist and seeing those songs helps me to know punk and weddings can go hand in hand!!

  5. I love the playlists and your dress! I wanted to walk down the aisle to the Ramones myself (really wanted it to be “I Want You Around”) but my hubby had his heart set on the song “Patience” by Guns N Roses, which I also love tons, so I let him have it. Your wedding looks great and I hope to see it featured on the blog some more!

  6. MTX recessional=dream come true…that would get me all teary-eyed in a second!

  7. Let me guess that the song your dad had a problem with was “What’s Inside a Girl?” by The Cramps?

    BTW-Great list of music! I especially like the Wanda Jackson selection.

  8. my guess for “inappropriate” song: “Luv Luv Luv” by Pansy Division? some parents like to limit the amount that their kids hear the word “sex”, especially when shouted multiple times. 😛

  9. OH YES! Not only are these gold, but family appropriate? Amazing. Thank you! The number one thing I need more input with right now is quality music.

  10. We are also planning to use our ipod for the music and it sounds like you just had an MC….did you have them responsible for much? We kind of thought that they could introduce the first few dances and occasionally make announcements. Any advice?

    • Yep – our MC announced the dances, toasts, and other random things. She also started and switched the playlists. It wasn’t a huge job, but it worked out great! She was an usher during the ceremony and then we put her to work at the reception. 🙂

  11. I love that we are not the only ones who are very particular about exactly what songs will be played at our wedding! Over the past year I have been picking out songs and setting up the order of my favorite hardcore, punk, ska rap and Motown songs, but now I am starting to stress about finding someone who will play them exactly as we want. Like your husband we’ve both had some experience renting PA’s and booking shows, but just need someone to man the playlists. (Oh the irony of all our DJ friends being either invited to our wedding or even in the wedding!) Anyway thank you for the inspiration that this CAN be done, and I enjoyed your mix of songs that was true to yourself while still not trying to offend the older guests (which is pretty much what we are going for too.)

  12. Wow….great choices for songs. Bookmarking this list! Wedding appropriate, upbeat, not cliche—yes these songs are out there.

  13. I’m trying to look for a father-daughter rockabilly swing or jive song . But can’t seem to find the perfect one. Please help. My dad and I don’t want a cheesy slow song. And I been looking forward to this for a long time. 🙂

    • How about In the Mood by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra? I love it because it’s the song the 9th Doctor chooses to show Rose he can dance, but it’s a great tune by its own right!

Comments are closed.