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  • Brent Miller

Cocktail Hour Classics

Planning a great Cocktail Hour is easy when you include the classics! Here are all our favourites ->

Setting the vibe during your Cocktail Hour is so important. It is the first impression your guests will have. Getting the music right is the easiest way to help break the ice and get your reception off to a fantastic start. But where to begin? Often the best place to begin is with the classics. Your cocktail hour will have guests both old and young, playing songs that have stood the test of time and appeal to everyone is a nice way to make everyone feel welcome and relaxed as they ease into their cocktails and conversation. In performing at hundreds of receptions over the years, we have found so many amazing classic songs that seem to blend the perfect mix of romance, coolness and nostalgia. It is all about striking the mood in a room and steadily bringing up the vibe. We split the music into 4 popular categories this week, each with a quick description of why they can fit perfectly into your cocktail set-list. Feel free to mix & match, add & subtract wherever you feel inspired as the most important rule here is for you to include songs that you truly love. Cheers to inspiring and uplifting cocktail music. Here we go!

JAZZY CLASSICS These songs were made popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but are as well known at weddings and events today as ever. Their romantic and elegant coolness make these songs such attractive selections that naturally warm up the atmosphere today just as well as they did 70 years ago.

The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole Can't Take Me Eyes Off You - Franki Valli Sway - Michael Buble It Had To Be You - Harry Connick Jr.

Cheek To Cheek - Ella Fitzgerald

Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra

Unforgettable - Nat King Cole

Beyond The Sea - Bobby Darrin

That's Amore - Dean Martin

New York, New York, Frank Sinatra


While every part as classic as their jazzy cousins, these motown songs are a bit better at striking up a groove in the room, being just as romantic and cool while getting feet tapping and heads moving at the same time. Expect to see a few guests begin to sing along to some of these well known songs.

Stand By Me - Ben E. KingBuild Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations My Girl - The Temptations Can't Hurry Love - Diana Ross Signed Sealed Delivered - Stevie Wonder

Can't Help Myself - The Four Tops

You Send Me - Sam Cooke

Do You Love Me - The Contours

Sweet Soul Music - Arthur Conley

Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett Your Love Keeps Liftin' Me Higher - Jackie Wilson Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye


Adding a bit more energy to the room are these rock cocktail selections. From Elvis to Journey, they aren't loud or overbearing songs, remaining similarly groovy and cool to the jazzy and Motown songs that preceded them here, but adding a bit more attitude to help raise the cocktail party vibe.

Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison Ob La Di Ob La Da - The Beatles Crocodile Rock - Elton John Longest Time - Billy Joel You're My Best Friend - Queen Don't Stop Believing - Journey Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams Livin On A Prayer - Bon Jovi You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon Heaven Is A Place On Earth - Belinda Carlisle

POP FAVOURITES And finally something young to help balance these classic songs with some new and vibrant selections. These are all best played in a similar cool jazzy style, but add a distinct flare when guests begin to realize that the band is performing a Taylor Swift song the way that Frank Sinatra may have sung it back in a 60s Casino.

Marry You - Bruno Mars Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran All Of Me - John Legend Today Was A Fairy Tale - Taylor Swift Teenage Dream - Katy Perry Let Me Love You - Justin Bieber We Found Love - Rihanna Cry Me A River - Justin Timberlake

We Belong Together - Mariah Carey Stop - Spice Girls

Tearin Up My Heart - N'Sync

I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys

IN SUMMARY Great parties start with confidence. Be bold and choose music you love. Matching your cocktail music to the style of your event is very satisfying. It gives your guests a powerful signal that they won't just be fed at your reception, they will be entertained with an experience to remember. Cheers to an awesome and memorable Cocktail Hour! -BM


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