Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Study of the most banned wedding songs proves nobody wants to do the Electric Slide

Photo: The Wedding Singer

There are two types of weddings: Fun ones and ones where people line dance. That at least seems to be the takeaway of this recent study by FiveThirtyEight, which “collected the testimonies of more than two dozen professional DJs on nearly 200 weddings” to find out which tracks were most banned from the playlists of those betrothed. The results are, for the most part, on point.

Each of the first eight songs involve some kind of accompanying dance, whether it be the Macarena, the Electric Slide, or the hokey pokey. And then there’s the chicken dance, that bastion of wine-drunk aunts. Anyone who’s not sweating rosé can tell you that that thing has humiliated more people than split pants and mustard stains combined.


People want to dance at weddings, but nobody wants to feel obligated to dance. Nothing quite harshes the vibe like watching a procession of rumpled suits march toward the dance floor, their eyeballs twitching at the first of many pleas to put their right foot in and take their right foot out.

Dances aren’t the only thing banned, however. Sometimes people just don’t want their wedding to sound like a top 40 radio station. As the piece notes:

Oddly enough, a few songs on this list are the MVPs from last year’s list! “Happy,” “Shout” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” are just a few of the most popular songs that also appear on DJs’ rosters of banned songs. Either those songs have gone out of style overnight, or, more likely, their popularity has made them polarizing. If you’re making demands of a DJ, you don’t need to ask him or her to avoid playing Bulgarian death metal—that’s probably a given—but you need to speak up about “Single Ladies” now or it’s going to get a rotation.

The poll also includes data on which particular artists and genres get banned, as well some pointers on how not to piss off your wedding DJ. Our advice? Make your own playlist.

Share This Story