Karaoke at my wedding: is this a terrible idea?

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My partner and many of our friends adore karaoke. We've talked about having karaoke for half an hour to forty five minutes of our reception (our reception will be five hours total including a cocktail “hour”). We've mentioned this to a few people and have gotten mixed reviews. Some people adore it, others can't keep their eyebrows from reaching their hairline.

Is there a particular time that it makes sense to do something like this? I definitely think it should be towards the end of the reception but don't really want to end our party with karaoke. And is there a way to ward off those that are tone deaf? I'm also a bit concerned about song selections that may be offensive to grandma.


Well, first we'll say this: If wedding karaoke is a terrible idea, you're in great company!

You might want to consider a few factors like…

  • Having a few planted friends to sing pre-selected songs and limiting the selection of tracks.
  • Also, for the sake of your non-singing guests, make sure there's a place for guests to go if they want to opt out of the karaoke and just chat.

We'd love to hear from those of you planning to belt it out at your receptions: how'd you manage your karaoke logistics? For those of you married types who did karaoke, what were your biggest tips for wedding karaoke success?

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Comments on Karaoke at my wedding: is this a terrible idea?

  1. Since I am a karaoke enthusiast and go out to sing with friends almost weekly, it was a no-brainer that it would be a part of our wedding celebration. However we aren’t having a traditional reception. We are having a casual party two months after our courthouse ceremony, and there will be mostly friends in attendance instead of family. I just plan on playing background music for the first 2-3 hours and then start karaoke for the last 3-4, playing dance music in between ‘sets’ so that people don’t get burned out. We aren’t even hiring a DJ; we have a good friend that has a PA system and I have my own subscription to a karaoke streaming site that we will use. Karaoke doesn’t have to be about being a good singer. It’s about having fun.

  2. This is an amazing idea and you need to do it! I was so upset when the bar at our venue (bowling ally) cancelled karaoke for the night of our wedding. I so wanted to get up there in my wedding dress and belt one out.

    Do it!

  3. I accidentally had karaoke at my wedding and it was a huge hit, and created many wonderful memories. How did I end up having accidental, karaoke, you may ask? I was going the ipod-and-speakers route, but my dad insisted we had to have a “real band’. I said that was fine, but he had to do the work of getting one, then. He delegated my older brother, who is big into the local music scene, to find one.

    My brother called a few weeks before the wedding, saying he’d booked the best classic rock cover band in town for the wedding. I thought he said something about karaoke, but I was stressed and sure I misheard, so I didn’t pay much attention.

    Come the day of the wedding, it is, indeed, a classic rock karaoke band. A random friend got up and did a Shatner-esque version of Rocket Man to break the ice. It was so over-the-top and “terrible” that no one felt any shyness about getting up after that point.

    Other memories include:
    – My dad and my new father-in-law singing punk songs together.
    – My attendants and all my cousins singing Dancing Queen for me.

    But to me, the most special memory was my first dance. I hadn’t planned an official first dance, because my husband hates dancing, and being the center of attention. My family decided this was not ok, and so my sister, brother and dad sang “Joy to the world” (the “all the boys and girls” one, not the christmas carol), and that was our impromptu first dance, with my niece, the “treasure fairy” (ringbearer) running around us trailing a rainbow scarf.

    Perhaps it worked out better than it could’ve because my family mostly comes from a musical, singing background. But despite the fact it wasn’t what I’d planned, I honestly could not have planned things to turn out better than they did. And, 5 years later, I still get comments from people about how it was one of the most fun weddings they have attended.

    • “Dancing Queen” was my go-to karaoke song while I lived in Japan. Best thing ever, until you get a whole room of people belting out “Living On a Prayer” or “Don’t Stop Believing” at the tops of their lungs. Yeah!

  4. As someone who doesn’t actually enjoy karaoke I am going to say totally do it! If you like it, and you have some friends or family who like it, then go for it, after all it’s your wedding.
    I don’t sing in public (my singing voice is all quiet and off pitch and it doesn’t carry and I don’t look confident doing it, it’s just bad), but I still go and get drunk at karaoke while my friends sing, and yeah, it’s not as much fun as dancing to me, but it’s totally more fun for some people!

  5. I’ve photographed two weddings that had karaoke and they were both amazing & fun. I say if you like it do it! Both couples started the karaoke off with a duet which was really sweet. My advice would be to maybe start it just a little later after everyone has had a few drinks. 🙂

  6. We’re considering doing “first karaoke” instead of a first dance, since we’re not the most coordinated people and we’re not terrible singers. ..or so we think. Would love to hear opinions or examples of making this work!

  7. If anyone thinks our plan to do wedding karaoke is a bad idea, they’ve hidden it well. In fact we’ve gotten a few people who have indicated that they would be surprised if we didn’t.

  8. We had karaoke. It was popular and fun and the KJ added so much to the experience. And my spouse surprised me by leading a sing-along of one of my favorite songs!

  9. I think it’s a great idea! I attended a rehearsal dinner that had karaoke and it was lots of fun. It helped that the bride and groom were theater people with lots of musically inclined friends, but I think it could work for anyone who has an interest in it and enough friends and relatives willing to sing.

  10. We had a karaoke jukebox at our reception, and people just picked songs on the Jukebox to sing. My dad did Copperhead Road, my new husband and one of my friends did You’re the Voice and when no one wanted to sing the Jukebox just played music that people wanted to hear. We loved it 😀

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