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.

-kah71

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. We had karaoke at our wedding and it turned out horrible. Our DJs microphones kept going from really soft to blaringly loud and she was downloading karaoke versions of songs when people requested them, so it wasn’t like she was prepared with a library. Only one friend signed up to sing. After 3 songs with the wonky microphones and no one else seemed to be enjoying it I went to the DJ and asked her to start playing dance music again. So just make sure you have lots of willing participants and good equipment!!! :o)

  2. I went to a wedding with Rock Band and it was awesome. I think what was important was that it was NOT the music entertainment. They had a DJ doing the music, but the rock band was tucked away in a corner so that people doing that could crowd around and enjoy and those who wanted to dance to a DJ had their own space.

  3. As long as you want the karaoke, have it. As for song availability, speak with the DJ. Our DJ (who is AMAZING!), has different lists for different gigs (e.g. business appropriate, grandma appropriate)

    We are absolutely including karaoke in our reception–it’s a must-have for us. Our venue is a stage and attached studio space, so we’ll be able to have a different feed piped in at a lower volume to the non-stage area.

    As for non-participation–many of our guests sing have sung with us before at karaoke or choir. On the other hand, I went to a work Christmas party two years ago (about 200 attended) when I ended up with two turns in the first fifteen minutes of karaoke because no one else was participating. I guess it depends on your guests… 🙂

  4. Our venue is no alcohol, so we said yes to karaoke. It’s also the most “no judgment” karaoke team (wife and husband) I’ve ever seen. The only places I’ve seen people with special needs get up and sing without being mocked are the bars where A&A set up. BUT, if there were to be booze, we might have gone with iPod and speakers instead. Some of my family isn’t known to use moderation, and the As shouldn’t have to deal with my drunken idiot relatives trying to take the mic all day.

  5. We started out wanting Rock Band for our reception, but getting the XBox up the mountain to our B&B venue turned out to be way too much trouble. Our coordinator found a karaoke machine that could also double as speakers for music and speeches and such, and it was much more affordable than getting a full sound system. Most of our guests that stayed late into the night were the ones that had rented hotel rooms nearby, who also happened to be our geeky younger friends. Everyone else left fairly early so they wouldn’t be driving down the mountain too late, and by about 8:30 we’d cracked out the karaoke! We had so much fun with it, even after we had to move it indoors. Two of our friends ended up in the living room, singing their hearts out, long after the rest of us went into the other room and started in on another game of Cards Against Humanity.

    I think whether it’s a good or bad idea probably depends on who your guests are. If you think the people that will be there later are the type that would have fun with it, go for it! Maybe just do it later, when they’re the only ones left, or have it somewhere where people don’t have to participate or listen to it if they don’t want to.

  6. My husband and I fell in love over karaoke while living in Japan, so having it at our wedding was a given. We did a first duet instead of a first dance (I Got You, Babe). We found a karaoke DJ, and it was great.

    Some things that helped: I talked it up a lot to my family, and we included info about it on our wedsite. My tone-deaf mother, bless her, went out and learned a duet to do with my father. It didn’t sound fantastic, but it meant a lot. My nine-year-old cousin sang constantly, and other family members went up in groups. My husband’s side wasn’t so keen on it. Not sure if that’s because they weren’t as prepared, or just English shyness. Sometimes eight or ten aunties would get up and do some ABBA as a group, but that was about it.

    In between karaoke sets, there was dance music. I was happy with how it turned out, mostly, and definitely recommend it.

    As far as alcohol goes, we provided two bottles of wine on each table, as well as a toasting drink, and after that it was a cash bar. No big drinkers in our family so that wasn’t an issue for us.

  7. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but that isn’t something I’d enjoy sitting through at a wedding. It’s like when someone tells you “Oh boy, you must hear my kid sing / tap dance / recite the ABCs while doing a handstand. SUZY, COME DOWNSTAIRS AND SHOW AUNTIE MARY YOUR TALENT! You’re gonna love this (awkward, cringe inducing, seemingly unending) little number she does….”

  8. My sister did this and it was kind of a FLOP. The guests really determine if it will be a success or not. This wedding was overrun with family and few friends. Most people just wanted to dance. My aunt said, in response to my dad commenting on them just sitting down, “Well we were having a good time dancing until you guys started singing!” People feel uncomfortable dancing when someone is ruining a song. I personally only think karaoke is fun if everyone is drinking or in close company which isn’t the case with many weddings where you feel obligated to invite people in front of whom you might not be comfortable jokingly “twerking” to Baby Got Back. If you’re going for a small, intimate group of guests who frequently enjoy karaoke, I say go for it. Yes, there was one little girl who did karaoke halfway through Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and some other song, my dad jokingly insisted on Sublime’s Santeria towards my mother, his ex-wife…spiteful jokes wedding-appropriate if played out through karaoke? yikes. My sister is also not really the outgoing type comfortable in front of crowds and neither is her husband so I don’t know why she was so set on having karaoke…she wouldn’t even go up there on her own and only went up once or twice surrounded by mom and sis. If you and a majority of your guests don’t do it all the time, it’s probably not a great idea.

  9. I think Karaoke at wedding its good idea and its such a nice advice that you put music system at wedding.

  10. We are both going to be 54 when we get married in June…we were high school sweethearts that reunited 2 years ago. We both love to have fun and love to see our friends have fun…we thought that we would have a dj with a great play list from the 70’s and 80’s and then offer a smattering of karaoke as well…not have the whole reception dominated by it. I think opening up with some killer dance songs will limber our guest’s up and get them ready to sing later on….I love the idea and didn’t even know it was something other wedding couples were doing….let the fun and craziness begin!!!

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