12 songs wedding DJs aren’t allowed to play

Nobody wants to hear the Hokey Pokey on their special day.

July 31, 2017

Sure, you already know which songs to avoid at your upcoming summer nuptials, but it’s always nice to have your opinions backed up by cold, hard data: election prediction specialists (and general number nerds) FiveThirtyEight have collected the most commonly banned matrimonial songs, collated and cross-referenced from two dozen wedding DJs. Surprisingly, there’s no entry for Papa Roach’s “Last Resort.”

As you might expect, the Chicken Dance takes the top spot, being specifically banned from over 23% of sampled weddings. #2, incomprehensibly, is DJ Casper’s immortal “Cha Cha Slide,” at 22%, and the Macarena takes the third position with 17.6%. Elsewhere on the list, Pharrell doesn’t make 5.5% of new husbands and wives particularly “Happy” (see what I did there?) and Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?” has been specifically dis-requested by 2.2% of newlyweds.

The most surprising offenders? Somehow, legitimately awesome tracks like “Love Shack”, “Call Me Maybe,” “Hotline Bling” and “Hot In Herre” all appear on the list.

Here’s the top (or bottom?) 12:

Check out the full list over at, and start thinking about what’s going to fill in for “Cotton Eye Joe” at your reception. I know, I know—it’s irreplaceable.

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