Japanese couples rank their favourite songs to play at weddings.

As someone from the UK, I usually associate wedding receptions with open bars and a bunch of drunk uncles writhing around to Gangnam Style on the dance floor. So when I got invited to my first Japanese wedding, I dug out my dancing shoes and prepared my liver, but in reality most Japanese weddings are much tamer than what I’d expected. For a start, not a single wedding I’ve attended here has had a dance floor, nor any live music like a DJ or a band.

Rather than a chance for all the guests to mingle and let loose, Japanese wedding receptions seem to involve a lot of speeches and presentations from the newlyweds, and act more as a ceremony than a free-for-all party. As such, it’s crucial that couples choose the perfect background music to accompany key moments in the reception, and Japanese wedding planning company Anniversaire asked 3,000 couples to rank what songs they deemed the best.

As there are several defining moments in a Japanese wedding reception, Anniversaire surveyed couples about specifics, starting with the most impactful moment in any Japanese wedding reception: the moment when the newlyweds enter the room for the first time.  With many couples opting to limit attendance at the ceremony itself to close family and friends, the reception may be the first time that many other guests, such as extended relatives and work associates, have seen the couple in their wedding attire, so it’s crucial that the perfect background music is chosen.

So which songs came out on top?

Bruno Mars takes the top spot and also the third spot, with Japanese electro-pop unit Q;indivi‘s take on the traditional wedding march coming in at number two. Other songs that made the list were Arashi‘s mega-hit ‘One Love,’ and Namie Amuro‘s classic ‘Can You Celebrate?’

Next up, the cutting of the wedding cake. It’s another key moment in any Japanese wedding reception, and usually ends in the bride feeding her new husband a slice of cake. Of course you need the perfect BGM for that!

Bruno Mars and Maroon 5 return again in the top rankings, with Australian singer Che’Nelle coming in at number three with her hit ‘Baby I Love You’.

Another important moment in a wedding is when the guests toast the happy couple. What kind of music do Japanese newlyweds want in the background when their friends and family clink their glasses together in celebration?

Surprisingly, Maroon 5’s ‘Sugar’ makes the top five again. This may seem strange, as none of the lyrics in the song seem particularly wedding-appropriate, but seeing as the music video features the band crashing various weddings, this might be why it gets played at so many Japanese wedding receptions.

The most popular choice for the toast was overwhelmingly Ulfuls’s ‘Banzai ~ Suki De Yokatta’, by the oldest song in the rankings, which was released way back in 1996.

As anyone who has been to a Japanese wedding reception will know, the bride will usually change her outfit at least twice throughout the ceremony, changing from her initial wedding attire into traditional kimono or evening gowns. The moment that the couple re-enter the venue is also considered a key moment, so what kind of BGM have Japanese couples decided is best for such a momentous occasion?

Apparently, lots of Disney, as songs from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Tangled all make the top 5. Fingers crossed the most popular choice, ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ is solely a reference to Belle coming down the stairs in her beautiful gown, and not a comment on the bride and groom themselves.

Anniversaire recommends that any potential newlyweds start working on their playlists at least three months before the big day, but hopefully these rankings should help anyone looking to get married in Japan. And if you’re really stuck for ideas, just whack on a Bruno Mars playlist and you should be fine.

Source, images: PR Times
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