Peter, Paul, and Mary are known as some of the most iconic folk singers of all time, and while some of their songs may not seem like the most obvious choices for a wedding, they’re also sweet and funny and give special celebrations that extra kick in the pants they need to get things moving.
The songs featured on our list capture the sweet, funny, folksy style that is perfect for a wedding, from when the bride walks down the aisle, to when the newlyweds enter the reception or say their fond farewell at the end night.
With such a great selection to choose from, including instrumental versions, you’re sure to find a couple of favorites on our list.
“Wedding Song (Together as One)”
Memorable lyrics: “Oh the marriage of your spirits here has caused Him to remain / For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name / There is Love, there is Love”
This beautiful song was written by (Noel) Paul as a gift for the wedding of his fellow band member, Peter. The words, together with the talented singer’s voice, make this the perfect song.
It can be played while guests wait for the ceremony to begin, as the bride walks down the aisle, or even as the newlyweds arrive at the reception. Better yet, if you’ve got a truly talented friend, why not ask them to sing it as their gift to you?
“Michael Row The Boat Ashore”
Memorable lyrics: “Jordan’s river is deep and wide / Hallelujah / And I’ve got a home on the other side / Hallelujah”
Another well-known, folksy song by Pete, Paul, and Mary is “Michael Row The Boat Ashore”. Although it’s not necessarily one for the dance floor, it’s certainly a great choice as background music while guests arrive for the ceremony, during the signing of the registry, or while everyone’s eating.
“The Marvelous Toy”
Memorable lyrics: “A wonder to behold it was / With many colors bright / And the moment I laid eyes on it / It became my heart’s delight”
Originally written and recorded by Tom Paxton, “The Marvelous Toy” is one of those unconventional picks. While it might not sound like a traditional love song, it’s easy to pick up on a few of the parallels between the toy and true love.
The ‘oldies’ at the wedding will reminisce fondly to the 60s classic, while the younger guests will be tapping their feet to the catchy tune. It’s a great choice while the wedding party’s having their photos taken, or while guests wait for the festivities to get underway.
“Leaving On A Jet Plane”
Memorable lyrics: “So kiss me and smile for me / Tell me that you’ll wait for me / Hold me as you’ll never let me go”
This song is about heartbreak, but sometimes heartbreak songs are the most romantic. While they tell their lover goodbye, they hug and kiss them, showing that their heart will remain with them while they’re apart.
As much as it’s not a get-them-off-their-chairs dance hit, we think it works well when the new Mr. and Mrs. say their farewells at the end of the night.
“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”
Memorable lyrics: “I’m a thinkin’ and a wonderin’ all the way down the road / I once loved a woman, a child I’m told / I give her my heart but she wanted my soul / Don’t think twice it’s all right”
These lyrics for “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” makes the song a rather odd one for a wedding. It’s filled with heartbreak, lament, and unrequited love, however, the instrumental version is hauntingly beautiful, making it a great choice as background music for the ceremony or while the guests are entering the reception area.
“Blowin’ In The Wind”
Memorable lyrics: “How many roads must a man walk down / Before they call him a man? / How many seas must a white dove sail / Before she sleeps in the sand”
This song is still a little heavy with its theme of slavery and freedom, but it’s a real classic! Don’t be surprised if guests sing (or hum) along when this comes on.
“The Song Is Love”
Memorable lyrics: “I’ve found a song let me sing it with you / Let me say it now while the meaning is new / But wouldn’t it be good if we could say it together”
An absolute favorite, “The Song Is Love” sums up what it feels like to find the love of your life. The lyrics are pretty much self-explanatory, while the tune is upbeat and happy. It’s perfect for when guests are taking their seats at the ceremony, or when the happy couple arrives at the reception.
“This Land is Your Land”
Memorable lyrics: “I roamed and rambled, and I followed her footsteps / To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts / And all around me a voice was singing / This land was made for you and me”
This song makes a great break from heavy romantic songs and creates an excellent opportunity for everybody to sing and dance to music they know. It’s an absolute must-have at your reception playlist.
“Early Mornin’ Rain”
Memorable lyrics: “I’m a long way from home, and I miss my loved one so / In the early mornin’ rain, with no place to go / She’s away and westward bound”
This heartbreak song can be a great instrumental, or if you’re in love with the lyrics, you can play it during your reception or before the wedding begins.
While its themes of farewells and being separated from your sweetheart can bring down the mood, it can make for a lovely slow dance, especially if you have older guests at the wedding.
“San Francisco Bay Blues”
Memorable lyrics: “Walkin’ with my baby by the San Francisco Bay / Hey hey hey / Walkin’ with my baby by the San Francisco Bay
Perfect for kings and queens of the rodeo, “San Francisco Bay Blues” is the perfect song to get everyone up and line dancing like there’s no tomorrow. It’s fun, folksy, and compared to some of the duo’s other songs, an upbeat toe-tapper!
“All Through The Night”
Memorable lyrics: “Soft the drowsy hours are creeping / Hills and dale in slumber steeping / I, my loved one, watch am keeping, all through the night”
The soft melody is great for a slow dance, while the theme of one lover watching another in a silent vigil through the night will leave your guests feeling starry-eyed and loved up.
“Pack Up Your Sorrows”
Memorable lyrics: “Well, if somehow you could pack up your sorrows / And give them all to me / You would lose them, I know how to use them / Give them all to me”
“Pack Up Your Sorrows” is a catchy, upbeat tune that young and old can dance along with. It’s a great feel-good song that’ll lift the spirits and cheer everyone up straight away. We recommend this track to lure the oldies onto the dance floor.
“The First Time (Ever I Saw Your Face)”
Memorable lyrics: “The first time ever I saw your face / I thought the sun rose in your eyes / And the moon and stars are gifts you gave / To the dark and empty skies, my love”
There won’t be a dry eye in the house with this song. Originally written by Ewan MacColl and performed by Peggy Seeger in the late 50s, it’s been covered by many great artists including Roberta Flack, Celine Dion, and of course, Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Whether it’s while the bride walks down the aisle or for the first dance, this song resonates with anyone who’s ever been hit by good ol’ Cupid’s arrow.
“I Have A Song To Sing, O!”
Memorable lyrics: “Whose soul was sad and whose glance was glum / Who sipped no sup and who craved no crumb / As he sighed for the love of a lady”
This folksy tune is great to play before weddings or get your hips shaking at the reception. It’s lively, upbeat, and an absolute classic, that all the guests will enjoy.
“Kisses Sweeter Than Wine”
Memorable lyrics: “Oh, kisses sweeter than wine / I asked her to marry and be my sweet wife / And we would be so happy the rest of our lives”
This song makes for a fantastic first dance as the singer tells the story of two people in love living their lives.
It follows them through their kids, grandkids, and the end of their lives, keeping the same slow sweet feeling throughout. If you decide not to use it for your first dance, you should at least add it to your reception playlist.
“Weave Me The Sunshine”
Memorable lyrics: “Weave, weave, weave me the sunshine / Out of the fallin’ rain / Weave me the hope of a new tomorrow / And fill my cup again, sing it again”
“Weave Me The Sunshine” is about being on the rebound, but meeting someone new who makes them happy again. Its sweet theme and bouncy rhythm will have your guests toe-tapping and even singing along.
Memorable lyrics: “I’m gonna make this garden grow / All it takes is a rake and hoe / And a piece of fertile ground”
We would put this song into the getting ready category. Its soft melody and fast beat can get things moving, and the theme of commitment and hard work are perfect for a wedding vibe. It could also work during the reception as it is fun and easy to dance to.
“I’m In Love With A Big Blue Frog”
Memorable lyrics: “I’m in love with a big blue frog / A big blue frog loves me / He’s not as bad as he appears / He’s got rhythm and a PhD”
This fun love song is perfect for adding to the reception playlist. Its tongue-in-cheek humor and fast-paced rhythm are fun to dance to and get the guests laughing.
You should probably run this song by the groom before adding to make sure they’re fine with getting poked at during their wedding, though.