After all the usual scheduled dances at a wedding reception, you want to sculpt a playlist that will get all your guests out on the dance floor! That means you need something that will appeal to almost everyone, both old and young. If you’re looking for some of the best wedding reception songs to dance to, these hits need to be on your list.
1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. bruno mars
One of the most popular wedding reception songs of the 2010s, it isn’t hard to see why Uptown Funk is so danceable. From the opening refrain of “Doh, doh, doh doh doh,” this ultra-catchy song will get your guests’ toes tapping. We’ve heard it a hundred times, but it’s always good for a replay. It just makes you feel good when you hear, “I’m too hot, hot damn! Call the police and the fireman.“
2. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Elton John feat. Kiki Dee
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart is one of those songs that puts you in a good mood as soon as you hear it. Maybe we shouldn’t expect anything less from Sir Elton John. His 1976 duet with Kiki Dee is still just as catchy as it was back in the day—and still just as danceable. Its charm comes from the playful exchange between two lovers, which Elton John and Kiki Dee performed perfectly.
3. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
Times have changed, but Billy Joel’s love song about romance across the classes remains just as good as ever. Joel wrote the song after his career took off and he started getting attention from supermodels, one of whom he eventually married and had a daughter with. If you’re getting married to a woman of fine taste, this song should definitely be on your playlist.
4. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
According to pop music, back in the 1980s everyone was pining for someone else’s significant other. It might not be the best message to send at a wedding, but we can overlook it because it’s just so fun. Just don’t play it if the groom’s (or the bride’s) name is Jessie—unless they have a good sense of humor, that is.
5. Sugar – Maroon 5
Maroon 5 knew how to sing a song full of innuendo and make it sound innocent. You may as well play this song while you are cutting the wedding cake! All your naïve older relatives will think that it’s a song about how much you love sweets. At least, you hope so.
6. What I Like About You – The Romantics
The Romantics’ hit What I Like About You was released in 1980, but it evokes the much older dance music of the 1950s and 60s. There’s something appealing about it for every generation, which might speak to its eternal popularity at wedding receptions, homecoming dances, and parties of all kinds. There’s just something about those old hits that keeps us playing them.
7. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
It may have been all the way back in 2004 that Gwen Stefani introduced us to the phrase “hollaback girl,” but it is still just as fun to dance to today. It was one of Stefani’s earliest hits, and remains one of her most iconic (though she’s had plenty of others since then). Bonus points if you can sing the whole song because, let’s be honest, most of us don’t know the words.
8. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
Is there a better time to hit the dance floor to We Are Family than when you are with your whole family at a wedding? Of course, for the happy couple, a wedding day also means getting a whole new family, which just adds another layer of perfection to the track.
9. Twist & Shout – The Beatles
Dance crazes have come a long way since Twist & Shout, but this Beatles classic is always worth a replay. This one has been popular since grandma was young, which means that everyone can enjoy getting down on the dance floor together, no matter how old they are. Don’t be surprised if your older relatives still remember the whole routine.
10. I Do – Colbie Caillat
No one does an upbeat love song like Colbie Caillat. I Do might be about getting married, but it’s no sappy ballad. Instead, it’s a feel-good dance song that is perfect for jiving on the dance floor, either with your new Mr. or Mrs. or with your whole family. It is impossible not to feel happy when this tune gets started.
11. Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper
Has it been overplayed? That’s a matter of opinion. But whether it’s a cliché or not, one thing is for certain—it is always fun to perform this easy, catchy line dance routine. It is simple enough for everyone to follow along after the first few choruses, even if they’re new to the world of line dancing. What’s easier than “Everybody clap your hands”?
12. Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees
This disco song might date all the way back to 1977, but when it starts up, disco is anything but dead. It has remained popular for decades not just because of its extreme danceability, but also because it has found new life (appropriately) as a CPR song aid. Its fame means that almost everyone knows the words, which means you can all sing along.
13. Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon
Is Walk The Moon a one-hit wonder band? That’s up to you to decide. All we know is that back in 2015, we couldn’t get enough of this feel-good dance tune that is all about breaking it down with your soulmate: “This woman is my destiny, she said/Ooh, shut up and dance with me.” No matter how you and your new spouse met, you can have a great time dancing to this tune.
14. Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake released Can’t Stop The Feeling! as part of the soundtrack of Trolls, but it’s safe to say that the song got bigger than the movie ever did. Whether or not you’ve watched the film, you’ve probably heard this ultra-catchy dance tune that is all about giving in to the music. With any luck, it will get even your shyest guests out on the dance floor!
15. Just Dance – Lady Gaga
Just Dance was one of Lady Gaga’s first big singles, released long before her Grammy wins when the pop star was mostly known for wearing meat dresses. In those early days, she was all about club hits (though this one was probably the wildest). But though her career has matured, this early hit still remains just as fun as ever, perfect for the height of a party.
16. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!
Wham! might technically be called a two-hit wonder band (their other major hit being the infamous Last Christmas), but those two hits are classics. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go is infectiously danceable, and it is no wonder that it remains a party staple decades after it was first released. Its high energy will get everyone on the dance floor.
17. Teach Me How To Dougie – Cali Swag District
Remember the early 2010s, when everybody was learning how to dance the Dougie? You might be surprised by how quickly the routine comes back to you once you hear this throwback hit. Extra points if you manage to teach it to grandma while you’re on the dance floor at the reception.
18. Havana – Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug
The perfect song for those who prefer a lower-energy but still fun dance tune. Camila Cabello’s Havana is sultry and infused with Latin vibes, making it a great song for dancing with a partner or just breaking it down on your own. It’s a perfect breather in between more upbeat tracks without bringing down the energy of the party.
19. Truth Hurts – Lizzo
Truth Hurts is one of Lizzo’s first big hits, establishing her as the Queen of Pop that she is. The music video even features her as the bride at her own wedding, though the ceremony doesn’t exactly go well. Regardless, you can still enjoy dancing to this super-catchy hit at the reception. This is one of those songs that is all about the attitude.
20. Footloose – Kenny Loggins
You’re not required to have Kevin Bacon’s legendary moves to break it down to Footloose. All you need is to put your all into it—even if you’re not known for your dancing skills. Just dance like you’re from a small town where dancing is forbidden and have fun! As long as you have the energy, you can enjoy this throwback classic.
21. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
It’s almost impossible to resist dancing when you hear Whitney Houston start to sing. I Wanna Dance With Somebody was one of the most famous songs of the pop star’s career, featuring her amazing vocal range in all its glory. No one can make you want to dance like Whitney, especially if, as the lyrics say, you’re hitting the floor with someone who loves you.
22. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
Back in his early days, Bruno Mars made a name for himself with ultra-dramatic ballads like Grenade and Just The Way You Are. But the later hit 24K Magic is much more upbeat, all about feeling amazing when you’re with the person that you love and wanting to dance to express yourself. It has the high energy that is perfect for making everyone want to cut a rug together.
23. Volare – Dean Martin
Is classic jazz more your style when it comes to wedding music? If you want your reception to be ultra-classy, it doesn’t get much better than Dean Martin. Volare means “to fly,” which is exactly what this song makes you want to do (across the dance floor). This is one song that will appeal to all your guests, no matter what their age.
24. Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Poker Face was another one of Lady Gaga’s early hits. People are divided as to the meaning behind the lyrics, but ultimately it doesn’t really matter—it is still fun to dance to Lady Gaga’s ultra-powerful pop, regardless of what she’s singing about. This is a song for the end of the night when people are on the dance floor and have had a few drinks.
25. Hey Ya! – OutKast
It is impossible not to be in a good mood when you hear this incredibly happy, upbeat tune. Outkast won a Grammy Award for the album back in 2004, and it is still just as fun today. Hey Ya! encapsulates the elation that everyone should feel on their wedding day. Of course, it is also incredibly fun to sing along with that infectious chorus.
26. Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
With any luck, Walking On Sunshine is a good descriptor of how you’ll feel on your wedding day. Weddings can be stressful, but when it comes down to it, take a pointer from Katrina and focus on how happy you are to be with the person that you love. This is one feel-good track that is always worth a replay.
27. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
Mr. Brightside has a reputation as a song that makes wedding guests go crazy. We can’t pretend to be able to explain it, but let’s be real: no matter how many times we’ve heard this song in the past, it is still just as good as the first time. It may have something to do with its insanely high energy, making it impossible not to want to dance.
28. Do You Love Me? – The Contours
Another classic party song, this 1962 hit is all about trying to claim someone’s heart with your dance moves (though that might be a strange thing to base a relationship on). This is the perfect opportunity to hit the dance floor with all your most outrageous routines—even if dancing isn’t usually your forte. Just get out there and get into the groove.
29. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
Looking for a song that will get all the couples out on the dance floor? If you need a break from the fast dances, it’s time to play Eric Clapton’s classic love song. It is perfect for slow dancing, whether for your first dance as a couple or for all the couples in attendance. It’s also a great way of memorializing the way the two of you look on your special day.
30. Celebration – Kool & The Gang
Some songs have layered lyrics and complex meanings, but Celebration is much more straightforward. It’s a party song, plain and simple—which might account for its classic appeal. There is never a bad time to play Kool & The Gang, especially when it comes to celebrating your eternal love to someone. This is a crowd favorite, perfect for getting all your guests to come together.
31. Happy – Pharrell Williams
Weddings can be notoriously anxiety-inducing, but hopefully by the reception, your jitters will have melted away. By then, you can just revel in the joy of the day. With any luck, you’ll also be feeling “like a room without a roof” …whatever Pharrell meant when he sang that! It might just be one of those feelings that you don’t understand until you experience it.
32. Africa – Toto
What does Toto’s Africa have to do with a wedding? In short, probably nothing. But the bottom line is that there is never a bad time to play this classic hit, which is bound to get all your guests out on the dance floor. It is just too catchy to resist.
33. Livin’ On a Prayer – Bon Jovi
There is a reason why this Bon Jovi hit is a classic party song. It is a great tune for a crowd, especially since almost everyone knows the words! This is the kind of dance hit to bring out at the end of the night, when everyone is in a good mood (and has had a few drinks).
34. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
Back in 2009, I Gotta Feeling was a must-play track at every party, no matter what you were celebrating. It pretty much sums up how you feel about your wedding day: “I got a feeling/that tonight’s gonna be a good night.” It is a great song to play while partying with all the people you love the most.
35. Bye Bye Bye – *NSYNC
NSYNC might have broken up a long time ago, but their biggest hits are still fun to play. Bye Bye Bye remains one of their most iconic, partly because of the catchy tune and the accompanying dance. If you remember the steps, more power to you!
36. Shout – The Isley Brothers
Musicians have come up with many different ways to express what it is like to be in love. The Isley Brothers’ hit describes the elation that your loved one makes you feel. The song is extra sweet because it describes having been in love with someone since childhood and how they have always made you feel like you’re on top of the world.
37. Gangnam Style – PSY
Call it cheesy if you want, but there was a reason that Gangnam Style was so popular back in 2012. If you’re willing to dance like no one is watching, throw caution to the wind and jump into the classic dance routine that showed up at every wedding reception in the early 2010s.
38. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Every woman who has brown eyes has had this song sung to her, but it isn’t hard to figure out why. Van Morrison makes this simple, happy tune into a love song that describes many happy memories together. (Fun fact, as much as 79% of the population is brown-eyed, which might account for the song’s popularity!)
39. Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker wasn’t the first one to sing the country classic, but it was his version that went viral in the early 2010s. If you’re having a country-style wedding, or if you just can’t get enough of the song, this perennial crowd favorite should definitely be on your playlist. Almost everyone knows it and loves it, so it is bound to please.
40. Dancing Queen – ABBA
It is almost impossible not to want to shake it when you hear this throwback hit. ABBA was one of the biggest pop groups of the 1970s, but their music remains just as fun as ever. Dancing Queen is one of the Swedish band’s most iconic songs, making it perfect for a party like a wedding reception.
41. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
There is no one who knows how to dismiss her haters better than Taylor Swift. Hopefully you’re not dealing with any haters on your wedding day, but let’s be honest: there is no wrong time to play some Taylor Swift songs. This is one song that will get everyone out on the dance floor together, because no one is too cool to break it down to Shake It Off.
42. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
No one can sing a laid-back-but-still-danceable love song like Stevie Wonder. This soul classic is about a man who ended a relationship but then realized he had made a huge mistake. Now he is back for good, using a comparison to the postal service to describe his newfound commitment to his love.
43. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
Journey’s 1981 hit might be one of the most popular party songs of all time. But it doesn’t matter how many times it has been played over the decades. It is always good for another play, getting all your guests out on the dance floor to sing along. After all, we all know the words!
44. Wake Me Up – Avicii
Wake Me Up is one of those songs that is super catchy until you listen to the lyrics. The words are a bit depressing, all about feeling like life is meaningless. But they didn’t stop the song from becoming one of the biggest party songs of the early 2010s, so there must be something irresistible about the beat.
45. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
Walking a thousand miles for someone is quite the declaration of love. It’s a great metaphor for all the sacrifices a loving couple makes for one another. But what makes this song from the Scottish rock band really great is the irresistibly danceable chorus (consisting of nothing but nonsense syllables, no less).
46. Thriller – Michael Jackson
Thriller was one of Michael Jackson’s earliest hits as a solo artist, cementing him as a pop icon and one of the best dancers of his era. The song and accompanying music video sparked a dance craze that is still well-known to this day. But you don’t have to know the whole routine to have a great time dancing to this song.
47. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling In Love might be one of the most popular slow dance songs at wedding receptions. But we can’t blame decades of couples for choosing it, either for their first dance song or for all the couples in attendance. There is just something about the way Elvis croons the chorus that makes it one of the sweetest songs of all time.
48. Take Me Home, Country Roads – John Denver
Even if you’re not from West Virginia, you can still play this ultra-catchy song at your wedding reception. It is not only one of the most famous country songs of all time, but it is known around the world—even in countries whose cultures have no idea what or where West Virginia is. Some people have even said they always thought this song was the West Virginia Anthem.
49. I Want You Back – The Jackson 5
Long before Michael Jackson was the moonwalking pop star, he was a member of The Jackson 5 along with his older brothers. He was only 12 years old when he recorded the lead vocals on I Want You Back, the infectiously catchy pop song that remains one of the group’s most iconic.
50. Brick House – Commodores
Brick House might not be a song that you want to sing in the direction of the bride, but it is still an ultra-catchy classic party tune. It has been getting wedding guests to break it down since 1977, proving that it has staying power. In other words, it’s just a fun song.
51. Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
LMFAO may not have done much since their big hit, but Party Rock Anthem was one of the biggest songs of the early 2010s. The song remains a classic for dance parties of all kinds, most likely because of its ultra-poppy beat drop. It’s a great song for the height of the evening.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.