Wedding music playlist that’ll get everyone on the dance floor
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Music is one aspect of our reception that we are definitely not taking lightly. Mr. Cupcake and I have been revisiting and revising our play list for months, as we’re determined to have music that (almost) everyone can enjoy.
Choosing music has been a challenge, because a lot of the music that we like just won’t work for dancing. Currently, the six-disc rotation in my car consists of She & Him, Justin Timberlake, Regina Spektor, the Broadway soundtrack to Wicked, Ingrid Michaelson, and The Beatles White Album. Aside from Justin and some earlier Beatles songs, nothing is very danceable. We’ve had to get in touch with our inner dancing queens to compile a list that will (hopefully) have our dance floor packed all night with everyone from my 13-year-old cousin to Mr. Cupcake’s 70-something-year-old grandmother.
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Type of playlist: Pack the dance floor
The vibe: Upbeat classics that everyone from our grandparents to our nephews know
What songs/artists are on your playlist?
First, the “important songs” entrances, first dance, parent dances, etc.:
- Parents and bridal part entrance: Saturday Night – Bay City Rollers
- Bride and groom entrance: Gimme Some Loving – Spencer Davis Group
- First dance: We – Neil Diamond
- Father-daughter dance: My Girl – The Temptations
- Mother-son dance: Loves Me Like a Rock – Paul Simon
- Cake cutting song: A Wink and a Smile – Harry Connick Jr.
- Bouquet toss song: Suddenly I See – KT Tunstall
- Last dance: L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
We are very, very excited about the song we’ll be introduced to. You may recognize it as the song that is playing towards the end of the movie Notting Hill when Hugh Grant’s character and his friends are racing through London to get to Julia Robert’s press conference. It’s one of those songs that we both love and it always gets us pumped up, as dorky as that sounds. 🙂
For the rest of the “special” songs, we tried to pick upbeat songs that are recognizable but not necessarily the norm, at least based on the weddings we have been to. We like to be a little different like that.
Next up, we have the cocktail hour and dinner music, in no particular order:
- Come By Me – Harry Connick
- I Get a Kick Out of You – Frank Sinatra
- That’s Amore – Dean Martin
- Dance Me To the End of Love – Madeline Peyroux
- You’re Delovely – Robbie Williams
- A Kiss to Build a Dream On – Louis Armstrong
- Moondance – Van Morrison
- What is This Thing Called Love? – Lemar
- Sweet Darlin’ – She & Him
- You’re the Top – Cole Porter
- I’ve Got You Under Mv Skin – Michael Buble
- Paper Moon – Natalie Cole
- Sunday Mornings – Maroon 5
- Where You Lead – Carole King
- The Longest Time – Billy Joel
- You’re My Best Friend – Queen
- The Way I Am – Ingrid Michaelson
- I Will – The Beatles
- For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
- Scene from an Italian Restaurant – Billy Joel
- Soulful Strut – Ramsey Lewis
- Sunshine (Go Away Today) – Jonathan Edwards
- End of the Line – The Travelling Wilburys
- Give Me Love – George Harrison
- Presence of the Lord – Blind Faith
- Classical Gas – Mason Williams
- Blue Sky – Allman Brothers Band
- Moondance – Van Morrison
- Solsbury Hill – Peter Gabriel
- Dance tonight – Paul McCartney
- Oh Chariot – Gavin DeGraw
- City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie
- If I Fell In Love With You – The Beatles
- Why Do You Let Me Stay Here – She & Him
- 1,2,3,4 – Feist
- New Soul – Yael Nain
- Modern Nature – Sondre Lerche
Between our cocktail hour and sit-down dinner, we’ll need about two and a half hour’s worth of music, and if for some reason this list doesn’t cover it, it gives our DJ a great idea of the type of music we are looking for: a mix of Rat Pack, classic rock, and some more current randomness.
After cocktail hour, it’ll be time to shake our groove thangs.
- 25 miles – Edwin Star
- Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
- Stayin’ Alive – The Bee GeesIf You Wanna Be Happy – Jimmy Soul
- Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
- I Want You Back – Jackson Five
- I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick
- Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
- The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
- Twist and Shout – The Beatles
- PYT – Michael JacksonI’m a Believer – The Monkees
- I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
- Bogie Shoes – KC and the Sunshine Band
- Superstitious – Stevie Wonder
- Can’t Get Next to You – The Temptations
- Heat Wave – Martha & Vandelas
- Only the Good Die Young – Billy Joel
- Ain’t Too Proud to Beg – Rolling Stones
- Build Me Up Buttercup – Foundations
- Glory Days – Bruce Springsteen
- Apache – Sugar Hill Gang
- Tenderness – General Public
- Do You Love Me – The Contours
- Brown Eyed Girl – Brown Eyed Girl
- American Girl – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
- Oh How Happy – Shades of Blue
- Shout – Isley Brothers
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynrd Skynrd
- Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley
- Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- RESPECT – Aretha Franklin
- Still The One – Orleans
- This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole
- Mummers Strut
- You Got Me – Neil Diamond
- Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
- Land of 1000 Dances – Wilson Pickett
These are, again, in no particular order, with the exception of the first song, “25 Miles”, by Edwin Star. This song will hopefully inspire everyone to get their boo-tays on the dance floor, and the DJ will then be able to get a feel for how the rest of the evening should flow.
Since some of the older folks may head out before the reception ends at 11:00, we thought that later in the evening would be the best time to play the songs that will be more of a hit with our friends:
- It Takes Two – Rob Bass
- Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
- Crazy in Love – Beyonce & Jay Z
- Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
- Hey Ya! – Outkast
- Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
- Paradise City – Guns N Roses
- Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
- Busta Move – Young MC
- Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
- Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
- Groove is in The Heart – Deee-Lite
- You Shook Me All Night Long – ACDC
As you can see, we’re not really including too many current songs, but hopefully some of these selections will get our friends excited and nostalgic. 🙂
If more dancing songs are needed, we put together a secondary list. Some of these are still up for debate between Mr. Cupcake and I (like “We are Family”, which I insist is a necessary evil, yet he despises), but the DJ will be able to see what the night holds and hopefully will go with the flow depending on the crowd! Even though some of the songs are a little cheese-tastic, sometimes these seem to be the songs that get the most people on the dance floor (and how can we have a September wedding without playing “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire?).
- Footloose – Kenny Loggins
- We Are Family – Sister Sledge
- One Way or Another – Blondie
- I’ve Had the Time of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
- Lady Marmalade – Christina Aguilera
- September – Earth, Wind & Fire
- Whatta Man – Salt n Peppa (w/ En Vogue)
- Love Shack – B-52s
- Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
- What I Like About You – The Romantics
- Band of Gold – Freda Payne
- Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
- Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me) – The Doobie Brothers
- Dancing Queen – Abba
- Runaround Sue – Dion
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
- Cherry Cherry – Neil Diamond
- I Do – The Marvelows
I know that “Band of Gold” isn’t the most appropriate song to play at a wedding reception, but I L-O-V-E the song. I don’t know what it is, but it is one of those songs that I like to belt out in my car, and every time it comes on when Mr. Cupcake and I are together, he cranks it up for me because he knows that “that’s my soooong.”
We also chose a few slow songs that we wouldn’t mind hearing throughout the night, but we don’t care if we don’t end up hearing all of them. Why slow things down if the dance floor is packed, right?
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- You’re My Home – Billy Joel
- Crazy Love – Van Morrison
- In My Life – The Beatles
- Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
- Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
- Stand By Me – Ben E. King
- Happy Together – The Turtles
And finally, the totally necessary ‘Do Not Play’ list. I know, I know””some of these are crowd favorites and we’re total meanies for depriving our guests of these songs. But we’re just not fans of organized dances or the super cheese-rific tunes, and we don’t think anyone will miss any of these songs if we’ve successfully chosen some other fabulous selections!
- Electric Slide
- Chicken Dance
- Cha-Cha Slide
- YMCA – Village People
- Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter
- Celebration – Kool and the Gang
- Hokey Pokey
- The Hustle
- Oh What a Night
- Who Let the Dogs Out
- Mambo Number Five
- Pensylvania Polka – (no matter what the groom says!)
- Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
- Grease Megamix
- Beatles Megamix
- 1,2 Step – Ciara
- Come on Ride It
In red, for dramatic effect
Have you gotten really into planning out your play list for the wedding, or are you giving your DJ or band full control? Are any of your favorite party songs missing from our list?
We want the inside scoop on your wedding playlists, whether it’s ceremony, dinner, or dancing music, or even your “do not play” list!
If you’d like to share your playlist, send the following in an email or Google Doc to guest (at) weddingbee (dot) com:
- What type of playlist is this? Ceremony? Dinner? Dancing? All of the above?
- What songs/artists were on your playlist?
- Describe the vibe of your wedding playlist in a few words or sentences. (i.e., moody, bubbly, romantic, pop, indie, etc.)
- What was on your “do not play” list?
- What did you want your guests to feel when they heard the music at your wedding?
- What were the biggest hits or misses?
Be sure to include photos of your guests rocking out on the dance floor if you have them! If you submit professional photos, please credit your photographer.