The Wedding Dance Floor: Songs You Need to Know

wedding dance floor

Planning a wedding is stressful. Between invitations, guest lists, venue selection, colors, tux style, the wedding dress, and everything else that goes into your big day, it’s easy to get hit with decision paralysis. But even after all those other choices, you still have to pick some music.

What do you want to walk down the aisle to? What do you want as a recessional? Will you have music during the ceremony?

And what about the wedding dance floor?

You want people on the floor, shaking their assorted groove things all night long. What are the songs that will make that happen?

Of course, once the dance gets going, a competent, professional DJ or experienced band will know what to do to keep people dancing. But it can still help to establish guidelines for them based on your music preferences and what you think your guests will enjoy.

After all, this is your party with your guests. Every group has its own distinct vibe, and if your DJ doesn’t have an idea of who they are helping to party, they might accidentally play something that absolutely empties the dance floor.

But don’t panic! We are here for you with some of the best wedding dance party songs to help you get ideas for your big night. We will also give some suggestions for some of the big moments that come up during the reception. 

Your wedding reception will be full of musical moments. So let’s get your brain to percolate on some great options for your big day. You have a lot of decisions to make. Let’s make the musical ones easier.

Entrance Music

As any fan of professional wrestling can tell you, the right entrance music can really set the tone for what’s about to happen. The same is true of wedding receptions. Bridal party entrance songs let your guests know that the party has officially begun.

There are several different options you can take with your grand entrance songs. Sometimes the bridal party will enter to one song, while the couple enters to their own fanfare. Sometimes the whole group comes in at once with choreography to a specific song. 

No matter how you choose to make your entrance, the important thing is that the song reflects your tastes and your sense of fun. You don’t have to do a silly dance, but if you did, this is a great place for it. 

The best entrance songs hit hard right away. They tend to be upbeat, fun songs. This lets your guests know that the solemn parts of the event are mostly done (you’ll still have some spotlight dances that may make your guests cry) and that the time to get down has arrived.

If you aren’t sure what you might like for this part of your reception, here are a few popular choices that might give you an idea of the type of song you’ll want to pick to open up your wedding dance floor.

  • Party Rock Anthem, by LMFAO: This song is big, dumb, and fun. It immediately grabs a crowd’s attention and lets everyone know that there will, in fact, be party rocking in the house tonight.
  • The Final Countdown, by Europe: Featuring arguably the greatest fanfare in rock history, this song is positively magical. 
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours, by Stevie Wonder: A stone-cold classic, this song gets a crowd hyped while also reminding them that the wedding is official!
  • Close to Me, by The Cure: For the couple that has a bit more of a darker sensibility, this might be the most fun song these legends of the Goth scene ever recorded.

First Dance Music

This is the most personal song for a couple. It doesn’t have to be a slow song, but it should be a song that means something to you. Whether you choreograph a dance or just choose to luxuriate in your new spouse’s arms, this is a song that, more than any other you pick, will forever be yours.

If you do choose to do some choreography, make sure the song you pick matches the style of dance you choose. For example, if you choose to learn the waltz for your big dance, picking a song in ¾ time is very important.

Fortunately, it isn’t too hard to find ballroom dancing teachers if that’s the route you want to go for your first dance. They will know what makes a song great for a particular style of dance and can help you find the right song for you.

But if what you want for your first dance is to spend time holding the most important person in your world on your wedding dance floor, who could fault you? Everyone in the room will be looking at you, and you’ll get a few people to shed tears if they just see two people in love, swaying together in a spotlight.

Here are a few ideas for different approaches to your first dance:

  • Can’t Help Falling in Love, by Elvis Pressly: This might be the most popular first dance song ever. It’s simple, honest, and sung with depth and heart by the King.
  • You and I (Nobody in the World), by John Legend: This entire section could be John Legend songs if we’re being honest. This one is all about connection, acceptance, and love. What’s not to like for a first dance?
  • The Luckiest, by Ben Folds Five: Very few songs perfectly encapsulate how both members of a newly married couple feel than this beautiful ballad.

wedding entrance songs

Party Music

Once you’ve welcomed your guests to the party and had your big moments alone on the wedding dance floor, it’s time to get everyone moving. Songs to open the dance floor at wedding receptions should be pretty familiar to a wide range of your guests. 

That’s because people tend to respond to songs they know. They’ll sing along, do a big group dance, and form some little circles on the floor. Once they’ve been out there for a while, they will tend to stay out there, even if they don’t know all the songs being played. 

So how do you know what your guests know? One way is to encourage your DJ to kick things off with something old and reliable, like the wedding chicken dance song. But if you’re the type of person that never wants to hear that song ever again (or at least not right away at your dance), there are other options.

One popular move is to have people include a song they like to dance to when they RSVP. That gives you a great overview of the styles of music your guests love and the specific songs that will fill your wedding dance floor.

Another great idea is to take your list of potential wedding party entrance songs and encourage your DJ to include the ones you didn’t choose in the dance playlist. Many of the best entrance songs are also great party songs once the dance floor gets going.

Here are a few songs that you may want to make sure your DJ or band has ready to go:

  • Shout, parts 1 and 2, by The Isley Brothers: The ultimate wedding dance floor song. Your aunts and uncles will be right next to your friends doing the “little bit softer now” parts. No doubt about it.
  • Love Shack, by The B52s: This is an incredible sing along song that’s an absolute dream to dance to. When your dance floor is full of people shouting “Tin Roof Rusted,” you’ll know that the party is on.
  • The Cha-Cha Slide, by Mr. C: Sometimes what people need to get moving on the dance floor is instructions. This song tells your guests exactly what they need to do to have a good time.
  • Hey Ya, by Outkast: Music nerds will tell you about how brilliantly crafted this song is with its odd time signature and so forth— all you need to know is that the song is perfect for booty shaking.

It’s Your Party

The most important thing to remember is that this is your party. If there are songs you hate that you always hear at weddings, you can tell your DJ not to play them. If there are songs you love that you always hear at weddings, you can make doubly sure your DJ plays them.

That advice goes for every song choice you make for your wedding. Is there a song you want to share for a father/daughter dance or a mother/son dance? You can have it. Just talk to the DJ ahead of time.

Do you want your recessional to be the theme from Jurassic Park? You can do that! You don’t even have to get rid of the dinosaur noises if you don’t want to. It’s your wedding and the world is your oyster. Make your wedding dance floor an extension of your personalities as a couple and as individuals. Include songs that your guests will know and love. But more than anything, relax and have fun! Once you get to the dance, the hard part is over— now you get to celebrate!

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