Killer wedding reception dance songs
We love the dance sets! So we’ve made a playlist of some favourite wedding reception dance songs.
The ceremony was beautiful, you’ve come out of the speeches relatively unscathed (!) and you might even have had a moment to catch up with a couple of guests! Now, it’s dancing time.
The wedding band’s dance sets are a chance for you and your guests to connect and enjoy yourselves. The formalities of the wedding are done with, and all that’s left is letting your hair down to some classic wedding party dance songs.
Wedding reception playlist – mixing it up
We like to perform a mix of classic party songs from all eras – for two main reasons. First, we want as many of your guests as possible to be compelled to hit the dance floor. This means playing a broad range of upbeat, timeless classics that appeal to everyone – from the oldies to the effortlessly-hip young cousins (who might even take a break from dessert selfies to come and boogie with their hopelessly-daggy rellos).
Second, there are so many killer dance songs from every decade that there’s no need to limit the musical scope to one particular era. Once you’ve got the live impact of a real band, the music comes to life. It’s pretty amazing really – great songwriting is timeless (as clichéd as it sounds to say). We like to cover contemporary pop, soul, 60s/70s/80s/90s (it horrifies me that 90s is a genre now…it feels like it was yesterday), Motown, RnB, funk, jazz and blues. Add some special requests and your favourite songs from our list (plus any you don’t want to hear), and we’re set for a couple of awesome dance sets.
The wedding band performance is a living thing!
And the whole aim of a live wedding band is that they sculpt the performance – in real time – to match their audience. Guests loving part of a song? Extend it! Did they have a lot of fun with that faster tune? Follow it up with something similar at the same tempo. It’s like having the most interactive DJ imaginable – but with a dynamic live band…Why, it’s almost like music used to be! 😉
Enough ranting from me – here are some classic wedding reception dance songs we love to play.
I Want You Back – Jackson 5
How can you go wrong with this one to start!? And it moves really well as a medley into…
ABC – Jackson 5
’nuff said. MJ, we miss you.
Valerie – Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse
This is a guaranteed dance floor filler. Such a great throwback to the Motown sound. The tune was actually written by UK indie rock band The Zutons a year before Ronson released it. Check it out – totally different feel.
Happy – Pharrell Williams
This song just makes people smile.
Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
A huge party song. People will jump.
Sway – Michael Bublé
Sway is such a popular musical detour – even to people who’ve never listened to a jazz-style song in their life. This Bossa nova brings out the ballroom dancers in everyone.
Moondance – Van Morrison
Van the man – such a loved favourite of people across generations. This song keeps the jazz vibe going and is brilliant with sax stretching out over the solo section.
Celebrate – Kool & The Gang
An all-time party anthem. It’s silly, it’s fun and it packs a beat.
Hey Ya – OutKast
Ice cool! Still such a great song to dance to.
Superstitious – Stevie Wonder
It’s nearly impossible to pick just the one Stevie song. We play quite a few and they’re universally loved.
I Saw Her Standing There – Beatles
A really early Beatles song, surprisingly it’s got the punch of a modern indie anthem when played live. Gets everyone rocking.
Lifting Me Higher – Jackie Wilson
I like to introduce this song as made famous by one of the most important cultural works of the 20th Century: Ghostbusters II. Maybe debatable, but the song is dynamite.
Dancing in the Street – Martha & The Vandellas
This Motown classic is another feel-good, dance floor filler. Great with sax or trumpet for the horn lines.
I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
This song is kind of a club anthem, or was – but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Pretty poppy, but pretty fun.
Shake a Tailfeather – Ray Charles (Blues Brothers)
I think a lot of people are surprised to hear themselves singing the lyrics to this one – without realising they knew them. You can see what an impact Blues Brothers had when it came out. I know as a kid I watched it about 10 times.
This short list of some of our favourite wedding reception dance songs is over, but you can listen to more here. Feel free to email us if you’d like to know whether we can play particular songs or artists for your wedding or event.