One of the most exciting things about a wedding is its ability to bring together people from all walks of life - the zesty young, the wise elders, that Uncle who thought it would be okay if he brought two dates. While variety is the spice of any event, it may lead to some musical discordance, namely age groups feeling as though they have to “take turns” on the dance floor. Having the right host is essential for a great time - and I am here to share some songs guaranteed to get everyone on the floor, from your niece Emma to your Grandma Nancy!
1. Uptown Funk (2014) - Bruno Mars
This song takes the energy in the room and amplifies it by 900%. It is nearly impossible to stay in your seat when this jam starts bumping through the stereo!
2. September (1978) - Earth, Wind, & Fire
Even if you can’t hit Maurice White’s high notes, you can still get groovy to this timeless classic. Bonus points if your wedding is in September!
3. Stayin Alive (1983) - The Bee Gees
Keeping with the disco ferver, this song allows plenty of room to do the John Travolta, and teach the younger generation how to really shake it.
4. Cupid Shuffle (2007) - Cupid
Line dances may be intimidating, but with an event host who knows how to lead this family favorite, you can get some great footage of everyone you love shuffling to the right….to the right….to the right…to the left...
5. Cha Cha Slide (1998) - DJ Casper
This song requires no former line-dance knowledge and quite literally no dance skills at all! DJ Casper instructs every move and encourages you to get silly with it! This will definitely get everyone moving, and kids especially love this one.
6. Shout (Parts 1 & 2) (1959) - The Isley Brothers
The only prior knowledge needed to have fun with this song is how to yell SHOUT! It is interactive, and a true joy watching the crowd get on the ground during “and a little bit softer now…” then jump up to “AND A LITTLE BIT LOUDER NOW”
7. Y.M.C.A. (1979) - The Village People
Even if the only lyrics you know are “Young man…” and “Y.M.C.A”, this beat still unifies everyone in the splendor of making big letters over their heads.
8. Love Shack (1989) - B-52's
As someone who used to jam to this as a toddler, and whose seen people of all ages get down and funky with this song, all there is left to say is…TIIIIIINNNN ROOOOF – Rusted.
9. When a Man Loves a Woman (1966) - Percy Sledge
There is a likelihood that at this point, your crowd may be panting and begging for a slow song to dance to with their significant other - and nothing pulls at your heartstrings more than the soulful crooning of Percy Sledge.
10. I Gotta Feeling (2009) - Black Eyed Peas
This 2009 jam maintains a pleasant upbeat tempo that will not hurt the elderly's ears and lyrics that won't offend your great aunt Carol. It sets an effervescent tone and declares 'Tonight is going to be a good night!'
11. Hey Ya! (2002) Outkast
This song was written as a nod to parental figures for helping us become the people we are today, and what better venue to celebrate that than when you're with the whole family at a wedding reception!
12. Baby's Got Back (1991) - Sir-Mix-A-Lot
While this might not necessarily get Granny on the floor (Bonus points if your grandma gets down to this), it will get any woman tired of living in a society that glorifies the thin out shaking her booty on the floor! Cheers to a healthy backside!
13. Come on, Eileen (1982) - Dexy's Midnight Runners
This song is made to get Granny on the floor! And every gal she knows! Bonus points if they are all named Eileen.
14. Thriller (1983) - Michael Jackson
If you do not know the actual dance, need not fear – anything goes! Do whichever hand motions feel right and just have fun honoring the late, great MJ.
15. Play That Funky Music (1976) - Wild Cherry
This song is not meant to be racially charged, rather a fun celebration of Funk Music and a great opportunity to get Dad out there popping his collar! Bonus Points for wearing sunglasses indoors.
16. Sunglasses at Night (1984) - Corey Hart
If you already have your sunglasses on for Play That Funky Music, might as well keep them on and relish in the true magic of 80’s synthetic pop!
17. Don't Stop Believin' (1981) - Journey
Everyone knows the story of the small town girl living in a lonely world, and in a perfect world nobody will judge you for belting out those lyrics like nobody is watching! Bonus points for air-guitaring the instrumental portions.
18. Sweet Caroline (1969) - Neil Diamond
This may be more geared towards those in the 40+ range, but I am a firm believer that the youth need be exposed to this love song written for JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.
19. L.O.V.E. (1964) - Nat King Cole
An upbeat swing dance is the perfect way to remind everyone exactly why you are all gathered together: to celebrate love!
20. Born To Hand Jive (1978) - Sha Na Na
No better way to burn off those cake calories than by hand jiving furiously to this jazzy tune! This song was popularized by the movie 'Grease', and only requires the dance-skill equivalent of being able to play rock paper scissors!
21. Land of 1000 Dances - Wilson Pickett
Even if you do not know exactly how to do ‘The Mashed Potato’, there is still a 99.9% chance you know how to sing “Na Na Na Na”, which is all one needs to vibe with this classic.
22. Ain't No Mountain High Enough (1967) - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Marvin Gaye is synonymous with love in all of its forms, and this song depicts just what lengths two people would go to in order to prove their love for one another
23. Jump On It (1995) - Sir-Mix-A-Lot
The hook in this song is irresistible, covering fourteen different zip codes, including a mention of Seattle, Portland, and Tacoma by name! Fun Fact: Sir-Mix-A-Lot is from Seattle!
24. The Time [Dirty Bit] (2009) - Black Eyed Peas
This song has a little something for everyone, and is a great way to end a splendid evening. It samples the classic from ‘Dirty Dancing’, and throws in some bass for the kids! I have seen it unite people of all generations!
25. Piano Man (1973) - Billy Joel
For the final song of the evening, I love to ask that everyone put their arms around one another in a large circle and sway to the side as Billy Joel lights up their emotional chakras and sentimental centers with this timeless tune.