These Songs Will Make Your Wedding An Instant Dance Party

photographed by Megan Madden; produced by Sam Nodelman; produced by Yuki Mizuma.
Let's be frank. You want your wedding to be a party. Your partner wants your wedding to be a party. And your guests certainly want your wedding to be a party.
Sure, you could invest in photo booths and Viennese tables for entertainment. But there's an even faster track to creating an instant party: music, baby. Music (and love) is all you need for a good wedding reception. This, right here, is your starter kit to a party in a playlist. We've mixed all kinds of dance songs, from everlasting oldies to the latest hits, to ensure the whole party will be dancing.
Advertisement
When it comes to wedding music, good tunes supersede cool music. Go for the songs that are already people's favorites. Here are 51 classics.
1 of 53
The Jonas Brothers "Sucker"

Don't forget to remind the happy couple (and all the couples at the wedding) why they fell in love.

- Courtney E. Smith
2 of 53
C+C Music Factory ft. Freedom Williams "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)"

Nothing starts a dance party like those three little words: everybody dance now.

- Courtney E. Smith
Advertisement
3 of 53
The Isley Brothers "Shout"

We'll say it again, just a little bit louder now: this is a wedding classic.

- Courtney E. Smith
4 of 53
Madonna "Express Yourself"

Get yourself a girl squad power moment happening on the dance floor when this comes on.

- Courtney E. Smith
5 of 53
Ariana Grande "7 Rings"

Who doesn't want to flip their hair and mouth "gee thanks, just bought it" to this instant classic pop bop?

- Courtney E. Smith
6 of 53
Stevie Wonder "Superstition"

Superstition ain't the way, but this song is.
7 of 53
The Foundations "Build Me Up Buttercup"

Hey hey hey, this is a good song.
Advertisement
8 of 53
Outkast "Hey Ya"

Sure, you could have some variety in your playlist. Or, you could put "Hey Ya" on repeat and call it a day.
9 of 53
Smokey Robinson "Second That Emotion"

The song's lyrics fit the occasion: "If you feel like giving me a lifetime of devotion, I second that emotion."
10 of 53
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"

Hopefully some good dance floor duet pantomimes will emerge from this song.
11 of 53
Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris "We Found Love"

Finding love really is a miraculous thing.
12 of 53
Flo Rida "Good Feeling"

Spread all the good feelings.
Advertisement
13 of 53
Maroon 5 "Moves Like Jagger"

Alternatively, you could just play the entirety of Maroon 5's debut album Songs About Jane and remind everyone what a damn good album it is.
14 of 53
Jessie J "Domino"

Jessie J is probably bigger in China than she is in the United States — she just won a massive televised singing competition there. "Domino" is an undeniable jammer.
15 of 53
The B-52's "Love Shack"

Nothing gets a flock of Gen X-ers on their feet faster than "Love Shack."
16 of 53
TLC "No Scrubs"

Hopefully this wedding has a no scrubs policy.
17 of 53
The Bee Gees "Night Fever"

An empirically perfect song.
Advertisement
18 of 53
Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"

You want people to dance? Then play a song that commands them to!
19 of 53
Prince "Kiss"

Moral of the story: Kisses are the best!
20 of 53
P!nk "Raise Your Glass"

Now's the time for inspirational anthems.
21 of 53
Toploader "Dancing in the Moonlight"

Even better for an outdoor wedding reception.
22 of 53
Luis Fonsi "Despacito"

One of the best songs of all time? Yeah, you need it on the playlist.
Advertisement
23 of 53
Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen"

Play this once guests are drunk enough to demonstrate their Irish step dancing skills.
24 of 53
Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe"

The perfect pop song?
25 of 53
Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"

This will have all the children of the '90s jamming.
26 of 53
Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z "Crazy In Love"

The platonic ideal of a song!
27 of 53
ABBA "Dancing Queen"

In the "Dancing Queen" scene in Mamma Mia, Donna (Meryl Streep) gathers the women of the island together for a dance break. May the same joy happen at your wedding.
Advertisement
28 of 53
Whitney Houston "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"

2018 has been a big year for "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." It was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first dance song at their wedding, and it provided the soundtrack for one of Pose's most triumphant scenes.
29 of 53
Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline"

So good! So good! So good!
30 of 53
Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive"

This is a good sing-along.
31 of 53
Earth, Wind and Fire "September"

No, not the Taylor Swift cover. Stick with the exuberant original.
32 of 53
John Legend "All of Me"

Slow dances count as dances. Let "All of Me," one of the most romantic songs ever, provide a good excuse for the couples to get together on the dance floor.
Advertisement
33 of 53
Sister Sledge"We Are Family"

For better or for worse, weddings are about families, too. Celebrate 'em.
34 of 53
Van Morrison "Brown Eyed Girl"

The chillest.
35 of 53
Ed Sheeran "Shape of You"

It seems like Ed Sheeran is mandatory at weddings at this point. Guests will be expecting either "Shape of You" or "Thinking Out Loud." Your move.
36 of 53
Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg "California Gurls"

Fine, fresh, and fierce — what more could you ask for?
37 of 53
Selena Gomez "Come and Get It"

Na na na na.
Advertisement
38 of 53
Usher "Yeah"

At the utterance of "Peace up, A-town down," you are contractually obliged to get to your feet.
39 of 53
Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"

This song still works like magic.
40 of 53
Ciara feat. Missy Elliot "One, Two Step"

Bonus points to anyone who knows Missy Elliot's rap by heart.
41 of 53
Sean Paul "Temperature"

This song encourages baby making: "And girl I wanna be the papa, you can be the mom."
42 of 53
Wham! "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"

Be with someone who puts the "boom boom" into your heart.
Advertisement
43 of 53
One Direction "What Makes You Beautiful"

IMO Harry Styles should make an appearance at every wedding.
44 of 53
Spice Girls "Wannabe"

Celebrate the girls, and the Spice Girls, in your life.
45 of 53
Aretha Franklin "Respect"

The backstory to this iconic anthem is fascinating. When Otis Redding originally sang "Respect" from the perspective of a man, it was a essentially song about adhering to the patriarchy — he wanted his woman to respect him and have dinner ready for him when he came home. Then, Aretha Franklin covered it. From the perspective of a woman, "Respect" became an ode to empowerment.
46 of 53
The Killers "Mr. Brightside"

If a tree falls in the forest without anyone to hear it, does it make a sound? If "Mr. Brightside" doesn't play at a party, is it a party?
47 of 53
Britney Spears "Toxic"

"Toxic" is Britney Spears' favorite song.
Advertisement
48 of 53
The Jackson Five "I Want You Back"

If someone wrote this song for me, I'd go running back.
49 of 53
Kool & the Gang "Celebration"

Kool & the Gang is diametrically opposed to Elliot Smith.
50 of 53
Queen "Don't Stop Me Now"

In honor of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, play some Queen at your wedding.
51 of 53
Shakira and Wyclef Jean "Hips Don't Lie"

Author R.L. Stine loves "Hips Don't Lie" and so will everyone else at your wedding.
52 of 53
David Bowie "Heroes"

For one night, everyone's a hero.
53 of 53
Deniece Williams "Let's Hear It For The Boy"

If this doesn't get the groom (or any Footloose fans) out on the dance floor, nothing will.
Advertisement

More from Music

R29 Original Series