Playlists for a pumping wedding reception

wedding reception playlist

For a large chunk of your wedding guests (and for many couples as well) the highlight of a wedding is the party! The last half of your wedding reception is the most relaxed part of the day. The official stuff is done, the wedding speeches have been wrapped up, food and drink has been consumed in copious amounts… the only thing left to do is dance. If you’re DIYing your entertainment with an iPod or jukebox, or you just want to give your band a few suggestions, today’s post is for you. I’ve compiled a wedding reception playlist to help you get your boogie on!

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50+ Songs for your Wedding Reception Playlist

New(ish) songs for your playlist

This one always gets me dancing! Shut up and Dance by Walk the Moon – thanks Miranda for the suggestion.

OMI – Cheerleader is pretty upbeat

A bit of Katy Perry – Last Friday Night (TGIF) for something to sing along to…

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson. 10,000 internet points if you can rope friends into learning the dance and cranking it out at the wedding

Happy by Pharrell Williams is a song I always chuck on when I need to get my energy up

I can’t believe I’m putting Justin Beiber on this list…but I can’t get Sorry out of my head so I’ll get it in yours and we can suffer together 😉

Meghan Trainor’s fun pop beats are a popular to dance to, and All About that Bass is a fun one for the d-floor

Of course Dear Future Husband might be more appropriate – just lesser known

Shake it Off by Taylor Swift is an upbeat song

Glad You Came from The Wanted is another good one to dance to

Old(ish) classic songs for your reception playlist

Jess got married just recently and said Dancing Queen got everyone on the dance floor

Voulez-Vous is another great one from Abba

Love Shack by The B-52s is another classic song for your wedding dance

A bit of David Bowie – Let’s Dance – thanks Viki for the suggestion!

Keep your Mum happy with some Neil Diamond – perhaps Sweet Caroline

Billy Joel deserves a couple of spots on this wedding playlist – Uptown Girl has to win out though…

Bryan Adams – Summer of 69 is an absolute classic

The Beatles are a great pick – Twist and Shout will get everyone singing and doing the twist

…or I Saw Her Standing There <3

You can put pretty much anything by Queen on the playlist and feel like you’ve made a good call. But after a lot of deliberation, I think Crazy Little Thing Called Love is the best Queen wedding dance song

Jessie’s Girl is an oldie but a goodie (by Rick Springfield)

The king of pop, Michael Jackson, ought to make an appearance at every wedding (well, his music anyway). The Way You Make Me Feel  is an appropriate jam for the dance floor….

and Billie Jean is bloody good too

A bit of CCR is good to sing along to – and Proud Mary in particular!

Who doesn’t love a bit of Phil Collins? You can’t hurry love might be particularly apt if it’s taken you a while to get married

I can’t dance by Genesis (with our man Phil Collins!) is a good one too. Bonus points if you rope guests into doing synchronised walking like in the chorus of the video

I have mixed feelings about putting AC/DC under the Old(ish) category, as they’re one of my favourite bands. But they are older than my own parents… You shook me all night long is pretty wedding appropriate I reckon!

The Knack – My Sharona is a great song to sing and dance to

Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi is a great dance song (especially a few wines in when you can really let your hair down and mimic Jon’s hair do)

Runaround Sue is one all the guests will be tapping their feet to

I’m a sucker for a musical, and the big musical numbers are literally made to be danced to. So why not add them to your wedding playlist?! Footloose is a good one to start –

You’re the one that I want from Grease is a goodie

Guilty pleasures playlist

I’m going to get my guilty pleasure out there first – Timber. You’d think this would alienate the oldies but I’ve heard my Mum singing along to it, so I beg to differ.

Speaking of guilty pleasures… if you don’t know the Macarena you are deprived.

Five came out at peak-teen for me, so they’re very much a guilty pleasure. If you don’t know the rap to Everybody Get Up, have you ever really lived?

In the Southern Bride group, Alex recommended Mambo No. 5

Wake me up before you go-go by Wham! is another great guilty pleasure

Can’t go past a bit of S Club 7 – Because there ain’t no party like an S Club Party!

Party Rock Anthem. Of Course.

Smash Mouth’s Walkin’ on the Sun is one that you can sing along to and reminise about the 90’s

Walk this Way – Run DMC and Aerosmith. Love this one!

A little bit of country or folk at your wedding?

If you’re from the south, what wedding would be complete without Wagon Wheel? Is it really a wedding if Wagon Wheel doesn’t play? 😉

The Lumineers Ho Hey – sentimental lyrics and a slower pace

A good way to get all generations dancing is to have old songs that have been remade to a more modern beat. Something like Country Roads is well known by our parent’s generation – so they can sing along. But it’s not quite the somber pace of the original John Denver recording…

A staple of high school discos and late into the night at weddings, this could also be categorised under guilty pleasure – Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex

Another guilty pleasure, my girl Dolly Parton with Kenny Rogers – Islands in the Stream

ANYTHING Creedence Clearwater Revival is a good option – I get up to dance to  Bad Moon Rising 

Old school, country Taylor Swift with Love Story sneaks in here

A good one to kick off the night – Take it Easy by The Eagles.  Easy to bop along to and an old favourite.

New Zealand songs for your wedding reception

Every wedding reception ought to have a few New Zealand bands sprinkled through. And Bliss by Th’ Dudes is worthy of your ears!

No wedding reception would be complete without The Exponents – Why does love do this to me

Equal parts NZ song & guilty pleasure, How Bizarre from OMC

Slice of Heaven is a particular favourite of mine – we walked back down the aisle to this one (the processional), but you can certainly play this at the afterparty!

My 16-year old self wouldn’t forgive me if I omitted Dragon. There’s Rain – and also April Sun in Cuba.

Split Enz – I See Red. I dare you to not sing along.

For Outrageous Fortune fans, Gutter Black by Hello Sailor has to feature

The first few seconds of Counting the Beat are enough to get most kiwis toe tapping and head bobbing. I have fond memories of dancing to this in the Dunedin Town Hall.

For Today by the Netherworld Dancing Toys – is a lovely song to have a nice slow dance to with your other half

What do you think? There’s more than 50 songs to get  your wedding playlist started.

wedding dance playlist

Do you have a certain song that’s guaranteed to get you on the dance floor? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list!

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