Rainy weather, a smashed cake, wilted flowers—these are all nightmare-style scenarios that race though the minds of stressed brides and grooms. But the one thing that's most anxiety-inducing for fun-loving couples to think about? An empty dance floor at their reception. That's why we turned to the people who attend weddings like it's their job (um, because it is), and asked them to share the beats that they continuously see guests jamming out to. Read, add to your playlist, and relax.
According to the DJ...
Is there anyone better than a DJ to recommend great wedding tunes? Rich Leggitt, owner of Black Tie Events and creator of music planning app DJ Songlist, has years of experience getting guests on the dance floor. His
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)" by Stevie Wonder
"This one is a classic. From the opening note it pulls people to the dance floor. It also is a great kickoff song to get older guests involved and dancing."
"Brickhouse" by The Commodores
"People will climb over tables to get to the floor when you play this song. It also mixes great with many classic dance songs."
"24K Magic" by Bruno Mars
"Pretty much anything by Bruno Mars is dance floor gold but this one really gets people excited. It has a great old-school feel that really grabs you."
"Can't Stop The Feeling" by Justin Timberlake
"This song is almost always on the lists we get from our couples, and for good reason. Its beat is infectious and everybody loves it. JT always gets things rocking whether it is his *NSYNC stuff or the current tracks."
"Don't Stop Until You Get Enough" by Michael Jackson
"Michael Jackson is a must-play at every wedding. This track is amazing at getting people moving and one of my personal favorites. It also draws in guests from all age groups and makes everyone happy and ready to dance."
According to the photographer...
Photographers attend weddings all season long, and sometimes even more than one each weekend. Kari Dawson, Michigan-based pro and owner of Kari Dawson Events, has a list of songs she considers instant crowd-pleasers.
"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee
"I think most people can name the most popular top 40 songs at any given time, whether they enjoy top 40 or not, and there's always that one song every summer that somehow becomes the anthem. Year after year it's that song that will get people on the dance floor."
"Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
"In my experience, the song of the summer is not limited to just the current one, but any song of the summer from prior years. This one still draws people onto the dance floor."
"Shout" by The Isley Brothers
"People love it. The dance floor is always packed when this comes on."
"I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas
"The average age of my couples is 26 and older. Their friends, cousins, aunts, and uncles all hit the dance floor with a mix of current music, a line dance or two thrown in there along with wedding staples like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Bon Jovi. Too many oldies and you lose everyone except that one couple who just dances to dance."
According to the bridal coach...
"Get Lucky" by Daft Punk
"I mean, how could you not move your butt to this song? I'm listening to it right now (totally dancing in my chair), and all I picture is a packed dance floor, shoes off to the side, and a lot of moving!"
"This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris featuring Rihanna
"I'm completely obsessed with this song. It drives guests to the dance floor because they cannot help but move their bodies to this song, even if they live under a rock and haven't heard it before. It's upbeat and sexy; just want you need to get the party started."
"1999" by Prince
"The minute this song comes on at a wedding, every single seat is empty and the dance floor is pumping with intensity!"
"Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey
"Don't forget that the 1980s had some pretty fabulous dance music! Music that pretty much everybody knows and loves. And hearing it at a wedding? Awesome! Play this towards the end of the night when people are already on the dance floor."
According to the wedding planner...
Wedding planners are well-versed in every aspect of the big day, and that includes music. Kristine King, president and lead event director at Kristine King Events, cites these tunes as her reception favorites.
"Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas
"The Black-Eyed Peas is a band that gets a lot of song requests. This song, and 'I Gotta Feeling,' may be considered old by some standards, but they're still great party starters simply because the lyrics and beats are fun! These songs are typically played at the beginning of the evening in order to really get the guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor."
"Cupid Shuffle" by Cupid
"While there are no magic formulas for whisking guests onto the dance floor, you can never go wrong with timeless classics on most band and DJ repertoires like the 'Electric Slide', 'Cupid Shuffle', 'Wobble' and the 'Cha Cha Slide'. Everyone, from kids to grandparents, will want to partake in the magic of these numbers!"
"Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
"This is another popular beat destined to rally a crowd. Some others: 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' by Whitney Houston, 'Yeah!' by Usher and Pharrell Williams' 'Happy.'"