44 Best Wedding Reception Songs to Celebrate Your Special Day

When choosing the music for your wedding reception, it’s always a great idea to have a mix of options for the DJ to roam through, from fun, upbeat love songs to sweet, slow-moving romantic ballads. You’ll definitely want to toss in some dance numbers and mood pieces, too!

We rounded up modern and classic wedding reception songs for you to consider. With a host of artists known for their grooving tunes or their swaying lyrics, this collection will create the right mood to celebrate your special day.


I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) – Whitney Houston

Great for your dance music lineup, this is a fantastic choice for your wedding reception. The emotional lyrics are “subdued” by Houston’s upbeat, light vibe in the song. They even added the parenthetical just to help project the right mood of the song. The song is about finding that person who will love you long-term. And what better place to dance with that somebody who loves you than on your wedding day?

Related: Find this song on our dancing songs playlist.

We Found Love – Rihanna

Featuring Calvin Harris, this Rihanna song is an amazing choice to play in your dance set at the wedding reception. The upbeat dance track is about dancing with that special someone, just like you’re doing! The electro-pop vibe of the song comes from Harris, a Scottish producer known for this style of musical work. The flowing chorus drives home the song’s message on repeat: “We found love in a hopeless place.”

Related: Check out more good dance music.

Crazy in Love – Beyoncé

Featured in a whole host of films like Taxi, White Chicks, and Strange Magic, and, of course, the much slower version used in the Fifty Shades of Grey film, ‘Crazy in Love’ is a fantastic choice for your wedding reception. Whether you opt for the upbeat dance version or the slow-dance track, the lyrics say it all: “‘Cause I know I don’t understand just how your love can do what no one else can. Got me looking so crazy right now. Your love’s got me looking so crazy right now. It’s the beat that my heart skips when I’m with you.”

Related: Listen to more unforgettable 2000s hit songs.

Happy – Pharrell Williams

While you might know it best from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, ‘Happy’ is a super fun song with a great message. “Sunshine, she’s here. You can take a break. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Well, give me all you got, don’t hold back.” If you grew up singing ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It,’ you might catch some of the overtones of the song in a more mature version. But either way, this fun song is great for dancing to at your reception, especially in a “room without a roof.”

Related: Put some pep in your step with the best happy dance songs.

Marry You – Bruno Mars

Have a nighttime reception for your wedding? Why not celebrate “a beautiful night” with Bruno Mars and his fun love song, ‘Marry You’? “I know this little chapel on the boulevard we can go. No one will know. Oh, come on, girl. If you’re ready like I’m ready…” The fun song is a great one to dance to as you say, “yeah, yeah, yeah. Just say ‘I do.'”

Related: This song features on our playlist of wedding proposal songs.

Is This Love – Bob Marley

From Bob Marley & the Wailers comes ‘Is This Love’—a great, happy love song. The songwriter said the summer-y reggae love song was coming out of Marley’s happiness. “I wanna love you and treat you right. We’ll be together with a roof right over our heads. We’ll share the shelter.” The happy love song can add some unique vibes to your reception playlist of love. It’s pretty easy to dance to, as well.

Related: These song titles with love will fit in nicely with your wedding reception dance songs playlist!

Shape of You – Ed Sheeran

Penned with Snow Patrol’s Johnny McDaid and pop producer Steve Mac, Ed Sheeran brings us this fantastically fun dance number. The electronic song has a bit of a nod to reggae music while being strongly pop. “I’m in love with the shape of you. We push and pull like a magnet do, although my heart is falling, too.” The song will surely draw many to the dance floor to celebrate love and romance any time of the evening.

Related: Dance to the tunes on our pop songs list.

I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas

‘I Gotta Feeling’ is an excellent song of escape from the world of troubles. The song is a fun, easy-to-dance song that promises a “good night.” The vibe from the song is an upbeat anthem of romance and excitement that anyone can celebrate. The song was birthed out of experimentation in electronic music from Europe, with a simple, positive message of hope and joy. What a great choice for a wedding reception!

Related: Feel great with the best uplifting songs of all time.

You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates

A keyboard-driven classic from Daryl Hall and John Oates, ‘You Make My Dreams’ is a super fun, romantic wedding dance song that will get everyone on the dance floor. The sweet lyrics, upbeat rhythms, and classic vibe will surely bring a smile to every face in the room. “You make my dreams come true. On a night when bad dreams become a screamer when they’re messing with the dreamer, I can laugh it in the face. Twist and shout my way out and wrap yourself around me ’cause I ain’t the way you found me, and I’ll never be the same.”

Related: See our playlist of classic 80s songs.

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

Life can be challenging for so many of us as we try to make ends meet. Bon Jovi had that idea in mind when writing ‘Livin’ on a Prayer,’ a sweet love song about a couple struggling to keep afloat. And while the song was based on a real-life situation, the story remains timeless, and the song is upbeat and driving. You’re sure to fill the dance floor with this classic and perhaps Bon Jovi’s most famous song.

Related: Keep your crowd entertained with the best 80s sing along songs.

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

From Justin Timberlake comes ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling,’ an upbeat pop song all about celebrating life. It’s a real feel-good tune that was featured on Trolls in 2016 as a peppy dance number for the animated, brightly colored trolls. Timberlake said the song was meant to communicate the film’s overall message of celebrating who you are. What a great message for your guests as you take to the dance floor on your special day!

Related: This song is also one of the most popular prom songs.

Mr. Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra

Maybe one of their most well-known songs (maybe partially due to its appearance in the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy 2), ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ by Electric Light Orchestra, or ELO, is a fantastic song of joy and celebration, personifying the sky with a spirit of life. In 2020 in the UK, the song was voted “the happiest song ever.” While “it’s the day we’ve been waiting for” in the lyrics may not directly link to a wedding day, it’s still a fitting lyric for this special day that you’ve likely waited a long time to come.

Related: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Oh, wait… it’s our playlist of songs with sky in the lyrics.

You’re the One That I Want – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

The finale of the film “Grease,” ‘You’re the One That I Want’ is a super fun love song that the whole crowd can get up and dance to as they celebrate your love. “And my heart is set on you. To my heart, I must be true. Nothin’ left, nothin’ left for me to do. You’re the one that I want (you are the one I want). Yes, I’m sure down deep inside, you’re the one that I want (you are the one I want).”

Related: Listen to more Grease songs.

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina And The Waves

Put on your dancing shoes and hit that dance floor because today, as you tie the knot and celebrate a lifelong love, you’re ‘Walking on Sunshine.’ The happy love song is a feel-good song for sure, even if it didn’t have that lyric. This song is great for your reception at any point, from cutting the cake to your first dance. Whatever you choose, it’s bound to bring tapping toes to the dancefloor and sweet smiles to lips everywhere.

Related: Take a stroll with the best walking songs.

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole

The first single from Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie Cole, the funk-pop song ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ showcases the skilled singer’s talents and provides us with an amazing song for any wedding reception. “This will be an everlasting love. This will be the one I’ve waited for. This will be the first time anyone has loved me.” The joyous song celebrates spending a lifetime together and loving each other—what better message for your reception?

Related: Keep our list of the best wedding anniversary songs on standby!

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

‘Brown Eyed Girl’ is probably Morrison’s most famous love song. The happy song about an innocent romance is a fun way to add some dance moves to your wedding reception. The song has been featured in several films and TV shows, helping to seal it into our memories. It’s just a great choice for lightly dancing away the night.

Related: Hear this song on our playlist of the best Irish songs.

Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon

Born from a real-life experience, ‘Shut Up and Dance’ will breathe some life into your wedding celebration. Nicholas Petricca was at a dance club complaining about it taking forever to get served at the bar, and a girl came up and said the title to him. They danced and really hit it off. The song is more about living in the moment than the specific woman, so it works on both levels for your special day: today is an incredible moment, and you’ve got each other.

Related: Need some kid-safe tunes? Consider these school friendly songs.

It Must Be Love – Madness

“I never thought I’d miss you half as much as I do. And I never thought I’d feel this way, the way I feel about you.” The upbeat love song from British band Madness, ‘It Must Be Love’ is perfect for a wedding reception. It’ll get folks up on the dance floor with its quirky, rhythmic melody and excellent backing band. Interestingly, the music video for the song features underwater performances from the guitarist and saxophonist on the song.

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyoncé

What’s a better time to celebrate “putting a ring on it” than the day the proposal comes to fruition? This song is great for dancing and has an empowering message: every woman is enough without a man. You get married because you love each other, not because you have to. And all those singles can relate to the lyrics—they’re all worth it.

Related: What better way to celebrate a marriage than with these songs with ring in the lyrics?

Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader

‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ is a sweet, happy song about joy, harmony, and celebration of life as “everybody’s dancing in the moonlight. They don’t bark, and they don’t bite. They keep things loose; they keep it tight.” Sherman Kelly wrote the song after he had a nearly fatal encounter as a reflection on what life could be in an alternative reality. The result is this incredible, joyful celebration of life.

Stuck in the Middle with You – Stealers Wheel

It may not be a love song exactly, but it is a fun one for dancing to. It’s gained recent recognition as the theme song for Grace and Frankie, starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. The catchy pop tune will definitely get your guests grooving and moving on the dance floor, or at least tapping their feet as they watch others out there.

Related: You’ll hear this song on the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack tracklist.

The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson

The king of pop wrote this song on his own in response to his mother, Katherine’s request for a song with “a shuffling kind of rhythm.” The song will get people out dancing, as they help you celebrate how you feel about each other on your special wedding day.

Related: This is one of the best songs to listen to when you have a crush.

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson

‘Uptown Funk’ by Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, and Jeff Bhasker started out as a freestyle jam session as the group played with funk-pop, boogie, disco-pop, and soul to create this song that fits the title with its overall feel. The song isn’t a love song in the usual sense, being a self-love vibe, but it will definitely keep your guests entertained.

Related: Need to please the crowd? Keep it safe with these fun songs everyone knows.

Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

Maybe Journey’s most well-known song, ‘Don’t Stop Believin” is a perfect song for a night when dreams are made true as you say, “I do.” The song references Sunset Boulevard, where dreams are made, intermingling with the idea of all the unique people you could meet there on a night at the time of the song’s writing. The song celebrates falling in love, and pretty much anyone can dance to it and enjoy the joy of it.

Related: You’re in it for the long haul. Enjoy these songs about not giving up on someone.

I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters

The infectious upbeat pop vibe of ‘I’m So Excited’ from the Pointer Sisters makes it a fantastic choice for wedding reception music. The singer is “so excited” as she looks forward to her romantic connection with her partner. “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose control, and I think I like it. I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you.”

Related: If you want some groovy tunes, you’ll love these disco dancing songs.

Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega

A super danceable song from Cuban-Mexican band leader Perez Prado, ‘Mambo Number 5’ was re-recorded by Lou Bega in 1999 with a German pop style. The song got an update from Bega about the many women he had dated over the years. The song is definitely danceable and will get the party going. And if you’re curious where you know it from, besides the radio, you’ve likely heard it on The Office, Fresh Off the Boat, What Men Want, or a host of other films and shows.

Related: Relive the good old days with these popular throwback songs.

Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

Written about his second wife, Marcia Murphey, ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond is a sweet, light-rhythm love song. He wanted to use his wife’s name, but sadly “Marcia” didn’t work for the rhythm, so Caroline came in. “Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing but then I know it’s growing strong. Was in the spring, and spring became the summer. Who’d have believed you’d come along? Sweet Caroline, good times never seemed so good.”

Related: Help a guy out and pick some good karaoke songs for men.

I’ll Be There for You – The Rembrandts

If ‘I’ll Be There for You’ feels familiar, it probably is. It was the theme song for the TV show Friends. The theme was written for the pilot and was meant to speak to the loyalty of friendship. This was one of those rare moments when a TV theme song became a hit instead of the other way around. The song’s message and chipper mood of the tune is great for bringing a crowd together.

Related: If you married your BFF, you’ll love these good songs for best friends.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen

What reception list could be complete without an amazing love song from Queen? ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ is one of their most popular love songs, and it’s perfect for a wedding with its easy-to-dance-to rhythms, rockabilly-esque vibe, and amazing lyrics, of course. Dance it out to Brian May’s guitar solos, Freddie Mercury’s singing, and the amazing rhythms from John Deacon and Roger Taylor. It’s pretty much a guaranteed dance floor filler.

Related: What’s sweeter than these romantic 80s songs?

Best Day of My Life – American Authors

The banjo-driven celebratory song, ‘Best Day of My Life’ is a super happy song about looking only into the joy of the now and future, forgetting the challenges of the past. The optimistic song also screams out “wedding celebration” with its lyrics. “I’m never gonna look back; I’m never gonna give it up, no. Please don’t wake me now (two, three, four). This is gonna be the best day of my life.”

Related: Your cake will pair well with our playlist of the best wedding cake songs.

Moves Like Jagger – Maroon 5

It may not be your typical love song, but ‘Moves Like Jagger’ is sure to bring some fun with its goofy, funk feel. The song is about dancing like Mick Jagger and impressing the ladies with them. You can dance to it and keep the party going with the silly (yet oddly empowering) lyrics as you dance away the night.

Related: Pucker up and whistle along to our whistling songs playlist.

One Kiss – Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa

Paying homage to 90s-style house music, ‘One Kiss’ is the perfect song for your dance floor at night when the grown-ups are ready to get their groove on. “One kiss is all it takes, falling in love with me…” The duo actually made the song at Harris’s home in his studio. Dua Lipa came to record there and knocked out the music in a few short sessions, giving us this amazing peppy song.

Related: Enjoy these sweet songs about kisses.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Oh, you know if you want folks out on the dance floor, you’ve got to play some Cyndi Lauper! And with ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ you’re sure to get everyone out there. I mean, who doesn’t want to have fun? Everybody will enjoy keeping to the beat of this funky music from the funky pop singer. “Oh, girls just wanna have fun. The phone rings in the middle of the night. My father yells, ‘What you gonna do with your life?’ Oh, daddy dear, you know you’re still number one.”

Related: Your wedding day will be high on your list of good days, so here are the best songs about having a good day.

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

From the funky electronic pop duo, Daft Punk, comes the ever-fun ‘Get Lucky.’ On the song, they collaborated with Pharrell Williams and Nile Rogers to expand their sound and the unique influences present in the song as they moved away from being strictly house music. The song has an old 70s disco-esque vibe to it, helping to make it even more fun to dance to. Your guests are sure to have a blast with this crazy little song.

Related: ‘Get Lucky’ with these lucky songs!

Shivers – Ed Sheeran

An upbeat, exciting romantic song from Ed Sheeran, ‘Shivers’ is sure to pack the dance floor. Sheeran wrote the song in three days. He said the song, inspired by his wife, Cherry Seaborn, was “too special to get wrong.” The romantic song is great for dancing to as a couple or the crowd, celebrating a love that sends shivers up and down your spine as you think about each other.

Related: This one appears on our list of best songs for Zumba.

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Now, if you want to get everyone on the dance floor, even the grandparents, ‘Twist and Shout’ is the surefire way. This dance craze from the late 50s into the 60s is one that anybody can do, even if you can’t move much. And, of course, almost everybody loves the Beatles and their incredible cover of the song originally sung by the Top Notes and then The Isley Brothers. “Come on and twist a little closer now, and let me know you’re mine!”

Related: Check out the rest of the songs in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke

‘Blurred Lines’ is a dance number from the first beat to the end, with fun licks on the bass, deep rhythms that keep you in time, and the rhythms from the rhythm toys on top. Plus, of course, those lyrics! “You wanna hug me? What rhymes with hug me?” The song is great for dancing to, for sure, as Robin Thicke sings, and T.I. and Pharrell Williams add their own unique touches to the upbeat song.

Related: Want to learn to play the guitar? Here are some easy guitar songs for beginners.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham!

Needing a wake-up call one morning before setting out, Andrew Ridgley of Wham! put a note on his door asking for the wake-up call. He accidentally wrote “wake me up up” and realized his mistake. He leaned in and added, “before you go go.” From this goofy moment in his life, this song was born for the band. The song became the band’s first hit in America. The fact that it’s incredibly danceable didn’t hurt!

Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours – Stevie Wonder

Maybe one of Stevie Wonder’s most famous songs, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours’ is a fantastically danceable song for your wedding reception playlist. The Motown love song is so fun, and pretty much everyone will have heard it at some point. The song’s about “coming back” to his girl and putting himself at her mercy, asking her to take him back. “Ooh, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours! Now I’m back and not ashamed to cry, Ooh, baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours! Here I am, baby!”

Related: You’ll want to hear these famous Motown songs.

Hey Ya! – OutKast

Rap duo, Outkast, gives us ‘Hey Ya!’, an R&B song that you can get up and dance to for sure. The high-energy dance song is about the challenges of keeping a lasting relationship together. And here you are at your wedding, getting that celebration of your relationship that’s been going a while now and promising a long future together. Interestingly, the song was heavily inspired by the Beatles’ first appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan Show with the crazy frenzy of the crowds in the background, as you hear in the song.

Related: Everyone is sure to enjoy our classic karaoke songs playlist.

This is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

A club-track song, ‘This is How We Do It’ is a great way to carry the evening on after the younger families have gone home and the party really gets started. The song has been featured on a ton of shows and films, including The Nutty Professor, To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, Multiplicity, and 8 Mile, among others. Howie Do It—the Howie Mandel show—used it for its theme.

Related: Listen to this song on our list of 90s R&B hits.

Footloose – Kenny Loggins

The theme of the film with the same name ‘Footloose’ is a surefire way to get the crowds up and dancing at your wedding reception. The film’s concept is that dancing is outlawed, but Kevin Bacon’s character and others decided they would dance anyway. The story is based loosely on the true situation in 1979 when 14 high schoolers decided to throw themselves a prom in a town where an antiquated law from the 1800s outlawed dancing but had never been overturned.

Related: If time is holding you down, take a break with the songs from Footloose.

Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

‘Billie Jean’ is about a woman who claimed that Michael Jackson was her child’s father. It turns out she was wrong, and this part of his life was actually pretty rough for him, but the incredible song came out of this time. While he was writing it, he knew the song would be huge—and was he right! The song has gone on to be one of Jackson’s most famous songs. It doesn’t quite fit the marriage theme, but your list of wedding songs will be danceable with this one on it!

Related: You’ll be impressed by these great songs with bass.

Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

More of a slow dance option, ‘Let’s Stay Together’ is a great song from Al Green about unconditional love. The song is popular for weddings for many reasons, not the least of which are the incredible lyrics of commitment, love, and joy together through all the ups and downs of life. “Let’s stay together. I’m so in love with you. Lovin’ you whether, whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”

Related: Head over to our list of songs from Pulp Fiction.

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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