“We just want everyone to dance and have fun.” When our DJs meet with couples to plan wedding music, it’s often the first thing we hear. And the truth is, a DJ can’t force anyone to have a good time.
But we can make it really, really likely.
Filling dance floors isn’t rocket science. Start with a strong, professional MC who makes guests comfortable early in the night – because if they don’t know what’s going on the first 3 hours of your party, they’ll be mentally “checked out” before the dance floor even opens. Next, play familiar, time-tested music that reminds them of good times. (Playing a more obscure song when the dance floor is empty will probably keep it empty - instead, let your DJ work in any "unusual" choices when guests are already comfortable and the floor is already full. It’s the most flattering way to present a cool request.)
There are no surprises on the list below. These songs are almost guaranteed to be a hit with any diverse group of people. Hire a DJ that knows them – and build from there.
To see the list pro DJs use to find guaranteed hits, follow the link at the end of this post.
1. The Temptations, “My Girl.” An early-evening favorite that works for dads and daughters as well as for couples. I’ve never launched into this song and not seen people come running.
2. The Beatles, “Twist and Shout.” Another early-evening floor-packer. Anybody can do the twist – and who doesn’t like the Beatles?
3. Bruno Mars & Mark Ronson - "Uptown Funk." Did you know it was possible for a song to be certified "diamond"? This one's sold more than 11 million copies, and for good reason - it's the perfect mix of new-school and old-school, both in the music and lyrics. If you're ready to pack your dance floor with a variety of ages, there's no safer bet.
4. Frank Sinatra, “The Way You Look Tonight.” Every wedding has a table or two of guests just waiting to dance to Ol’ Blue Eyes. So let ‘em!
5. AC/DC, “You Shook Me All Night Long.” File this one under “not a dance song, but they love it anyway.” When Angus Young’s opening riff rips thru the speakers, rock fans come running from the bar to sing along.
6. Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” An instantly recognizable piano line, a melody that’s loaded with good memories. Another non-dance song that will pack your floor with partiers who know all the words.
7. Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean." You can't go wrong with MJ - at least a half-dozen of his hits are in our regular rotation. But this is arguably the most recognizable of them all. As soon as that bassline starts to do its thing, your guests start doing theirs.
8. Cupid, “Cupid Shuffle.” Less cheesy than the “Electric Slide” and less confusing than the “Cha Cha Slide,” this tune is still reigning king of participation dances. It takes seconds to learn - and if you're up for a little DJ interaction, having your DJ teach it is a guaranteed way to get the dance floor going.
9. House of Pain, "Jump Around." Classic hip-hop with an unmistakable hook - and the dance moves are right there in the title, so there's no excuse for sitting out.
10. Flo Rida, "Low." Pull this one out late at night and watch what happens.
Want more? The Mobile Beat Top 200 ranks the most-requested reception songs over the past 12 months. It’s every DJ’s best friend – it can be yours, too.