50 of the best wedding songs for the ultimate wedding playlist
Creating the perfect wedding playlist
It’s an elusive concept. Afterall, the stakes couldn’t be higher, could they? Your wedding day is probably the single biggest party you’ll probably ever throw. Viewed through that lens, you’re basically tasked with creating the ultimate party playlist for the ultimate party.
The rules are complex, too. For example, how much ABBA is too much ABBA? (Trick question - there’s no such thing as too much ABBA). How do you achieve the perfect ‘ties round the head’ moment, and when is the right time to get there? (Answer – the key is Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ at full volume, no earlier than 10:45pm. Trust us on the timing. You’d be surprised how fast the concept runs out of steam). What’s the one guaranteed song that’ll get everyone from grandmas to toddlers flooding on to the dancefloor? (Answer – The Ketchup Song by Las Ketchup. No, we haven’t worked out why either. Our current working theory is that it jangles a memory for every single person of a very specific beachside holiday bar after one too many cocktails. Seriously though, it works).
Luckily, we here at Tailored Entertainment are (not to brag or anything) honest-to-god wedding music Svengalis. You see, when you’ve spent over a decade delivering the finest wedding entertainment in the country to literally thousands of happy couples, you pick up a thing or two about how to fill a dance floor, and how to keep it full, from first dance through to last orders.
So, we thought we’d help you lovely lot out. Cause we’re nice like that.
In this blog, you’ll find 50 epic (and we mean epic) floor filling tunes, every single one of which is guaranteed to get your wedding night’s dancefloor absolutely flying. We’ve purposely chosen a host of tunes that you’d typically find on most wedding band’s repertoires so that, should you have the urge to do so, you could compile your band’s setlist preferences based on this very list.
One thing to note about planning a wedding playlist. Wedding guest lists almost always cover the broadest possible range of ages and music tastes. It’s worth keeping this in mind as you think about your live wedding music – you want to find that perfect balance between each era and genre, whilst still guaranteeing that every song is an absolute copper-bottomed billy-belter. With this in mind, we’ve split this list up into different eras, too. By picking a handful from each section, you can probably just about manage to keep everybody happy!
Classic Wedding Songs
1950s – 1960s music
1. Twist & Shout by The Beatles
No ultimate party playlist is complete without the single greatest pop band of all time. If you’re looking for a tune to get kids and grandparents alike flocking to the dancefloor, this is exactly what you’re after. We can guarantee each and every single person will be singing along with the Aaaaah’s in the bridge, too.
2. Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley (h4)
You’d be amazed how effectively rock n’ roll can get folks of all ages up and dancing. This, the quintessential rock n’ roll tune for our money, should be in each and every wedding bands repertoire. For a live band that does tunes like this properly, try one of our vintage wedding bands like party favourites Take Three.
3. I’m A Believer by The Monkees
This properly feelgood floor filler makes a great accompaniment to a wedding reception – a total unashamed celebration of falling head over heels in love. This is a great generation-spanner song, too. Your older guests will probably have a copy lying around in the loft, and your younger guests will remember the fantastic version from the Shrek soundtrack. Winner winner!
4. I Get Around by The Beach Boys
What. A. Bloody. Song. Seriously, you guys. This one is cool as heck, too. A proper slice of sunny, west coast, far out rock n roll.
5. Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry
The blues was a defining genre of the 1950s and 60s, but finding a blues track that works in a wedding playlist can be tough going. That’s were this Chuck Berry classic comes in. Ask your live wedding band about providing a slightly rockier version than the original, to give it some real energy and kick.
6. Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones were such musical trailblazers, that it can come as a surprise that this song was released as far back as 1968. But goodness me, does it still hold up. There’s loads from The Stones’ back catalogue that make for great wedding tunes, but this song seems to particularly fit the party vibe.
7. Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
A song that literally anyone can dance to, Tutti Frutti is absolutely brimming over with energy and fun. A great wedding playlist addition for guests of any age.
8. That’s Amore by Dean Martin
This Dean Martin classic originally debuted in the movie ‘The Caddy’, sang by Martin himself. Since then, it’s taken on a life of all of its own. Perfect for getting the whole room swaying along and putting some big old smiles on people’s faces.
9. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
A total wedding day staple. Every single professional wedding band you come across is going to have a banging version of this Van Morrison classic in their repertoire. It’s an absolute belter, too – guaranteed to get the whole room singing along once you hit the ‘sha la la la la la!’
10. Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations
The second on song on this list to have found a modern audience after featuring in the hit film ‘There’s Something About Mary’, this Foundations classic never fails to get folks on their feet. It’s a serious crowd pleaser.
1970s – 1980s music
11. Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder
Is a party even a party without Stevie Wonder? Stevie’s back catalogue contains an embarrassment of riches when it comes to great party songs, and we really could have picked any one of about twenty songs of his to add to this list (Superstition, I Wish, Sir Duke, Master Blaster, Part Time Lover…the list is endless!). But for our money, ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered’ is Wonder at his absolute soulful, feelgood best. I challenge you to find one person who doesn’t like this song. For a band with a truly definitive version of this classic, look no further than our own very own MT Collective.
12. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
Nothing brings a dancefloor to a hushed, excited silence like the musical-theatre-esque piano melodrama of I Will Survive’s infamous opening bars. This absolute disco classic has been packing them in for over forty years now - and were yet to see it fail.
13. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Paul Simon isn’t exactly known for his feelgood pop hits. But people just absolutely LOVE this song. It’s kind of amazing really. Folks are seemingly powerless to resist the pull of those brilliant opening horns. If you’re looking for a live band with this one in their locker, our very own Festival Nights are famous for their crowd-rousing version of this classic tune.
14. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
There’s a brilliant story about this track from Irish punk-poppers ‘The Undertones’. When John Peel played it for the first time on UK radio in 1978, he loved it so much he played it two more times in a row. It really stands up, too – especially if you’ve got a great indie rock wedding band to really do it justice.
15. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen
The obvious Queen song to feature on this list would be the eponymous party favourite ‘Somebody To Love’, but this slightly more off-kilter choice provides something a bit different to your wedding playlist. A fab choice for young and old alike.
16. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
A full on, no-holds-barred, air guitar fest is exactly what every wedding party playlist needs. This tune fits the bill perfectly.
17. Dancing Queen by ABBA
In previous posts on this blog, we’ve waxed lyrical about how much we love ABBA. In our humble opinion they are quite simply unmatched in the field of pop song writing. The entire essence of ABBA’s bewildering brilliance can be summed up in the opening bars of ‘Dancing Queen’ – a song that kicks off with one of music’s greatest chorus’ (quite a rare thing in pop music, when you think about it). At the sound of that opening, ethereal, ‘AAAAAAH-AAAAAH-AAAAAH’, the lame will be throwing away their crutches in a mad rush to hit the dancefloor.
18. Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols
In the interests of a little counterprogramming, how about this absolute BELTER from The Sex Pistols? Admittedly not people’s first port of call for wedding entertainment, this one still manages to get even the shiest of wallflowers headbanging like a lunatic.
19. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry
Some songs you can’t help but dance to. When the drum beat to this one drops, I dare you to resist its charms. There’s no chance you’re sat down by the time the chorus hits.
20. I Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston
A truly irresistible pop song from one of the greatest voices to ever grace the airwaves. This Whitney Houston classic never fails to please.
1990s – 2000s music
21. Backstreets Back by The Backstreet Boys
We’re not sure when or how it happened but at some point, without anyone really noticing, this Backstreet Boys tune got cool again. Not that we’re complaining. It’s a total banger, in all honesty. If you fancy a slightly different take on it, maybe you should check out indie rock wedding band A-List, who give this one a bit of attitude – that riff through the chorus sounds absolutely glorious played by a dirty, gain-fuelled guitar.
22. Jump Around by House Of Pain
It seems that every human being alive knows the first two lines to this 90s hip hop classic – and none of the subsequent lyrics after that. This one is worth it just to watch a room full of people shout, ‘PACK IT UP PACK IT IN, LET ME BEGIN’ and then all look at each other slightly quizzically. Although it’s all soon made better once we hit the chorus, and everyone gets to, quite literally, jump around.
23. Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus
For many wedding bands, this song started out as a slightly ironic addition to their setlists. But folks absolutely LOVE this track, to the point where many of our acts finish their whole show with it. An absolute wedding party staple.
24. 500 Miles by The Proclaimers
The Proclaimers are one of Scotland’s greatest bands, with an extensive collection of incredible songs to their name. This track though, seems to have taken on a life of its own. Try stopping your whole wedding party from imitating a dodgy Scottish accent from start to finish.
25. All The Small Things by Blink 182
Break out the mosh pit! If you spent your teenage years in hoodies and skater combats, listening to this track on your CD Walkman, can you imagine anything better than bouncing along to it at a wedding with a drink or two in you? No, us neither. These days, you can even book wedding bands that specialise in pure pop punk and college rock, like our very own Class of 99.
26. Man! I Feel Like A Woman! By Shania Twain
Shania Twain’s seminal 1994 album ‘Come On Over’ contained no fewer than five number one hits, and to this day she remains one of the biggest selling female artists of all time. This song is an absolute, non-stop party. Trust us. It will go off when this one drops.
27. No Diggity by Blackstreet
Another brilliant 90s hip-hop crowd pleaser, you’ll surprise yourself with how much of the lyircs to this one you actually know.
28. Parklife by Blur
Blur are another one of the acts on this list for which we could have picked any number of tunes to feature. This is their serious wedding party staple, usually resulting in multiple members of the audience clambering on top of each other’s shoulders in excitement.
29. Hit Me Baby (One More Time) by Britney Spears
Now that it’s been over twenty years since this song was released, it’s easy to forget what a phenomenon Britney Spears was. This was her big breakout single, and it still really holds up. It acts as a great slice of late 90s nostalgia for you and your guests.
30. Mr Brightside by The Killers
I mean, is it even a party if this song doesn’t get played? It’s as much a part of the traditional UK wedding party as the cutting of the cake and the first dance. This tune by The Killers really has become the ultimate wedding party song, with bands across the world closing out the night with it’s now-iconic guitar riff. There’s no chance your band won’t know it, and it’s almost guaranteed to get played whether you like it or not.
31. Good As Hell by Lizzo
Lizzo’s own brand of empowering, feelgood RnB has been an absolute breath of fresh air to the music industry, and this tune is easily one of her best. A great playlist addition, without a doubt.
32. 2002 by Anne Marie
Want to feel old? Here’s a song about looking back with wistful fondness at the early 2000s. Which, to us, feels about five minutes ago. Great tune this, though.
33. Little Lion Man by Mumford & Sons
It’s hard to overstate how much of a staple of the wedding party scene Mumford & Sons have become. So much so, that they’ve even inspired their own genre of ‘Mumford-folk’ wedding band. For this reason, they had to feature somewhere on this list, and for us this is them at their rustic best.
34. New Rules by Dua Lipa
Goodness gracious me, this is a banger. One of the biggest tunes of the last few years, its become a regular feature on wedding party playlists.
35. Paradise by George Ezra
For a long time, ‘Blame It On Me’ was a total mainstay of the wedding party playlist for most wedding bands. However, with the release of ‘Paradise’ George Ezra very much outdid himself. Without a doubt, it’ll have everyone shouting a long with the call-and-answer section in the verses.
36. Ho Hey by The Lumineers
This surprise hit for introspective indie-folk act The Lumineers really captures this spirit of a wedding day, and so it’s no surprise it’s become a first dance favourite for many couples.
37. Love On Top by Beyonce
Choosing one Beyonce song to go in this list might seem like an almost impossible task, but for us, Love on Top is her best by some distance. With echoes of the very best 70s disco tracks, it hooks us with the brilliant chorus, but then keeps us hanging on with the seemingly endless key changes at the end.
38. Cheerleader by OMI
This deliriously fun one-hit-wonder could bring a smile to the face of even the most serious of wedding guests. Get this one played by a great wedding band and there’s little better.
39. Will We Talk by Sam Fender
By some distance, this has to be our most requested song of 2021 for bands to learn and play. The rise and rise of Sam Fender has been quite incredible, and this song particularly seems to have captured peoples’ hearts.
40. Gangnam Style by PSY
Listen, we know. It’s lame, it’s hokey, it’s hackneyed. No one likes it really, do they? But whilst all of that is totally, 100% true, we all have to face up to a pretty stark reality. This is a bloody great song to dance to. I’m sorry folks, but it just is. It’s literally got its own dance moves! What’s not to like?
41. It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy
Now here’s a tune you probably haven’t even thought about in twenty years, let alone listened to. But seriously you guys, this one goes off at a party. The look of sheer, unbridled joy on people’s faces when it comes on is a sight to see.
42. Barbie Girl by Aqua
Sorry can I just shock you? Barbie Girl was the ninth biggest selling song of the 1990’s. Let that sink in for a moment. This is one of those songs that you wouldn’t think would work on a party playlist but, in fact, absolutely brings the house down.
43. Apache by The Sugarhill Gang
Best known as THAT dance from Fresh Prince Of Bell Air, this is a bit of an off-the-wall choice simply because it’s a bit of an off-the-wall song. We’ve never seen it fail to fill a dancefloor, though. Inexplicable, yes. But true.
44. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
We’ve purposely steered clear of ‘heavy’ rock songs in this list, in an attempt to keep our choices palatable to as wide an audience as possible. But this iconic track from grunge’s seminal band seems to cut through to a broader audience than expected – maybe because of the almost constant plays it used to get on music TV channels when we were all younger?
45. Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen
Changing lanes rather dramatically, this total earworm from Canadian popstar Carly Rae Jepsen tends to be a bit of a marmite track for most. But if you love it, you really love it. One worth taking a punt on, we’d say.
46. Thrift Shop by Macklemore
Seriously though, what happened to Macklemore? It felt like he was the biggest act around for about twenty-five minutes, and then he seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth. Anyway, this tune sticks in the memory for its embrace of everything that US RnB tends to ignore – ultimately, it’s a song about buying clothes from charity shops. If that’s not universal appeal, then we simply don’t know what is.
47. My Sharona by The Knack
Another ‘love it or hate it’ track, this tune from 70s one-hitters ‘The Knack’ is a ballsy, fast paced slice of glam rock brilliance that we can’t get enough of. The guitar solo is about 5 minutes long as well, which may not appeal to everyone, but certainly appeals to us.
48. The Macarena by Los Del Rio
Up until about ten years ago, you couldn’t step foot inside a party without this tune making an appearance. Since then, it seems to have been a bit buried, which we think is a real shame cause its seriously good fun to dance to. There won’t be a single guest who doesn’t remember the moves either.
49. Take It Easy by The Eagles
The Eagles’ particular brand of easy listening Americana isn’t, admittedly, everybody’s cup of tea. But, incredibly, this is one of the biggest selling songs of all time. It tends to go down an absolute storm at certain parties, and bounce like a dead rubber at others. We think it’s worth the risk, though, cause it’s a serious belter.
50. Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes
This Rupert Holmes track is one of those songs that you would never immediately associate with a party playlist, but when it comes on your guests will lose their minds with happiness. A no-brainer, really! To finish off, we thought we'd include this remarkable live version by Rupert Holmes himself (no, us neither). With a random and not at all contextualised introduction by The Village People, this is really worth a few minutes of your time. Enjoy!
So there you have it! Your wedding playlist, sorted in a single read. If you want to discuss your perfect playlist, or chat about booking one of our awesome wedding bands, give us a call. We’d absolutely love to hear from you.