The Greatest Wedding Reception Dance Songs


It may be a while before dance floors are packed again. But music remains a priority for couples, even when hosting intimate socially distanced weddings and celebrations in person or via video conferencing apps and platforms. Hiring a D.J. for your reception — even a virtual one — offers several advantages.

A great D.J. will often start planning a mix of songs well before the event. “It’s about creating a soundtrack that highlights their vision,” said Arman Naféei, a Los Angeles-based D.J. whose recent gigs include Gwyneth Paltrow’s wedding to Brad Falchuk. “We’ll have a conversation where I’ll ask about vibe and style, their favorite music, and take that all into consideration.”

The ability to adjust a set to the crowd is one of the upsides to hiring a D.J. “You never know how things will flow,” said William Grand, a D.J. based in Manhattan. “I prefer to have my music meticulously organized so I can react rather than sticking to a predetermined script.” Mr. Grand’s clients include the actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Bill Murray, as well fashion brands like Versace and publications like Vogue.

There are tunes, though that always seem to get guests dancing, regardless of demographics. “These songs have stood the test of time,” said Lindsey Caldwell, a D.J. based in Brooklyn who created the mix for the wedding of the actors America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams. “They satisfy the tastes of multiple generations of people who don’t all share the same background.”

Here are some of the tracks that D.J.s keep in their back pockets to get the party started.

“I love to do a mini ’90s set at weddings. ‘No Scrubs’ is recognized by most guests after those first four notes and creates the best singalong moments, which make for amazing photos.”

“I like my weddings to feel like a house party and ‘Calabria’ is a nice surprise during prime dance floor time. Anyone can figure out a little two step or just jump in place to it.”

“I typically play this one toward the end of the night once people have had a nice warm up (and a splash of liquid courage). It’s always fun to see folks’ reactions both on the dance floor and on the sidelines when it all goes down.”

“One of Benny Goodman’s biggest songs, it’s unexpected and has a great buildup and catchy drums. When the horns come in it creates an energy that touches everybody and usually inspires everyone to start swinging around.”

“It starts high right away, so it’s the perfect song to mix in. It’s also positive and energetic, an upper that makes people joyful.”

“Don’t sleep on dance hall! This song gives people an…

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