Dancing at Weddings and Why it’s Good Fun

Besides you in your lovely dress, your beautiful flowers, and your handsome groom, what will people remember most about your wedding? The wedding songs that you dance to, of course!

To start with, Let’s take a look at the best songs from the most memorable wedding movies ever, and the wedding traditions you’ll need them for.

Couple Dancing

The number-one most famous wedding flick is the 80s movie that launched Adam Sandler—“The Wedding Singer,” about the guy engaged to the wrong gal. The best songs in that movie? “True” by Spandau Ballet, “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie, and of course “Till There Was You.” This last song was performed by Ellen Dow, but artists from many genres have covered this. You can use it as your recessional or for your bridal waltz.

Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey made great music together in 2001’s “The Wedding Planner,” about a groom who falls for the guess-what. “I Honestly Love You,” originally done by Olivia Newton-John, is wonderful for one of your special wedding songs, as well as “The Closer You Are” covered by Tony Martin.

“It Had to be You” was the name of the 1947 movie, as well as the now-famous song within it, about Ginger Rogers starring as the first-ever runaway bride. We love it by either Harry Connick Jr or Frank Sinatra.

Julie Roberts is our modern-day “Runaway Bride” who can’t show up at the altar until she meets Richard Gere. “Before I Fall in Love” by Coco Lee and “You Sang to Me” by Marc Anthony bring great romance to the various traditions of the wedding. “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Dixie Chicks and “I Love You” by Martina McBride will have your guests foot tappin’, Country-style.

Another great Julie Roberts-movie picture is “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” While Julia learns a few lessons before she gives away her friend, there’s great music like “Say A Little Prayer.” This has been done by Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and many others. You’ll also hear Tony Bennett crooning “The Way You Look Tonight,” perfect for the bride/dad dance or the parents’ dance. Ani Difranco sang “Wishin’ and Hopin” in the movie, but we love it best by Dusty Springfield for the bouquet toss.

“Father of the Bride” starring Steve Martin was a remake of Spencer Tracy’s classic 1950 film featuring a dewy Elizabeth Taylor. The 1991 version has no less than three versions of “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Steve Tyrell, Tony Bennett, and Alan Silvestri. If you haven’t heard this beautiful song, listen to it now and pick your favourite version.

Another popular wedding movie is 1991’s “Betsy’s Wedding,” in which Molly Ringwald’s dad gets in over his head. You might have to hunt for the soundtrack, but it’s worth it. We recommend Amazon’s awesome MP3 tool for listening to samples of these possible wedding songs. “Chapel of Love” performed by the Dixie Chicks makes for a wonderfully fun grand entrance.

Bridal Dance Song Ideas

If you’re looking for romantic songs for your bridal dance, for your parents’ dance, or for wedding songs in general, choose “Embraceable You” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Evergreen” by Barbra Streisand, or “Come Fly With Me” by Frankie Avalon. “The Stripper” by David Rose is great for removing the garter, and Van Morrison’s “Moondance” is something different for the bouquet toss or the farewell circle.

From 2005’s “The Wedding Crashers” we get a great soundtrack without many dance wedding songs, but you can’t have a wedding without The Isley Brother’s “Shout.” This energetic song, featured during the montage when we meet wild and wacky Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, will get people moving at your reception.

Ultimately, your favourite wedding movie will be the video of your own event. Ask your DJ how to maximise your memories with a disc of the special songs you choose. Don’t forget to pick out selections for your various traditions–your reception entrance, the bridal waltz, the bride/dad and the groom/mum dance, parents’ and grandparents’ dances, cake cutting, garter and bouquet fun, and farewell circle songs. Your guests will have—almost—as much fun as the two of you.

Wedding Music

Wedding Party Music

You are planning your reception, and you want wedding party music that will get people up and moving. You want them to party and dance at your wedding, so that you can laugh and reminisce with your friends in years to come.

Of course the primary reason for wanting them to get up and dance is so that they will enjoy themselves. People do love to dance at a wedding. Even the people who never make it to clubs or social mixers will get up and shake their groove thing at a wedding reception. People dance with their lovers, with friends or strangers, with children or with old people a wonderful time of closeness. Because even if they don’t know each other, they all know you!

Another reason for plotting to move people around on the dance floor is to keep their blood alcohol levels low. We are all so much more conscientious about the dangers of drinking and driving these days, and when people are dancing they are likely to drink less. Or when they do drink, they will go for water to cool their thirst.

You’ve already chosen songs for every special occasion of the reception – the bridal waltz, the bride/father and groom/mother dances, the parents dance together, the cake cutting, the bouquet and garter toss, and whatever else you’ve chosen special wedding party music for.

Another great idea is to let the disc jockey know what “your song” was when the two of you first became a couple. While he plays that song, he can direct your guests attention to your collage of photographs on the sideline.

In the meantime, after all the special songs, after all the romance, after the YMCA and the chicken dance, you still need just plain wedding party music. These are the songs that are guaranteed to get people up on their feet when they hear them. Not necessarily loving, honoring, or obeying, here are our suggestions for shaking the ceiling:

  • Just Dance, 2009, by Lady Gaga – her music gets people moving.
  • Boom Boom Pow, 2009, by Black Eyed Peas. Rap that’s righteous.
  • I Kissed A Girl, 2008, by Katie Perry.Maybe this is where the DJ tells everyone to go for a kiss.
  • Beautiful Girls, 2007, by Sean Kingston. It’s just catchy and it admires all the pretty ladies.
  • Umbrella, 2007, by Rihanna. Everyone will chime in ella, ella, ella, oh, oh oh oh.
  • 1 2 Step, 2005, by Ciara with Missy Elliott. Because you want to get the skirts swishin.
  • Hollaback Girl, 2005, by Gwen Stefani. It’s just too much fun to ignore.
  • Lady Marmalade, 2001, by Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, and Pink. Even your granny from the Seventies knows this song. Trust us on this one.
  • Mambo No. 5, Lou Bega’s 1999 ode to loving the ladies.
  • Queen of the Night, 1992, by Whitney Houston. Rockin, bluesin passion.
  • Wild Wild West, 1989, rapped by Will Smith, Dru Hill, and Kool Mo Dee, or listen to the disco version covered by the Escape Club.
  • Bust A Move, 1989, by Young M.C. Another lyric-approved rap classic.
  • Billie Jean, 1982, by Michael Jackson. That rocking beat makes it a win-win choice.
  • Fame, 1980, by Irene Cara. Contagious and it makes you dance forever.
  • Disco Inferno, 1976, by the Trammps – best known from Saturday Night Fever, it’ll get a disco line dance started.
  • Proud Mary, 1972, by Ike and Tina Turner. Don’t you just love how it starts slow and builds? Oh, if you didn’t know about that, then give it a listen.
  • Heart of Glass, 1978, and Call Me, 1980, both by Blondie. Blondie, nuff said.
  • Play That Funky Music, 1976, by Wild Cherry. It’s a must. At every wedding.

All the best with your big day,


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