The Best Wedding Songs 2016: Kill It On The Dance Floor


Notably absent: Prince. Because Prince didn't put his music on YouTube.

by Stephanie Kaloi, Content Manager

 

You know what I love about weddings? That moment when the ceremony is finished, the cake has been cut, your family photos have been taken, and it’s time to turn on the wedding songs and dance. And wedding songs? When it comes down to it, there are a few elements that make up a good wedding song: feelings, fun, and family. You want to feel every bit of each song. You want to maximize fun for everyone, and you definitely want to see your family—chosen or otherwise—on the dance floor. And that’s where our collection of Wedding Songs 2016 comes into play.

I think a lot of us would agree that there have been some killer songs released in the last two years, and so many are begging to be chosen as your wedding songs. We thought there was no time like the present to compile a list of the best wedding songs from 2014 to 2016.

50 of the best wedding songs 2016

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Some of these came out toward the tail end of 2015 and might be new to you (like Missy and Pharrell’s amaaaazing collaboration, “WTF (Where They From)”) and some of these fall squarely into “songs that will never, ever die” territory (I see you dancing there, “Uptown Funk”).

Related: The 20 Best Mother and Son Songs to Dance to at Your Wedding

Of course, since we’re talking about a dance party, I couldn’t get away with only current wedding songs—there are definitely some older hits mixed in. Because hey: if you’re not playing Whitney Houston at your wedding, I’m not sure I want to be there.

The Best Wedding Songs, 2016

Leon Bridges: “Coming Home

Adele: “Hello

Tom Odell: “Grow Old with Me

Bruno Mars: “Marry You

Beyoncé: “Love on Top

OMI: “Cheerleader

Coldplay: “Sky Full of Stars

Jessi J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj: “Bang Bang

Oh Honey: “Be Okay

The Chainsmokers ft. ROZES: “Roses

Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell: “WTF (Where They From)

Kanye West ft Paul McCartney: “Only One”

Drake: “Hotline Bling

Train: “Marry Me

Pharrell: “Happy

The Weeknd: “The Hills

Nicki Minaj: “Anaconda

Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars: “Uptown Funk

Daft Punk ft. Pharrell: “Get Lucky

The Lumineers: “Ho Hey

John Legend: “All of Me

Bright Eyes: “First Day of My Life

Meghan Trainor: “All About That Bass

American Authors: “Best Day of My Life

Adele: “Make You Feel My Love

Whitney Houston: “I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Outkast: “Hey Ya!

Ingrid Michaelson: “You and I

Ben Folds: “The Luckiest

Taylor Swift: “Shake It Off

Feist: “1, 2, 3, 4

Steve Winwood: “Higher Love

Band Of Horses: “No One’s Gonna Love You

Ed Sheeran: “Thinking Out Loud

Sam Smith: “Lay Me Down

Meiko: “Stuck on You

Clean Bandit: “Rather Be

Pitbull ft. Ke$ha: “Timber

Silento: “Watch Me

Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney: “FourFiveSeconds

Natalie La Rose ft. Jeremih: “Somebody

Jidenna ft. Roman GianArthur: “Classic Man

Selena Gomez & The Scene: “Love You Like a Love Song

Ellie Goulding: “How Long Will I Love You

Elle King: “Ex’s and Oh’s

Andy Grammer: “Honey, I’m Good

Taylor Swift: “Blank Space

Iggy Azalea ft. Rita Ora: “Black Widow

OneRepublic: “Counting Stars

Wedding Songs 2106: Share Your Best Stuff!

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her husband, their seven year old metalhead son, and a crew of beasts. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and smiley faces.

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  • LydiaB

    Can’t say enough how well Shake it Off went down at my wedding (which I absolutely thought all my friends would be “too cool” to dance too.)

    We sat down in the days after the wedding and put together a list of songs from the reception as and when we remembered them (whether because everyone tore up the dancefloor or we had a lovely slow dance to them) and put the list together and sent it out with our thank yous! (Bonus – a set in stone reminder of our reception!)

    • Amy March

      This is such a fun idea!

    • Omg I love your ENTIRE list

    • Sosuli

      May just steal a bunch of these songs for our wedding playlist… such good choices!

  • Lisa

    One of the strongest memories I have from the dance party at our wedding (which we thought we didn’t want and ended up being one of my favorite things) is rocking it out to “Shake It Off” with all of our friends and family. I’m sure I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t care!

    • emmers

      Ha! I really wanted to have Shake It Off at our wedding, but we used spotify, and T Swift had just decided to remove herself from it. I settled for watching an awesome 80s jazzercise video that had been synched with Shake It Off in my hotel room before getting ready. I love that memory! :)

      • Lisa

        That video is the best! Our friend is a hobby DJ, and he just asked us for artists we liked to base the playlists around. I don’t remember giving him T Swift, but I was so happy that song made an appearance!

    • LydiaB

      Shake it off is just a cracker isn’t it – I just said almost the same thing in my comment!

      Bonus pic of my mum, sister, SIL and MoH shaking it off!!

      • Lisa

        I saw that you posted at the same time I did about the same song! :) Everyone looks like they’re having such a fun time.

        One of my favorite pictures from our wedding was taken during “Shout!” It got everyone out on the dance floor!

  • joanna b.n.

    Whoa, now I totally want to get married again to have a dance party with all the newbies remixed with the old classics! This list made me want to PAR-TAY!!! :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Great songs. Something to listen to at work today. :)

    I’m a little boggled at some of them, though. For example, neither Hello nor Blank Space say “wedding” to me. But…that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

    • LydiaB

      I absolutely thought the same, I’m a big lyric and meaning person… but then one of the songs that went down best at ours was “Love will Tear us Apart”!!! It was our second to last song of the night as requested by mid dancefloor poll of the guests! A lot of people don’t think of the lyrics and meaning of songs, they just want to dance.

      • Kayjayoh

        I’m kind of in the middle. I’m often willing to overlook a lot of the lyrics on a thing to keep on dancing, but straight-up break-up song just feel off for weddings. I mean, break-up (or we broke up a long time ago and I’m sad about that) songs are some of the best songs out there, but not really for a wedding.

        (I do have a playlist going of the very best “f* off, I’m going to dance my way out of this!” break-up songs.)

    • Jess

      Yeah… I’m not really seeing Hello as either a slow dance love fest or a balls out dance jam, more of a sit in a dark room kind of song? (but I also am not in a place in my life where I connect with it, I know, I know)

      But Whitney Houston has all kinds of love in my life and I’m jamming to Uptown Funk all day every day, so.

      • Danielle

        I see what you’re saying… “Hello” sounds pretty and could be good for a low-key cocktail hour part of a reception, though (if you don’t listen to the lyrics).

        Also Whitney 4EVA

        • Jess

          Now cocktail hour I could probably see! Kind of a bummer for a wedding, but sometimes you just have to give the people what they want.

        • Everything that we loved but wouldn’t fit tonally on a dance playlist ended up on our cocktail hour/dinner playlist; which is how we managed to play Pearl Jam at our wedding. Fun fact: at least 3 people complimented us on figuring out a way to play Metallica and Pearl Jam.

          • Danielle

            YESSSS.

            We played acoustic versions of Guns N’ Roses songs during the cocktail hour because… well just because.

    • Vanessa

      Yeah if Hello came on during dance times I would probably use it as an opportunity to find a bathroom.

    • Tink

      I thought “seriously?” when I saw Hello…that song is not party song or a wedding song at all.
      I saw The Weeknd’s – The Hills – has anybody actually heard the lyrics of that song? That song doesn’t have a place in a wedding playlist. As much as I love The Weeknd, he really doesn’t have any wedding songs. haha.

    • Lawyerette510

      Yeah, with Hello especially because it’s so centered around a failed relationship and trying to reconnect. I’m especially no not that at a wedding now because one of my friends actually had her ex-fiance (who really messed her over, like he said he would put the wedding invites in the mail on his way out of town to go camping for the weekend, then came back from the weekend, admitted he had not mailed the invites, not been camping, was cheating on her, and wanted to call off the wedding) reach out to her after 7 years and reference Hello in his email saying it prompted him to email her.

  • Juliet

    Great List!

    I had never watched the video to Up Town Funk before, and while I think it’s styled flawlessly (I now need a hot pink blazer pleaseandthankyou) it’s a bit of a pro-street-harassment sausage fest, no?

  • jb123

    Does anyone have time & inclination to spotify this list? Would LOVE to be able to listen at work. I might be able to do over the next few weekends but can’t do it ASAP and this seems awesome and I totally want to listen ASAP!

  • So lately I’ve been obsessed with Jess Glynne’s “Hold My Hand”. It’s totally wedding-y and a great dance jam. You’re all welcome.

    • disqus hates me but at least one of those links should work

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      This was my JAM all summer.

  • Kara

    I still love classic rock and hair bands for wedding receptions….bring me the Def Leppard, the Skynyrd, the Journey, AC/DC, Neil Diamond, and more. I will show you a fun time ;).

    Toto – Africa is always a huge dance song for our people. Makes me happy just thinking about all the craziness that goes down when it comes on.

    • MC

      The song for our people that made everyone go crazy was Total Eclipse of the Heart – our officiant nearly knocked our photographer over he was dancing so hard! Those are some of my favorite pictures from the wedding.

      • Kara

        YES!! Love it.

        I can imagine how epic that must have been.

    • BeccaC

      Same – it was the music that could bring virtually all my friends, family, and coworkers on the dance floor! It also resulted in the best pictures of our dance party, and were some of my favourite shots from the entire wedding (as seen by this photo lol)

      • Kara

        YES. Epic. Indeed.

        Awesome pic, too ;)

  • Rebekah Jane

    YAS for including Timber! Through an unfortunate/hilarious series of events, that’s our “song” and it’s been the plan since day 1 for that to be our song for our first dance. Granted, it will probably be an acoustic cover of it, but still – nothing says starting your lives together like Ke$ha and Pitbull.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m imagining an acoustic cover of Timber, and it’s making me smile ear-to-ear.

  • Kayjayoh

    Also, if we are not limiting to 2014-2015 songs, here is a super danceable song that was a guest request for my wedding:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiHWwKC8WjU

  • Kayjayoh

    OK, why did it get so dusty in my office when I watched the “Marry You” video?

    (Seriously, I am the sort of person who would purposely refuse this type of public spectacle proposal, but I found myself sniffling when the dude started dancing and she realized what was going on.)

    • Lisa

      Same same same.

      I also looooove this version of a “Marry You” proposal, too.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_v7QrIW0zY

    • Ashlah

      I’ve watched so many flash mob proposals (many to that same song), and they always make me cry! The “Honey, I’m Good” video made me tear up a bit too, even though I’ve never thought of it as a super romantic song.

  • pajamafishadventures

    There are a lot of songs on this list that I would happily never listen to again, but there is something positive to be said about having those play at a wedding- during the songs I like I actually want to be dancing so when something I hate comes on, it can be a nice break. I don’t want to watch you whip OR nae nae, but I do want to pee and now I have about three minutes to do so!

  • Ashlah

    Anyone else unable to fully load today’s Happy Hour? Not sure if it’s the embedded podcast, which just shows as indefinitely loading, or if it’s something below the invitation suite, which is where the page stops. Is it just an issue with my browser?

  • laddibugg

    Even my older family members know about “Hello” lol……and how it’s probably one of the top ten worst songs to play.
    Especially if there is the potential that a previous suitor/stalker might show up…they might think the song is for *them* :-o

    • Lawyerette510

      The reference to even older family members makes me think of the SNL skit where the entire family stops fighting over thanksgiving diner to sing Hello.

  • Yup. This is exactly what this day needed – an awesome dance party with the twins while Dad puts the toddler to bed.

  • That Elle King video is fucking glorious; as much as I love it, the song itself got really overplayed, but that video makes it new again.

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  • Nice Wedding song playlist.
    I have a special Wedding Song that by Cleo-Love was made for us !
    You can listen to it here on Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph7jE61m0S0

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  • Prince?? YouTube?? Please tell me you’re not serious. That’s why you hire a professional dj for your wedding. Unbelievable.

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  • Tina Langner

    I am a WEDDING DJ and I was searching for some newer songs to add to my list and found some good ones on here! Thank you for the helpful list! BTW, need a wedding DJ? Contact me 832-339-1440 DJ TINA

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  • Function Central

    Great list of suggestions and good to see lots of classics as well as some of the more modern hits. Just in case it’s helpful to anyone, here is a list of songs to avoid :) http://www.functioncentral.co.uk/blog/2015/11/10-wedding-reception-songs-to-avoid/ Lots of lyrics you might not have taken the time to listen to!! Happy wedding planning everyone! Function Central

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