Every hero should have theme music, and so should every couple. You likely already have a song – that one tune that was playing when you realized you were in love, a song by a band you saw when you were first dating, or a song that simply reminds you of your partner – and have probably decided on the music for your first dance.
While requests have been set for all the important dances, what’s going to be playing when you stroll into the reception as a newly minted married couple? This song can be upbeat, cheesy, charming, a rockin’ anthem or just a few bars to herald your arrival.
While you’re clicking through Spotify or digging through your record collection to find the perfect song, think about what you want to happen after this big moment. Do you want people to applaud and then sit down for dinner, or get up and hit the dance floor? Your entrance song will help set the tone for what’s to come.
A wedding entrance song can seem like yet another thing to do on a long list of reception plans, but don’t sweat it. We’ve compiled a list of killer tracks to take your entrance to the next level.
Beyoncé – Crazy In Love ft. Jay Z
We’ve objected to this track as a first dance song in the past, based on the dark edge to the lyrics. That horn sample, though! The perfect fanfare for your entrance.
Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael at his sunniest since the Jackson 5. This punchy track will be instantly recognizable to everyone, and provide good lead time to get the crowd going before you step into the reception. (If you want to mix things up a bit, you could go with this a capella cover.)
Daryl Hall & John Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True
This semi-cheesy song is a wedding staple (and in The Wedding Singer) for a reason – it’s a great pop song. Expect everyone to sing along with a “Woo-hoo, you make my dreams come true.”
The Cure – Close to Me
New wave and goth couples rejoice, you can bring the sounds of your youth to your wedding. Disco claps, the breathy vocals of Robert Smith and some light flute will start your reception off right.
Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke
Wonder’s funky tribute to Duke Ellington and other big band legends is a perfect way to start the party. The swinging jazz intro and the refrain—”you can feel it all over”–sums up the joyful atmosphere in a way that everyone will appreciate.
Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
This party staple is both upbeat and romantic, a surefire hit for the couple who wants to start their reception off dancing.
Pharrell Williams – Happy
After saying “I do,” you’ll be exhilarated, maybe even as happy as a room without a roof. Like the best entrance songs, this Grammy(r)-winning single will be recognized by everyone and (just about) everyone will be glad.
Penny & The Quarters – You and Me
Recorded in the early 70s by an amatuer soul group, this great track was lost until 2010 (when it was used in the film Blue Valentine.) Sweet, simple, and evocative, these track features beautiful harmonies for your big entrance.
MGMT – Electric Feel
Great if you don’t want to march into your reception, as much as slide in with style. The bass-line is pretty choice and will have guests bopping their heads before you even appear.
The Beatles – Hello Goodbye
What better way to say hello to your friends and family the first time as a couple than with this sunny song from the Beatles post-Sgt. Pepper period? Extra credit if you hire a bunch of hula dancers to come out at the end and get your party started right.
Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World
You’ll feel on top of the world as newlyweds; take it all in and walk into your reception to this upbeat track.
The Four Tops – Sugar Pie Honey Bunch
Everyone can agree on the greatness of Motown Records. Your parents and their friends will love this one for the memories it evokes, while the younger folks will just dig the groove.
James Taylor-How Sweet It Is
Usually held for the cake cutting (cake is sweet, you see…) this easy rocking version of an old Marvin Gaye classic is great for happy dancing, and lyrically sums up the moment pretty well.
The B-52’s – Love Shack
We still don’t know what “Tin roof, rusted!” means, but we’re sure that this classic will kick off the night in funky style. It’s about love, after all, and will remind all the Gen-Xers of their college days.
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home
Home is wherever I’m with you – which would make your wedding reception your new home. This jangly, rollicking song showcases your love and, likely, the whistling skills of at least one of your guests. Pretty much everyone will know it–or at least think that they do.
Jagged Edge – Let’s Get Married (ReMarqable Remix)
Remixing Run D.M.C. to the tune of matrimony, this hip-hop single is surprisingly sweet with solid vocals, making for great entrance material.
American Authors – Best Day Of My Life
Like a lot of people, we first heard this song while watching that video with the bulldog a few years back. But don’t be afraid of the association: it’s your wedding day, and you’re should be as happy as a pup with a big stretch of park to run through.
Natalia Lafourcade – Tú sí sabes quererme
For the Spanish speakers and Latin music lovers, the sensual guitar and sweet vocals in this single would make a stunning entrance. For those not in the know, Natalia Lafourcade tells her lover “Heart, you know how to love me the way I like it. I am the lit flower that gives color to the garden of your life.”
Kool & The Gang – Celebration
Totally obvious, we know. But still so good, and so apropos. In case one of your guests was busy taking advantage of your open bar and missed the news, remind them with this song.
The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Rockin’ couples will surely remember this falsetto-laden track from 2009. Have your DJ cue up some high notes and guitar solos as you make a rock star entrance.
Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk ft. Bruno Mar
This one will likely get multiple spins on the turntable at your wedding, but the ‘80s funk flair of this hit can’t be beat.
LMFAO – Sexxy and I Know It
This is strictly for those who want to go for humor. That said, it’s a pretty cool beat, it has just the right amount of swagger, and within seconds everyone will be recreating scenes from the video. Just skip the tear away pants and leopard-skin briefs, ok?
Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop The Feeling
This mid-tempo song is sweet and makes you want to move – perfect for the couple that wants to get right to dinner or start the night off with a dance.
Mark Wills – I Do (Cherish You)
This ‘90s country ballad will bring out all the Kleenex, so add some tissue to your centerpieces.
The Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started
Like the song title says, this anthem is the perfect way to get something, anything, started. Pump up the volume and strut your way into your party.
House of Pain – Jump Around
We picked this one mainly for that opening horn bit, which will usher the two of you into the reception in style. But the rest of the song is not too bad either. Sure, there’s a lot of early 90s white boy rap attitude, but a lot of guests will remember this song fondly–and those who don’t will at least be willing to follow the song’s suggestion and “jump around.”
Darius Rucker – Wagon Wheel
For some country flavor, say “hey mama rock me” to your new wife.
Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing
While this may be one of the whiniest come-on songs ever, it is undeniably sexy, and the lyrics are full of phrases that could apply to your wedding day “yesterday, I was one of the lonely people,” “I believe in miracles,” etc.
The Verve and Vitamin String Quartet – Bittersweet Symphony
For those who don’t want lyrics overshadowing their grand entrance, this familiar and classy arrangement is the perfect arrival announcement.
The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
From the rinky-tink intro riff to the unique harmonies to the sunny refrain, this Beach Boys classic off of Pet Sounds asks a musical question to which your wedding itself is the answer. Wouldn’t it be nice to be together? Yes, yes it would.
Rihanna – We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris
Step into your reception in style and get right to dancing with this club hit. If nothing else, the tempo of this tune will make it easy for your older relatives to clap in rhythm.
Bob Marley – Is This Love
Obviously a rhetorical question in this situation, this classic Marley track will make you want to light up and renew your vows. If you want to go for a deeper Marley cut, there’s always this spooky-themed gem from his early days with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.)
Follow The Plunge on Spotify to set the soundtrack to every stage of your wedding, from the bachelor party to the bouquet toss.