My goal is always to get everyone out on the dance floor, and the best way to do that is curating a playlist that caters to all ages at your wedding. I've been approached by some couples in the past few years who were interested in keeping the usual suspects for Charleston wedding playlists and only play all modern Top 40. The only problem with this is the wide range of ages who will mostl likely be at your wedding. Unless you only invite folks from your age group and leave the older folks off your guest list, you will need to add music that will cater to all ages.
"Africa" | Toto | 1982
It's a very rare occasion that I see "Africa" left off wedding playlists. I think it's perfect later in the night after peaking with the energy. It's the perfect song to come down after the high off the night. Your guests will sing along too. Released in the fall of '82, "Africa" would become Toto's only Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" | Whitney Houston | 1987
This was the first song to break on the radio from her album Whitney released in 1987. In heavy rotation at Charleston weddings, this 80s classic was one of the biggest songs of 1987 and made it all the way to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the AC and Dance Club charts.
"Party In The USA" | Miley Cyrus | 2009
It's hard to believe that at the time I am putting this post together that "Party In The USA" just celebrated it's 10th anniversary. The song peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is a certified floor filler at lots of Charleston weddings.
"Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" | Backstreet Boys | 1997
You can find this song on the Backstreet Boys sophomore effort Backstreet's Back released back in the summer of 1997. The song would reach all the way to Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is almost always in the MUST PLAY section of my client's playlists.
"Can't Stop The Feeling" | Justin Timberlake | 2016
Can't Stop The Feeling was hands down one of the biggest songs of 2016. Released in May of 2016, the song would become the song of the summer of 2016 and due to it's popularity, would become a recurrent song request in future wedding seasons. Recurrent songs are new songs that packed enough punch and made a big enough impact that still see requests long after they top the Billboard Hot 100 charts. There is usually one or two songs per year that get put in this category.
"September" | Earth-Wind & Fire | 1978
In all my experiences as a wedding DJ, it is people of all ages that respond to September. Released in November of 1978, the song would reach #1 on the R&B charts, as well as #8 on the Hot 100. It's a great party starter song after dinner!
"Shout" | Isley Brothers | 1959
There are some wedding DJs that might put this song into the "cheesy line dance" category. Truth be told, it's NOT a line dance, and maybe 1 out of 100 weddings won't want to hear this song. This past August was the 60th anniversary since it's release. Otis Day & The Knights covered this song in 1978 for the movie National Lampoons Animal House. Believe it or not, it did not get higher than #47 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Brown Eyed Girl" | Van Morrison | 1967
This is another song that has the tendency to get guests of all ages out on the dance floor. Released in the summer of 1967, the song would reach the Top 10 and be covered later by band like Everclear, as well as Jimmy Buffett.
"Sucker" | The Jonas Brothers | 2019
"Sucker" has been a big request since it's release in March 2019. The song debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 22 weeks inside the Top 10. Based on the amount of requests that are still coming in for the song, I think there is a high likelihood that "Sucker" could be placed into the recurrent category going into the 2020 Charleston wedding season.
"Despacito" | Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Featuring Justin Bieber | 2017
Another recurrent song here which became one of the biggest songs of 2017. The original version has almost 6.5 billion views on You Tube. The remix with Justin Bieber was released in April of 2017 and would be THE song of the summer in 2017. The song would would top the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Latin Songs, and Mainstream Top 40 charts. Nearly 3 years after it's release, the song is in heavy rotation at Charleston weddings.
"Shut Up And Dance" | Walk The Moon | 2014
Shut Up And Dance is another fairly recent song that's been placed into the recurrent song category. The song was released in the late summer of 2014 and would reach the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the U.S Rock Airplay and Adult Top 40 charts.
"Sweet Caroline" | Neil Diamond | 1969
2019 marks FIFTY years since the release of what would become Neil Diamond's signature song. The song would reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in August of 1969. "Sweet Caroline" is another song that connects with people of all ages. Guests who are young and old still respond very well to the song making it one of those most requested songs at Charleston weddings.
"Uptown Funk" | Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars | 2014
At the time of this blog post, we're approaching the 5th anniversary of the release of "Uptown Funk". The song would quickly become a recurrent song and is still heavily requested almost 5 years after it's release. It's safe to say that "Uptown Funk" has become an instant wedding classic.
"Living On A Prayer" | Bon Jovi | 1986
You know with Charleston being one of the top wedding destinations in the country, there are lots of couples coming down to get married from New Jersey. You better believe that this song shows up on their playlist. The song was released in the fall of 1986 and would hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Mainstream Rock charts.
"Hey Ya" | Outkast | 2003
"Hey Ya" is another song that people of all ages are sure to respond to. Released in September of 2003, the song would reach the top of the charts on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Mainstream Top 40 charts. You can still hear the song all over dance floors at Charleston weddings ranging from the Historic Rice Mill over to the Daniel Island Club.
"Bye Bye Bye" | NSync | 2000
Perhaps there will be some type of 20th anniversary remix of this song as the song will turn 20 in January 2020. It's a popular song toward the end of the night at Charleston weddings. The song would peak at #4 in April 2000 and remained in the Top 10 for 12 weeks.
"Old Town Road" | Lil Nas X & Billy Ray Cyrus | 2019
"Old Town Road" became the song of the summer in 2019 and probably the biggest song of 2019 all together. The song would peak at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stay for 19 straight weeks, breaking the old record for Mariah Carey and Boys II Men's "One Sweet Day" in 1994.
"Footloose" | Kenny Loggins | 1984
What else would you expect from a song that appeared in a movie about dancing? But actually the movie features the story line where dancing is trying to be eliminated in this small town. The song was released in January 1984 and would become a signature song of Kenny Loggins, as well as reaching Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
"Don't Stop Me Now" | Queen | 1979
You can find this song on Queen's 1978 album Jazz. The song would reach the Top 10 in the UK, but barely cracking the Hot 100 in the United States. The song gained even more popularity when it was used on American Idol, as well as when the Bohemian Rhapsody movie released in 2018.
"In My Feelings" | Drake | 2018
It seems like we could not go anywhere in 2018 without seeing folks ask the question. "Kiki, do you love me?". The song was in heavy rotation in 2018 and the songs popularity continued into 2019. The song would top the Billboard Hot 100 and would make Drake one of the most popular artists of 2018.
You Should Never Leave Your Charleston Wedding To An Amateur DJ.
Hope you enjoyed this quick post about some of the most requested songs at Charleston weddings. It's definitely been refreshed with some modern Top 40 and rhythmic songs. You know, about a week or so ago I was taking a stroll during my lunch hour and was checking my email. The mother of a bride whose wedding I DJ'ed very recently sent me an email expressing just how much her and her guests had enjoyed having me at their wedding. Her exact words were "Everyone loved the reception and of course most of then "fun" can be attributed to having a great DJ keeping everyone dancing......". And she went on to say "we couldn't ask for a better event". Also inside this email was a photo of the bride and groom on the dance floor having the time of their lives. When things like this happen (especially unannounced), I am quickly reminded why I love what I do. The formula I have created over the years to become one of the best Charleston Wedding DJs worked again. Truth be told, it's not rocket science. It's not difficult like those computer models used to track a hurricane, it's a methodical approach that when done the right way is almost guaranteed to make lasting memories forever for the client.
Looking for even more music inspiration when designing the perfect playlist for your Charleston wedding? Check out some of the links down below from some of the archives.
Reggae Cocktail Hour Playlist
80s Soft Rock Wedding Playlist
The Rehearsal Dinner Playlist
Motown Songs At Weddings
Ready To Meet With Mike About Being Your Charleston Wedding DJ?
As I publish this post, we're in the thick of the fall wedding season here in Charleston, but we're also approaching another engagement season. I'm looking ahead right now to 2020. If you have recently gotten engaged, congratulations! Take a deep breath! I love talking to newly engaged couples about their favorite music. If you have not quite secured a date, check out this recent post about Popular Wedding Dates in 2020. Thinking about a southern plantation style wedding in Charleston? Check out this archived post about one of my favorite places Boone Hall Plantation Click HERE to tell me a little more about your big day. I look forward to speaking to you about the biggest day of your life here in one of the most beautiful cities in the country. And lastly, just a quick reminder, when you book me to be the DJ at your wedding, you WILL work with me from start to finish. No big companies or extra fees! Just laser focus on helping you create the most memorable mix of music to have your guests dancing all night long.