When you think about it, a wedding reception is kind of a strange animal. It’s a huge party with drinking and dancing–only your parents and close relatives are there. With the range of ages and personality types at a wedding, it can be tricky to include a little something for everyone. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the dance floor. While the millennials may be eager to dance to the latest from Pharrell or Meghan Trainor, the old folks will start to vacate the dance floor if they don’t hear something from their era every once in a while. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of songs that you parents and grandparents will like that are still seriously romantic and cool.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
This romantic tune feels as fresh today as it did in the 60’s, with its crooning verses and its big horn-section hit leading up to the climactic, “I love you baby!” in the middle section. It’s danceable, it’s sweet, and it shouldn’t make anyone under 40’s eyes roll.
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Sure, you could go for the Elvis version, but this one’s the true classic. It’s a perfect slow-dance for old-timers and youngsters alike, with the quivering blue-eyed soul of the Righteous Brothers presaging the Ed Sheerans and Andrew McMahons of today. By the time they reach for the stratosphere in the final minute, you’re sure to be feeling the romance.
My Girl – The Temptations
As soon as you hear that bouncing bass line, you know you’re in for a treat. Sing it with me: “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…” In addition to the absolutely adorable lyrics, this song has a nice mid-tempo beat, perfect for gentle dancing that won’t break any hips.
I Second That Emotion – The Miracles
Smokey Robinson might possibly be an alien from another galaxy. There’s no other voice on earth that can float around in the stratosphere and still sound as silky smooth as his does. But once you get past the considerable charm of his voice, you’ve still got great wall-of-sound production and clever lyrics to boot.
I Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe – Barry White
Ignore the fact that you quite possibly might have been conceived to the fervent basso profundo of Barry White. This song is delightful front-to-back, with a groove that’s almost like disco but is soulful enough to avoid getting lumped in with that unfortunate trend. It’s just a stone-cold delight front-to-back, perfect for putting a little romance into the evening.
We all know there’s nothing more adorable than seeing our parents and grandparents cut a rug on the dance floor. You can help make that happen by throwing in a few songs calculated to bring them back to their carefree, youthful days. Pick any of the above songs and you’ll get the old folks dancing without clearing the younger guests from the floor. If you do see a twenty-something sitting out the best that Motown had to offer, just keep telling yourself you still love them even if they do have appallingly bad taste in music.