First dances are arguably the most poignant part of the wedding day so here’s the best first dance songs to choose from!
As the adrenaline of the wedding ceremony wears off, you and your new husband can finally relax and share an intimate moment as a married couple. It’s something you’ll remember forever…
Whenever you hear that special song, you’ll be catapulted straight back to that moment, when you were in each other’s arms as newlyweds.
The ballad has always been the genre of choice for first dances when it comes to capturing the romanticism of a wedding day. It’s slow and easy to dance to; swaying to Lonestar won’t require a huge amount of preparation.
But don’t feel tied down to this slow and soppy style of music. It’s your party and you can headbang, jive or even charleston if you want to! So take a look at our list of top 50 first dance songs that span every genre, from heavy metal to eighties’ ska and we’ve even thrown in the token Buble number…just to please your mum.
1. Ho, Hey – The Lumineers
If you want a bit of alternative indie rock, then your first stop should be the Lumineers – this song is uplifting – it picks up pace and has an anthem like quality. It will get your wedding guests clapping along.
2. Marry You – Bruno Mars
We all love Bruno Mars, right? If your first dance plans involve some decent dancing to something up-tempo – but you want a modern tune. This one is even wedding themed. Perfect.
3. No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses
Acoustic songs can be simply gorgeous as a first dance choice. Wedding days can pass you by fast and loud – you can barely catch your breath before the day is over. This song will allow for some pause and reflection – to really capture the moment.
4. Sea of Love – Cat Power
It’s refreshing to have a first dance wedding song sung by a woman – so many of the popular ones happen to be sung by men. This one is simple but gorgeous.
5 . Everlong – Foo Fighters
If you want to keep your new husband in the good books with his mates, then this Foo Fighters song might just tip the scales in his favour.
6. It Must Be Love – Madness
A big one for alternative Ska music lovers, but also a big mainstream hit – sure to have all your guests singing along.
7. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – James Taylor
This song is for a proper chilled-vibe first wedding dance. A good choice for a couple who want something uncomplicated but romantic.
8. Your Song – Ellie Goulding version
A classic song reworked in a unique way. Ellie Goulding gives this version of Elton’s John’s wonderful song an innocent, fresh makeover. Lovely for a first wedding dance.
9. Iris – The Goo Goo Dolls
An alternative rock song that you can waltz to? Really? We’re convinced this one has been used by the Strictly dancers a few times. It has romance, passion and melody. A dramatic choice.
10. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
Usually a big hit with many grooms – this song has an edge but also offers something a bit more ‘deep’ – definitely one to consider for more offbeat couples.
11. Everything – Michael Bublé
Well, it’s Buble, isn’t it? Who doesn’t love a bit of Buble? There won’t be a dry eye in the house.
12. Etta James – At Last
Some brides opt for a more vintage feel to their big day – and what better song than this amazing tune from this timeless soul singer?
13. La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf
This song is a MUST for brides who opt for a truly vintage wedding. Not only is it stylishly sung in French, but it has that wonderful crackly gramophone quality that adds character to any first dance.
14. Better Together – Jack Johnson
A really modern love song that doesn’t demand too much from a dancing point of view – this chilled out tune is gentle but unusual.
15. You’ve Got The Love – Florence and the Machine
Don’t forget – a fast, belter of a song can still be a love song. With Florence’s unique voice and modern sound, this can be a great choice for those who like modern indie-rock.
16. God Only Knows – the Beach Boys
Aw. What memories of happy childhoods, summer sunshine and laughter. The Beach Boys are loved by us all – a great song to suit all the generations of guests – and such lovely lyrics, too.
17. Feels Like Home – Chantal Kreviazuk
Crystal clear vocal, pretty and soft – this song will set the tone immediately for your special wedding dance. Plus, the lyrics are really relevant for a wedding day.
18. Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John
Do we even need to explain why you’d want this one? Phenomenal song from a phenomenal musician. You might think it’s a cliche choice but this song literally NEVER gets old.
19. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley
This song can be a perfect fit for many couples. You’d be hard pushed to find ANYONE in the world who doesn’t think this Elvis song is romantic, special and memorable.
20. The Way You Look Tonight – Tony Bennett
Popular with more mature couples, the wonderful crooner Tony Bennett has timeless class. A great song if you want something subdued but elegant.
21. Accidentally In Love – Counting Crows
With its connection to the movie Shrek 2 (definitely a more modern take on a fairy tale romance) this quirky, upbeat tune would be a good choice if you want something meaningful but lighthearted to dance to.
22. 1, 2, 3, 4 – Feist
Another lovely female vocalist to give consideration to. This song has the benefits of being both uplifting and fairly quick tempo, but also gentle and mellow.
23. Greatest Day – Take That
This probably went through a phase of being one of the most played first wedding dance songs when it was first released – but don’t reject it. The lyrics are gorgeous, it has a decent tempo and all your guests will be singing along.
24. Close to Me – The Cure
A song that benefits from a nice long, enjoyable intro – this popular rock group might not be the most obvious choice for a wedding first dance but would be popular with many grooms!
25. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
If you pride yourselves on being a pair who can throw down some shapes on the dancefloor then you might want to choreograph a jive for this one – it’s sure to make everyone smile.
26. Yellow – Coldplay
Oh, Chris Martin – what would we do without you? The modern couples’ U2 – Coldplay have the advantage of being edgy yet meaningful and this song is tuneful enough to fit as a first wedding dance.
27. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
Pure romance. For your first dance, who better than to have sing to your love but Adele with her one-of-a-kind voice? Hard to resist this one.
28. Higher Love – James Vincent McMorrow
A soft, sensual cover of Steve Winwood’s original track, this offers a first wedding dance a special quality.
29. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths
With Morrissey’s distinctive voice – the couples that want something really different but mainstream enough that the guests can also enjoy it – then this song might just fit the bill.
30. Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springsteen
The Boss. There are so many superfans of his out there that this punchy, toe tapper of a tune will be sure to have your guests joining you for the party.
31. Is This Love – Bob Marley
Let’s face it, Bob Marley was a pure poet. ‘I want to love you, and treat you right’. This would be a wonderfully unconventional choice.
32. Roslyn – Bon Iver and St Vincent
Well of course, we have the Twilight movies to thank for introducing us to mellow, brooding choral songs that almost seem to hypnotise us. But, it’s beautiful and really, really different.
33. Woman – John Lennon
Steering clear of anything too ‘mainstream Beatles’, many John Lennon fans might choose this tribute to his wife – after all, it speaks to the heart. And it’s a really good tempo for a first wedding dance.
34. Your Everything – Keith Urban
It’s not often that a country music song gets top billing at a first wedding dance (well, maybe it did when Shania was doing well) but this tune has ballad romance with just a hint of country.
35. At My Most Beautiful – REM
We sometimes forget just how good REM were. This song has a slow build with gorgeous piano underneath – a really graceful choice for a first dance.
36. Sweet Darlin’ – She & Him
Did you know Zooey Deschanel could sing? Impactful, upbeat, with a hint of the beach boys – this quirky little number will get your guests’ toes tapping and itching to get up and join you.
37. Forever and Ever Amen – The Drums
Yes, it’s a love song. But one that will have you doing some proper dancing from the start. Quick, pacey and lovely.
38. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Piano ballads really can get the hairs on the back of your arm tingling, can’t they? This current favourite doesn’t lose its drama, no matter how often it is used for a first dance.
39. Baby, Now That I’ve Found You – Alison Krauss
Originally recorded by The Foundations, Krauss puts her relaxed blue-grass style on to this famous tune. With really lovely results – perfect for a first dance.
40. Stand By Me – Ben E King
A favourite during the ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, this classic favourite covers it all – romance, friendship, loyalty – and it will definitely make your 86 year old Auntie cry.
41. Sweethearts Together – The Rolling Stones
One of the Stones’ softer offerings to the world of music, this easy-going rock ballad has an infectious quality that builds and could make a really special first dance choice.
42. Wonderwall – Ryan Adams
Yes, its the Wonderwall you’re thinking of – but totally re-imagined and very soft and reflective. It would be a great fit for a bride and groom that are fans of 90s music but want something unpredictable.
43. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters
It starts slow and clear – then Karen’s angelic voice kicks in – the words have a special quality to them and then of course it builds into a smooth song that is easy to dance to – even if you’re a bad dancer!
44. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra
Frank’s voice is unsurpassable – the first wedding dance that uses this song just can’t go wrong. Velvety, hip, cool but romantic. Thanks, Frank.
45. The Luckiest – Ben Folds
Amazing piano chords and a voice. Telling the story of a couple who love each other through time. There’s something very exceptional about this song. Your guests will definitely be asking; ‘Who sang that gorgeous first dance song?’
46. The Ship Song – Nick Cave
You might not think of Nick Cave as a very traditional choice for a first wedding dance, but this song has a calm depth to it – almost choral-like. Really romantic, actually.
47. Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Yes, it’s been done a MILLION times. But this version is truly something else. If you’re a musical theatre fan or just love this song but want a different twist – try this one.
48. You Are the Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
If you want a big band sound but don’t want something predictable? Then Ray Lamontagne is your man. Rough, croony and passionate – it almost sounds like a song from the next Bridget Jones soundtrack with a bit of The Commitments thrown in for good measure.
49. I’m The Man Who Loves You – Wilco
For a first dance this has a funky, fresh sound. Perfect for couples who want to show their individuality.
50. The First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
This is such a tuneful ballad. Not too fast or slow and with really cute, meaningful lyrics. A nice first dance song for a relaxed summer wedding – maybe even outdoors or by the ocean.
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