Everyone dreams about the first dance right after the wedding vows have been spoken. So much time is spent making sure everything is perfect on our wedding day. We should give the same attention to choosing the best first dance songs.
Here is a list of the top 51 best first dance songs.
1. “At Last” by Etta James
This classic has been a great wedding song favorite for decades. While perfect for any type of wedding, it is especially great if you have been looking for that special someone for a long time. Etta James’ sultry voice adds passion and class to your first dance. It is not uncommon to see people crying tears of joy whenever this song is played at a wedding.
2. “All of Me” by John Legend
This song has quickly become a wedding dance favorite. As John Legend promises to give all of himself to the love of his life, you will be reminded of the importance of doing the same. The powerful words of this song will echo through the room as you gaze into the eyes of your partner.
3. “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
This beautiful song was featured in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1.” The lyrics speak of eternal love between two consenting partners. As you and your spouse dance, you will remember that your newly promised vows are forever in nature.
4. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
While there are many other great renditions of this classic wedding song, Elvis Presley’s unique voice creates a magical atmosphere every time. This is a safe choice for your first wedding dance. While it has been used many times before, each time is just as special as the last.
5. “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
This tearjerker is special for today’s generation. You can feel the emotion as Sheeran sings of growing older and losing health in the future. Despite those things, he does not doubt that his lover will remain faithful and love him just as much as the day they were united.
6. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
Personal sacrifice in the name of love is the point of this song. Adele’s rich vocals stir the soul. This is a poignant song for you and your spouse as you both promise to do whatever it takes to make each other happy and content in the marriage.
7. “Faithfully” by Journey
If you and your spouse have overcome obstacles together, this is a very good choice. Many use this song to celebrate a renewal of vows or a remarriage to a former spouse. The song speaks of rediscovering love.
8. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton
This classic rock ballad describes the feeling a man has when he sees the love of his life. The descriptive lyrics paint a beautiful picture of love and desire. This is an excellent masculine choice for husbands who want to help choose the perfect song for the first dance. If your spouse wants to focus on your beauty, why not let him?
9. “Marry Me” by Train
This enchanting song describes never being close enough to the one you love. For those couples who hate being separated for long periods of time, this is the right song for you. This song has blossomed in popularity over the past few years.
10. “Speechless” by Dan + Shay
Country superstars Dan + Shay create a detailed description of a romantic evening. We all want to feel like our spouse is looking at us with this kind of loving anticipation. There is no better way to start a marriage than to channel the feelings we felt when we first met the love of our lives.
11. “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
This alluring classic elicits the emotional high of loving someone. Euphoric love oozes from this song as Van Morrison declares that the thought of his lover consumes him night and day. If you are a passionate couple, this is an awesome choice for a first dance.
12. “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran paints of charming picture of love that overcomes difficult odds. If you are a young couple, this song provides a message of perseverance and hope despite the warnings coming from others. The song describes taking the risk because of the potential perfection of the union.
13. “It’s Your Love” by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
If country music is your thing, this song checks all the boxes. It is a happy song with flowery lyrics. Performed by the passionate super couple of country music, you will not go wrong with this choice.
Next: Best songs about flowers
14. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli
The best way to describe this song is sophisticated elegance. It is classic and charming. You will feel as though you and your spouse are dancing in a scene from a Hollywood production. This will be a crowd-pleaser in every way.
15. “Shallow” by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
The booming vocals of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga tug on the heartstrings. You can feel the emotions tucked inside this song.
16. “The Bones” by Maren Morris
This country song is popular across musical genres. The lyrics speak to loving each other despite difficult circumstances and past failures. Choosing this song will signify that you are building a marriage on a firm foundation.
17. “Lover” by Taylor Swift
This song is a bit risqué for some audiences. However, it is both sweet and somewhat erotic. Geared toward younger adults, the song describes a couple so infatuated with each other that they seem to be the only people in the world.
18. “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones
This jazzy song choice is perfect for couples of any age. It depicts a couple growing together wherever life leads. No matter where one partner is called to go, the other will follow. Choosing this song will signal your total devotion to each other.
19. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
This song is more upbeat than most on the list. It is a fun and spunky choice for happy-go-lucky couples. This is not the song you want for a traditional slow dance. However, traditions are meant to be broken. Get the marriage party started with Bruno Mars.
20. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
This rock power ballad by Aerosmith has been a popular choice for years. It is a safe option if you want a song that has a rock sound with passionate lyrics and booming vocals. The song describes not wanting to miss out on the pleasures of life with a lover. It is a little sappy. Aren’t wedding days supposed to be sappy?
21. “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye
This is not the most family-friendly option. However, it is fun and straight to the point. You will make it known that you are ready to get the party over and get to the bedroom with your spouse. If you and your spouse are a little edgy, consider this classic tune.
22. “Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding
While this song has been featured in the “50 Shades of Grey” films, it is romantic in every way possible. It touches on the various emotions that fill a romantic relationship. You will feel like the object of your partner’s obsession when this song plays.
23. “The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
This song was featured in “Dirty Dancing.” If you choose this song, be ready to pull out some stunning dance moves. It is an oldie but goodie. Additionally, it recalls happy memories from the love story displayed in the movie.
24. “Could I Have This Dance?” by Anne Murray
Often overlooked, this song is one of the most romantic tunes ever written. It recalls the marvelous emotions of a couple’s first moments together. Make your partner feel like the center of your universe as you ask the question, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?”
25. “I’m Gonna Be” by The Proclaimers
This alternative rock song describes the lengths one would go to in order to meet the needs of his partner. If you want to skip the slow dance while proclaiming your devotion, this song is perfect.
26. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
This oldie has been used many times. If you are a fan of tradition, this is an alluring song option.
27. “Your Song” by Elton John
Sir Elton John brings to light the various emotions inside of a relationship. One of the key lines in the song describes forgetting the color of his partner’s eyes. Despite his poor memory, he declares that those “are the sweetest eyes” he has ever seen.
28. “Never Worn White” by Katy Perry
This song contrasts the reluctance to marry someone with the goal of creating a forever bond. This song is great for those who found it difficult to choose marriage. The captivating lyrics point to the hope of a bright future. Since many have never heard this song, you can create a unique moment with your spouse.
29. “Just Breathe” by Pearl Jam
It is not an easy task to find a grunge song to serve as the perfect song for a first wedding dance. However, his song from Pearl Jam does the job. It describes the great need to have a partner for life. The lyrics say, “Oh, did I say that I want you? Oh, if I didn’t, I’m a fool, you see. No one knows this more than me.” If you love this style of music, give it a listen.
30. “Amazed” by Lonestar
This country hit was once a very popular choice for first dance songs. As time passed, it has been used less often. The song does a wonderful job addressing the five senses in terms of love. As you look into the eyes of your spouse and spell his/her scent, this song will take you to a place of deep emotion.
31. “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
This is another song that will leave you feeling like a movie star as you dance to the legendary voice of Frank Sinatra.
32. “I Am Yours” by Andy Grammer
Your devotion to your spouse is clearly signified by this song. This slightly upbeat song proclaims the giving of oneself to another.
33. “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young
This is another powerful country song that tugs at your emotions. It helps couples say the things they have trouble voicing verbally. The song has been known to cause plenty of tears to flow in the audience.
34. “Work Song” by Hozier
The hauntingly masculine lyrics declare that nothing, including death, will prevent the husband from spending eternity with his spouse. While it is not for everyone, it is worth a listen.
35. “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo
This is a secular pop hit that has deep religious undertones. It praises the Lord for allowing unexpected love to come knocking. If you are a person of faith, this is a nice choice.
36. “To Die For” by Sam Smith
In this song, Sam Smith laments not having someone special to love. At the same time, he looks and sees the happy moments being experienced by others who are in love. This song is a testimony to the power of love and the blessing of finding it in this life.
37. “You’re the Inspiration” by Chicago
This rock ballad speaks to the inspiration gained from watching a loved one’s life. If your spouse is your hero and best friend, this song hits the mark.
38. “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Michael Bolton
While the original version by Percy Sledge is a marvelous song, Michael Bolton’s cover is used more often. It details the lengths a man will go to in order to please his lover. This classic is a go-to song of many newlyweds.
39. “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
This passionate song from Seal describes love as an addiction. He cannot get enough of his lover’s affection. If you are a deeply passionate couple, this song is worth considering. The song has stood the test of time.
40. “Yours” by Russell Dickerson
This newer country song highlights the redemptive qualities of true love. It speaks of life starting with the couple’s first kiss. If you feel as though your marriage has brought you a fresh outlook on life, Russell Dickerson’s song is perfect for the first dance.
41. “My Best Friend” by Tim McGraw
Marrying a best friend is a glorious thought. Tim McGraw describes his wife as one who will never let him down. As many newlyweds feel this emotion, the song makes perfect sense for a first dance.
42. “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney belts out somber lyrics declaring that his lover is likely the only one who could ever save him. The song combines great lyrics, raspy vocals and a legendary guitar riff. This is a very cool song choice for a first dance.
43. “You are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker
This is yet another classic that has been used successfully on many occasions. It is slow and penetrating. Imagine looking into your spouse’s eyes and singing along with the song as you dance your first dance. Be ready to cry as you celebrate your new life together.
44. “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder
This song is faster than most first dance options. It allows couples to show off cool dance moves while still declaring their love for each other. If you enjoy fun dances, this is a lively song choice. After all, nearly everyone loves Stevie Wonder.
45. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Happiness flows from these glorious lyrics. The one-of-a-kind voice of Louis Armstrong allows couples to think about the blessings of life and marriage. Smiles are sure to be plentiful as you sway to this great song.
46. “Shameless” by Garth Brooks
This song is written from a male point of view. It describes an independent man’s inability to give up the love of his partner. He is willing to share every part of himself with her. If you are an independent person who is giving up freedom to enjoy a marriage partnership, this is the right song.
47. “Heaven” by Kane Brown
While some could find this song to be sacrilegious, it has become a popular song choice for newlyweds. The song declares that heaven could not be better than the feeling of love the couple is experiencing. The sultry country twang of Kane Brown makes this song a great choice if you are not offended by the lyrics.
48. “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain
The beautiful descriptive words used for love make this song one of the most romantic and poetic songs ever written. If you love flowery language and promises of devotion, give this song a listen.
49. “Mine Would Be You” by Blake Shelton
This song is a bit on the naughty side. The song poses questions like, “What’s your hands-down best ever make-up sex?” All the questions posed in the song have only one answer: you. If your spouse is your everything, and you can get past the questionable lyrics, this is a marvelous song for a first dance.
50. “We Will Dance” by Stephen Curtis Chapman
This contemporary Christian song features a beautiful acoustic sound. The soft lyrics describe total devotion to a spouse from a Christian point of view. It also paints a picture of a marriage that lasts despite hardships. If you are a religious person, this song will move your spirit as you dance with your spouse.
51. “January Wedding” by Avett Brothers
This sweet alternative country song has a unique folk sound. If you enjoy the sounds of mountain music or if you have a wedding planned for January, this song will provide the perfect backdrop for the first dance. It will put a smile on your face.
History of First Dances
The first dance at weddings goes back as far as any of us can remember. Historically, the tradition began in Europe in the 17th century. Before the 1920s, it was common for all the guests to dance before the bride and groom. Today, the newlyweds normally share the first dance. After all, the day is all about them. Depending on the wedding, others join in the dancing once the first song is complete.
Since we all love music, it can be difficult selecting the perfect first dance songs. The most important thing is finding songs that fit your personality, musical preference and desired meaning.
No matter the style of music you prefer, there is a song for your first wedding dance. Do not be scared to listen to several different options before deciding on one. There are no right and wrong answers. Do you want something traditional or unique? This is your day. Choose a song that you will remember with fondness for the rest of your life.
As the Head Editor at Music Grotto, Liam edits content produced from over 30 professional music/media journalists and contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.