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wedding first dance songs

40 Classic First Dance Songs for the Bride and Groom

A couple’s first dance as husband and wife is a classic tradition. Your first dance can be romantic, silly, choreographed, or simple.

Whatever you choose, your first dance should match your wedding style and your relationship. Some couples may already have a song that defines their relationship, but others may struggle to pick out the perfect song for them. This list of 40 songs is made up of the classics, tried and true songs for a romantic first dance.

Table of Contents

Classic First Dance Wedding Songs

  1. “All of Me” – John Legend
  2. “At Last” – Etta James
  3. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Elvis Presley
  4. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – Frankie Valli
  5. “Come Away with Me” – Norah Jones
  6. “Crazy Love” – Van Morrison
  7. “Endless Love” – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
  8. “Fly Me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra
  9. “God Only Knows” – Beach Boys
  10. “Have I Told You Lately” – Rod Stewart
  11. “Heaven” – Bryan Adams
  12. “Here, There, and Everywhere” – The Beatles
  13. “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” – James Taylor
  14. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – Aerosmith
  15. “I Just Called to Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder
  16. “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
  17. “In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel
  18. “It Had To Be You” – Frank Sinatra
  19. “L-O-V-E” – Nat King Cole
  20. “Make You Feel My Love” – Adele
  21. “Marry Me” – Train
  22. “My Baby Just Cares for Me” – Nina Simone
  23. “My Funny Valentine” – Frank Sinatra
  24. “My Love” – Lionel Richie
  25. “Something” – The Beatles
  26. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” -Judy Garland or Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole
  27. “Stand By Me” – Ben E. King
  28. “The Way You Look Tonight” – Tony Bennett
  29. “These Arms of Mine” – Otis Redding
  30. “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran
  31. “Unchained Melody” – The Righteous Brothers
  32. “Unforgettable” – Nat King Cole
  33. “We’ve Only Just Begun” – The Carpenters
  34. “What a Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong
  35. “Wonderful Tonight” – Eric Clapton
  36. “You Are the Best Thing” – Ray Lamontagne
  37. “You are The First, My Last, My Everything” – Barry White
  38. “You Are So Beautiful” – Joe Cocker
  39. “You Make Me Feel So Young” – Frank Sinatra
  40. “Your Song” – Elton John

 

“All of Me” John Legend

“All of Me” is a relatively new song, but it has become a quick classic for couples. Romantic lyrics like, “Give your all to me / I’ll give my all to you / You’re my end and my beginning” are perfectly suited for a new couple’s first dance.

 

“At Last” Etta James

Perhaps one of the most famous romantic songs, “At Last” is a timeless choice. The refrain offers universally adored lyrics, “At last my love has come along / My lonely days are over and life is like a song.”

 

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” Elvis Presley

Elvis’ classic love song makes the list, although there are many versions of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” that you could use. Lyrics like “Take my hand, take my whole heart too” are especially appropriate for a wedding.

 

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” Frankie Valli

This 1967 hit will be popular among older family members as well as younger guests. Booming brass instruments back lyrics like “Now that I’ve found you stay / And let me love you, baby / Let me love you.”

 

“Come Away With Me” Norah Jones

“Come Away With Me” is less than 20 years old, but it is a well-known first dance song. Featuring lyrics like “Come away with me / And I’ll never stop loving you” this beautiful, simple song provides a lovely ambiance for a first dance.

 

“Crazy Love” Van Morrison

“Crazy Love” starts with the lyrics, “I can hear her heart beating from a thousand miles / And the heavens open every time she smiles.” Van Morrison’s 1970 classic is a sweet choice for newlyweds.

 

“Endless Love” Diana Ross and Lionel Richie

This duet between Diana Ross and Lionel Richie is wonderfully romantic and perfect for a first dance. Lyrics like “Two hearts that beat as one / Our lives have just begun” are fitting for a newly married couple.

 

“Fly Me To The Moon” Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra’s cannon is full of classic love songs. “Fly Me To The Moon” is one of the greats, featuring simple, romantic lyrics like “You are all I long for / All I worship and adore / In other words, please be true / In other words, I love you.”

 

“God Only Knows” Beach Boys

“God Only Knows” is a song of off one of the Beach Boys’ most famous albums, and is a great first dance song, especially for fans of classic rock. Favorite lyrics include “If you should ever leave me / Though life would still go on, believe me / The world could show nothing to me / So what good would livin’ do me.”

 

“Have I Told You Lately” Rod Stewart

Originally by Van Morrison, “Have I Told You Lately” has been covered many times, but the most popular version is Rod Stewarts. No matter the version, lyrics like, “Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness / Ease my troubles, that’s what you do” are lovely sentiments for a first dance.

 

“Heaven” Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams’ “Heaven” is a universal love ballad and an ideal choice for newlyweds. The refrain, “Baby you’re all that I want / When you’re lyin’ here in my arms / I’m findin’ it hard to believe / We’re in heaven” are appropriately romantic for a first dance.

 

“Here, There, and Everywhere” The Beatles

The Beatles have plenty of famous love songs, but “Here, There, and Everywhere” is especially romantic for a wedding. Set the tone for a happy marriage with lyrics like, “I want her everywhere / And if she’s beside me I know I need never care / But to love her is to need her everywhere.”

 

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” James Taylor

Originally by Marvin Gay, James Taylor’s cover of “How Sweet It Is” is a first dance classic, although the original version holds up well too. Some of the sweetest lyrics include “You were better to me than I was to myself / For me, there’s you and there ain’t nobody else.”

 

“I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” Aerosmith

Aerosmith’s famous rock ballad, “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” makes for a good classic rock first dance song. The title lyrics, “Don’t wanna close my eyes / I don’t wanna fall asleep / ‘Cause I’d miss you, baby / And I don’t want to miss a thing” are an ideal start to a life spent together.

 

“I Just Called To Say I Love You” Stevie Wonder

“I Just Called To Say I Love You” paints the picture of an everyday kind of love. Stevie Wonder sings “I just called to say I love you / I just called to say how much I care,” an ordinary reminder to be repeated from the first dance throughout the rest of a marriage.

 

“I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s power ballad, “I Will Always Love You” is a classic love song and a great first dance choice. The title lyric, “I will always love you” is an appropriate promise between newlyweds.

 

“In Your Eyes” Peter Gabriel

“In Your Eyes” was originally released in 1986, but has hit a new surge of popularity in the last few years. Simple lyrics like, “In your eyes / I am complete” qualify this song as a classic first dance song.

 

“It Had To Be You” Frank Sinatra

Another classic Frank Sinatra song, “It Had To Be You” is both romantic and ageless, making it a popular first dance choice. Honest, loving lyrics like “With all your faults, I love you still / It had to be you, wonderful you / It had to be you” are perfectly fitting for a wedding.

 

“L-O-V-E” Nat King Cole

This 1964 hit has stood the test of time, with various covers by artists over the last 60 years. The original lyrics from Nat King Cole are appropriately romantic, for example, “Love is more than just a game for two / Two in love can make it / Take my heart and please don’t break it / Love was made for me and you.”

 

“Make You Feel My Love” Adele

Adele has no shortage of love songs, but “Make You Feel My Love” is the most fitting for a first dance. The last verse is perfect for a marriage: “I could make you happy, make your dreams come true / There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do / Go to the ends of the Earth for you / To make you feel my love.”

 

“Marry Me” Train

For obvious reasons regarding the title, “Marry Me” was instantly a favorite wedding song. The lyrics are just as fitting for a first dance, as singer Patrick Monahan sings “Marry me / Today and every day.”

 

“My Baby Just Cares for Me” Nina Simone

This simple, classic jazz song is an enduring hit, especially at weddings and for first dances. The lyrics speak of an effortless love, as denoted by the title lyric.

 

“My Funny Valentine” Frank Sinatra

Sinatra is back again with another timeless love song. “My Funny Valentine” is especially fitting on Valentine’s Day, but lyrics like “You make me smile with my heart” apply well to any couples’ first dance.

 

“My Love” Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie’s 1982 hit “My Love” includes sweet lyrics like “You’ve been my friend and you’ve been my lover, oh lord / Honey you’re everything I need.” This song, featuring soft piano music, makes for a lovely first dance.

 

“Something” The Beatles

Another Beatles hit, “Something” is one of their most romantic songs. Lyrics like “I don’t want to leave her now / You know I believe and how” denote a life-long love.

 

“Somewhere Over The Rainbow” Judy Garland or Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

Whether you choose the original version or Kamakawiwo’Ole’s ukulele cover, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” is a great first dance song, as “Dreams really do come true” on your wedding day. The ukulele version is especially fitting for a summer or beach wedding.

 

“Stand By Me” Ben E. King

This 1962 classic has timeless appeal. Lyrics such as “I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear / Just as long as you stand, stand by me” suggest a loving, supportive marriage.

 

“The Way You Look Tonight” Tony Bennett

Originally featured in the 1936 film “Swing Time”, “The Way You Look Tonight” is an ageless love song, covered by many great artists. Aside from the title, other romantic lyrics include “With each word your tenderness grows / Tearing my fear apart / And that laugh, wrinkles your nose / Touches my foolish heart.”

 

“These Arms of Mine” Otis Redding

Otis Redding’s love song “These Arms of Mine” is a great choice for a first dance, especially considering that the happy couple is literally in one another’s arms for their dance. Fitting lyrics include: “These arms of mine, they are yearning / Yearning from wanting you.”

 

“Thinking Out Loud” Ed Sheeran

“Thinking Out Loud” is only a few years old, but this love song is already a classically sweet choice for newlyweds. Sweet lyrics like “And darling I will be loving you ’til we’re 70 / And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23” suggest a long-lasting love and marriage.

 

“Unchained Melody” The Righteous Brothers

The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” is a timeless love song and one of the most classic first dance songs. The song begins, “Oh, my love, my darling / I’ve hungered for your touch / A long, lonely time,” tender lyrics for the happy couple.

 

“Unforgettable” Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole’s 1951 jazz hit “Unforgettable” is just that – an unforgettable choice for a romantic first dance. Lyrics like “Never before has someone been more / Unforgettable in every way / And forevermore, that’s how you’ll stay” are the perfect message for a newly married couple.

 

“We’ve Only Just Begun” The Carpenters

The Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” is a fitting choice for newlyweds beginning their life together. The opening lyrics, “We’ve only just begun to live / White lace and promises / A kiss for luck and we’re on our way” paints the image of a wedding, ideal for a first dance.

 

“What a Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong

Arguably one of the most universally known and adored songs, “What a Wonderful World” makes for a great first dance song. Happy lyrics like “I see trees of green, red roses too / I see them bloom for me and you / And I think to myself, what a wonderful world” hint at the joy of a wedding.

 

“Wonderful Tonight” Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton’s ballad “Wonderful Tonight” is a classic love song, great for a first dance. Favorite lyrics include: “I feel wonderful because I see / The love light in your eyes / And the wonder of it all / Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you.”

 

“You Are The Best Thing” Ray Lamontagne

Only 10 years old, “You Are The Best Thing” is already a classic first dance song. The refrain repeats “You are the best thing / Ever happened to me,” a lovely sentiment for the happy couple on their wedding day.

 

“You Are The First, My Last, My Everything” Barry White

Ring in your first dance as a married couple to Barry White’s distinct baritone voice. The lyrics are deeply romantic, beginning, “My first, my last, my everything / And the answer to all my dreams / You’re my sun, my moon, my guiding stars / My kind of wonderful, that’s what you are.”

 

“You Are So Beautiful” Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” is a simple, ageless love song. The lyrics are suitable for any married couple, like “You’re everything I hope for / You’re everything I need / You are so beautiful to me.”

 

“You Make Me Feel So Young” Frank Sinatra

Sinatra makes the list one last time for his classic “You Make Me Feel So Young.” Lyrics such as “And even when I’m old and grey / I’m gonna feel the way I do today / ‘Cause you make me feel so young” promise a long, happy marriage.

 

“Your Song” Elton John

Elton John’s classic is a lovely choice for newlyweds’ first dance. The refrain ends, “I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words / How wonderful life is when you’re in the world,” a sweet sentiment for the bride and groom.

 

What are First Dance Songs?

First dance songs are just that – they are the songs that couples dance to for the first time as husband and wife. This is a long held wedding tradition. After the ceremony, the bride and groom kick off the reception with their first dance as husband and wife. Once the first dance is over, the rest of the guests can take to the dance floor to celebrate for the rest of the night!

Any song can be a first dance song at a wedding, but common first dance songs are often used and reused because they capture the love between newlyweds on their wedding day. Our list of classic first dance songs includes both older standards and modern classics that celebrate love!

Final Thoughts

Choose from our list of classic first dance songs, or pick your favorite song as a couple. If you’ve already chosen your first dance, these songs also make a great choice for the last dance of the night! Tell us your favorite romantic first dance songs in the comments below!

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