The first dance with your spouse is a defining moment in many people’s lives. You’ve spent so much time and energy building up to this moment. All that’s left to do is hold each other and forget about everyone else in the room. But what song have you chosen to play in the background of this fairy tale moment?
Some couples choose music with special meaning or from pivotal moments throughout their relationship. Others prefer lyrics that genuinely move them or speak to the type of marriage they intend to have. In any case, there is no shortage of options out there.
As stated in this article, “67% of lyrics in every song, every decade since the ‘60s, were somehow about love.” Since the year 1960, there have been approximately 2,835,000 songs released. Going by our statistics, there should have been close to 1,899,450 unique musical works on love since that time. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Fear not; we’ve got you covered.
This list will cover ten excellent first-dance options that could help create a special moment for you and your fiancé.
About This List:
This list could never be exhaustive, as we’ve already explained. We’ve chosen only ten songs that we feel are worthy of consideration. Our choices are primarily modern, with only a few released before 2016. Most of our options today are slower and more romantic, but that’s not to say your first dance can’t be upbeat and fun! We’ve included a bonus at the end of this list on having a more exciting first dance if you and your fiancé desire!
Finally, this is not a top-ten list, and no one song is better than the others. We believe all our choices today have the potential to help you bring that magic to your big day! We’ve included youtube links for each selection as well. You’ll also learn when each song was released, its lyrical themes, and why you might consider choosing one to help bring that wow factor to your first moments as a married couple!
10. No Ordinary Love
Release In: 1992
Themes: Love, Longevity, Sacrifice, Passion
Iconic Lyrics: I keep crying
I keep trying for you
There’s nothing like you and I, baby
Why Pick This Song: Sade is an iconic singer from the 80s and 90s known for her sultry voice and mature lyrics. This song is certainly no exception. You might choose this song if you feel like a couple that has struggled to beat the odds.
9. A Couple Of Forevers
Artist: Chrisette Michele
Release In: 2013
Themes: Long Lasting Love, Fidelity, Passion
Iconic Lyrics: Me and you are built like armor
Nothing can't stop love from loving on us
And I'm not asking for much
Just a couple of forevers
Why Pick This Song: This early 2010s ballad is a classic due to its simple, straightforward lyrics. Couples who chose this song know their marriage will stand the test of time. If you’re looking for a song that doesn’t just sing its lyrics but declares them, this is an excellent option.
8. Can’t Help Falling In Love
Artist: Haley Reinhart
Genre: Singer Song-Writer
Release In: 2016
Themes: Young Love, Complete Devotion
Iconic Lyrics: Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Why Pick This Song: No first dance list would be complete without this legendary song written by the original king of pop, Elvis. Haley Reinharts’ soulful rendition captured the hearts of the masses in 2016, five years after placing in the top three of American Idol Season Ten. Couples who choose this song do so because they love the classic, elegant lyrics of this classic paired together with the hauntingly unique voice of Reinhart.
7. Forever After All
Artist: Luke Combs
Release In: 2019
Themes: Lasting Love, Beating The Odds, Time
Iconic Lyrics: They say nothing lasts forever
But they ain't seen us together
Or the way the moonlight dances in your eyes
Why Pick This Song: Country music has a way of capturing real experiences and immortalizing them in words and melody. Luke Combs does an excellent job in his top-ten hit, Forever After All. Less a song and more an audio-only movie, Luke’s vivid lyrics and guttural country vocals give audiences an idea of precisely what he was doing when he wrote this song. Bonus points for the music video having footage from his actual wedding! Consider choosing this song to send a message saying, “nothing can ever break our love.”
6. Fully Known
Artist: Tauren Wells
Release In: 2017
Themes: Faith, Grace, Agape Love
Iconic Lyrics: It's so like You to keep pursuing
It's so like me to go astray
But You guard my heart with Your truth
A kind of love that's bulletproof
Why Pick This Song: If you’re a couple prioritizing Christian values, this could be a great choice! The core of this song is about being both accepted and loved, flaws and all. Initially intended to be viewed in a spiritual context, the lyrics leave plenty of room for romantic interpretation. Taurens voice conveys a simple message, but the double meaning of his words in the context of marriage is powerful. We’ve chosen the acoustic version as it better lends itself to the romantic context of a first dance. You might select this song if your faith is essential and you want your guests to know that.
5. This Is Why I Love You
Release In: 2016
Themes: True Love, Devotion, Destiny
Iconic Lyrics: Every moment that you smile
Chases all of the pain away
Forever and a while
In my heart is where you'll stay
Why Pick This Song: This chart-topping 2016 hit quickly cemented itself among the top love songs of our generation. The simple piano melody coupled with MAJOR.’s dynamic vocal style has captivated audiences since the song's debut. Few artists can deliver lilting falsetto tones with this grace and strength. You might choose this song if you want your first dance to be understated yet powerful.
Artist: Leon Bridges
Genre: Neo Soul
Release In: 2018
Themes: Sudden Love, Anticipation, The One
Iconic Lyrics: I'm scared to death that she might be it
That the love is real, that the shoe might fit
She might just be my everything and beyond
Why Pick This Song: Leon Bridges rocked the R&B world with his 2018 hit. There is something decidedly old-school about this soulful talent. Couples who choose this song don’t just want to sway in place for three minutes. They wish to vibe for their first dance as this modern-day masterpiece speaks to their souls.
Artist: Russell Dickerson
Release In: 2017
Themes: Hope Through Love, Growth, Faith
Iconic Lyrics: The worst me is just a long-gone memory
You put a new heartbeat inside of me
You make me better than I was before
Thank God I'm yours
Why Pick This Song: “Yours” is one of those songs with lyrics so good you have to read them. Written from a man's perspective, the beautiful wordplay here is nothing short of poetry. To anyone wanting a profound statement of love for their first dance, look no further.
2. Into The Mystic
Artist: Dave Fenley
Release In: 2019
Themes: The Journey Of Life, Sailing, The Passing Of Time
Iconic Lyrics: And I wanna rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float
Into the mystic
Why Pick This Song: This is another highly poetic entry. The ethereal nature of the lyrics, paired with Dave Fenley's haunting, raspy vocals, will leave a powerful impression on you and your guests. Initially penned by Van Morrison in the 70s, Finley recorded his version with more modern sensibilities in 2019. Choose this song if you want your first dance to be different and impactful.
1. Best Part
Artist: Daniel Caesar ft. H.E.R.
Release In: 2017
Themes: Devotion, Intimacy, Desperate Love
Iconic Lyrics: You're the coffee that I need in the morning
You're my sunshine in the rain when it's pouring
Won't you give yourself to me
Give it all
Why Pick This Song: There are few songs as lyrically striking as “Best Part.” A story wrapped in a poem, wrapped in a melody, topped off with a timeless performance by two endlessly talented artists. “Best Part” is another entry on this list that demands to be enjoyed with the lyrics front and center. Unironically, couples choosing this song want their first dance to be the “best part” of the night.
All the options we’ve listed so far have a few things in common. They’re all fantastic choices, but ultimately they are all on the slower side. Most couples prefer to keep their first dance at a low tempo, but if you want to mix things up, we recommend a custom mash-up of your and your spouse’s favorite songs. A famous part of this trend is to start your first dance slow, then transition into one or more upbeat songs. The resulting performance will be fun and unique to you and your new spouse.
Many times we’ll see choreographed dance moves incorporated into these situations. If you plan to include choreographed dance moves, we recommend using a pre-mixed track to avoid confusion while performing. Experienced DJs can handle these transitions live, but having an mp3 in advance will help you and your fiancé perfect the moves in advance.
This trend rose in popularity during the late 2000s and early 2010s during the early days of social media platforms like YouTube and MySpace. Yes, I said MySpace. If you know, you know.
Here is a fun example of a couple who chose to do this dance style:
This example has eight tracks, but you only need two for a successful mashup dance!
To date, many thousands of couples have decided to bless their wedding guests with exceptional pre-planned performances. Some couples with children have even found fun ways to involve their families in these flash mob-style celebrations. There is no end to the creative possibilities!
At Æxö Entertainment, we’ve worked with many couples wanting to do an exciting performance during their first dance. Some have requested pre-mixed tracks with their song choices, and some preferred for us to mix these songs live during the reception. We offer this service free of charge to couples who request it as part of our consultation process.
Whether you’re a part of the Æxö Family or have another amazing DJ performing for your big day, let your DJ know that you want a custom track mixed for your first dance! Chances are they’ve done it before and would be happy to help make your day that much more special. If you have DJ services through another provider and they cannot provide this service, contact us at email@example.com. We’d be happy to discuss mixing something for your big day at an affordable price.
As we said earlier, there are many options to choose from when selecting your first dance song, too many to fit into a single list! These are just a few songs we’ve heard that stood out over the years. There is no right or wrong choice regarding your first dance song. As long as the song you choose is significant to the two of you, you’ll be fine. Whatever music you choose for your first dance, we know it will create a magical moment for you and your spouse that will last a lifetime.
Talk to your fiancé about your first dance song today!
About The Author:
Alex Moore owns and operates Æxö Entertainment, the premier wedding entertainment company in New Orleans and its surrounding areas. He’s been performing for ten-plus years and is passionate about weddings, fantastic entertainment, and his clients. He and his wife have been happily married since 2015 and have four beautiful children.