Updated: Oct 20
Picture this: It's your wedding day, and you and your partner take each other's hands, stepping onto the dance floor. The room is filled with love, laughter, and anticipation. As the music starts playing, time seems to slow down, and it's just the two of you in a world of your own. Your first dance—the moment that marks the start of your married life together—is about to begin.
But hold on a second! The first dance can be both incredibly exciting and a tad bit nerve-wracking. You might find yourself wondering which song to choose, how to dance without stepping on each other's toes, and how to make it a moment to remember. Don't worry! We've got your back!
There's a couple of different sections to today's blog post - starting off with the guide to choosing the right song from 50 of our favourites. If you've already got a first dance in mind, you can jump to the tips or the frequently asked questions on the links in the text.
Anyway! On with the tunes! And if you'd like a Spotify playlist to listen through, don't worry! We've got you covered here:
Choosing the right song
Providing the perfect soundtrack to your first dance is really important. It’s important to choose a meaningful song that reflects your relationship and means something special to you both - it could be a song you both love, or a song that reflects a special moment in your relationship. Sometimes, there may be a few songs that you have in mind that could work, and it’s worth making a list so you can really narrow down the best choices.
Consider the lyrics and their relevance to your relationship - does the tone of the song reflect you guys as a couple? Have a listen to the tempo and speed of the song and picture yourselves dancing along to it. Do you need a slower song to match your dancing skills? Or do you need something slightly more upbeat?
It’s worth noting at this point that if you’re really feeling nervous about your first dance (and it’s a lot more common than you might think!) maybe you should consider something a little faster and more upbeat, so you can get guests to join you on the dance floor!
If you’re after some inspiration, check out 50 first dance ideas below! Have a listen through the playlist and see what songs stand out to you and get some ideas from previous couples. There’s nothing wrong with picking classic songs either, especially if you do want guests to join you on the dance floor!
1.) Can't Help Falling in Love - Elvis Presley
This is a classic song that never fails to bring tears at a wedding. And the lyrics are perfect for a first dance - 'Take my hand, take my whole life too, For I can't help falling in love with you'
There are many cover versions out there if you're looking for something a little different than this classic version. And if you want something really special, ask your band to learn it and play it live!
2.) At Last - Etta James
This is a beautiful love poem that will never go out of style... Etta James's heavenly vocals convey the song's message of ultimate liberation from loneliness with grace, evoking emotion and admiration in listeners everywhere. With its inspirational lyrics and powerful delivery, everyone will be sure to shed a few tears!
3.) Grow Old With Me - Tom Odell
Released in 2013, these lyrics and the sentiment of the song are still popular today. We've performed this song a couple of times this year and it still feels fresh! A beautiful song and builds perfectly so you can ask your guests to join you on the dancefloor too!
4.) Hold My Girl - George Ezra
Another song release a few years ago in 2018, it's popularity is still huge and is such a great first dance song too! It's also perfect for ceremonies - we've played more than a few brides down the aisle to this song, too!
5.) Stand By Me - Ben E King
Another timeless classic that we don't think will be going anywhere, anytime soon! This is perfect if you're after a song that everyone knows and loves. It's also great for bands to play live!
6.) Let's Stay Together - Al Green
This is such a timeless classic and we don't expect to be going anywhere as it's such a perfect song for a wedding. This is also another song that's perfect for ceremonies and we still expect to be as hugely popular in 2023!
7.) A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
A Thousand Years, sung by the renowned American singer-songwriter Christina Perri and featured in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 is a romantic masterpiece that adds an ethereal atmosphere to your first dance. Not only will you enjoy it but younger guests are sure to love this timelessly modern song as well. We've also played this one at ceremonies too - including an instrumental version which we loved!
8.) Baby I'm Yours - Arctic Monkeys
This tranquil Arctic Monkeys cover of Barbara Lewis’ 1965 classic, is the perfect choice for a first dance that's only two and a half minutes long. It saves you feeling awkward if you're a little nervous about your first dance! We loved playing this song when we were requested to learn it!
9.) Last Request - Paolo Nutini
Another one of our favourites to play, so much so that we decided to record this back in 2021, and we're still getting requests for it in 2022!
10.) Better Half of Me - Tom Walker
Tom Walker crafts lyrics that are grounded and real, while also weaving in soaring melodies and powerful emotion. His latest song speaks from experience of a long distance relationship – one that all couples can relate to who have transcended geographical boundaries for the sake of love.
11.) Your Song - Elton John
This is another oldie that has seen much resurgence in popularity, and will definitely please all ages!
12.) Say You Won't Let Go – James Arthur
Arthur's breakthrough song of 2016 is a fun twist on first dates and the decision to share a future with someone special. The ending comes suddenly, so make sure you have an experienced DJ or band ready to seamlessly transition into the next tune!
13.) Let Her Go - Passenger
Let Her Go by Passenger is a beautiful and romantic song that could make an ideal first dance at a wedding. The lyrics touch on the reality of love — how sometimes it’s necessary to let go of something or someone you love in order to find true happiness, even if it hurts.
14.) I Won't Give Up - Jason Mraz
This is an incredibly special and meaningful song choice for a first dance. The lyrics are sweet, romantic, and full of hope for the future. With lines like “I won’t give up on us even if the skies get rough", it conveys the message of unconditional commitment
15.) Dancing in the Moonlight - Toploader
Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader is an ideal song for a first dance. It's upbeat tempo and soft, romantic lyrics make it perfect for couples who are just starting out their journey together.
16.) You are the Reason - Calum Scott
Calum Scott's single "You Are the Reason" has become a global hit, topping the charts across many countries. The song is a heartfelt love ballad that speaks to the importance of understanding and unconditional support in relationships. With its emotional lyrics and powerful vocals, it's easy to see why this track continues to be popular for first dances.
17.) You're Still the One - Shania Twain
Shania Twain's "You're Still The One" is a perfect choice for a first dance song. It speaks of the everlasting love between two people and how nothing can break their bond, no matter what life throws at them. The lyrics are beautiful and heartfelt - it is a timeless classic that will have your guests singing along at the top of their voices!
18.) For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder
The beautiful ballad, "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder, is an iconic song that serves as a perfect accompaniment to the momentous occasion of a first dance. The passionate lyrics and melodious melody creates an atmosphere of pure bliss - perfectly encapsulating such a special milestone in one's lifetime.
19.) You and Me - The Wannadies
Celebrate your love with the timeless classic "You and Me" by The Wannadies as your first dance. This iconic song captures all of the bittersweet emotions that come with falling in love, making it a perfect choice to commemorate such an important milestone. As you sway together to its sweet melody, take solace knowing this cherished moment will be etched into both of your memories forever.
20.) Shut Up and Dance - Walk the Moon
We've played this as a first dance quite a few times and it's never missed! We've also done re-arrangements for this where we've started off a little slower at the start then kicked in after the chorus, getting all your guests flooding the dancefloor!
21.) Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran's award-winning single, which claimed Song Of The Year at the 2016 Grammys and rose to #1 on the charts, is still a hit today. Its lyrics offer an uplifting reminder that relationships aren't perfect but can be made stronger by loving each other despite our faults. It delivers a beautiful message of love and acceptance - something all couples should strive for in their marriages!
22.) Four Simple Words - Frank Turner
We had someone have this at a wedding recently and thought what an amazing first dance it was! It starts off slow, but really kicks off a little later on during the song!
23.) All of Me - John Legend
Reaching only number 2 in the UK charts didn't hold this track back from becoming a massive hit and an iconic wedding song for many newlywed couples across Britain. John Legend's heartfelt vocals combined with his romantic lyrics make it the perfect slow dance tune.
24.) Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Andy Williams
This timeless classic is sure to bring your guests together in song and romance. Its slow start will make you feel the love between two hearts before bursting into a crowd-pleasing finish that no generation can resist singing along with. This powerful ballad has long been one of the most popular songs for first dance weddings, so say 'I Do' to making it yours!
25.) Just You and I - Tom Walker
If you're in search of meaningful lyrics that still keep the upbeat tempo for your special first dance, then this reggae-infused ambient hit is tailor-made just for you. Filled to the brim with sentimentality and feel-good melodies, written especially by his fiancée - it will be sure to make all hearts full on your wedding day!
26.) Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
This lyrical masterpiece from 2016 is guaranteed to stir up immense emotion in any room. As it escalates its intensity with each note, you can be sure that goosebumps will abound! From the intimate start of this song all the way through to its triumphant final chorus, there's no denying a feeling of pure euphoria.
27.) This Will Be an Everlasting Love - Natalie Cole
Start your night off on a high note with this 1975 Grammy-winning, soulful banger! It's guaranteed to bring joy and sass into the atmosphere and will keep you and your guests dancing until morning. Get ready for an evening full of smiles from one ear to the other!
28.) Is this Love - Bob Marley
Is This Love is a feel-good anthem, full of simplistic joy and heartfelt romantic lyrics. It's the type of song that can bring people together from all ages; your great aunt to your nephews will be singing along in perfect harmony.
29.) Perfect - Ed Sheeran
This song, penned with love for his fiancée Cherry in 2017, is still on top of the first dance charts today. It reached number 1 in 17 countries worldwide and was followed up by duets featuring Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli. As a result, it has become one of the most beloved songs ever written since its initial release!
30.) Make You Feel My Love - Adele
Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love first appeared on his 1997 album Time Out of Mind, and since then has been covered by Billy Joel, Kelly Clarkson, and others. However Adele's memorable rendition is the one that may remain a classic for years to come. Not only can it be easily danced to in celebration; its timeless lyrics truly capture an unforgettable night between two people in love. It might just be the perfect selection for your special day!
31.) Better Together - Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams (2005) album featured this timeless love ballad that has remained popular over the years and is a frequent request for couples' first dance. Recently, Jack Johnson performed it live at One World: Together At Home and reminded us why we are so enamored with this song.
32.) How Long Will I Love You - Ellie Goulding
Originally produced by the renowned folk-rock band The Waterboys, Ellie Goulding gave her own rendition of their song for the 2013 film About Time. Its romantic lyrics reflect a timeless message of loving someone forever: "How long will I love you? As long as stars are above you, and longer if I can"
33.) Greatest Day - Take That
What better way to celebrate and remember your special day than a classic from Take That’s 2008 comeback album? With this uplifting selection, you and your partner will create an unforgettable first dance memory together. Make every moment of your Greatest Day count!
34.) You're My Best Friend - Queen
You’re My Best Friend by Queen is an incredibly special and iconic song that can be the perfect fit for a first dance. This sentimental ballad captures all the joy of finding someone who knows you better than anyone else, and celebrates the unique bond between you and your partner. With its catchy piano melody, this classic rock classic is perfect for a romantic, intimate moment shared between the two of you.
35.) The One - Kodaline
Kodaline, a renowned Dublin alternative rock band, released their second studio album Coming Up for Air in 2015. A highlight from this record is undoubtedly the chart-topping hit that has consistently been an absolute favorite of newlyweds' first dances ever since its release - and it's likely to remain one!
36.) Everything - Michael Buble
Everything by Michael Bublé is the perfect song for your first dance with your spouse. It has an upbeat tempo that will get everyone out on the floor, but it's also slow enough to make it easy to two-step across the room together. Written originally for his then girlfriend Emily Blunt, Everything will be a wedding hit of which all guests can partake in!
37.) L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
L.O.V.E is an all-time favorite, requested year after year! This beautiful and jazzy love song's short length makes it widely popular amongst everyone - so much that they still use it in TV shows and movies today! Even if you don't have the best dancing skills, the gentle rhythm of this song allows for effortless two-step moves that are sure to impress your partner.
38.) I Came Here For Love
When it comes to first dances, Sigala and Ella Eyre's stirring collaboration "Came Here for Love" is a perfect choice. Its sweeping melody and heartfelt lyrics capture the beauty of true love in an unforgettable way. When you're just starting your journey, this song will make your special moment even better!
39.) September Song - JP Cooper
For those looking for the perfect first dance song, look no further than JP Cooper's "September Song." Its lush melody and romantic lyrics make it a standout choice as you begin your journey of marriage. With its warm nostalgia and timeless message, this precious track is sure to bring joy to all in attendance - an ideal way to kick off the celebration!
40.) Clean Bandit - Symphony
If you're looking for a modern, upbeat song to add an extra spark of life to your wedding then this 2017 danceable choice is the perfect option! However, if you plan on having a live band perform at the reception make sure they have an exceptional vocalist capable of delivering it with finesse.
41.) Love on Top - Beyonce
This breezy pop song from Queen Bey is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. It's also one of the most upbeat and danceable songs on our list. So if you're a shy dancer, it's going to be easy to get guests involved for the second half of the song. The endless key changes at the end are uplifting and fun.
42.) The Luckiest - Ben Folds Five
Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" is the perfect first dance for newlyweds to express their love and start a beautiful new chapter of their lives together. The song's romantic lyrics, gentle melodies and upbeat tempo bring out all these feelings into one extraordinary moment that will be remembered forever. Whether swaying with each other or joining hands in an embrace, this touching tune can help any couple create memories they'll never forget!
43.) You've Got the Love - Florence and the Machine
This classic song emphasizes the importance of loving someone through thick and thin, no matter what life throws at you. The lyrics are full of emotion and heartfelt sentiment, making it the perfect choice for a first dance.
44.) I Will Wait - Mumford and Sons
Mumford and Sons' song "I Will Wait" is an incredibly romantic choice for a first dance wedding song. The heartfelt lyrics and passionate acoustic accompaniment create the perfect atmosphere for a bride and groom to share their special moment together. The sincerity of the verses conveys the couple’s undying commitment to each other, while the chorus’s uplifting melody and harmony will have everyone in attendance positively beaming. Our folk band is perfect for this song!
45.) Pointless - Lewis Capaldi
With its uplifting melody, heartfelt lyrics, and soulful vocals from the Scottish singer-songwriter himself, this track will set the perfect mood for you and your partner to enjoy the moment. The song focuses on two things—saying goodbye to doubts and embracing the good moments in life—which makes it a perfect reflection of the love shared between two people. Its simple melody and lush, emotive production will add a romantic touch to your special day, as you take your first dance together as newlyweds.
46.) Black and White - Niall Horan
Black and White by Niall Horan is an ideal song for a first dance at a wedding. Its mellow, soulful melody paired with its heartfelt lyrics make it the perfect expression of love and commitment. The soothing verses convey the depth of the couple’s connection as they share their first dance together.
47.) Little Things - One Direction
Little Things by One Direction is a popular choice for a first dance at weddings. The song's intimate lyrics tell the story of two people in love who cherish the small moments they share together, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Its gentle melody and romantic sentiment make it an ideal selection for couples on their wedding day.
48.) Tennesee Whiskey - Chris Stapleton
Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton is an ideal choice for a first dance song at a wedding. This heartfelt tune has the perfect blend of nostalgia and soulfulness that will make it a memorable moment for the newlyweds.
49.) I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith is the perfect choice for couples looking for a classic, romantic first dance song at their wedding. The lyrics express unconditional love and devotion, with the heartwarming chorus: “I don’t want to close my eyes, I don’t want to fall asleep, ‘Cause I’d miss you baby, And I don’t want to miss a thing.”
50.) XO - John Mayer
The lyrics of the song are romantic and tender, and the slow tempo of the melody creates a soft, sentimental atmosphere that is perfect for a special moment like a first dance. The song's chorus speaks of love in its purest form, expressing adoration for the other person in a way that will make both partners feel cherished and loved.
If you have something you'd like played live by a wedding band in Cheshire, why not reach out to us? We'd love to perform your first dance for your special day! (as well as rock the evening's reception afterwards!)
First dance tips
Phew! That's quite a list! Here's some more general tips!
Consider a few dance lessons
The great thing about first dances is the huge range of options and possibilities you have available to you. You can really make a special choreographed dance, or you can choose to do something low key - either way works and we’ve seen some spectacular dances in our time - and there’s no right or wrong answer. Having a few dance lessons may help you calm the nerves and can be a great way to spend some time together preparing before the wedding! You could even use some free resources such as YouTube to check out some cool dance inspiration - even if it’s just adding a few spins or cool moves here and there!
Consider the logistics
Once you’ve got your first dance choice sorted, the next step is chatting it through with your band or DJ. Would you like the original track to be played, so you can nail your routine? Or would you like a one-off performance from your band of your special song?
When it comes to chatting through the song with your band, let them know your choice in plenty of time so they can make sure that they can play it live. Certain songs can be quite hard to replicate depending on the size and lineup of the band. For example, a song with lots of strings and synthesized instruments can be hard to replicate if you’ve booked a small band, such as a 3 piece, or if your chosen song is very piano heavy, it might sound quite different to the original recording. Have a chat with your band beforehand to make sure it’s an appropriate song - most bands will be happy to advise and most will be able to download the song for you if they don’t think that they can do the song justice live.
Ask people to join you on the dancefloor
A really good way to take some of the pressure off you both if you’re a little nervous about everyone watching you is getting everyone to join you on the dancefloor after the first chorus, usually around the minute mark of your chosen song. This way, the photographer (and or videographer) can get some great shots of you guys together before capturing some special moments with you and your guests! Your band or DJ can coordinate this with you beforehand, making sure you’re not holding on the dancefloor on your own for too long! You guys can also gesture to your guests to join on the dancefloor too - your friends and family won’t leave you hanging if you’re calling them out to join you!
Relax and enjoy the moment
Remember to embrace the experience and enjoy yourselves! Usually the first dance is the last ‘stressful’ thing you have to worry about on your wedding day, and then you can enjoy the party! Take a deep breath and relax, and really take the time to focus on your partner and the joyous occasion. Even if you’ve co-ordinated a really fancy choreographed dance - don’t worry about perfection - let your natural emotions shine through. Take the time to savour the moment and create lasting memories - whether it’s just you and your partner together on the dance floor or everyone joining you in support of your long lasting love!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed - you also don’t have to have a first dance
Now, let's pause for a moment and consider that having a first dance isn't for everyone. Maybe you and your partner aren't the dancing type, or perhaps you're looking for a more relaxed and unconventional wedding vibe. And you know what? That's totally cool!
Your wedding day should be a reflection of your unique style and preferences. So, if the thought of swaying awkwardly in front of a crowd makes you break into a cold sweat, it's absolutely fine to skip the first dance tradition. Embrace the freedom to choose what feels right for you and create a wedding experience that authentically represents who you are as a couple. After all, it's your special day, and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to celebrating love. Just make sure you coordinate with your band or DJ so they know what to do and what to expect - as they will still want to coordinate with you to make the best party experience possible!
First dance tips and FAQs!
What should I choose for my first dance wedding song?
Your first dance as newlyweds is your time to shine and create a lasting memory with both your spouse and all of the guests. Choose a song that symbolizes the special bond you share, or just select something you both adore! Not only will this be an intimate moment between the two of you, but it's also sure to leave everyone in attendance feeling inspired after witnessing such love.
Searching for the perfect song to commemorate your special day may take some time or it could be a simple song such as the one you two sing while doing the dishes. The track might signify all of the great moments shared together and reflects both partners' dreams and desires for their marriage journey ahead. If nothing is coming to mind though, feel free to browse through our top 50 first dance wedding songs above!
Should I get the band to play the track live, or should I get them to play the orginal recording?
This comes down to your own preference! Quite often, having a band play it live means they'll put their own spin on it, so it might be a little bit different than you remember. For example, if you have a more guitar based song and you want the to have 'Your Song' by Elton John as your first dance, it might end up sounding quite different due to the instrumentation! This isn't always a bad thing though! However if you really love the orginal song as it is, it's probably best to play the orginal recording.
Will a band charge extra to learn a first dance?
Many bands (such as ourselves) will be happy to learn your first dance for no extra cost!
We're nervous about dancing in front of everyone!
This is surprisingly common, so don't worry! Let your band or DJ know so they can ask people to join you on the dancefloor as soon as possible. This is usually done around the first chorus, as the photographer will probably want to get a few shots of you guys together alone first!
If you really don't like being in the limelight, you could choose a song that everyone knows and get them on the dancefloor from the moment the song starts! This is a great way to get the party started!
How long should the first dance be?
A normal song usually lasts around 3 to 4 minutes and this is pretty standard for first dances. We don't recommend having a super long first dance if you're nervous as it will feel like forever! Another good tip is getting the band to play a verse or two of your chosen song, then kick into a party song after!
Do I have to choreogrpah my first dance?
Not unless you really want to! It can be a fun activity to do before the wedding, but there's no pressure!
How should we be introduced for the first dance?
Again, this is down to personal preference! Usually, most couple ask to be introduced as the new 'Mr and Mrs insert-new-surname-here' but you can be creative - just don't forget to let your band or DJ know!
When should the first dance take place?
Usually after the wedding breakfast and after your evening guests arrive is best. In terms of time, this usually between 8pm and 8:30 at most venues, but your wedding co-ordinator should be able to give you a better idea of timings.
Thanks for taking the time to read today's article on first dances! If you do have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with us, and if you found this article helpful, please give it a share!