Wading through first dance songs to find the right one for our wedding was easy. At some point shortly after we’d started dating, my normally not sappily romantic husband had suggested we should have a song, and it should be Stevie Wonder’s “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.” In retrospect, I think he was trying to circumvent the part where we ended up stuck with a song that he hated. In any event, we picked it early and stuck with it. So when it came to picking first dance songs, we were ready to go.

What is funny is that, looking back, our pre-planned first dance song wasn’t the one that really ended up feeling like our song from our wedding. The song we danced to at our wedding that will forever bring me to tears is Nina Simone’s version of “I Loves You Porgy.” I’d suggested we put Etta James “At Last” into that particular slot on the playlist (and I stand by that choice as always a classic), but David suggested that “I Loves You Porgy” was similar in vibe, but less popular. And it turns out that these lyrics will bring you to tears on your wedding day: “If you can keep me, I wanna stay here / with you forever, I’ve got my man.”

Related Post350 of the Best Wedding Songs For Every Part Of Your Day

How To Pick First Dance Songs

When picking a first dance song it’s important to think about the vibe you want: upbeat, sappy, classic? How do you want to start this party? But it’s also important to consider a few other things, namely, length of the song, tempo, and words. First up, think about how long the song is. Three minutes is a long time to dance while everyone is looking at you, and six minutes will feel like an ice age. Beyond that, think about what style of dance you’ll feel comfortable doing in front of a crowd, and what kind of song will lend itself to that. We picked Stevie Wonder because we knew that we wanted to do something a little more upbeat, rather than sway and rock for many long seconds while everyone watched. And finally, while I don’t think you should overthink the words for every dance song on your playlist, first dance songs are the one place where you do probably want to go read all of the lyrics and make sure they say what you think they say.

So while I’m personally partial to a classic for first dance songs, if you want to go beyond Etta James, Sam Cooke, and Stevie Wonder, there are tons of good options. But narrowing down a selection from the seemingly endless options of first dance songs does take some time. So to help you get to the fun part, we’ve whittled down a list of sixty-five of our favorites, from the classics to… Beyoncé. Because Beyoncé is basically a new classic, amiright?

65 Perfect first dance songs

    1. Andra Day: “Forever Mine
    2. James Vincent McMorrow: “Higher Love
    3. Beyoncé: “XO
    4. Midland: “Make a Little
    5. Des’ree: “I’m Kissing You
    6. Diana Ross (& Lionel Richie): “Endless Love
    7. Rihanna: “Love on the Brain
    8. Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers: “Islands in the Stream
    9. Aqualung: “Brighter Than Sunshine
    10. Whitney Houston: “My Love Is Your Love
    11. Ryan Adams: “When the Stars Go Blue
    12. Cyndi Lauper: “Time After Time
    13. Sade: “By Your Side
    14. Chris Stapleton: “Tennessee Whiskey
    15. Luther Vandross: “Here and Now
    16. Joe Cocker: “You Are So Beautiful
    17. Christina Perri: “A Thousand Years
    18. Brian McKnight: “Back at One
    19. Sarah Bareilles: “I Choose You
    20. Eric Clapton: “Wonderful Tonight
    21. John Legend: “All of Me
    22. The Righteous Brothers: “Unchained Melody
    23. Alanis Morissette: “Head Over Feet
    24. Elton John: “Your Song
    25. Keane: “Somewhere Only We Know
    26. Michael Bublé: “Everything
    27. Ingrid Michaelson: “Can’t Help Falling in Love
    28. Ray LaMontagne: “You Are the Best Thing”
    29. Coldplay: “Green Eyes
    30. Landon Pigg: “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop
    31. Rilo Kiley: “I Never
    32. Beyoncé: “Halo
    33. Van Morrison: “Into the Mystic
    34. U2: “All I Want Is You
    35. Band of Horses: “No One’s Gonna Love You
    36. David Gray: “This Year’s Love
    37. The Zombies: “This Will Be Our Year
    38. The Beatles: “When I’m Sixty-Four
    39. Stevie Wonder: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life
    40. Old Crow Medicine Show: “Wagon Wheel
    41. Ray Charles: “Hallelujah (I Just Love Her So)“.
    42. James Brown: “I Got You (I Feel Good)
    43. Lauryn Hill: “I Can’t Take My Eyes off of You
    44. Marvin Gaye: “Let’s Get It On
    45. Al Green: “Let’s Stay Together
    46. Nina Simone: “Feeling Good
    47. Nat King Cole: “Let’s Face the Music and Dance
    48. The Wombats: “Let’s Dance to Joy Division
    49. Chantal Kreviazuk: “Feels Like Home
    50. Patty Griffin: “Heavenly Day
    51. Norah Jones: “Turn Me On
    52. The Beach Boys: “Wouldn’t It Be Nice
    53. The Beatles: “All You Need Is Love
    54. Etta James: “At Last
    55. Journey: “Faithfully
    56. Sam Cooke: “You Send Me
    57. Peter Gabriel: “In Your Eyes
    58. Stevie Wonder: “I Just Called to Say I Love You
    59. P!nk ft. Lily Allen: “True Love
    60. Mary Lambert: “She Keeps Me Warm
    61. Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat: “Lucky
    62. The Lumineers: “Ho Hey
    63. Adele: “Make You Feel My Love
    64. Neutral Milk Hotel: “In an Aeroplane over the Sea
    65. Otis Redding: “That’s How Strong My Love Is
Related PostThe 30 Best Wedding Songs of 2018


Additional Photography: Nirav Patel

The post 65 First Dance Songs: From Classic To Right Now appeared first on A Practical Wedding: We’re Your Wedding Planner. Wedding Ideas for Brides, Bridesmaids, Grooms, and More.

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