You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true: your wedding day day will pass by in a blur, leaving you dazed and unable to recall the tiny details you were planning for months. There is one moment in the day, however, where time might seem to stand still: the first dance. Yes, it is as gushy and romantic as it sounds, and we are all about it. Whether you choose a song from a special moment in your relationship, one that speaks to your feelings for each other, or just an old favorite ballad, picking out your first dance song requires some careful thought.
For many couples, however, choosing their first dance song takes a lot longer than a jog down memory lane. For instance, what if you’ve never had a song that holds special meaning for you as a couple? Don’t fret—but don’t get mired in an endless Google search, either. Keep it simple (and as well-intentioned as it may be, try to tune out the opinions of your friends and family). First narrow down your song selections to a genre and style that matches your and your partner’s personalities and musical tastes. Then spend some time listening to your favorite tunes: imagine yourself swaying to the rhythms with your beloved in front of an adoring crowd, and pay attention to the messages in the lyrics.
To help with your search, we’ve compiled a list of songs from a variety of genres that should resonate (get it?) with all kinds of couples. So fire up your Sonos: you’ve got some jamming to do.
1. “All of Me” by John Legend
When this heart-wrenching ballad starts playing, it’s all we can do to swallow the lump in our throats. With complete love and devotion at its core, this song is an ideal pick for couples who want their first dance song to speak to the depth of their feelings for each other.
Perfect for: The romantic couple.
2. “Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton
For the couple that loves country music, our go-to song is this sweet number from Chris Stapleton (and if we’re being honest, it rarely leaves us with a dry eye). We agree: love is more precious than gold.
Perfect for: The rustic couple.
3. “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
If slow, sappy songs aren’t your thing, then this more upbeat tune (with a great brass rhythm) could be just right for you. Fun while still speaking to what love’s all about, this choice will give your first dance a more laid-back and festive vibe.
Perfect for: The casual couple.
4. “Home” by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Taking the tempo up an even higher notch, this indie-pop love song is not a traditional slow-dance ballad by any means. Perfect for the funky couple who wants to do more than just sway in a circle, this happy tune is about as toe-tapping and heart-melting as they come. “Home is wherever I’m with you”—sums up marriage pretty perfectly, don’t you think?
Perfect for: The boho couple.
5. “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
This cover of Bob Dylan’s classic somehow succeeds in making his song even more powerful. This song is one of our favorites because it explores the ups and downs of life and love and the necessity of devoted partners to be there for each other through good times and bad.
Perfect for: The modern couple.
6. “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
This is an oldie, but undoubtedly a goodie. If you need proof that this is one of the most romantic songs of all time, rewatch the film “Ghost” and just try not to get swept up. (RIP, Patrick Swayze. We’ll always love you.)
Perfect for: The vintage couple.
7. “Sea of Love” by Cat Power
Slow, soft, and totally mesmerizing, this ballad takes on the lighter side of love: early memories and continual butterflies. If you are looking for something sweet, simple, and that hasn’t been played into the ground, “Sea of Love” is a great place to start.
Perfect for: The natural couple.
8. “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
Can anyone put you in the mood for romance better than Al Green? With his smoother-than-honey voice, this master of soul sings about staying together through times that are “good or bad, happy or sad.” It’s essentially a much groovier version of your wedding vows, and perfect for couples who want something classic with a bit of sizzle.
Perfect for: The glamorous couple.
9. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
Okay sure, this might be a fast-paced, new wave post-punk song. But does that mean it’s not a great first dance song? Of course not. It’s infectiously upbeat, and definitely unexpected. If you’d prefer to express your joy at being newly married by bouncing around ecstatically, this one’s for you. It also makes a gorgeous tune when slowed down and performed acoustically, FYI.
Perfect for: The offbeat couple.
10. “At Last” by Etta James
A fairly current song but with an old-school sound, we just can’t help but get caught up in the smooth, jazzy tone of Norah Jones’s voice. We imagine this song being just right for a classic couple who wants to dance to a more modern release.
Perfect for: The classic couple.
Feeling inspired or just sobbing into your keyboard? Oh wait, that’s us.