The first dance at a wedding is a cherished moment that symbolizes the newlyweds’ commitment to each other. It’s a time when the couple can express their love and affection for each other in front of family and friends. Choosing the perfect first dance wedding song is an important decision that requires careful consideration. The right song can set the tone for the entire evening and create a lasting memory.

From classic ballads to modern pop hits, there are countless options to choose from when it comes to first dance wedding songs. Each couple has their unique tastes, preferences, and personalities, which can influence the song choice.

Some couples opt for traditional ballads that have stood the test of time, while others prefer contemporary hits that reflect their current interests. Non-traditional choices such as rock, country, or even rap can also make for a memorable first dance.

This article explores some of the most popular and unique first dance wedding songs to help couples find the perfect soundtrack for their special day.

Classic Ballads

Classic ballads have been a popular choice for first dance wedding songs due to their timeless and romantic lyrics. These songs have the ability to transport the bride and groom back in time, allowing them to relive the first slow dance they shared.

Timeless favorites such as ‘Unchained Melody’by The Righteous Brothers, ‘At Last’by Etta James, and ‘Endless Love’by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie have been used as first dance wedding songs for generations. These nostalgic slow dances create a romantic atmosphere that perfectly captures the love and commitment shared between the newlyweds.

Whether it’s the sweet melodies or the lyrics that speak to the heart, classic ballads are a timeless choice for any first dance.

Modern Pop Hits

Contemporary popular music has become a popular choice for couples looking for a lively first dance at their wedding reception. Top chart toppers such as Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ John Legend’s ‘All of Me,’ and Bruno Mars’ ‘Marry You’ have become go-to choices for modern wedding playlists.

These romantic duets not only provide a fun and upbeat atmosphere for guests, but also offer sentimental lyrics that capture the essence of a couple’s love for one another. Additionally, many couples are opting for unique mashups or remixes of their favorite pop songs to add a personalized touch to their first dance.

Modern pop hits offer endless possibilities for couples to create a memorable and meaningful moment that they will cherish for years to come.

Non-Traditional Choices

When it comes to choosing a first dance wedding song, some couples opt for non-traditional choices that deviate from the typical modern pop hits. These alternative genres could range from indie folk to electronic dance music, or even classical music.

Additionally, some couples prefer to choose unique and personalized songs that hold special meaning to them, such as a song from their favorite movie or a track that reminds them of a special moment in their relationship.

Alternatively, some couples may choose to forego lyrics altogether and opt for instrumental or orchestral pieces that evoke a certain mood or emotion.

Alternative Genres

Alternative wedding dance songs can evoke a unique atmosphere, with their unconventional sounds and lyrics, adding a touch of edginess and individuality to the celebration.

Indie rock options, such as ‘You Are the Best Thing’by Ray LaMontagne or ‘Home’by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, offer a fresh and upbeat twist on the traditional first dance song.

For couples looking to incorporate some country flair into their first dance, crossover picks like ‘Die a Happy Man’by Thomas Rhett or ‘I Don’t Dance’by Lee Brice can provide the perfect balance of romance and twang.

Choosing alternative genres for the first dance can be a great way for couples to express their unique personalities and make their wedding day truly their own.

Unique and Personalized Songs

Individualized musical selections can add a distinctive touch to a couple’s special day, allowing them to express their unique tastes and personalities in a way that resonates with them and their guests.

Customized lyrics can be an excellent way to incorporate personal touches into a first dance wedding song. Couples can work with a songwriter to create lyrics that reflect their love story, inside jokes, or shared experiences. This process can make the first dance even more meaningful and memorable.

Additionally, incorporating family traditions into the first dance can add depth and richness to the song choice. For example, couples may choose to dance to a song that has been passed down through generations in their family, or they may incorporate cultural elements into the dance.

Overall, the possibilities for creating a unique and personalized first dance wedding song are endless, and can add an extra layer of meaning and significance to the couple’s special day.

Instrumental or Orchestral Pieces

Utilizing instrumental or orchestral pieces during a wedding reception can create a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere for guests to enjoy.

When choosing between classical versus contemporary music, consider the overall theme and ambiance of the wedding. If the wedding is more traditional, classical pieces such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D or Mendelssohn’s Wedding March may be more appropriate. However, for a modern wedding, contemporary instrumental music such as Yiruma’s River Flows in You or Ludovico Einaudi’s I Giorni can provide a unique and memorable touch.

Additionally, finding the perfect tempo for the instrumental piece is crucial to setting the right tone. A slow and steady tempo can create a romantic and intimate atmosphere, while a faster tempo can encourage guests to get up and dance.

Overall, incorporating instrumental or orchestral pieces into the first dance can add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any wedding reception.


When it comes to choosing the perfect first dance song for your wedding, there are a variety of options to consider. Classic ballads such as ‘At Last’by Etta James or ‘Unchained Melody’by The Righteous Brothers, offer timeless elegance and romance. Modern pop hits like ‘Perfect’by Ed Sheeran or ‘All of Me’by John Legend, provide a contemporary touch to your special moment. However, for those looking for a non-traditional choice, songs like ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’by Elvis Presley or ‘I Choose You’by Sara Bareilles, offer a unique and personal touch to your first dance.

Ultimately, the choice of first dance song should reflect the couple’s personalities and shared experiences. Whether it’s a classic ballad, modern pop hit, or non-traditional choice, the song should evoke feelings of love and unity between the newlyweds.

With so many options available, couples should take the time to consider their options and find the perfect song that will create a cherished memory for years to come. By carefully selecting the right first dance song, couples can set the tone for their entire wedding and create a moment that will be remembered for a lifetime.