These '70s Wedding Songs Are Totally Groovy

Get down on the dance floor with these groovy '70s hits.
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
by Lauren Dana
Lauren Dana Ellman - The Knot Contributor.
Lauren Dana
The Knot Contributor
  • Lauren is a contributor for The Knot covering topics such as music, cakes, venues and speeches.
  • She has been published in a wide array of lifetsyle-oriented publications including SELF and Allure.
  • Lauren is a proud graduate of Syracuse University's SI Newhouse School of Public Communication.
Updated Sep 30, 2021

The 1970s was an important time for music. The decade brought us a slew of crowd-pleasing hits across an array of genres, from classic rock to soul and beyond. During this time, dozens of now-famous love songs by the likes of Billy Joel and Elton John were released.

Whether you prefer slow-and-sweet waltzes ("Three Times A Lady") or more upbeat dancing tunes ("You're The First, The Last, My Everything"), there are hundreds of incredible '70s wedding songs to choose from. Read on for just a few of our favorite oldies-but-goodies to help you get started.

Oh, and P.S.: When the time comes to finalize your song list, you'll want to reach out to your wedding band or DJ. These pros will then work with you to implement your song requests into their lineup. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes to change into for dancing.

"Wonderful Tonight," Eric Clapton

Lyrics you'll love: I feel wonderful/Because I see the love light in your eyes/And the wonder of it all/Is that you just don't realize how much I love you"

All eyes will be on you as you dip, twirl and slow dance with your new spouse as "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton plays softly in the background. Relish in the moment and savor every second of this special first dance song.

"Your Song," Elton John

Lyrics you'll love: "I hope you don't mind, I hope you don't mind/That I put down in words/How wonderful life is while you're in the world"

Elton John may not have written "Your Song" specifically for you, but you can still pretend, right? The sweet tune makes a perfectly romantic track for your first dance as a married couple.

"September," Earth, Wind & Fire

Lyrics you'll love: "Our hearts were ringing/In the key that our souls were singing/As we danced in the night"

When it's time to get your guests grooving out on the dance floor after dinner, tell your band or DJ to play Earth, Wind & Fire's "September." The song has remained a wedding playlist staple since its 1978 release.

"You Are So Beautiful," Joe Cocker

Lyrics you'll love: "Can't you see/You're everything I hoped for/You're everything I need/You are so beautiful/To me"

Featuring stunning piano instrumentals and romantic lyrics—coupled with Joe Cocker's soothing vocals, of course—"You Are So Beautiful" is an incredible first dance track that'll never go out of style. Its beautiful message truly transcends time.

"Take A Chance On Me," ABBA

Lyrics you'll love: "My love is strong enough/To last when things are rough, it's magic/You say that I waste my time/But I can't get you off my mind, no, I can't let go/'Cause I love you so"

Post-cocktail hour, amp up your wedding guests by playing "Take A Chance On Me" by Swedish group ABBA. This upbeat track will have everyone singing and dancing along in no time.

"You're The First, The Last, My Everything," Barry White

Lyrics you'll love: "You're my sun, my moon, my guiding star/My kind of wonderful, that's what you are"

Transport your wedding guests back in time to the '70s by playing Barry White's "You're The First, The Last, My Everything" after cocktail hour or dinner. The classic disco hit, which was originally recorded as a country song, has become a fan favorite thanks to its catchy lyrics and groovy rhythm.

"You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," Stevie Wonder

Lyrics you'll love: "You are the sunshine of my life/That's why I'll always be around/You are the apple of my eye"

No '70s wedding song list would be complete without a little Stevie Wonder. "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" features sweet lyrics, plus stunning backup vocals from Jim Gilstrap, Lani Groves, and Gloria Barley. This makes a truly lovely father-daughter dance song.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water," Simon & Garfunkel

Lyrics you'll love: "I will comfort you/I'll take your part/Oh, when darkness comes/And pain is all around/Like a bridge over troubled water/I will lay me down"

Simon & Garfunkel's now-iconic ballad, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," makes a great parent dance song with its emotional and comforting lyrics. While the song has been covered countless times by a slew of famous singers (including Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley, to name a few), you can't go wrong with the original.

"Let's Stay Together," Al Green

Lyrics you'll love: "Loving you forever/Is what I need/Let me be the one you come running to/I'll never be untrue"

The soulful "Let's Stay Together" features jazzy instrumentals, which pair perfectly with Al Green's beautiful vocals. Play it during cocktail hour and watch as your wedding guests start to subtly sing along to the tune in between sips and bites.

"Just The Way You Are," Billy Joel

Lyrics you'll love: "I took the good times, I'll take the bad times/I'll take you just the way you are"

Before Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are," there was Billy Joel's hit song of the same name. In Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are," which went on to win two Grammy Awards, the singer croons about loving his partner just the way she is—without her needing to change her hair or having to engage in clever conversation. Thanks to the singer's iconic vocals, plus the horn instrumentals and sweet lyrics, the song makes a great first dance tune.

"Stayin' Alive," Bee Gees

Lyrics you'll love: "Got the wings of Heaven on my shoes/I'm a dancin' man, and I just can't lose"

When "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees is played at your wedding reception, friends and family of all ages will flock to the dance floor. (We suggest saving it for after dinner, or for an extra-fun twist, end the night on a bang and play it as a last dance song.) Whether or not you plan on showing off your disco moves, the tune is a beloved favorite thanks to its distinct sound and catchy hook.

"Lean On Me," Bill Withers

Lyrics you'll love: "If there is a load you have to bear/That you can't carry/I'm right up the road/I'll share your load/If you just call me"

In "Lean On Me," Bill Withers croons candidly about the obstacles we face as we walk through life. He also sings candidly about swallowing our pride and accepting help, support and comfort from loved ones when we go through hardships. After all, to quote Withers: "We all need somebody to lean on." Consider playing this song toward the end of the reception to honor your wedding party and friends, who have—and will—continue to stick by your side through thick and thin.

"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," James Taylor

Lyrics you'll love: "With sweet love and devotion/Deeply touching my emotion/I want to stop and thank you, baby/I wanna stop and thank you, baby, yes I do/How sweet it is to be loved by you"

James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" is actually a cover. In fact, Marvin Gaye released the original recording in 1965. Taylor's rendition didn't come out until a decade later. Critics and fans alike loved Taylor's soft-and-sweet take on the classic, which features soft guitar instrumentals. Today, the cover is a popular pick for first dances and parent dances at wedding receptions across the country.

"I've Got A Feeling," The Beatles

Lyrics you'll love: "All these years I've been wandering around/Wondering how come nobody told me/All that I was looking for was somebody/Who looked like you"

The Beatles' "I've Got a Feeling" may have been recorded in 1969, but it wasn't released until 1970. The song actually combines two unfinished songs: "I've Got A Feeling" (Paul McCartney) and "Everybody Had a Hard Year (John Lennon). End your night on a bang by playing this classic rock song, which caps off with a great guitar solo.

"Three Times A Lady," Commodores

Lyrics you'll love: "When we are together, the moments I cherish/With every beat of my heart/To touch you, to hold you, to feel you, to need you"

The Commodores' "Three Times A Lady" was written by the group's lead singer, Lionel Richie. While he knew the song was not in line with the Commodores' signature musical style, he wrote it imagining as if Frank Sinatra would sing it. And, since the song is a waltz, it's practically designed for first dances.

"Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)," Rod Stewart"

Lyrics you'll love: "Tonight's the night/It's gonna be alright/'Cause I love you, girl,/Ain't nobody gonna stop us now"

After your first dance, play something sultry to lighten up the mood—especially if you or your new spouse has a new sense of humor. Need some song inspiration? Look no further than Rod Stewart's "Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright)." Remember, don't take yourselves too seriously: Be sure to laugh along to the lyrics and, most importantly, have fun!

"Love Woke Me Up This Morning," The Temptations

Lyrics you'll love: "Love woke me up this morning/I'm so glad baby/Because of you, happiness is really mine/And my cloudy days are far behind"

The Temptations' "Love Woke Me Up This Morning" is a light and breezy tune complete with lovely lyrics to match. Play it during cocktail hour or dinner while guests mix and mingle. It also makes a fun first dance song.

"You've Got A Friend," Carole King

Lyrics you'll love: "You just call out my name/And you know, wherever I am/I'll come runnin'/To see you again"
Written and performed by Carole King, "You've Got A Friend" (1971) conveys the importance of friendship and unconditional support. Opt to play the tune in honor of your wedding party—or friends and family members in general—during your reception.

"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," Roberta Flack

Lyrics you'll love: "The first time ever I saw your face/I thought the sun rose in your eyes/And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave"

While "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was initially recorded as a folk song back in 1957, Roberta Flack, who covered it in 1969, is credited with making the song popular. Although Flack's rendition was technically recorded before the '70s, the song didn't reach its peak until 1971 after being featured in Clint Eastwood's Play Misty for Me. The next year, in 1972, the song was shortened and re-released as a single. Today, Flack's cover makes a great first dance song choice.

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