20 Songs Celebrity Couples Actually Chose For Their First Dance

You won't believe what Beyoncé picked… or, maybe you will.
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon entertainment and celebrity editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Entertainment & Celebrity Editor
  • Sarah is the Entertainment & Celebrity Editor for The Knot, with special focuses on pop culture and celebrity wedding news.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Sep 12, 2023

The first dance is a wedding rite of passage for nearly every couple—even celebrities! Choosing the soundtrack for your inaugural spin as newlyweds on the dance floor is an important task. Do you want something current and modern, or a timeless hit everyone will know? Are you into a country tune, or something a bit softer and romantic? If narrowing down the perfect track is proving to be a challenge, perhaps you may find some inspiration from celebrity first dance songs.

Here, look back on 20 hits A-listers *actually* waltzed to on their wedding days. From Sofia Richie's familial pick to Beyoncé and Jay-Z's iconic selection, we pull back the curtain on these famous nuptials to help inspire your own.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's First Dance Song: "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first dance
Photo: Netflix Documentary

In Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2022 Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the couple gave a never-before-seen look into their highly-publicized wedding reception, revealing that their first dance was set to "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett. In the film, the Duchess of Sussex remembered the importance of their wedding soundtrack, saying, "I just really wanted the music to be fun. Even our first dance." As all eyes were on them, she said she felt like they were "spinning like a whirlwind."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's First Dance Song: "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé

Here's a (not so big) surprise: Jay-Z and Beyonce's first dance song was their own hit, "Crazy in Love." After all, when you've made one of the best love songs of all time, why not use it for your own wedding? The couple's April 4, 2009 wedding took place in their Tribeca penthouse apartment that they transformed with 70,000 orchids. Considering this song was their first collaboration together, we can't think of a better choice for this extra-special moment.

Sofia Richie and Elliot Grainge's First Dance Song: "Hello" and "Stuck on You" by Lionel Richie

When your father is Lionel Richie, there's basically no question that he'll sing your first dance song. Such was the case for Sofia Richie when she wed Elliot Grainge at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in April 2023. The Grammy-winning singer performed a mashup of his hits "Hello" and "Stuck on You" for his daughter's first dance. "I always said it would be a dream to do our first dance to 'Stuck on You,'" Richie told Vogue after the wedding, adding, "'Hello' was a surprise, and the whole room was singing along."

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' First Dance Song: "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" performed by Florence Welch

Not much is known about Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' 2012 wedding, as they've gone to extreme lengths to keep the details private. One thing we do know, though, is that their first dance was set to "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Yip Harburg, performed by Florence + The Machine singer Florence Welch.

Joey King and Steven Piet's First Dance Song: "Sea of Love" by Cat Powers

Joey King's destination wedding in Mallorca, Spain was a magical affair from start to finish, and the party was no exception. She and her groom, director Steven Piet, selected Cat Powers' "Sea of Love" for their moment on the dance floor. "It was magical," the bride told Vogue. "Looking at my perfect husband while dancing to this perfect song was a dream."

George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin's First Dance Song: "Why Shouldn't I?" by Cole Porter

We all secretly wish we could have scored an invite to George and Amal Clooney's exclusive wedding in Venice, Italy. But since our RSVPs got lost in the mail, the next best thing we can do is offer you a glimpse into the party—including their first dance! The actor and human rights lawyer swayed to "Why Shouldn't I?" by Cole Porter. The newlyweds surprised their guests by having the song performed by Nora Sagal, the teenage daughter of their family friends.

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's First Dance Song: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra's fusion wedding—which took place over the course of several weeks in December 2018—was full of lively performances of song and dance. Perhaps the most meaningful moment, though was the couple's first dance, which was set to the tune of Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

Prince William and Kate Middleton: "Your Song" by Elton John (covered by Ellie Goulding)

Although no cameras followed Prince William and Kate Middleton into their wedding reception, we know a few things that went down behind closed doors. For one, the newlyweds shared their first dance to "Your Song" by Elton John, who was a close friend of the groom's late mother, Princess Diana. Although Elton himself didn't serenade the royals, the song was performed by pop star Ellie Goulding.

Simone Biles and Jonathan Owens' First Dance Song: "I Do" by Rotimi

We give this celebrity first dance song 10s across the board. For their Cabo San Lucas destination wedding in 2023, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and NFL player Jonathan Owens used Rotimi's "I Do" for their first dance. The moment was extra special as glittery fireworks lit up the outdoor beach reception space while they spun.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian's First Dance Song: "Beauty and the Beast (Tale as Old as Time)" from Beauty and the Beast

If you have a soft spot for Disney love songs, you'll appreciate Serena Williams' first dance track. The tennis star wed Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian at a Beauty and the Beast-themed New Orleans wedding in 2017. It was only fitting, then, that they used the film's beloved tune "Beauty and the Beast (Tale as Old as Time)" for their dance floor debut.

Paris Hilton and Carter Reum's First Dance Song: "Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars

Surprised by this one? Every aspect of Paris Hilton's wedding to Carter Reum was lavish and over the top, especially their first dance. The couple opted to use an old classic: Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are."

Taylor Lautner and Tay Dome's First Dance Song: "Lifetime" by Justin Bieber

Fact: Taylor and Taylor Lautner have Bieber fever. When the Taylors got married at a vineyard in November 2022, they used Justin Bieber's song "Lifetime" for their dance. According to Vogue, the song was performed by the couple's friend Aodhan King.

Miles and Keleigh Teller's First Dance Song: "If I Didn't Have You" by Vince Gill

When Miles and Keleigh Teller got married in Hawaii back in September 2020, they treated their guests to a neon jungle-themed after-party. Before the lights went down, though, the newlyweds shared their first dance to "If I Didn't Have You" by Vince Gill, performed by a 12-piece band.

Barack and Michelle Obama's First Dance Song: "You and I" by Stevie Wonder

What does a president choose for their first dance song? Turn to Barack Obama. When he married Michelle on October 3, 1992, they selected a timeless tune: Stevie Wonder's "You and I."

Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour's First Dance Song: "L-O-V-E," by Nat King Cole

It's giving The Parent Trap in the best way possible. For their elegant destination wedding in Paris, France, Bachelor in Paradise stars Hannah Godwin and Dylan Barbour swayed to Nat King Cole's "L-O-V-E."

Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa's First Dance Song: "Only You Can Love Me This Way" by Keith Urban

Crooner Kevin Jonas knows a thing or two about great love songs—just listen to the Jonas Brothers' discography for proof. While he didn't choose one of his own hits for his first dance with Danielle Deleasa in December 2009, they twirled to "Only You Can Love Me This Way" by Keith Urban.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka's First Dance Song: "A Moment Like This" by Kelly Clarkson

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka
Photo: David Livingston | Getty Images

How about an American Idol hit for your first dance? Take a cue from Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, who selected Kelly Clarkson's winning ballad from the beloved singing competition.

Harris discussed the sentimental choice during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show in 2020. "We met during season two of American Idol…that song was playing a lot and we connected with it, and we were falling in love at the same time, and the lyrics to that song always stayed with us," he told the host. "We always said if we ever got married, that would be a great first dance song." He added that they invited their parents to join in the dance with them, calling the moment "so perfect."

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's First Dance Song: "At Last" by Etta James

Speaking of Keith Urban, what did he dance to at his wedding reception? The Aussie country singer married actress Nicole Kidman in 2006, and they danced to "At Last" by Etta James. These two have impeccable taste, as this particular song continues to be one of the most popular first dance songs in the country today, according to The Knot's data.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's First Dance Song: "At Last" by Etta James with "These Arms of Mine" and "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding

A repeat! For their destination wedding in Florence, Italy, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West opted for a mashup. (Considering their entire wedding was an over-the-top affair, we aren't surprised that one song just wasn't enough.) The newlyweds performed to a mix of "At Last" by Etta James, along with "These Arms of Mine" and "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's First Dance Song: "Ribbon in the Sky," by Stevie Wonder

After same-sex marriage was legalized in California in 2008, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi celebrated by tying the knot in their backyard. The two chose Stevie Wonder's romantic hit "Ribbon in the Sky" for their special spin.

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