The Best First Dance Songs of All Time

You can't go wrong with these romantic picks.
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
by
Taylor Carson
Taylor Carson - The Knot Contributor.
Taylor Carson
The Knot Contributor
  • Taylor writes wedding venue roundups for The Knot.
  • Taylor was formerly the Assistant Managing Editor at Philadelphia magazine, and she continues to freelance for Philadelphia’s lifestyle and wedding verticals.
  • She received her degree in journalism, with a minor in English, from Temple University.
Updated Jan 18, 2024

The first dance song is one of the most important musical selections for your wedding day. This special moment happens just after you enter the reception as newlyweds, so you'll need an exceptional tune for your solo spin on the dance floor. Whether you're looking for a country ballad, a soulful hit or popular first dance songs that all of your guests can sing along to, we've compiled the very best first dance wedding songs to kick off your reception. After all, the opening song will set the tone for the rest of your wedding music. (And if you want your guests on the dance floor all night, you'll need a great first dance song to start off strong.)

Browse the all-time best first dance wedding songs below, along with standout lyrics that are sure to give you and your guests all the feels (and are totally appropriate!). After you pick your favorite, don't forget to share it with your DJ or band. During your most special event, there won't be a dry eye in the house.

And the winners are…

Best First Dance Songs | Classic | Unique | Romantic | Fun | Modern

And even more: Country First Dance Songs

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    Best Wedding First Dance Songs

    Kicking off our list are 15 of the best wedding songs of all time for first dances. These songs have stood the test of time and transcend genres. And here's a fun fact: Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" has been the most popular first dance song for over six years, according to The Knot Real Wedding Study.

    1. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," Bryan Adams

    Lyrics you'll love: "There's no love, like your love/And no other, could give me more love/There's nowhere, unless you're there/All the time, all the way"

    2. "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"

    3. "You're Still The One," Shania Twain

    Lyrics you'll love: "You're still the one I run to/The one that I belong to/You're still the one I want for life/(You're still the one)/You're still the one that I love/The only one I dream of/You're still the one I kiss goodnight"

    4. "You Make It Easy," Jason Aldean

    Lyrics you'll love: "You're my sunshine in the darkest days/My better half, my saving grace/You make me who I wanna be/You make it easy"

    5. "Unchained Melody," The Righteous Brothers

    Lyrics you'll love: "And time goes by so slowly/And time can do so much/Are you still mine?/I need your love/I need your love/God speed your love to me"

    6. "Then," Brad Paisley

    Lyrics you'll love: "Now you're my whole life/Now you're my whole world/I just can't believe/The way I feel about you girl/Like a river meets the sea/Stronger than it's ever been"

    7. "Amazed," Lonestar

    Lyrics you'll love: "I don't know how you do what you do/I'm so in love with you/It just keeps getting better"

    8. "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"

    9. "Maybe I'm Amazed," Paul McCartney

    Lyrics you'll love:"Maybe I'm amazed at the way you help me sing my song,/Right me when I'm wrong/Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you."

    10. "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys (feat. Usher)

    Lyrics you'll love: "Some people want diamond rings/Some just want everything/But everything means nothing/If I ain't got you"

    11. "Stand by Me," Ben E. King

    Lyrics you'll love: "No I won't be afraid/Oh, I won't be afraid/Just as long as you stand, stand by me"

    12. "Make You Feel My Love," Adele

    Lyrics you'll love: "I could make you happy, make your dreams come true/Nothing that I wouldn't do/Go to the ends of the Earth for you/To make you feel my love"

    13. "Halo," Beyonce

    Lyrics you'll love:"I swore I'd never fall again/But this don't even feel like fallin'/Gravity can't begin/To pull me back to the ground again"

    14. "Perfect," Ed Sheeran

    Lyrics you'll love:"Baby, I'm dancing in the dark/With you between my arms/Barefoot on the grass/Listening to our favorite song/I have faith in what I see/Now I know I have met an angel in person/And she looks perfect"

    15. "All Of Me," John Legend

    Lyrics you'll love: "'Cause all of me/Loves all of you/Love your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections/Give your all to me/I'll give my all to you/You're my end and my beginning"

    Classic First Dance Songs

    Some love songs will simply never go out of style. From Frank Sinatra to Adele, these classic first dance wedding songs will give you butterflies when you take the floor.

    16. "Fly Me to the Moon," Frank Sinatra

    Lyrics you'll love: "Fill my heart with song/Let me sing forever more/You are all I long for/All I worship and adore"

    17. "Your Song," Elton John or Ellie Goulding

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

    18. "Everything," Michael Bublé

    Lyrics you'll love:"And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times/It's you, it's you, you make me sing/You're every line, you're every word, you're everything"

    19. "Sweetest Devotion," Adele

    Lyrics you'll love:"You will only be eternally/The one that I belong to/The sweetest devotion"

    20. "You Are the Best Thing," Ray LaMontagne

    Lyrics you'll love:"The way you move me, it's crazy/It's like you see right through me/And make it easier/Believe me, you don't even have to try"

    21. "A Thousand Years," Christina Perri (from Twilight: Breaking Dawn)

    Lyrics you'll love: "Darling, don't be afraid/I have loved you/For a thousand years/I'll love you for a thousand more"

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    22. "By Your Side," Sade

    Lyrics you'll love: "When you're on the outside baby and you can't get in/I will show you you're so much better than you know"

    23. "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," Frankie Valli or Lauryn Hill

    Lyrics you'll love: "I love you baby and if it it's quite alright/I need you baby to warm the lonely nights/I love you baby, trust in me when I say"

    24. "I Only Have Eyes for You," The Flamingos

    Lyrics you'll love:"Are the stars out tonight?/I don't know if it's cloudy or bright/I only have eyes for you, dear"

    25. "It Had to Be You," Dooley Wilson (from Casablanca)

    Lyrics you'll love: "And it had to be you, it just had to be you/It had to be you"

    26. "I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz

    Lyrics you'll love:"I won't give up on us/Even if the skies get rough/I'm giving you all my love/I'm still looking up"

    27. "Lucky," Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz

    Lyrics you'll love:"Lucky I'm in love with my best friend/Lucky to have been where I have been/Lucky to be coming home again"

    28. "Marry Me," Train

    Lyrics you'll love: "Together can never be close enough for me/To feel like I am close enough to you/You wear white and I'll wear out the words, 'I love you' "

    29. "The Best Is Yet to Come," Frank Sinatra

    Lyrics you'll love: "Come the day you're mine/I'm gonna teach you to fly/We've only tasted the wine/We're gonna drain the cup dry"

    30. "The Luckiest," Ben Folds

    Lyrics you'll love:"And where was I before the day/That I first saw your lovely face?/Now I see it every day/And I know/That I am/I am/I am/The luckiest

    Unique First Dance Songs

    Want to sway to an above-average tune during your first dance? Consider these atypical—yet beautiful—options.

    31. "Golden Hour," Kacey Musgraves

    Lyrics you'll love:"You're my golden hour/The color of my sky/You've set my world on fire/And I know, I know everything's gonna be alright"

    32. "First Day of My Life," Bright Eyes

    Lyrics you'll love: "Yours is the first face that I saw/I think I was blind before I met you/Now I don't know where I am/ I don't know where I've been/But I know where I want to go"

    33. "Such Great Heights," The Postal Service or Iron and Wine

    Lyrics you'll love: "And I have to speculate/That God himself did make us/Into corresponding shapes/Like puzzle pieces from the clay"

    34. "Wonderwall," Oasis

    Lyrics you'll love: "I said maybe/You're gonna be the one that saves me/And after all/You're my wonderwall"

    35. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," Sleeping At Last

    Lyrics you'll love: "And when I'm dreamin', well I know I'm gonna dream/I'm gonna dream about the time when I'm with you"

    36. "In My Life," The Beatles

    Lyrics you'll love: "Though I know I'll never lose affection/for people and things that went before/I know I'll often stop and think about them/In my life I love you more"

    37. "We've Only Just Begun," The Carpenters

    Lyrics you'll love: "And when the evening comes we smile,/So much life ahead/We'll find a place where there's room to grow/And yes, we've just begun"

    38. "Wild Horses," The Rolling Stones

    Lyrics you'll love: "No sweeping exits or offstage lines/Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind/Wild horses couldn't drag me away"

    39. "Let's Stay Together," Al Green

    Lyrics you'll love:"Let's stay together/Love you whether, whether/Times are good or bad, happy or sad/"

    40. "You and Me," Lifehouse

    Lyrics you'll love: "'Cause it's you and me/And all of the people with nothing to do/Nothing to lose/And it's you and me/And all of the people/And I don't know why/I can't keep my eyes off of you"

    41. "Yellow," Coldplay

    Lyrics you'll love: "Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you/And everything you do"

    42. "About You," The 1975

    Lyrics you'll love: "I know a place/It's somewhere I go when I need to remember your face/We get married in our heads/Something to do while we try to recall how we met"

    43. "Turning Page," Sleeping At Last

    Lyrics you'll love: "I've waited a hundred years/But I'd wait a million more for you/Nothin' prepared me for/What the privilege of being yours would do"

    44. "Sparks," Coldplay

    Lyrics you'll love: "But I promise you this/I'll always look out for you/That's what I'll do"

    45. "You've Got The Love," Florence + The Machine

    Lyrics you'll love: "When food is gone you are my daily meal/When friends are gone I know my saviour's love is real/You know it's real/'Cause you've got the love"

    Grooms during first dance song at outdoor wedding reception
    Photo: Ash Durham

    Romantic First Dance Songs

    The 15 love songs below are perfect for first dances shared between hopeless romantics. From country, rock and folk-pop to R&B and soul, it's evident sappy tunes aren't restricted to one genre.

    46. "When You Say Nothing At All," Ronan Keating

    Lyrics you'll love: "The smile on your face lets me know that you need me/There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me/The touch of your hand says you'll catch me wherever I fall/You say it best, when you say nothing at all"

    47. Made That Way," Jordan Davis

    Lyrics you'll love: "Everything falls into place/As soon as I see your face/Don't stop loving me"

    48. "Better Together," Jack Johnson

    Lyrics you'll love: "It's not always easy and/Sometimes life can be deceiving/I'll tell you one thing, it's always better when we're together"

    49. "Crazy Love," Van Morrison

    Lyrics you'll love:"I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles/And the heavens open every time she smiles"

    50. "I Will," The Beatles

    Lyrics you'll love: "Love you forever and forever/Love you with all my heart/Love you whenever we're together/Love you when we're apart"

    51. "You Are So Beautiful," Joe Cocker

    Lyrics you'll love:"You're everything I hoped for/You're everything I need/You are so beautiful to me"

    52. "Up Where We Belong," Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes

    Lyrics you'll love: "Love lifts us up where we belong/Where the eagles cry on a mountain high"

    53. "Just the Way You Are," Billy Joel

    Lyrics you'll love:"I said I love you and that's forever/And this I promise from my heart/I couldn't love you any better/I love you just the way you are"

    54. "Steady As We Go," Dave Matthews Band

    Lyrics you'll love:"In the darkest times/You shine on me/You set me free/And keep me steady as we go"

    55. "Here and Now," Luther Vandross

    Lyrics you'll love:"When I look in your eyes, there I'll see/All that a love should really be/And I need you more and more each day"

    56. "Come Rain or Come Shine," Ray Charles

    Lyrics you'll love: "I'm gonna love you, like nobody's loved you/Come rain or come shine"

    57. "Our Love Is Here to Stay," Billie Holiday

    Lyrics you'll love: "It's very clear/Our love is here to stay/Not for a year/But ever and a day"

    58. "That's How Strong My Love Is," Otis Redding

    Lyrics you'll love:"I'll be the rainbow after the tears are gone/Wrap you in my colors and keep you warm/That's how strong my love is"

    59. "Unforgettable," Nat King Cole

    Lyrics you'll love: "That's why, darling, it's incredible/That someone so unforgettable/Thinks that I am/unforgettable too"

    60. "Heaven," Bryan Adams

    Lyrics you'll love: "Oh once in your life you find someone/Who will turn your world around/Bring you up when you're feelin' down/Yeah nothin' can change what you mean to me"

    Fun First Dance Songs

    Happy-go-lucky couples seeking something fun for their first dance should look no further than these tracks. The list includes legends like Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Dolly Parton and Nat King Cole, as well as modern icons like Taylor Swift and Coldplay.

    61. "Everywhere," Fleetwood Mac

    Lyrics you'll love: "Can you hear me calling/Out your name/You know that I'm falling and I don't know what to say"

    62. "You're My Best Friend," Queen

    Lyrics you'll love: "You're the best friend that I ever had/I've been with you such a long time/You're my sunshine/And I want you to know"

    63. "As," Stevie Wonder

    Lyrics you'll love: "As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving/And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May/Just as hate knows love's the cure/You can rest your mind assure/That I'll be loving you always"

    64. "L-O-V-E," Nat King Cole

    Lyrics you'll love: "Love is all that I can give to you/Love is more than just a game for two/Two in love can make it"

    65. "That's Where It's At," Sam Cooke

    Lyrics you'll love:"Lights turned way down low/Music soft and slow/With someone you love so/That's where it's at, yeah"

    66. "Kiss Me," Sixpence None The Richer

    Lyrics you'll love:"Oh, kiss me, beneath the milky twilight/Lead me out on the moonlit floor/Lift your open hand/Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance/Silver moon's sparkling/So kiss me"

    67. "Time After Time," Cyndi Lauper

    Lyrics you'll love: "If you're lost you can look and you will find me/Time after time/If you fall, I will catch you, I'll be waiting/Time after time"

    68. "Next Thing You Know," Jordan Davis

    Lyrics you'll love:"Next thing you know/Your best man gives a half-drunk speech/And you're sunburned on a honeymoon beach/And your left hand's gettin' used to that ring"

    69. "Nobody," Dylan Scott

    Lyrics you'll love:"Girl, nobody, nobody, nobody gonna love you like I do/Yeah, nobody, nobody, nobody gonna love you like I do/I'ma love you 'til the good Lord comes back for me and you/Girl, nobody, nobody, nobody gonna love you like I do"

    70. "Just To See You Smile," Tim McGraw

    Lyrics you'll love:"Just to see you smile/I'd do anything that you wanted me to/When all is said and done/I'd never count the cost, it's worth all that's lost/Just to see you smile"

    71. "Love Me Like You Do," Ellie Goulding

    Lyrics you'll love: "You're the light, you're the night/You're the colour of my blood/You're the cure, you're the pain/You're the only thing I wanna touch/Never knew that it could mean so much, so much"

    72. "Paper Rings," Taylor Swift

    Lyrics you'll love: "I like shiny things, but I'd marry you with paper rings/Uh huh, that's right/Darling, you're the one I want"

    73. "A Sky Full of Stars," Coldplay

    Lyrics you'll love:"'Cause you're a sky, 'cause you're a sky full of stars/I wanna die in your arms, oh, oh-oh/'Cause you get lighter the more it gets dark/I'm gonna give you my heart"

    74. "Islands in the Stream," Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

    Lyrics you'll love: "Islands in the stream/That is what we are/No one in between/How can we be wrong?/Sail away with me/To another world/And we rely on each other, ah ha/From one lover to another, ah ha"

    75. "Dancing in the Moonlight," Toploader

    Lyrics you'll love: "Dancin' in the moonlight/Everybody's feelin' warm and bright/It's such a fine and natural sight/Everybody's dancin' in the moonlight"

    Modern First Dance Songs

    If your tastes align more with current artists and today's hits, continue reading. Below, we've handpicked 15 of the best modern first dance songs.

    76."Change Your Name," Brett Young

    Lyrics you'll love:"I wanna know you like I know every road back home/From that first tell-all, I knew that I'd never, I'd never let you go

    77. "You Are In Love," Taylor Swift

    Lyrics you'll love: "You can hear it in the silence, silence, you/You can feel it on the way home, way home, you/You can see it with the lights out, lights out/You are in love, true love"

    78. "Better Together," Luke Combs

    Lyrics you'll love: "Sometimes we're oil and water/But I wouldn't have it any other way/And if I'm being honest, your first and my last name/Would just sound better together and probably always will"

    79. "From the Ground Up," Dan + Shay

    Lyrics you'll love: "This life will go by/In the blink of an eye/But I wouldn't wanna spend it without you by my side/The cloud are gonna roll/The earth's gonna shake/But I'll be your shelter through the wind and the rain"

    80. "XO," Beyonce

    Lyrics you'll love:"In the darkest night hour (in the darkest night hour)/I'll search through the crowd (I'll search through the crowd)/Your face is all that I see/I'll give you everything/Baby love me lights out"

    81. "Until I Found You," Stephen Sanchez

    Lyrics you'll love: "Oh, I used to say/I would never fall in love again until I found her/I said, "I would never fall unless it's you I fall into"/I was lost within the darkness, but then I found her/I found you"

    82. "Lover," Taylor Swift

    Lyrics you'll love: "My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue/All's well that ends well to end up with you/Swear to be overdramatic and true to my lover/And you'll save all your dirtiest jokes for me/And at every table, I'll save you a seat, lover"

    83. "Say You Won't Let Go," James Arthur

    Lyrics you'll love:"I'm so in love with you/And I hope you know/Darling, your love is more than worth its weight in gold/We've come so far, my dear/Look how we've grown/And I wanna stay with you until we're grey and old"

    84. "Yours," Russel Dickerson

    Lyrics you'll love:"I came to life when I first kissed you/The best me has his arms around you/You make me better than I was before/Thank God I'm yours"

    85. "Thank God," Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown

    Lyrics you'll love:"Thank God/I get to wake up by your side/And thank God/Your hand fits perfectly in mine/And thank God/You loved me when you didn't have to/But you did and you do, and he knew/Thank God for giving me you"

    86. "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran

    Lyrics you'll love: "And darling I will be loving you 'til we're 70/And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23/And I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways/Maybe just the touch of a hand/Oh me I fall in love with you every single day/And I just wanna tell you I am"

    87. "The Only Exception," Paramore

    Lyrics you'll love: "And that was the day that I promised/I'd never sing of love if it does not exist/But darling, you are the only exception/You are the only exception"

    88. "I Won't Give Up," Jason Mraz

    Lyrics you'll love: "I won't give up on us/Even if the skies get rough/I'm giving you all my love/I'm still looking up"

    89. "Margaret," Lana Del Rey (feat. Bleachers)

    Lyrics you'll love: "When you know, you know/When you know, you know/It kinda makes me laugh, runnin' down that path/When you're good, it's gold"

    90. "I'll Be By Your Side," Patrick Droney

    Lyrics you'll love: "Let's dance through the changes/Let's waltz through the fights/And endless through the ages/And I'll be by your side"

    Sarah Hanlon contributed to the reporting of this story.

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