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The Best First Dance Songs of All Time

You can't go wrong with one of these classic, foolproof first-dance songs.
The Knot
by The Knot
Updated Feb 13, 2020

Tell the DJ or band to play one of these first dance songs, and your wedding reception will be one to remember. Whether you're looking for a country ballad, a soulful tune or a popular first dance song that all of your guests can sing along to, we've compiled the very best first dance songs to kick off your wedding reception. After all, the opening tune will set the tone for the rest of your reception music. (So if you want your guests on the dance floor all night, you'll want to pick a great first dance song.) 

Browse our favorite picks below, along with standout song lyrics that are sure to give you and your guests all those first dance feels.

In this article: 

Most Popular First Dance Songs

According to data from The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study, the most popular first dance songs are likely ones you've heard before. Of over 27,000 couples surveyed, the tune that took the top spot is "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran. This marks the third year in a row the pop ballad, which was released in 2017, has been deemed the most popular first dance song. Coming in at the second spot is country love song "Speechless" by Dan + Shay. Rounding out the top three songs is "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley. See the entire list of the most popular first dance songs below.

1."Perfect," Ed Sheeran

Lyrics you'll love: "When I saw you in that dress/Looking so beautiful/I don't deserve this/ Darling, you look perfect tonight"

2. "Speechless," Dan + Shay

Lyrics you'll love: "Ever since the day that we met/You take the breath out of my lungs/Can't even fight it"

3. "Can't Help Falling in Love," Elvis Presley

Lyrics you'll love: "Like a river flows surely to the sea/Darling so it goes/Some things are meant to be"

4. "Yours," Russell Dickerson

Lyrics you'll love: "You make me better than I was before/Thank God I'm yours"

5. "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran

Lyrics you'll love: "I'm thinking out loud/Maybe we found love right where we are"

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

Lyrics you'll love: "And we'll build this love from the ground up/Now 'til forever it's all of me, all of you"

7l "Say You Won't Let Go," James Arthur

Lyrics you'll love: "And I wanna stay with you until we're grey and old/Just say you won't let go"

8. "All of Me," John Legend

Lyrics you'll love: "Give your all to me/I'll give my all to you/You're my end and my beginning"

9. "At Last," Etta James

Lyrics you'll love: "And here we are in heaven/For you are mine/At last"

10.  "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"

Country First Dance Songs

Give your wedding reception a sentimental flair with these sweet country first dance songs. 

1. "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"

2. "Big, Big Plans," Chris Lane

Lyrics you'll love: "But I don't think she can understand/Just how far I've been lettin' my heart fall"

3. "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"

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. "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" 

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. "Grow Old With Me," Mary Chapin Carpenter 

Lyrics you'll love: "Grow old along with me/Whatever fate decrees/We will see it through"

Classic First Dance Songs

From Frank Sinatra to Adele, these classic first songs would be excellent for a first dance. 

1. "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"

2. "Your Song," Elton John 

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"

3. "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"

4. "Make You Feel My Love," Adele 

Lyrics you'll love: "Nothing that I wouldn't do/Go to the ends of the Earth for you/To make you feel my love"

5. "I Am Yours," Andy Grammer

Lyrics you'll love: "You take my breath away every night/Still can't believe it when you say you're mine and I am yours"

6. "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"

7. "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"

8. "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"

9. "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"

10. "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"

11. "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"

12. "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"

13. "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' "

14. "Sparks," Coldplay 

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

15. "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"

16. "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"

Folk and Alternative First Dance Songs

Looking for a tune that's not commonly played at weddings? Consider any one of these folk or alternative first dance songs. 

1. "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"

2. "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"

3. "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"

4. "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"

5. "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"

6. "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"

7. "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"

Rock First Dance Songs

Bring some excitement to the after-party with these soulful classic rock songs. 

1. "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"

2. "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"

3. "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"

4. "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"

5. "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."

6. "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"

7. "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"

8. "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"

9. "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"

10. "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"

11. "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"

Soul and R&B First Dance Songs

Guests will love watching you and your spouse sway to these heartfelt soul and R&B first dance songs.

1. "If I Ain't Got You," Alicia Keys featuring Usher 

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

2. "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"

3. "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"

4. "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"

5. "As Time Goes By," Dooley Wilson (from Casablanca

Lyrics you'll love: "And when two lovers woo/They still say, 'I love you.'/On that you can rely/No matter what the future brings/As time goes by."

6. "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"

7. "La Vie en Rose," Edith Piaf (French), Louis Armstrong (English) 

Lyrics you'll love: "And when you speak angels sing from above/Everyday words seem/To turn into love songs"

8. "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/"

9. "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"

10. "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"

11. "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"

12. "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"

13. "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"

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