The 10 Most Popular Wedding First Dance Songs Right Now
When it comes to choosing your first dance song of 2023, it's essential to select a tune that's meaningful to you and your partner. However, if you're feeling stumped on what song to pick for your big moment on the dance floor, we at The Knot are here to help provide some inspiration. The Knot Real Weddings Study surveyed nearly 12,000 couples and collected data on everything wedding related, from the average cost of alcohol to the most popular first dance songs. It turns out that the same song has topped the list since 2017. If you want to know which one, read on and use one of these top jams as your first dance song or add them all to your wedding playlist. And if you need more help choosing tunes for your big day, enlist the help of an experienced wedding DJ or band.
1. "Perfect," by 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 / When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful / I don't deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight"
Yes, this Ed Sheeran love song has been the number one wedding song for the past six years, and it's easy to see why. This song has tear-jerking romantic lyrics and a great tempo for dancing (check out the music video for proof). If you're looking for a twist on this often-played tune, try the "Perfect Duet" version featuring Beyoncé. Or you could dance to one of Sheeran's other first dance song favorites, like "Thinking Out Loud" or "Love In Slow Motion."
2. "Can't Help Falling in Love," by Elvis Presley
Lyrics you'll love: "Take my hand / Take my whole life, too / For I can't help / Falling in love with you"
It's clear why this 1961 love song, made to complement his movie "Blue Hawaii," has been on wedding first dance song playlists for decades. It's easy to dance to, features swoon-worthy lyrics and of course, who doesn't love Elvis's rich, deep voice? There are numerous modern covers of this classic wedding song of 2023, performed by Haley Reinhart, U2, Britney Spears, twenty one pilots and Michael Bublé.
3. "Joy Of My Life," by Chris Stapleton
Lyrics you'll love: "She' sweet to me / Must be the luckiest man alive / Did I tell you, baby / You are the joy of my life?"
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If you're looking for a newer country wedding song to play at your reception, this is the one. This Kentucky-born singer, who performed the national anthem for Super Bowl LVII, has powerful vocals that'll put anyone in the mood for love. And we love the message of this first dance song of 2023: The only thing that matters is being together.
4. "Growing Old With You," by Restless Road
Lyrics you'll love: "Every day I love you better / Than the day before / Watching sunsets fading / From the front porch / We'll build this home together / Weather any storm / And as the years keep rolling on / You'll be right where I belong"
This country music trio came in fourth on "The X Factor," an American singing competition series, in 2013 and hasn't stopped putting out beautiful love songs since then. This common first dance song speaks to how a special person can come into your life, change it for the better and leave you wanting to "put down some roots" and start a family together.
5. "Lover," by Taylor Swift
Lyrics you'll love: "Ladies and gentlemen, will you please stand? / With every guitar string scar on my hand / I take this magnetic force of a man to be my lover / My heart's been borrowed and yours has been blue / All's well that ends well to end up with you"
Taylor Swift has a lot of great first dance song options, but this song definitely is a top pick. "Lover" is the title track of the 2019 album and is a dedication to Swift's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. Swifties will want to play this song at some point during the reception, whether it's for the first dance or later in the evening.
6. "At Last," by Etta James
Lyrics you'll love: "At last / My love has come along / My lonely days are over / And life is like a song / (Oh, yeah, yeah)"
This song has been a mainstay at weddings for years, but we never tire of hearing it. This 1961 tune is considered Etta James' signature song and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. From the gorgeous lyrics to James' stunning voice, the tune provides a sweeping and dramatic ambiance to your reception. It also makes a beautiful processional or recessional song for a wedding ceremony.
7. "Better Together," by Luke Combs
Lyrics you'll love: "Your license in my wallet when we go out downtown / Your lipstick's stained every coffee cup that I got in this house / The way you say, 'I love you, too' is like rain on an old tin roof / And your hand fits right into mine like a needle in a groove"
Yes, the Jack Johnson song by the same name is another popular wedding song, but this country tune by Grammy Award-nominated Luke Combs made our most popular first dance songs 2023 list for a reason. The lyrics reference the simple, everyday things that make relationships special. In an interview, Combs said he had his wife, Nicole Hocking, in mind when wrote this love song.
8. "I Get to Love You," by Ruelle
Lyrics you'll love: "I get to love you / It's the best thing that I'll ever do / I get to love you / It's a promise I'm making to you / Whatever may come, your heart, I will choose / Forever I'm yours, forever I do / I get to love you, I get to love you"
This is one of the best first dance songs of 2023 because Ruelle wrote this as a surprise for her future husband and had it playing during their first dance at their wedding. This slow song is about being happy and grateful you get the chance to love someone you care about. We suggest hiring a live band to perform an instrumental version of this heartwarming song during the processional.
9. "All of Me," by 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 / Even when I lose, I'm winning"
This song has been a common first dance song since its release in 2013 and has become one of John Legend's most popular songs. Dedicated to Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, this song describes loving one's partner, flaws and all. And if that isn't a perfect sentiment for your big day, we don't know what is.
10. "Beyond," by Leon Bridges
Lyrics you'll love: "I'm scared to death that she might be it / That the love is real, that the shoe might fit / She might just be my everything and beyond (beyond) / Space and time in the afterlife / Will she have my kids? Will she be my wife? / She might just be my everything and beyond"
This soulful hit perfectly encapsulates the excitement and nervousness that accompanies a new relationship. It has an old-school vibe that guests of all ages will love—and its sultry feel makes it a unique first dance song. This romantic song was on Bridge's Good Thing album, which was nominated for the Best R&B Album Grammy Award in 2019.