The Top 22 Whitney Houston Songs to Play at Your Wedding Reception
Whitney Houston is known for her iconic pop hits and soaring ballads. Her diverse catalog features many wedding-reception mainstays, from romantic first-dance classics to songs that will pack the dance floor. In fact, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose a Whitney Houston song as their first dance (bet you can't guess which one!). Want to include Whitney Houston wedding songs on your big day? The following list is a great place to start brainstorming which Whitney songs your band or DJ should add to your wedding playlist.
"How Will I Know," Whitney Houston
Lyrics you'll love: "How will I know if he really loves me?/I say a prayer with every heartbeat/I fall in love whenever we meet/I'm asking you what you know about these things/How will I know if he's thinking of me?/I try to phone, but I'm too shy (Can't speak)/Falling in love is so bittersweet/This love is strong, why do you I feel weak?"
"How Will I Know" is arguably one of Whitney Houston's most famous songs; it topped the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Black Singles and Adult Contemporary charts. Appearing on Houston's debut studio album, "How Will I Know" is an iconic bop about falling in love and wondering if said person feels the same way (we've all been there!). This classic has to be played at least once during your wedding reception, as it will have your entire party up and moving on the dance floor.
"Saving All My Love for You," Whitney Houston
Lyrics you'll love: "You used to tell me we'd run away together/Love gives you the right to be free/You said, 'Be patient, just wait a little longer'/But that's just an old fantasy"
"Saving All My Love for You" was originally recorded by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., but Houston's 1985 recording topped the Billboard Hot 100 and quickly became Houston's first #1 hit. Houston's powerful voice combined with the emotional lyrics makes this love song a great choice for a slow dance during your wedding reception.
"I Will Always Love You," The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
Lyrics you'll love: "I hope life treats you kind/And I hope you have all you've dreamed of/And I'm wishing you joy and happiness/But above all this, I wish you love"
This emotional love song will have you weeping in seconds. "I Will Always Love You" was originally written by Dolly Parton in 1974 but was covered by Houston in 1992 for The Bodyguard. Since the movie's release, the song has become one of the best-selling singles of all time. While it's a less-than-ideal first dance song (it is about a breakup, after all), you can certainly play it as a slow dance or during cocktail hour or dinner.
"Higher Love," I'm Your Baby Tonight
Lyrics you'll love: "Think about it/There must be a higher love/Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above/Without it, life is wasted time/Look inside your heart, and I'll look inside mine"
"Higher Love" is a cover of Steve Winwood's song, and was a bonus track on the Japanese release of Whitney Houston's 1990 album I'm Your Baby Tonight. Norwegian Producer Kygo's 2019 version is an upbeat song that's ideal for you and your new spouse's reception grand entrance.
"I'm Every Woman," The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
Lyrics you'll love: "I'm every woman/It's all in me/Anything you want done baby/I do it naturally/I'm every woman/It's all in me/I can read your thoughts right now/Every one, from A to Z"
Chaka Khan originally recorded "I'm Every Woman" in 1978.. Whitney Houston, who was a backup vocalist for Khan, recorded her version of "I'm Every Woman" over a decade later for The Bodyguard. Both versions are infused with empowerment and could be played for a fun dance floor moment on your big day.
"I Wanna Dance with Somebody," Whitney
Lyrics you'll love: "Oh, I wanna dance with somebody/I wanna feel the heat with somebody/Yeah! I wanna dance with somebody/With somebody who loves me"
This upbeat classic was chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for their first dance song. While you could certainly play it for your own moment in the spotlight, this tune tends to beckon wedding guests head onto the dance floor so it's the perfect song to kick off a set of upbeat songs.
"My Love Is Your Love," My Love is Your Love
Lyrics you'll love: "'As the years, they pass us by (The years, they years, the years)/We stay young through each other's eyes (Each other's eyes)/And no matter how old we get, oh/It's okay as long as I got you, babe"
"My Love Is Your Love" was released in 1999 on Houston's fourth album of the same name. The lyrics describe a love that lives on even after you lose someone. "My Love Is Your Love" is often considered a song about the parent-child relationship, making it a great option for your father-daughter dance.
"I'm Your Baby Tonight," I'm Your Baby Tonight
Lyrics you'll love: "From the moment I saw you/I went outta my mind/Though I never believed in/Love at first sight/But you got a magic boy/That I just can't explain"
Whitney Houston's hit song and album of the same name topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Black Singles chart. "I'm Your Baby Tonight" is a steamy love song that would make a great addition to your playlist for your big day.
"So Emotional," Whitney
Lyrics you'll love: "I've been hearing your heartbeat inside of me/I keep your photo right beside my bed/Livin' in a world of fantasies/I can't get you out of my head"
"So Emotional" also topped the Billboard Hot 100, as well as the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Songs chart in 1988. The latter distinction means you have to play this song at your wedding reception. Whitney Houston's song describes the feeling of being in love for the first time—a sweet sentiment for your big day.
"Where Do Broken Hearts Go," Whitney
Lyrics you'll love: "Where do broken hearts go?/Can they find their way home/Back to the open arms/Of a love that's waiting there?/And if somebody loves you/Won't they always love you?/I look in your eyes/And I know that you still care, for me"
"Where Do Broken Hearts Go" is another Billboard Hot 100 from Whitney Houston's second album Whitney, and one of her best songs. The title may give you the wrong vibe for your wedding day, but if you listen closely to the lyrics you will see that Houston is singing about true love eclipsing broken hearts.
"Didn't We Almost Have It All," Whitney
Lyrics you'll love: "Didn't we almost have it all/When love was all we had worth giving?/The ride with you was worth the fall my friend/Loving you makes life worth living"
Playing a breakup song may seem like the wrong move on your wedding day, but it's totally okay to play this beautiful ballad during cocktail hour or dinner if it's one of your favorite Whitney Houston tunes.
"Run to You," The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album
Lyrics you'll love: "I wanna run to you/I wanna run to you/Won't you hold me in your arms/And keep me safe from harm?/I wanna run to you/But if I come to you/Tell me, will you stay or will you run away?"
"Run to You" is both a love song and a breakup song at the same time. It's a must-play Whitney Houston wedding song for fans of her hit film, The Bodyguard.
"One Moment in Time," Whitney Houston Live: Her Greatest Performances
Lyrics you'll love: "I want one moment in time/When I'm more than I thought I could be/When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away/And the answers are all up to me"
"One Moment in Time" was performed by Whitney Houston for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The inspiring song combines R&B, pop, soul and gospel into a powerful ballad. "One Moment in Time" is an ideal slow-dance song—after all, your big day is one moment in time that will define your future.
"I Look to You," I Look to You
Lyrics you'll love: "I look to you/I look to you/After all my strength is gone/In you, I can be strong/And when melodies are gone/In you, I hear a song"
Houston's 2009 song from the album of the same name is a tearjerker, describing a narrator who finds strength in the one she loves. "I Look to You" is a sweet parent dance song for those who have some ups and downs in their relationship.
"All at Once," Whitney Houston
Lyrics you'll love: "Every since I met you/You're the only one I've known/And I can't forget you/Though I must face it all alone/All at once, I'm drifting on a lonely sea/Wishing you'd come back to me/And that's all that matters now"
"All at Once" deals with heartbreak, so while it may not be the right mood for your first dance song, you could feature it as a slow-dance song, or play it during cocktail hour or dinner.
"All The Man That I Need," I'm Your Baby Tonight
Lyrics you'll love: "And in the morning when I kiss his eyes/He takes me down and rocks me slow/And in the evening/When the moon is high/He holds me close and won't let me go"
"All The Man That I Need" was recorded by Linda Clifford and Sister Sledge in 1982. Whitney Houston covered the hit song in her third album; her version was nominated for a Grammy and a Soul Train Music Award. The intimate lyrics and romantic images in "All The Man That I Need" could make it a top contender for your first dance song.
"You Give Good Love," Whitney Houston
Lyrics you'll love: "Now you're here, like you've been before/And you know just what I need/It took some time for me to see that you give good love to me"
"You Give Good Love" was the first track on Whitney's first-ever album. It's a bit of a sultry, sexy song, so if you're comfortable with that vibe, it can make a great addition to your playlist.
"We Didn't Know," I'm Your Baby Tonight
Lyrics you'll love: "That's what happens/When innocent friends/Turn serious lovers/And we're so happy that/We've fallen in love/And still can be best of friends"
"We Didn't Know" is a duet between Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder released in 1990. This song peaked at #20 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart in 1992. The love song is about two friends falling in love, making it a wholesome choice for your first dance song.
"When You Believe," Prince of Egypt Soundtrack
Lyrics you'll love: "There can be miracles/When you believe/Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill/Who knows what miracles you can achieve?/When you believe, somehow you will/You will when you believe"
Another famous duet in Houston's career, "When You Believe" features famous songstress Mariah Carey. Houston and Carey's iconic song is a romantic ballad to play on your big day, and can be a nice parent dance song idea.
"I Believe in You and Me," The Preacher's Wife (Original Soundtrack Album)
Lyrics you'll love: "I believe in dreams again/I believe that love will never end/And like the river finds the sea/I was lost, now I'm free/'Cause I believe in you and me"
"I Believe in You and Me" debuted in the 1996 comedy-drama The Preacher's Wife starring Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance. This is a very powerful first dance song, or can be played at another point during your reception.
"For the Love of You," Whitney
Lyrics you'll love: "Drifting on a memory/Ain't no place I'd rather be than with you/Loving you/Day will make the way for night/All we need is candlelight"
This is an R&B and pop song filled with sunny and breezy imagery that makes it the perfect first dance song for a beachside or summer wedding.
"A Song For You," I Look to You
Lyrics you'll love: "You taught me precious secrets of a true love/(Withholding nothing)/You came out in front when I was hiding/But now I'm so much better, and if my words don't come together/Listen to the melody (The melody) 'cause my love is in there hiding"
This song has been covered by many artists, but Whitney's version has an upbeat twist starting about one minute in. We love the idea of starting your first dance slow, and then inviting your wedding guests to the dance floor once the song picks up.