Top 20 Classic First Dance Songs


When it comes to your reception, the music you choose for your first dance will set the tone for your new life together. Depending on your style and taste, you can go as traditional or unique as you want. Some people like to choreograph dance moves, while others keep it simple. No matter what you choose, these classic first dance songs are the perfect ones to start.

Top 20 Classic First Dance Songs

At Last, Etta James

You can’t go wrong with “At Last”. The rhythm and the violins are romantic, the lyrics are all about love, and Etta’s voice is unbearable. You’ve finally found the love of your life, and now you’re really celebrating.

Can’t Help Falling In Love, Elvis Presley

Really most of Elvis’s songs are classic, but this one takes the cake because it perfectly captures the moment when you fell in love, and what better emotions to feel when you are dancing together as husband and wife for the first time?

First Day of My Life, Bright Eyes

The title kind of says it all – this is the first day of your new life! This pop track is great for a contemporary take on your first dance, and the poppy beat will have everyone clapping along with the two of you.

I’ve Had The Time Of My Life, Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

You don’t have to choreograph a dance to this song, but you do have the full option of going total Dirty Dancing – particularly if you are both dancers. Even if you just choose to slow dance together, the title and lyrics say it all.

(I Just) Died In Your Arms, Cutting Crew

To keep the 80s drama going, Cutting Crew’s hit is a great option of a choreographed dance together – and can be an amazing way to stun your crowd with a theatrical performance. Plus, older members of the crowd will love it.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Lauryn Hill

You could go with the Frankie Valli version, but Lauryn Hill does an excellent job of updating this classic love song. At the moment of your first dance, there is no one else you’ll be looking at, so the title really sums up the perfection of this song.

I Swear, John Michael Montgomery or All 4 One

Depending on your musical tastes, you can either go with Montgomery’s original country version or All 4 One’s R&B one. Both are perfect ways to spend a special moment with each other after you’ve exchanged your vows.

A Thousand Years, Christina Perri

Lovers of the Twilight series may remember this song from the film, it is such a beautiful song – both in lyrics and melody – that it has become an instant favorite choice from classic first dance songs. Couples can do a waltz to the song, or simply slow dance together.

November Rain, Guns N' Roses

While it can be hard to find a rock jam that also doubles as a first dance song, "November Rain" is an epic love song with lyrics and guitars that are unparalleled. It’s also incredibly long (eight minutes!) so maybe just pick your favorite part.

It Must Be Love, Madness

This is a great song if you’re looking for something a little more upbeat for the first dance. It’s a great cheery way to celebrate your union – the lyrics are all about love – and is actually the perfect length for a dance song at three and a half minutes.

Hold My Hand, Hootie & The Blowfish

If traditional slow dances aren’t your thing, “Hold My Hand” is both a fun tune and has great lyrics that are perfect for a wedding reception. This pop classic is sure to delight every one of your guests, and will have both of you smiling throughout.

Stand By Me, Ben E. King

As far as classic first dance songs go, “Stand By Me” is a perennial favorite. You’ve just shared your commitment to each other – for better or for worse – so this song lets you enjoy that moment during your dance. Of course, it’s also easy to dance to.

Make You Feel My Love, Adele

Adele’s voice makes her a crowd favorite, no matter what song you choose, but this is a great emotional song for a first slow dance. Plus, the lyrics are all about what someone would do for the person they love – a perfect reminder for your wedding night.

Bittersweet Symphony, The Verve

While the lyrics are more about reinventing oneself, it’s perfectly appropriate as a wedding first dance song because of both the symphonic music and the idea that the two of you are starting a new life together.

Everything I Do, I Do It For You, Bryan Adams

The great thing about this song is that you don’t have to do much to make your first dance have a major impact. The two of you will enjoy a special time together remembering your devotion, and everyone else will get to watch as you celebrate your love.

The Way You Look Tonight, Maroon 5

While Frank Sinatra’s version is great, the Maroon 5 version is an excellent choice for those who want more of an upbeat rhythm to dance to – go all out and learn the foxtrot, it’s perfect! Not to mention, the song is all about love.

I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, Aerosmith

When you listen to Aerosmith’s lyrics, the song is all about how the two of you want to spend every moment of your new life together. Perfect for getting excited about what you’ll encounter by each others’ sides.

By Your Side, Sade

This beautiful song not only has great lyrics about how two people commit to each other for life, but Sade’s voice will also help keep both of you relaxed during your moment. It’s easy to dance to and lovely to listen to.

All I Want Is You, U2

This chill U2 song is on plenty of classic first dance songs lists because at your wedding, you get to celebrate having each other after you’ve waited for this big day. It’s moving and slow enough for anyone to dance to with ease.

You’re My Best Friend, Queen

To top off the list, Queen’s pop hit has an upbeat rhythm and lets the bride and groom really have fun for their first dance. It’s a good reminder that marriages are also about fun, and you will be there for each other no matter what.