The ultimate list of first dance songs for your special wedding day – as chosen by our live music experts

Everyone looks forward to the first dance – the moment the bride and groom unite on the dancefloor surrounded by their friends and family. But which song to choose? The right tune needs to be personable, memorable and ultimately, perfect for the individual couple. It’ll be the soundtrack to your special day for years to come.

Our live wedding bands and musicians have played hundreds of first dance songs over the years, so we know exactly what it takes to create that perfect moment. 

So whether you’re after a true romantic melody or something a bit more rocking, we’ve rounded up the best first dance wedding songs for your special day.

So what are the best alternative first dance songs for your special day?

Whether you want to rock out or simply slow dance, we’ve picked the top first dance songs for every style of wedding.

Most popular first dance songs

These popular wedding songs bring a touch of romance to any special day.

1. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

The 21st century’s King of ballads tops our most popular wedding songs with his number one single Thinking Out Loud. Pair with an intimate slow dance or take inspiration from Ed’s romantic routine and learn the steps from the much-loved music video.

2. Make You Feel My Love – Adele

Adele’s rendition of Bob Dylan’s love song topped the charts back in 2008 and has remained a firm favourite ever since. 

3. All Of Me – John Legend

One of the most romantic songs of the millenium, John Legend’s tribute to his wife Chrissy Tiegan is among our newlywed’s favourite first dances. Another choice for those who love choreography, this ballad is perfect for twirls, lifts and long gazing looks.

4. Marry Me – Train

Unsurprisingly, this chart topper became a popular pick after it set the scene for a viral flashmob proposal that now boasts over 34 million views! We love its upbeat happy vibe that would work perfectly with a live wedding band.

5. At Last – Etta James

An oldie but a goldie, Etta James’ At Last never goes out of style. Brimming with romantic lyrics such as ‘my lonely days are over and life is like a song’, this classic is a guaranteed tearjerker.

Alternative first dance songs

If you’re searching for something less than traditional, these alternative wedding songs are anything but ordinary. 

6. You’re My Best Friend – Queen

For those who want to avoid a soppy contender, Queen’s sweet natured single is perfect for couples who really are the best of friends.

7. Let’s Get It On – Marvin Gaye

If you love a bit of soul and having a bit of a giggle, this saucy crowd pleaser will be a first dance to remember! 

8. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet

Anything but traditional, this upbeat rocker makes the ultimate alternative wedding song, perfect for getting guests up onto the dancefloor after you’ve made your first dance debut.

9. Grow Old With You – Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler?! Yep, you read it right. If you’ve seen The Wedding Singer you’ll know this beautifully funny wedding song is sure to see tears of joy and laughter.

10. Friday I’m in Love – The Cure

A perfect unusual first dance song for those who love to swing around the dancefloor – especially if you get hitched on a Friday!

Classic wedding songs

If traditional is more your style, take your pick from our classic wedding reception songs.

11. Your Song – Elton John

One of the ultimate love songs for weddings, Elton John delivers with his undeniably heartfelt ballad. 

12. Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton

Turn up the romance with some classic Eric Clapton. This much loved first dance tune is perfect for brides who love the limelight.

13. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley

The King of Rock sure had a romantic side, even the most cynical can’t help falling in love with it.

14. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers

Most of us have been to a wedding where Unchained Melody makes an appearance – but there’s a reason this classic is so popular. As soon as you hear the words oh, my love, you can’t help but get a little bleary eyed.

15. I Do It For You – Bryan Adams

Bring out all the feels with a bit of Bryan Adams. This wedding day staple has seen newlyweds meet on the dancefloor for decades – and it’s just as special today.

Upbeat first dance songs

A slow dance isn’t everyone’s jam. If grooving to the beat is more your style, then you’re spoilt for choice of upbeat love songs.

16. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Love songs definitely don’t have to be slow – as shown by Queen B and her longterm hubby Jay-Z in this 2003 classic. The perfect upbeat wedding song for a couple who are truly crazy in love.

17. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

Apparently Meghan and Harry’s first dance was none other than this number one hit by Whitney Houston. If it’s good enough for The Sussexes then it’s good enough for us.

18. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Marvin’s so good at the ole romance he’s here twice. This time with a soul duet guaranteed to get guests grooving.

19. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder

What wedding is complete without a bit of Stevie? You’ve signed, you’ve sealed, now it’s time to deliver on the dancefloor. 

20. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

For a perfectly happy pick guaranteed to get the party started, nothing can beat Justin Timberlake’s chart-topping pop track.

Rock wedding songs

If you’re a rocker at heart then why not pick a rock’n’roll hit for your first dance.

21. I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing – Aerosmith

If you want your rock with a side of classic romance then this is the song for you! Aerosmith’s ultimate rock ballad never goes out of style.

22. You Really Got Me – The Kinks

An iconic riff that’ll have your guests grooving alongside you as your twirl around the dancefloor. A perfect choice for your live wedding band.

23. White Wedding – Billy Idol

Particularly apt for those dressed in white, rock out to Billy Idol’s classic rock wedding song.

24. Starlight – Muse

Muse’s most popular track screams a rocking first dance that’ll have everyone flooding to the floor.

25. I Believe In A Thing Called Love – The Darkness

Definitely for those who want an alternative first dance, get your air guitars at the ready for this loved up headbanger. 

Live wedding bands are the ultimate way to make your first dance extra memorable. Whether you’re looking for a traditional 4-piece band, jazz ensemble or rocking live act, check out the best UK wedding bands for hire at HD Events.