Top 10 first dance songs and a guide to choosing yours

Wow your guests with an incredible first dance song

first dance songs Juliet by Pronovias
Juliet by Pronovias

The first dance is without a doubt one of the most memorable moments of the wedding day. Usually performed after the wedding breakfast, to kick off the party, the happy couple head to the dance floor for an all-eyes-on-them show. it’s common to choose a romantic slow song for the first dance, but some modern couples have opted for more up-beat tunes and even show-stopping choreographed performances.

Read on to discover the most popular first dance songs of 2019…

Of course, there is no obligation to partake in a first dance at all. If you are both particularly shy, what you could do is arrange with your DJ or toastmaster to invite everyone to the dancefloor after the first 30 seconds of the song.

The second song is usually when the Father of the Bride will dance with the Bride and sometimes the Mother of the Groom will then dance with the Groom. Again, all completely subject to opinion and tradition so just plan whatever feels right for you.

How to choose a first dance song

Start by deciding whether you want to go for something slow and romantic, or upbeat and fun. If you’re going for romance, listen very carefully to the lyrics of your top picks. Lots of sentimental songs don’t have lyrics to match the music. Alternatively, if slow and weepy just isn’t for you, go for fun and funky. Something like Happy by Pharrell Williams is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. According to The Telegraph, Harry and Meghan actually selected the Whitney Houston classic I Wanna Dance With Somebody as their first dance song!

When it comes to selecting this very important piece of music, you should try and choose something that means something to both of you. It could be the song that was playing in the background when you first met, an iconic track from a gig you have attended together or just a mutual song that you’ve both grown to know and love. Don’t worry if it’s ultra-popular, not popular at all, or a complete cliché, if it means something to you both, then you should go for it.

First dance wedding songs

The top 10 first dance songs of 2019

  1. Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran
  2. Perfect, Ed Sheeran
  3. All Of Me, John Legend
  4. Iris, Goo Goo Dolls
  5. 5 The One, Kodaline
  6. Say You Won’t Let Go, James Arthur
  7. A Thousand Years, Christina Perri
  8. How Long Will I Love You, Ellie Goulding
  9. Ho Hey, The Lumineers
  10. A Sky Full Of Stars, Coldplay

Other musical moments

As well the first dance song, you need to get thinking about other musical aspects of your big day.

The ceremony
There are a number of key moments in your ceremony that need a soundtrack: your guests arriving, your arrival, the signing of the register and then the recessional, as you and your new husband leave. Modern ceremony music can be anything from your favourite Beatles’ track to the ultimate arrival music, Wagner’s Wedding March from Lohengrin. Just make sure it suits the formality of the occasion.

Traditional Ceremony

  • Trumpet Voluntary Jeremiah Clarke
  • The Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music
  • Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba Purcell
  • Canon In D Pachelbel

Modern Ceremony

  • Glasgow Love Theme from Love Actually
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered Stevie Wonder
  • First Day Of My Life Bright Eyes
  • Make You Feel My Love Adele

The wedding breakfast
A little background music at your wedding breakfast will help the conversation flow, whether that’s from live musicians or from your own playlist. Again, always try and match the music to the venue and the atmosphere you want to create. Instrumental tracks work well and remember to keep the volume low, so it doesn’t drown out the conversation.

  • A Thousand Years Christina Perri
  • Truly Madly Deeply Savage Garden
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered Stevie Wonder
  • Come Away With Me Norah Jones

The reception
Your evening music needs to be all about sure-fire floor fillers. You many have a penchant for soulful ballads, but your guests will want something they can dance to. By all means drop in the odd personal track here and there, but make sure the majority are good for a boogie. If the budget will stretch, a live band will inject plenty of atmosphere but, if not, a great playlist and a decent sound system still does the trick.

Party time – floor fillers

  • Dancing Queen ABBA
  • Uptown Funk Mark Ronson
  • Sex On Fire Kings Of Leon
  • Mr. Brightside The Killers
  • Crazy In Love Beyoncé

To end the night

  • Come On Eileen Dexys Midnight Runners
  • The Time Of My Life from Dirty Dancing
  • Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey
  • New York, New York Frank Sinatra
  • All You Need is Love The Beatles