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The first dance is a sacred tradition for many engaged couples. Inspired by 17th Century French balls where the guests of honor began the dancing, newlyweds take center stage to dance the first dance of their reception.
There are thousands of song options and it can be hard to find the right one for you and your partner. The most popular first dance wedding songs in the past century encapsulate love in a fun, romantic and relatable way. Here are three highlights from each decade of the past 50 years to help you narrow down your list.
Though this decade is still new, we are finally moving away from the era of pandemic-related wedding postponements. The parties are back on. Here are three of the most popular first dance songs from the past few years.
Could I Love You Anymore – Jason Mraz & Reneé Dominique
This sweet duet is a gentle celebration of all love that can’t help but bring a smile to your face.
“Seven billion people in the world
Finding you is like a miracle
Only this wonder remains
Could I love you any more?”
Forever To Go – Chase Rice
This upbeat country song tells the story of a couple from first meeting to their wedding day.
“We were just kids
Stealin’ a kiss
And it feels like forever ago
But I love you more than yesterday
And we still got forever to go”
Stuck With You – Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber
The perfect slow-dance, this modern pop song talks about the unconditional love that can form in relationships.
“So lock the door
And throw out the key
Can’t fight this no more
It’s just you and me
And there’s nothing I, nothing I, I can do
I’m stuck with you, stuck with you, stuck with you”
Blending into 2020s wedding songs are the hits from the 2010s. A decade of meaningful songs, there are many great choices. Here are a few of the best.
Speechless – Dan + Shay
This is one of those modern country love songs that even non-country fans tend to hum along with. It is about a man who adores his lover so much he loses his words.
“It’s always on a night like tonight
I thank God you can read my mind
‘Cause when you look at me with those eyes
All Of Me – John Legend
If asked which love song from the decade springs to mind, this one might be it. Like the last song, it encapsulates the love of a man for a woman but the powerful lyrics are versatile enough to fit any couple.
“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
‘Cause I give you all of me
And you give me all of you.”
Perfect – Ed Sheeran
This song is about the love you can have for someone in all of life’s little moments, even when the other person doesn’t love themself.
“When you said you looked a mess
I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it
Darling, you look perfect tonight.”
The “noughties” was when many of today’s mega-stars got their start and love songs were often how it happened. While none of these songs were these artists’ first solo hit, they are some of the most popular first dance songs.
Halo – Beyoncé
Love is life-changing and the right person can change your perspective and make you happier than ever before. That’s what this song is all about.
“Everywhere I’m lookin’ now
I’m surrounded by your embrace
Baby, I can see your halo
You know you’re my saving grace”
Lucky – Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat
Another Jason Mraz duet that describes how amazing love can get and just how lucky you are to find the right person.
“Boy, I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard”
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
This slow, sweet song from Adele almost feels like a romantic lullaby. It is from the point of view of someone who found their soulmate and has unconditional love for them, regardless of what they face. It is great if you have a partner who will pick you up whenever you fall.
“I’d go hungry, I’d go black and blue
I’d go crawling down the avenue
No, there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do
To make you feel my love”
An era of upbeat pop and bridges that increase a song’s energy, some of the most popular, doting love ballads came from this decade.
Amazed – Lonestar
Falling in love is an incredible, confusing experience. Once you find the person you feel meant to be with, they can make the ordinary seem extraordinary. That’s what this song is all about.
“I wanna spend the rest of my life
With you by my side
Forever and ever
Every little thing that you do
Baby, I’m amazed by you”
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
The is one of those ‘90s songs that starts out slow and simple and builds up throughout the course of the song. It’s about someone filled with devotion and love for their partner.
“There’s no love
Like your love
And no other
Could give more love
Unless you’re there
All the time
All the way”
Only Wanna Be With You – Hootie & The Blowfish
This is a less sappy and more fun option. The band’s upbeat, foot-tapping song describes a person’s love for their girlfriend or wife through humorous but still heartfelt lyrics.
“Well there’s nothing I can do
I only wanna be with you
You can call me your fool
I only wanna be with you”
Rock and roll and dance pop were staples of this decade, with power ballads a common feature at weddings.
(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Made popular by the movie “Dirty Dancing,” this duet is an upbeat love song. You and your partner could go down as legends by performing the iconic lift from the end of the movie’s dance.
“I’ve had the time of my life
No, I never felt this way before
Yes, I swear, it’s the truth
And I owe it all to you”
Faithfully – Journey
This power ballad tells a story of undying love and devotion. Not every one has a conventional story.
“And being apart ain’t easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy of rediscovering you
Oh, girl, you stand by me
I’m forever yours
Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis
This upbeat classic country song is about a person’s undying love for their partner.
“If you wonder how long I’ll be faithful
I’ll be happy to tell you again
I’m gonna love you forever and ever
Forever and ever, amen”
The ‘70s was an eclectic decade of many genres. From Jazz and hip hop to punk rock and disco, love ballads were present through it all.
Fooled Around And Fell In Love – Elvin Bishop
This song is all about falling in love when you do not plan to. The right person can change your destiny.
“Free on my own that’s the way I used to be
But since I met you baby, love’s got a hold on me”
Your Song – Sir Elton John
This sweet and simple ballad from the Rocketman is about deep love and devotion. Those feelings are sometimes hard to express.
“And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”
Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
This song tells the story of a night out between husband and wife, showing their love for each other.
“I feel wonderful because I see the love light in your eyes
Then the wonder of it all is that you just don’t realize
How much I love you.”
Choosing the Right First Dance Song
Your first dance song should be something that resonates with your and your partner. There are no rules. These songs are some of the options out there that might help describe your love for each other.
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