17 Of The Best First Dance Songs For Weddings For That All-Important Cry-Laugh Boogie

·5-min read
Photo credit: Delmaine Donson - Getty Images
Photo credit: Delmaine Donson - Getty Images

If the floral arrangements, seating plan and ceremony order weren't enough to make you consider eloping, choosing the first dance song for your wedding might be the thing to push you over the edge.

For some couples, the choice is a no-brainer; their favourite song, the tune that reminds them of their first kiss, the cheesy nightclub banger that made them realise they’d finally found ‘the one’. But for others, the decision can be a real head-scratcher.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

So allow us to inspire you, with some heartfelt romantic classics to truly encourage tears among your guests, less-known but just as lovely songs about love and some real-life bride first dance selection-experience.

Ben E. King - 'Stand By Me'


The most Googled wedding song of 2018, did you know? Which was most likely inspired by that year's royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle where a gospel choir performed the song in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after the royal couple exchanged vows.

John Legend - 'All Of Me'

A very popular choice, thanks to the beautiful lyrics, soulful piano chords and music video which Legend uses to bare his soul about how in love he is with wife Chrissy Teigen.

Tina Turner - 'The Best'


Played at its intended tempo or slowed down like when Patrick performs it to David in Schitt's Creek, 'The Best' is a great song to dance with your new spouse to.

The Beatles - 'All You Need Is Love'

A joyful song which will undoubtedly have your wedding party dancing, smiling, singing and crying simultaneously. Just remember the smiles it evoked in Love Actually when Chiwetel Ejiofor's character surprises Keira Knightley on their wedding day with an impromptu choir performance (even if he is unaware his best friend Andrew Lincoln is in love with his wife).

Alicia Keys - 'If I Ain't Got You'

A suitable option for R&B lovers. Alicia Keys is gorgeous on this track and the lyrics will forever go down as some of the most beautiful when it comes to love songs.

Frank Sinatra - The Way You Look Tonight

As long as you don't cry when thinking of Julia Roberts gifting Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney 'their song' in My Best Friend's Wedding for their first dance after losing the man she loved, then this is a great option!

Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight


Another pop culture gem is 'Wonderful Tonight' which is the song Monica and Chandler dance to as the rolling credits for Friends play when the characters finally get engaged in the final episode of season 6.

David Bowie - 'Absolute Beginners'

ELLE's Group Managing Editor, Connie Osborne and her husband-to-be were big Bowie fans, and when she read the lyrics to 'Absolute Beginners' she knew that the combination of Bowie and gorgeous lyrics about love was the perfect choice.

'The lyrics are about two lovers starting out on their life journey together, which just seemed so fitting for our wedding day, but the tune is a classic Bowie anthem which we knew would get everyone on the dance floor.'

Des'Ree - 'I'm Kissing You'


One of the most romantic, and tearjerking, songs ever. How can you not think about mad, passionate, intense and meant-to-be love when this song was written and performed especially for Baz Luhrman's Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes-starring Romeo and Juliet in 1997?

Etta James - 'At Last'


'At last... my love has come along', well they might have come along a few years prior but you're married now so why not celebrate with the powerful vocals of Etta James?

Or if you want to really channel 'power couple' for your first dance, you could play the Beyoncé version, which Barack and Michelle Obama danced to at the former president's historic inauguration ball in 2008.

Otis Redding - 'Cigarettes and Coffee'

When planning her wedding to fiancé, ELLE's Picture Director Diana Eastman and her partner settled on this Otis Redding gem.

'We wanted something that would really capture the way that we still feel intense love for each other, even after 14 years of being together. Love is passion but also tenderness and contentment.'

Queen - 'Best Friend'

While Queen's 'Love Of My Life' might suggest a better first dance option, the lyrics are quite doom and gloom so we prefer 'Best Friend' as an ode to your significant other.

Sam & Bill - 'For Your Love'

ELLE's Executive Editor, Alice Wignall was introduced to her husband of 10 years by a mutual friend who, 'as well as doing good set-ups was also an amazing playlist-maker'.

'She had made us both playlists (individually) with this song on it. When we met and realised we both loved the same song, we knew it was meant to be.'

Elvis Presley - 'Can't Help Falling In Love'

An oldie but a goodie. This reliable love song never fails to perfectly capture the mood of a newlyweds first dance.

Grover Washington ft Bill Withers - 'Just The Two Of Us'

What better day to dance to a song about two people taking on the world together, just them, than on your wedding day?

Talking Heads - 'This Must Be The Place'

A gorgeous melody, love song lyrics but with a nostalgic signature 80s vibe that guests will love.

Beyoncé - 'Love On Top'

One of Queen Bey's more upbeat songs about love, this infectious song will have everyone up on their feet feeling the love. What more could you want from a first dance?

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