78 First Dance Songs from Real Weddings

lori john wedding california dancing
Steve Cowell Photography

One of the first "official" tasks as newlyweds? To hit the dance floor! The first dance is a sweet, beloved tradition, but it also puts some pressure on the bride and groom. Not only do they have to take their spin in front of all of their guests (leading some pairs to book lessons or practice beforehand), but they have to select a first dance song that really speaks to their relationship. If you're bad at decision-making, don't sweat it—you and your partner certainty aren't alone. As you'll soon read, some couple's don't choose their first dance tune until the last minute! Just remember, the moment doesn't have to be too serious. You're allowed to have fun, and even improvise, as your attendees likely care more about seeing you smiling than watching you pull off an immaculate performance.

All that being said, if the event means a lot to you, we recommend devoting some time to planning it. Thinking about or researching first dance song ideas is a task that many soon-to-be spouses truly enjoy. Not only does it let you spend some quality time listening to tracks together, but it also lets you reflect on your love story, and try to capture the essence of it with music.

Check out these unique first dance songs—which span tons of artists and genres—from real weddings for inspiration. Whether the following couples picked emotional songs with meaning or beats specifically chosen to get celebrants on their feet, they all happily danced their ways into married life.

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"The Only Reason"

guests enjoying reception wedding couple first dance
Hajley Photography

JP Cooper's "The Only Reason" played as the bride and groom danced to the romantic song.

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"La Vie en Rose"

couple having first dance at wedding and laughing
Dev Khalsa

Abbi and Charles selected Louis Armstrong's rendition of this classic French song. "We live in New Orleans and this song means a lot to both of us," says the bride, who wore a classic Carolina Herrera wedding dress during her big day (she accented it with a sweet headpiece from Two Hands Floral). "When we first started dating, we would walk through the French Quarter and hear the sound of music everywhere and would play 'La Vie en Rose' on repeat when we got home."

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"Best Part"

victoria tk wedding first dance
Enuel Viera Photography

Daniel Caeser's "Best Part" played as the couple swayed to the romantic tune.

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meredith pierce wedding couple first dance
Clark Brewer

This pair put on their dancing shoes for "Beyond" by Leon Bridges.

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"Why I Love You"

tebogo simon wedding reception first dance couple
Margaux Cronje

The couple danced and twirled to "Why I Love You" by Major. "It's our favorite song—we loved it the first time we heard it," said the bride.

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"Thinking Out Loud"

marianne patrick couples first dance
Lacie Hansen Photography

These newlyweds were all smiles as they swayed to Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud."

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Jazz Guitar

bride and groom sharing first dance on the beach
Meg Smith

Ideal for the pair that likes the sweet musical stylings of jazz, this couple had a guitarist strum a made-up tune.

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"On a Night Like This"

dylan nathan wedding dance
The Jacksons

The grooms opted for Kylie Minogue's "On a Night Like This" as their wedding song.

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"Bring it on Home to Me"

wedding couple dancing at reception
Kenzie Victory

A little bit of romance rang through the speakers as the couple twirled to "Bring It on Home to Me" by Sam Cooke.

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"Always Remember Us This Way"

groom smiles boldly at bride during reception dance
Jillian Mitchell

Opting for a song from the critically acclaimed movie A Star Is Born, the duo danced to Lady Gaga's "Always Remember Us This Way."

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"Is This Love"

couple dancing at reception under floral installment
Tenth and Grace

The pair danced their first dance to Bob Marley's "Is This Love," covered by Allen Stone.

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"Tennessee Whiskey"

rae rob wedding first dance
Joel Serrato

"Choosing songs was one of the most memorable parts of wedding planning," this bride shared, especially since it involved "listening to every song, and of course, impromptu dance sessions to test them out." She and her groom picked "Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Stapleton for their first spin.

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Grooms in custom leaf-patterned suits
Lance Nicoll Photography

Daniel Caesar's "Blessed" crooned as the couple danced the night away as a married pair.

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"How Long Will I Love You"

maggie zach wedding reception first dance
Vienna Glenn Photography

"How Long Will I Love You" by Ellie Goulding played as these two hit the dance floor.

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shelby barrett wedding first dance
Corbin Gurkin

The groom selected "Treasure" by Bruno Mars for his first dance with his new wife. "We're not the best dancers so it was embarrassing but so much fun," the bride admitted.

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"My Love"

YunHee Kim

These newlyweds started the dance party at their wedding by twirling to Lionel Richie's "My Love."

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"This Will Be Our Year"

couple dancing
Elizabeth Messina

"Choosing the song for our first dance was the hardest thing," this bride revealed. "We have a lot of crossover taste in music, but we also have a lot of different taste in music. It got heated!" Like all good couples, these two eventually compromised, and danced to "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies.

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"Stand by Me"

simone darren wedding ireland first dance
Paula O'Hara

This pair shared a sweet moment moving to Ben E. King's "Stand by Me."

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"You Are The First, My Last, My Everything"

amanda alex wedding couple dancing
Ryan Ray Photography

"You Are The First, My Last, My Everything" by Barry White played as these spouses took their first dance as newlyweds.

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"Bless the Broken Road"

bride and groom dancing
Clary Pfeiffer Photography

This couple went with "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts. "We dated several times over the decade we've known each other and the lyrics of this song fit our relationship so beautifully," said the bride.

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"Peachtree Street"

wedding first dance
KT Merry

"Peachtree Street" by Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney served as the soundtrack to this pair's first dance, which took place on a unique dance floor.

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"Loving You Easy"

wedding first dance
Joel Serrato

One of this couple's favorite dates was going to a Zac Brown Band concert, so they picked "Loving You Easy" by the country band.

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"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"

alexis zach wedding italy first dance black white
Kyle John Photography

This bride's cousin surprised her and her new husband by singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for their first dance.

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wedding couple dancing
Jose Villa

These spouses spun to "True" by George Strait.

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"So High" and "Darte un Beso"

wedding first dance
Koby Brown

This couple danced to two different songs: "So High" by John Legend and a slowed-down cover of "Darte un Beso" by Prince Royce.

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"Swept Away [Sentimental Version]"

becca zac wedding first dance
Fer Juaristi

These two swayed to "Swept Away [Sentimental Version]" by The Avett Brothers because they saw the band perform on one of their first dates.

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"Crazy for You"

Ben Christensen Photography

These grooms put Madonna's "Crazy for You" on for their first dance.

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"Then I Kissed Her"

first dance
Mariel Hannah Photography

The bride and groom both love the Beach Boys, so they twirled to "Then I Kissed Her" for their first dance.

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"Lovin' You, Baby"

wedding first dance
Rachel Meagan Photography

These newlyweds danced to "Lovin' You, Baby" by Charles Bradley, performed by Aaron McDonnell and the Neon Eagles. "We love Aaron McDonnell and his band, and really wanted him to play it," the bride shared. "He said he would learn it, as long as we were fine with it sounding like Alan Jackson covering Charles Bradley."

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"Green Eyes"

wedding first dance
Mike Cassimatis

These two danced into married life with Coldplay's "Green Eyes" playing.

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"Lovely Day"

brette patrick wedding first dance
Merari Photography

This couple set their first dance to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. The groom was nervous about his two left feet, so the pair took dance lessons before their celebration.

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"How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"

carey jared wedding first dance
Anna Shackleford

This groom spun his bride to "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by James Taylor.

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"Feeling Good"

ana and damon couple first dance
Shannen Natasha of The Wedding Artists Collective

"Feeling Good" by Nina Simone was selected for this wedding's first dance.

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"At Last"

hadley corey wedding first dance
Henry + Mac

These spouses chose "At Last" by Etta James for the first dance at their celebration.

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"I Will"

katie samuel couple dancing
Thayer Allyson Gowdy

These spouses stepped out for their first dance to "I Will" by the Beatles.

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"99 Problems"

wedding couple first dance
Lacie Hansen Photography

Jay-Z's "99 Problems" might be a surprising choice for a first dance song, but this couple explained that they "wanted something fun to let loose to." Plus, their folksy band put a unique spin on it.

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"Harvest Moon"

joanna jay wedding first dance
Nina and Wes Photography

"Harvest Moon" by Neil Young played as these spouses danced together.

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"Shot at the Night"

stephanie jared wedding first dance
Mirelle Carmichael Photography

"We went back and forth choosing a song, with friends and family (and the internet) telling us we should do something traditional. One day when we were driving, ['Shot at the Night' by the Killers] came on and it just clicked," this bride said. "We knew we had to dance to our favorite song, no matter what anyone thought. It still is one of our favorite parts of the wedding."

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"Crazy Love"

wedding first dance
Lacie Hansen Photography

This couple went with Van Morrison's "Crazy Love" for their first dance song.

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"They Bring Me to You"

Our Labor of Love

Groomsman Joshua Radin performed his song "They Bring Me to You" for this couple's first spin on the dance floor.

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"Si Tu Vois Ma Mère"

Elisabeth Millay Photography

The newlyweds chose Sidney Bechet's "Si Tu Vois Ma Mère" as their first dance song.

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Mr. Haack

This reception began with the newlyweds dancing to "Springtime" by Annuals. During their engagement, the couple took classic dance lessons to prepare for the big moment, and, thanks to their instructor, they wowed the crowd with their moves.

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"One and Only"

Carrie Patterson Photography

Adele's "One and Only" played as these newlyweds took to the dance floor.

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"You Are the Best Thing"

Nancy Ray Photography

These spouses shared their first married dance to "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne.

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"You Got It"

Chrisman Studios

The only point of stress for this bride was the first dance. Why? Because historically the groom wasn't much of a dancer. After a few denied requests at some semblance of a run-through, the newlyweds hit the floor blindly to Roy Orbison's "You Got It." "On the day of the wedding he came out with [quite a routine],"the bride said, rendering her utterly amazed.

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"The Emperor Waltz"

Claire Morgan

These newlyweds selected "Emperor Waltz" by Johann Strauss II, the traditional opening tune at all royal balls, for its gorgeous melody, but also because of its special meaning. The groom's friend lovingly refers to the couple as the Emperor and Empress.

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"Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"

Belathée Photography

"When we first entered the ballroom, we danced our way to the floor while our band played American Authors' 'Best Day of My Life,' then we immediately cut the cake. It was so exciting to see all our family and friends surrounding us—you could feel the love and energy filling the room," the groom said. The newlyweds later danced their official first dance to Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You."

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"When I Say I Do"

Joielala Photographie

"When I Said I Do" by Clint Black had been this bride's dream wedding song ever since junior high. It played as the newlyweds hit the dance floor.

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"Learn How to Fall"

Lang Thomas Photography

These two took a spin on the dance floor to Paul Simon's "Learn How to Fall."

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"Let's Stay Together"

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Kissing at Wedding
Lindsay Madden Photography

The bride and groom at this wedding took the floor for their first dance to Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

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"Ho Hey!"

Catherine Mead

This couple shared their first dance to their favorite song: the Lumineers' "Ho Hey!" The reception's two-piece band, Morrissey & Marshall, played the tune while the couple swayed under a disco ball.

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"Banana Pancakes"

Erin McGinn

This couple spun around the dance floor to Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" at their wedding.

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Katie Stoops

"Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac played as these two hit the dance floor at their celebration.

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"Making Plans" and "Still the One"

m three studio

At this wedding, the couple slow-danced to "Making Plans" by Miranda Lambert, and then surprised guests by breaking into a choreographed number to "Still the One" by Orleans.

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"Never Going Back"

Jessica Lorren

On their first date, this groom asked the bartender about a song blasting from the speakers. "He told him it was Fleetwood Mac's 'Never Going Back Again,' with a tone that said 'duh,'" the bride reminisced. "So that was the first song we danced to."

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"Better Together"


Before the big day, this pair took a few dance classes in preparation for the reception. For their first dance, they selected Jack Johnson's "Better Together."

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"Only Love"

Harwell Photography

The spotlight shone brightly on the newlyweds as they danced their way to "Only Love" by Ben Howard. "Our song was so beautiful and romantic and fit us perfectly," the bride says of the tune by a musician she and her husband discovered the summer of the wedding.

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"Your Song" and "Never Gonna Give You Up"

Charlie Juliet Photography

For their first dance, this couple chose a two-song mash-up of Ellie Golding's rendition of Elton John's "Your Song" that led into Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," to which the lighthearted dance-lovers performed a comically-choreographed routine.

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"The Glory of True Love"

Meg Smith Photography

The groom (a music buff) introduced his bride to John Prine and chose the musician's "The Glory of True Love" for their first dance together as husband and wife. "It's such a fun, happy song, and everybody got into it and clapped along," the bride shared. "It was a great kickoff to the reception."

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"Your Sweet Love"

Austin Gros

These newlyweds chose "Your Sweet Love" by Lee Hazelwood for their first track.

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"I Will Be There"

James Moes

These newlyweds shared a sweet first dance to the song "I Will Be There" by Odessa.

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"All of Me"


These sweethearts chose John Legend's "All of Me" for their first twirl together as newlyweds.

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"Just the Way You Are"

Landon Jacob

For their first dance, this pair picked Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are."

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"True Love Waits"


These newlyweds hinted at a note exchanged in the beginning of their courtship by choosing Radiohead's "True Love Waits."

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"Back Together Again"

Aaron Smith

These newlyweds danced to "Back Together Again" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway at their celebration.

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"Sea of Love"

Chloé Browne of Caught the Light

These two were married on a small Greek Island, so their choice of first dance song was pretty apropros: Cat Power's "Sea of Love."

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"New York, New York"

Elisabeth Millay

Even though they were wed in South Carolina, these two stayed true to their lives in New York City by sharing their first dance to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."

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"Into the Mystic"

Jill Thomas

These newlyweds chose "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison for their first dance.

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Odalys Mendez

This pair chose "Dreams" by The Cranberries for their first tune.

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"Real Love"

Whitney Neal Photography

These spouses swayed under the string lights and greenery to John Lennon's "Real Love."

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"You're All I Need To Get By"

Stephanie Bassos Photography

"You're All I Need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell played during this first dance. A lot of other Motown classics played during the post-ceremony time in the park (after all, the groom is from Detroit, and the couple loves that genre of music).

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"Win Your Love for Me"

Elizabeth Messina Photography

These two twirled to Sam Cooke's "Win Your Love for Me." It wasn't the song they chose and rehearsed (that was Cooke's "You Send Me"), but they kept smiling nonetheless when the band started playing the unexpected tune! (The bride had mistakenly told them the wrong song.)

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"Moonage Daydream"

Charlotte Jenks Lewis

David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" played as this pair danced together for the first time as newlyweds. Then, everyone joined in. "People who never dance, danced at our wedding," one bride recalled. "I feel like that sort of says it all."

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"The Way You Look Tonight"

Liz Banfield

These spouses danced amid glowing lights to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra.

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"The Moon Song"

Weddings by Sasha

This couple chose "The Moon Song" by Karen O for the first dance at their wedding.

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"What a Wonderful World"

Pablo Béglez

This couple danced to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. "Dancing outside in the beautiful weather under those lights to that gorgeous song, and feeling so in love, was a dream, " shared the bride, who added that the tune was a favorite of her father's.

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"Lay Lady Lay"

Jose Villa

These spouses danced to "Lay Lady Lay" by Bob Dylan at their event.

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"A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square"


When it came time to dance, this pair slipped into something more boogie-ready (a tux for him, a slinky Elizabeth Fillmore gown for her). Lit by the moon and twinkling sparklers, they twirled to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," sung by a friend.

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