11 Gender-Neutral Song Suggestions for an Unforgettable First Dance

Many iconic love songs wax poetic about a man loving a woman—but these inclusive options work for every couple.

couple first dance with son
Photo: Tailor James Photography

Choosing a song for your first dance as newlyweds can feel like a critical decision: You need a record you both like, since you'll forever associate it with your big day; it should also speak to your relationship and set the tone for the rest of the party. It's a tall order for three minutes of music—and a job that can be even tougher if you're looking for a gender-neutral song. "It is a little hard to find gender-neutral first dance tunes, as many popular love songs are based on straight love stories about a man loving a woman, or vice versa," says New York-based wedding planner Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events.

If you don't already have a go-to tune, don't fret: There are plenty of inclusive options to honor your union, many of which we outline below. Best of all, your first dance offers the perfect opportunity to pick one and make it your own. Here, Meyer shares a few of his gender-neutral favorites—and reminds us that the ideal song for a first dance is one that is uniquely yours. "A first dance song should be one that is meaningful to the couple, and something that makes them light up, smile, and think of one another," says Meyer. "It is their song, after all!"

The Iconic: "It Had to Be You," Billie Holiday

Hoping to dig into the archives for a gender-neutral first dance song? "This is for the more classic couple, who have old souls," says Meyer.

The Tear-Jerker: "Make You Feel My Love," Adele

If you're hoping to craft an emotional moment, consider Adele's cover of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love." "This is for the couple who wants to cry—and make their guests cry!" says Meyer.

The Transcendent: "Halo," Beyonce

"She is the queen," says Meyer—plain and simple. "This song is epic and super lovely to sway to."

The Pop Favorite: "Thinking Out Loud," Ed Sheeran

You've likely heard this hit several times at weddings. It's popular for a reason: "This song is so beautiful, and feels like it was written for a first dance," says Meyer. "It's for couples who are deeply in love and are not afraid to show it!"

The Cover: "Boom Clap," Lennon and Maisy

"This cover has spirit, great energy, and is uplifting!" shares Meyer. "It's such a fun mix of voices and instrumentation, and really makes you smile."

The Quintessential: "Let's Stay Together," Al Green

According to Meyer, this is "an iconic first dance song that really says it all in the lyrics: 'Lovin' you whether / Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.'"

The Throwback: "Truly Madly Deeply," Savage Garden

"This one is such a throwback, but really is such a beautiful and romantic song," says Meyer. So many of this song's lyrics also feel particularly relevant to the start of marriage: "A new beginning / A reason for living / A deeper meaning."

The New Classic: "You are the Best Thing," Ray LaMontagne

Looking for a modern piece with the depth of the songs of the past? "This song is not that old, but feels like a classic. It has so much soul," notes Meyer of this gender-neutral hit.

The Karaoke Option: "I'm Yours," Jason Mraz

Can you and your future spouse really belt it out? "This is a really fun one that the couple can sing [as they dance]," says Meyer, "and then guests can join in for a group sing-along."

The Upbeat Number: "Love Me Like You Do," Ellie Goulding

"For the couple who wants to start a little slower and build up as they dance, this song is perfect—and the chorus is so catchy and upbeat," notes Meyer.

The Flash Mob-Ready Hit: "Latch," Sam Smith

According to Meyer, this tune by the soulful Sam Smith has a great beat, "and could be perfect for a couple who wants to work in some choreography and invite guests to join in."

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