A first dance is a longstanding tradition between a newly married couple that symbolizes their love for one another. The song they choose will be personal to them, whether it’s because of the lyrics, melody, or a deeper personal connection.
Some couples will want a rock song, some will want a country song, and some just want a timeless classic that everyone will know of. Despite how many songs there are available for a first dance, it’s not easy to find the perfect song.
If you’re looking to find the perfect classic first dance song, we have found the top 40 love songs that are suitable for every couple and every wedding theme.
1. “At Last” - Etta James
There’s no way this song can’t be considered for a first dance. Effortlessly sensual, loving, and timeless - “At Last” is the type of song you’d dance to when you have found your soulmate.
“At last my love has come along / My lonely days are over and life is like a song”
2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” - Elvis Presley
This is a song everyone knows the words to because it is just so beautiful. It is the epitome of a classic love song and has been covered by multiple artists in their own styles to fit the mood of any wedding.
“Take my hand, take my whole life too / For I can’t help falling in love with you”
3. “Make You Feel My Love” - Adele
Adele is most known for her stunning cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love”. Love runs through every word and note, making it the perfect slow dance for any wedding. No vows will ever amount to the lyrics in this song!
“I could make you happy, make your dreams come true / Nothing that I wouldn’t do”
4. “Songbird” - Eva Cassidy
This cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Songbird” is a delicate, passionate, and off-the-scale evocative love song that sums up the feelings of newlyweds effortlessly. If you want to make every guest sob uncontrollably, this is the song for you.
“To you, I’d give the world”
5. “Heroes” - David Bowie
You can’t research classic songs for a first dance without considering “Heroes”. This song is all about staying in the moment and how love doesn’t have to be for a lifetime for it to matter. It’s all about being grateful for each moment as it comes
“We could steal time, just for one day / We can be heroes, for ever and ever”
6. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” - Frankie Valli
This is a classic oldie love song for those who want a song that you can have a fun slow dance to. The rhythm is perfect for couples who don’t want to sway in one position because the classic melody allows for a bit of fun.
“You’re just too good to be true / Can’t take my eyes offa you”
7. “What A Wonderful World” - Louis Armstrong
This is the perfect song to thank your partner and the world for which you love each other. What a beautiful way to say “I love you” to everyone in the room.
“I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?” / They’re really saying “I love you”"
8. “Your Song” - Elton John
One of Elton’s most popular songs, “Your Song” is a ballad that could easily be used in the vows. It’s a beautiful telling of how one person fell in love with another.
“I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words / How wonderful life is now you’re in the world”
9. “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” - Aerosmith
This is a great first dance song for the lovers of rock. Filled with passion, and awesome melody, and heart-wrenching lyrics, it’s certain to make people fall in love with the song all over again.
“I don’t wanna close my eyes / I don’t wanna fall asleep, ‘cause I’d miss you babe / And I don’t wanna miss a thing”
10. “I Will Always Love You” - Whitney Houston
“I Will Always Love You” is the epitome of a classic ballad that, although technically a break-up song, carries the message of everlasting love that newlyweds can relate to.
“And I wish you joy and happiness / But above all this, I wish you love”
11. “Thinking Out Loud” - Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is a wordsmith when it comes to love songs, making “Thinking Out Loud” a modern classic that can only describe what newlyweds feel.
“And, darling, I will be loving you ‘til we’re 70 / And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23”
12. “Chasing Cars” - Snow Patrol
This song is often forgotten and is met with an “Oh I LOVE this song!”. It is the perfect example of showing your love without saying too many words because sometimes, there just aren’t enough words to express your love.
“Those three words are said too much, they’re not enough”
13. “I’m Yours” - Jason Mraz
This is a lovely, cheerful, and hopeful modern classic love song that is a great option for a first dance. If your love is lighthearted and fun, Jason Mraz has the perfect song for you.
“There’s no need to complicate, our time is short / This is our fate, I’m yours”
14. “Marry You” - Bruno Mars
Okay, technically this song is meant for before you get married, but the point still stands. This is a great first dance song for young lovers who just want to smile and laugh throughout their first dance.
“It’s a beautiful night, we’re looking for something dumb to do / Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you”
15. “A Thousand Years” - Christina Perri
Another modern classic, “A Thousand Years” encompasses everything a first dance is meant for - expressing your endless love, passion, acceptance, and peace through music
“I have died every day waiting for you / Darling don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years”
16. “Stand By Me” - Ben E. King
This song just screams timeless classic. It’s got the perfect rhythm to dance to for a first dance, and the meaning behind the song is all about providing a supportive marriage.
“Whenever you’re in trouble, won’t you stand by me?”
17. “My Girl” - The Temptations
Name a happier love song than “My Girl”. This song exudes joy, admiration, and the most beautiful love for a woman.
“What can make me feel this way / My girl”
18. “Fly Me To The Moon” - Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was made for love songs. This is a gorgeous classic that offers a jazz twist for the budding dancers out there.
“You are all I longed for, all I worship and adore”
19. “Take My Breath Away” - Berlin
The moment you turn to see your loved one in their wedding dress or suit is enough to take your breath away. Why not express that through song?
“Watchin’ in slow motion as you turn around and say / Take my breath away”
20. “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” - Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes
This is a classic for movie fans. Most known for Dirty Dancing, this is the perfect song to dance your absolute heart out with your loved one.
“With my body and soul / I want you more than you’ll ever know”
21. “You’re My Best Friend” - Queen
Queen is as classic as it gets in terms of musical artists. As you have married your best friend in the whole world, why not celebrate that with this appropriate song?
“And I love the things / I really love the things that you do / Oh, you’re my best friend”
22. “La Vie En Rose” - Louis Armstrong
Inspired by the French version by Edith Piaf, this version is a gorgeous classic that embodies endless love through lyrics that show the narrator seeing everything through pink, or through the eyes of love.
“When you kiss me, heaven sighs / And though I close my eyes, this is “La vie en rose””
23. “The Way You Look Tonight” - Frank Sinatra
We all know a huge part of weddings is the dress and suit. What better way to express how beautiful you think your partner looks than with an appropriate song like this one?
“There is nothing for me but to love you / And the way you look tonight”
24. “Let’s Stay Together” - Al Green
This song is effortlessly cool, suave, and full of everything that marriage promises. The clue is in the name of this song, as it expresses the promise that the couple wants to stay together forever.
“Loving you whether / Whether times are good or bad, happy or sad”
25. “God Only Knows” - Beach Boys
This is perfect if you want a joyful, happy, and cheerful song to have for your first dance. The lyrics are a lovely expression of love and affection, which is sure to bring tears to your guest’s eyes.
“God only knows what I’d be without you”
26. “Heaven” - Bryan Adams
Another classic rock ballad, “Heaven” is an awesome song that gets everyone singing along. If you want a fun-filled and dramatic first dance, this is a great song to dance to with your partner.
“I’m finding it hard to believe we’re in heaven”
27. “I Want To Know What Love Is” - Foreigner
For those who are suckers for 80s love songs, you cannot forget about this classic. This song is about asking and pleading for their love to show them how to love properly. It is vulnerability in its purest form.
“I’ve got nowhere left to hide / It looks like love has finally found me”
28. “Crazy For You” - Madonna
If you’re a fan of Madonna, you have to pick this song for your first dance. It’s the law of music. This is a classic love song that puts everyone in a good mood.
“You’re so close but still a world away / What I’m dying to say is that I’m crazy for you”
29. “Endless Love” - Lionel Richie, Diana Ross
Duets are a great choice for a first dance because it’s almost like the couple is expressing their love for each other together (singing optional). This is a perfect romantic ballad for a first dance.
“Forever / I’ll hold you close in my arms / I can’t resist your charms”
30. “Somethin’ Stupid” - Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra
Another powerful duet, this is a fun song to dance alongside your loved one with. It’s the perfect song for reminding newlyweds of the first time they professed their love and the excitement of new love.
“And then I go and spoil it all by saying somethin’ stupid like “I love you””
31. “Tenerife Sea” - Ed Sheeran
Another modern classic, Ed Sheeran has created the most perfect first dance to express your love to your partner (preferably with blue eyes). Prepare yourself for tingles.
“You’ve got the kind of look in your eyes as if no one knows anything but us”
32. “Come Away With Me” - Norah Jones
This is a beautiful, whimsical song that sums up the hope and peace that comes with a new marriage. This is certain to bring admiration and tears to every guest’s eyes.
“Come away with me, and I’ll never stop loving you”
33. “Dream A Little Dream Of Me” - Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
This soulful cover is the perfect first dance song for jazz lovers. Complete with a relaxing yet sensual melody and slow rhythm, this is a tender song that can only be related to by newlyweds.
“Stars shinin’ bright above you / Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you””
34. “I’ve Been Waiting For You” - ABBA
One of ABBA’s most underrated classics, this is the perfect song to fall in love with all over again during your first dance. The lyrics in the chorus are some of the most beautiful in the world, which can only be used in a wedding situation.
“I love you, I adore you / I’ve laid my life before you”
35. “Halo” - Beyoncé
It doesn’t get more soulful than Beyoncé, does it? By using the image of a halo, this song is about finding complete peace and safety through the love of someone else. It’s also one of the most classic ballads ever recorded.
“Standin’ in the light of your halo, I got my angel now”
36. “Absolute Beginners” - David Bowie
It’s not a wedding without a bit of Bowie. This song is about falling in love for the first time, which is a lovely way to bring a newly-wed couple’s relationship back in full circle. Relive the time you first fell in love over and over.
“As long as you’re still smiling, there’s nothing more I need”
37. “Somewhere Only We Know” - Keane
This song is a gorgeous metaphor for a safe and secret place where lovers can go to express their fears, their love, their thoughts, their feelings, and their hopes and dreams.
“And if you have a minute, why don’t we go? / Somewhere only we know”
38. “The Only Exception” - Paramore
Another modern classic, this song is about finding love despite a person’s vulnerability and insecurities, both past and present. Filled with passion and the most entrancing melody, this is perfect for a first dance.
“And that was the day that I promised I’d never sing of love if it does not exist / But darling, you are the only exception”
39. “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” - Natalie Cole
This is an awesome classic love song that encompasses everything a wedding should have - fun, dancing, and everlasting love.
“Loving you, is some kind of wonderful”
40. “Come What May” - Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman
This one is for all the musical fans. Disregarding the unfortunate fate of this movie, this is a beautiful song that is all about expressing love in the most passionate way possible.
“Come what may / I will love you until my dying day”