Two grooms dancing at their wedding

Music plays an important role on your wedding day. It’s the backdrop to your walk down the aisle, recessional, bridal party entrance, reception, and wedding exit. While each song helps set the tone for your celebration, there’s one song that gives couples more anxiety than any other: the first dance.

Whether you love to dance or have two left feet, choosing a first dance song can be daunting because you know that all eyes (and cameras) will be on you for the duration of the track. But with the right song and your new spouse on your arm, you’ll feel like there’s no one else in the room. 

In honor of the month of love, we’ve compiled fourteen of the most romantic songs across a range of genres to help you choose a first dance song that makes you feel at ease and in love.

Genre: Pop

“All of Me” by John Legend

This song, written for John’s now-wife, promises to love everything about her — the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s a beautiful piano ballad with heartfelt lyrics that express the true meaning of love and what it means to give someone your all. 

Lyrics we love:
Love your curves and all your edges 
All your perfect imperfections

“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri

Written for and popularized by Twilight: Breaking Dawn, this song has become a popular processional and first dance song. The lyrics describe how it feels to wait for your true love and finally find them, after all this time. 

Lyrics we love:
I have loved you for a thousand years 
I’ll love you for a thousand more

Genre: Country

“Then” by Brad Paisley

This country song is one of the most romantic out there. The lyrics span the past, present, and future of a relationship while remembering pivotal moments that caused love to grow. It’s the perfect way to reflect on your own relationship on your big day. 

Lyrics we love:
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then

“Yours” by Russell Dickerson 

Released in 2017, this song was a breakout hit by now country star Dickerson. It describes how finding your person can change your entire life for the better. If you love the lyrics but want something slower paced, there’s a stripped down version of this song just for weddings. 

Lyrics we love:
You make me better than I was before
Thank God I’m yours

Genre: Rock

“Finally Forever” by Chris Cornell

The journey to finding your soulmate is full of twists and turns — but when you finally find your person, it all makes sense. This song describes the peace of mind that comes with settling down with the one you love. 

Lyrics we love:
Now it feels like I don’t have to worry at all 
It’s finally forever

“I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain

Austin Ames, is that you? Every Millennial bride will remember this song from A Cinderella Story. Initially penned as a breakup ballad, it has become a popular first dance song because of its sincere lyrics and smooth saxophone. 

Lyrics we love:
I’ll be your cryin’ shoulder / 
I’ll be the greatest fan of your life

Genre: R&B

“Spend My Life with You” by Eric Benet featuring Tamia 

This Grammy-nominated R&B hit is the perfect way to ring in your new chapter as newlyweds. It expresses how transformative love can be and why you never want it to end. 

Lyrics we love:
And I never knew what my life was for 
But now that you’re here I know for sure

“At Last” by Etta James 

It’s hard to find a more classic wedding song than this. With sweeping instrumentals, bold vocals, and deceptively simple lyrics, “At Last” is all about falling in love and how it feels to be so connected with another person. 

Lyrics we love:
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song

Genre: Folk 

“I Was Born to Love You” by Ray LaMontagne

While LaMontagne’s song “You Are the Best Thing” is often listed as a top wedding song, the lyrics to this song hit just a little bit harder when you’re in love. The song expresses how safe love feels when it’s reciprocated and returned, even in the smallest of ways. 

Lyrics we love:
Could make you smile, could make you sing
Just want to give back a little bit of what you give me

“Gotta Have You” by The Weepies

This song, by now defunct indie band The Weepies, describes that can’t eat, can’t sleep feeling of romance — when nothing’s better than being together. The rhythm is not the most traditional for a first dance song, but the lyrics make up for it. 

Lyrics we love:
Nothing else will do 
I’ve gotta have you, I’ve gotta have you

Photo by Amar Preciado

Genre: Jazz

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole 

Looking for something more fun and upbeat? “L-O-V-E” is a classic love song that will bring a smile to everyone’s face in the room. The lyrics are simple yet perfectly describe how encapsulating love can be. 

Lyrics we love:
Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two

“You and I” by Michael Bublé

Name a more iconic duo than Michael Bublé and weddings. This cover of Stevie Wonder’s popular song talks about the power of love and how, when you find the right person, it feels like you can conquer the world together. 

Lyrics we love:
But I found my strength in you 
‘Cause in my mind, you will stay here always

Genre: Christian

“God Gave Me You” by Dave Barnes

If religion is an important part of your relationship, you might consider this ballad. It speaks to the importance of a partner who complements and supports you, even on your worst days. Love the lyrics but more of a country fan? Blake Shelton has a popular cover of this song.

Lyrics we love:
God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt

“Love Like This” by Ben Rector

Celebrate your one-of-a-kind love story with a first dance to this song by Christian artist Ben Rector. It describes how life-changing and fulfilling romance can be when you’re with the one whom your soul loves.

Lyrics we love: 
It’s a million things about you, and I don’t know what it is
But I have never known a love like this

How to Choose Your First Dance Song

No matter the genre, there are plenty of romantic love songs to choose from. To help you find the perfect song for your first dance, set aside some time with your fiancé to write down your top contenders. You could also ask your wedding DJ or wedding band for their professional advice.

Make a playlist with all of the options and listen to it while you drive in the car or cook dinner together. Still can’t decide? Practice makes perfect! Choose a few songs from your list and slow dance in the living room. Focus on the songs that bring you peace and remind you of why you fell in love in the first place. 

Rachel Kauffman is a Detroit-based content writer, bookworm, and cat mom to two feisty felines.