There are endless ways to organize a wedding, but what is consistent across most cultures and traditions is that you, your spouse-to-be, and your loved ones gather to celebrate love. If you’re taking a traditional, American approach to your wedding, you’ll raise that love up in many ways, including heartfelt vows and the first dance song at your wedding. The purpose of the first dance is to honor your first dance (obvi) as married spouses! Of course, some couples blend old-school wedding customs with new-school flair by slow-dancing to romantic songs before busting out in perfect choreography to trendy bangers. Whatever mood you’re creating with your first dance, the foundation is always gentleness and warmth. And luckily, there are many beloved artists whose songs lend themselves to that kind of atmosphere.
Next to soul and jazz covers by Amy Winehouse and larger-than-life serenades by Lana Del Rey, you’ve got Ed Sheeran’s gushy hits and Taylor Swift’s affectionate odes to romance. Besides, who can else can bring tears to your eyes like Sam Smith? Who else can stir up nostalgia like Adele, or capture timeless devotion like Beyoncé? Here are 10 songs to help you seal the deal once you’ve walked down the aisle and said "I do."
1. "XO" by Beyoncé
After Formation and Homecoming, you might look to Beyoncé for songs about loving your family, friends, culture, or yourself, but Queen Bey delivers for romance, too. Next to a devoted bop like "Love On Top" or the ever-angelic "Halo", "XO" is a Beyoncé song that could totally work for a first dance.
2. "When We Were Young" by Adele
Adele has so many soulful love songs to choose from, but the nostalgia oozing from "When We Were Young" will make everyone at your wedding tear up. You and your partner should consider "Sweetest Devotion" too, especially if you’re looking for an Adele song that’s equal parts tenderness and passion.
3. "You’ve Got The Love" by Florence + The Machine
Another British queen whose lyrics cut deep is Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine. Dance to "You’ve Got The Love", an upbeat anthem about surviving this cold, hard world with your partner’s love to see you through.
4. "Latch" by Sam Smith
Sam Smith also nails the whole heart-wrenching love song thing, particularly with their song with Disclosure, "Latch." If the synths are too much, their acoustic version feels more traditional. Paired with the piano and strings, Smith’s voice is hauntingly beautiful.
5. "Put It All On Me" by Ed Sheeran & Ella Mai
You’ve probably seen a million Facebook videos or Twitter clips of the sweetest wedding videos set to "Photograph" or "Perfect", or any Ed Sheeran song, really. Sheeran’s collaboration with Ella Mai, "Put It All On Me", is fresh, equally sweet, and yet to be over-done.
6. "You & I (Nobody In The World)" by John Legend
If don’t want to dance to "All of Me" but adore John Legend nonetheless, "You & I (Nobody In The World)" is warm, loving, and also an excellent fit for a first dance. It’ll make you feel all fuzzy inside. What else could you want for a first dance?
7. "Saw You In A Dream" by The Japanese House
If you’re all starry-eyed about your partner, The Japanese House’s "Saw You In A Dream" is a first-dance match made in heaven.
8. "Work Song" by Hozier
Hozier also reigns supreme with thoughtful, passionate love songs, but with a dash of melancholic flavor. If not "Take Me To Church", you and your partner can get down to "Work Song", a slow ballad about loving someone even in the afterlife, at your wedding.
9. "Lover" by Taylor Swift
Second only to Adele in relatable pop songs about love is Taylor Swift, of course. Everything about Swift’s "Lover", from it’s slow deliberate pace to it’s heartwarming lyrics, makes it perfect for a first dance at a wedding.
10. "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Few songs evoke more warm fuzzies for millennials and Gen Z than "Home" by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Picking this song for your wedding dance begs no question if you feel at home with your spouse-to-be.
No matter if you go for delicate or bold, short or long, indie or mainstream, these 10 songs will have you and your boo swaying and your loved ones dabbing at their tear ducts.
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