You know that moment during a wedding reception when the bandleader or DJ asks all couples who have been married (or dating) for a certain number of years to hit the dance floor? That's called the anniversary dance, and it's one of the sweetest traditions around. Usually, once all the couples start dancing, the DJ will ask those who've been together for five years or less to leave the dance floor first, then couples of 10 years or less, and so on, until the longest-wed couple is left dancing with the newlyweds.
As the two embark on the first day of their marriage, many guests have been together for 20, 30, and even 40 years or more, and that's definitely something worth celebrating! If you want to include this lovely custom during your reception, you should pick the song you want to play for that moment in advance.
Choose an anniversary dance song based on the age group of your guests. A classic by The Beatles or Frank Sinatra is optimal if you have lots of grandparents, aunts, and uncles in attendance; if your crowd is younger, a modern indie love song makes a great choice.
Any tune with a message of everlasting love is a good selection. We're big fans of Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years" and Billie Holiday's "As Time Goes By." Even better? Songs that look forward to even more years of happiness, like Al Green's "Let's Stay Together." Chances are, you've already considered one of these for your first dance song, so why not get a chance to play two songs that speak to you?
Scroll through our 65 favorite anniversary dance songs and get ready for the emotional moment when all those happy couples hit the dance floor.
"Still Crazy After All These Years," by Paul Simon
Lyrics of Love: "I met my old lover/On the street last night/She seemed so glad to see me/I just smiled"
"You're Still the One," by Shania Twain
Lyrics of Love: "You're still the one I run to/The one that I belong to/You're still the one I want for life"
"Amazed," by Lonestar
Lyrics of Love: "Every time our eyes meet/This feeling inside me/Is almost more than I can take"
"As Time Goes By," by Billie Holiday
Lyrics of Love: "As time goes by/And when two lovers woo/They still say I love you"
"By Your Side," by Sade
Lyrics of Love: "When you're lost and you're alone/And you can't get back again/I will find you/Darling and I will bring you home"
"Here, There and Everywhere," by Paul McCartney
Lyrics of Love: "I want her everywhere, and if she's beside me I know I'd need never care/But to love her is to need her"
"I Got You Babe," by Sonny and Cher
Lyrics of Love: "I got flowers in the spring/I got you to wear my ring/And when I'm sad, you're a clown/And if I get scared, you're always around"
"It Had to Be You," by Frank Sinatra
Lyrics of Love: "For nobody else gave me a thrill/With all your faults, I love you still/It had to be you, wonderful you"
"Just the Way You Are," by Billy Joel
Lyrics of Love: "I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble/We never could have come this far/I took the good times; I'll take the bad times/I'll take you just the way you are"
"Just the Two of Us," by Grover Washington Jr. and Bill Withers
Lyrics of Love: "And darling when the morning comes/And I see the morning sun/I wanna be the one with you"
"Let's Stay Together," by Al Green
Lyrics of Love: "I'm I'm so in love with you/Whatever you want to do/Is all right with me"
"Unforgettable," by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole
Lyrics of Love: "Never before has someone been more/Unforgettable in every way"
"The Best Is Yet to Come," by Michael Bublé
Lyrics of Love: "The best is yet to come, and babe won't it be fine/You think you've seen the sun, but you ain't seen it shine"
"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," by Natalie Cole
Lyrics of Love: "Loving you/Is some kind of wonderful/Because you've shown me/Just how much you care"
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life," by Stevie Wonder
Lyrics of Love: "You are the apple of my eye/Forever you'll stay in my heart"
"Your Song," by Elton John
Lyrics of Love: "I hope you don't mind/That I put down in words/How wonderful life is while you're in the world"
"Endless Love," by Lionel Richie
Lyrics of Love: "My love, there's only you in my life/The only thing that's bright"
"Have I Told You Lately," by Rod Stewart
Lyrics of Love: "Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness/Ease my troubles, that's what you do"
"The Best of My Love," by Eagles
Lyrics of Love: "But here in my heart/I give you the best of my love"
"Crazy Love," by Van Morrison
Lyrics of Love: "Yeah when I'm returning from so far away/She gives me some sweet lovin' brighten up my day"
"Dancing in the Moonlight," by King Harvest
Lyrics of Love: "Dancing in the moonlight/Everybody's feeling warm and bright/It's such a fine and natural sight"
"Two People Fell in Love," by Brad Paisley
Lyrics of Love: "Every single choice we make/Every breath we get to take/Is all because two people fell in love"
"Can't Remember Never Loving You," by Ian James
Lyrics of Love: "The only hand I've ever held on to/No, I can't remember never loving you"
"Because You Loved Me," by Celine Dion
Lyrics of Love: "I'm everything I am/Because you loved me"
"Thank You," by Dido
Lyrics of Love: "I want to thank you for giving me the best day of my life/Oh just to be with you is having the best day of my life"
"Wonderful Tonight," by Eric Clapton
Lyrics of Love: "I feel wonderful because I see/The love light in your eyes/And the wonder of it all/Is that you just don't realize how much I love you"
"Always Be My Baby," by Mariah Carey
Lyrics of Love: "You'll always be a part of me/I'm part of you indefinitely"
"This I Swear Is True," by The Skyliners
Lyrics of Love: "This love will be eternally/Cross my heart/And hope to die"
"You've Made Me So Very Happy," by Brenda Holloway
Lyrics of Love: "You made me so very happy/I'm so glad you came into my life"
"Everything I Do (I Do It for You)," by Bryan Adams
Lyrics of Love: "You know it's true/Everything I do/I do it for you"
"So Amazing," by Luther Vandross
Lyrics of Love: "It's so amazing to be loved/I'd follow you to the moon in the sky above"
"When I Said I Do," by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black
Lyrics of Love: "When I said I do, I meant that I will/Til' the end of all time/Be faithful and true, devoted to you"
"After All These Years," by Journey
Lyrics of Love: "Since those days our world has changed/Our love remains the same"
"Forever and for Always," by Shania Twain
Lyrics of Love: "'Cause I'm keeping you/Forever and for always/We will be together all of our days"
"Through the Years," by Kenny Rogers
Lyrics of Love: "I swear we've been through everything there is/Can't imagine anything we've missed/Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do"
"You Make Loving Fun," by Fleetwood Mac
Lyrics of Love: "You, you make loving fun/And I don't have to tell you but you're the only one"
"You Decorated My Life," by Kenny Rogers
Lyrics of Love: "By paintin' your love all over my heart/You decorated my life"
"I'd Love You All Over Again," by Alan Jackson
Lyrics of Love: "I've always heard marriage made one seem like two/But you're looking better than you did back then/You still make this old heart give in"
"The Rest of Our Life," by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw
Lyrics of Love: "Oh, as long as you're here by my side/Oh, we'll be young, oh we'll be young"
"You're the First, the Last, My Everything," by Barry White
Lyrics of Love: "You're my sun, my moon, my guiding star/My kind of wonderful, that's what you are"
"Still the One," by Orleans
Lyrics of Love: "But I want you to know, after all these years/You're still the one I want whisperin' in my ear"
"When I'm Sixty-Four," by The Beatles
Lyrics of Love: "When I get older losing my hair/Many years from now/Will you still be sending me a Valentine?"
"Swept Away," by The Avett Brothers
Lyrics of Love: "Well, life is ever-changing but I/Can always find a constant and comfort in your love"
"Stand by Me," by Ben E. King
Lyrics of Love: "Oh, I won't be afraid/Just as long as you stand, stand by me"
"I'm Yours," by Jason Mraz
Lyrics of Love: "There's no need to complicate/Our time is short/This is our fate, I'm yours"
"A Moment Like This," by Kelly Clarkson
Lyrics of Love: "Some people wait a lifetime/For a moment like this/Some people search forever/For that one special kiss"
"Anniversary Song," by Cowboy Junkies
Lyrics of Love: "Have you ever felt more fresh or wonderful/As when you wake/By the side of that boy or girl/Who has pledged their love to you?"
"From the Ground Up," by Dan + Shay
Lyrics of Love: "This life will go by/In the blink of an eye/But I wouldn't wanna spend it without you by my side"
"L-O-V-E," by Nat King Cole
Lyrics of Love: "Love is all that I can give to you/Love is more than just a game for two"
"I Was Made for Loving You," by Tori Kelly feat. Ed Sheeran
Lyrics of Love: "Hold me close/Through the night/Don't let me go, we'll be alright"
"You Just Get Better All the Time," by Tim McGraw
Lyrics of Love: "You just get sweeter every day/The little things you do and say/If only you could see you through my eyes/You just get better all the time"
"I Love You," by Climax Blues Band
Lyrics of Love: "You came along and stole my heart when you entered my life/Ooh babe you got what it takes so I made you my wife"
"I Do (Cherish You)," by 98 Degrees
Lyrics of Love: "For the rest of my life/You don't have to think twice/I will love you still"
"Love Is Here to Stay," by Frank Sinatra
Lyrics of Love: "It's very clear/Our love is here to stay/Not for a year, but ever and a day"
"Can't Help Falling in Love," by Elvis Presley
Lyrics of Love: "Take my hand/Take my whole life too/For I can't help falling in love with you"
"(I've Had) The Time of My Life," by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes
Lyrics of Love: "I've been waiting for so long/Now I've finally found someone to stand by me"
"Crash Into Me," by Dave Matthews Band
Lyrics of Love: "Sweet like candy to my soul/Sweet you rock/And sweet you roll/Lost for you I'm so lost for you"
"Coming Home," by Leon Bridges
Lyrics of Love: "Baby, baby, baby/I'm coming home/To your tender sweet loving"
"In My Life," by The Beatles
Lyrics of Love: "Though I know I'll never lose affection/For people and things that went before/I know I'll often stop and think about them/In my life I'll love you more"
"You & I (Nobody in the World)," by John Legend
Lyrics of Love: "All of the stars, you make them shine like they were ours/Ain't nobody in the world but you and I"
"This Magic Moment," by Jay & The Americans
Lyrics of Love: "This magic moment/While your lips are close to mine/Will last forever/Forever, till the end of time"
"I Keep On Lovin' You," by Reba McEntire
Lyrics of Love: "I keep on lovin' you/Through the baby don't-leave-mes/And never-will-agains/And I-promise-tos/I keep on lovin' you"
"Yellow," by Coldplay
Lyrics of Love: "Oh yeah, your skin and bones/Turn into something beautiful/You know/You know I love you so"
"When I See You Smile," by Bad English
Lyrics of Love: "Sometimes I wonder/How I'd ever make it through/Through this world without having you/I just wouldn't have a clue"
"Ho Hey," by The Lumineers
Lyrics of Love: "I belong with you, you belong with me/You're my sweetheart"
Do I need to include an anniversary dance at my wedding?
If you have a significant number of married couples and older guests in attendance, it would be a sweet, sentimental touch to include them in the wedding with an anniversary dance. If the guest list skews younger, an anniversary dance may be lost on them. That said, your wedding is for you and your partner, and you can personalize it as you see fit.
When does the anniversary dance take place?
How long does the anniversary dance last?
The anniversary dance usually lasts for the duration of one full song. Some couples choose to include two songs to cater to different generations or music genres.