Your first dance as a married couple is a uniquely intimate moment during an otherwise public day. While your friends and family will watch you and your new spouse sway softly (or show off smooth choreographed moves), the two of you will be the only ones on the dance floor. Without a doubt, it's one of the most intimate, joyous moments of your wedding day, and the first opportunity you both have to savor your newly-minted status as husband and wife.
For some couples, selecting a meaningful, expressive first dance song is the easiest part of their wedding-planning process. It's the soundtrack of their relationship, the song playing in the background of their first kiss, or the lyrics that blared at a busy restaurant on their first date. For others, the decision is not so simple. Whether you have opposing musical tastes or just can't settle on one song that defines you as a couple, we're here to help.
We found 64 song selections from real weddings that are sure to inspire you for your foray on the dance floor. From popular classics like Etta James's "At Last" to more contemporary picks like a mash-up of Beyoncé and Van Morrison or Calvin Harris's techno hits, these creative couples know how to start their reception off right.
Whether you choose to dance to something timeless or something much more current, the most important detail is that the song feels right for you as a couple.
"So Happy Together" by The Turtles
At their New York City art gallery wedding, Megan and Timmy chose "So Happy Together" by The Turtles for their romantic first dance.
"Take Care" by Beach House
Jessica and Stratton chose "Take Care" by Beach House for their emotional first dance at their California wedding.
"Someone Like You" by Van Morrison
Ashley and Michael hit the dance floor to Van Morrison's "Someone Like You" at their New Orleans wedding.
"Feel So Close to You Right Now" by Calvin Harris
Sara and Zahir didn't want anything to slow down their wedding reception in Montauk, New York—not even a slow song for the bride and groom's first dance. That's why they selected Calvin Harris's up-tempo dance beat "Feel So Close to You Right Now."
"Let My Love Open The Door" by Pete Townsend
Before Besse and Michael hit the dance floor at their Sonoma, California wedding, the bride slipped into a shorter dress—which was her mother's from 1979. The dress, which her mother purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue, was tailored to "become a cocktail dress for dancing at the reception," the bride explains. They danced to Pete Townsend's, "Let My Love Open The Door."
"Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder, "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison, and "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé
Carly and Eric took dance lessons for their New York City wedding and settled on a mash-up of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" by Stevie Wonder, "Crazy Love" by Van Morrison, and "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé for their choreographed number.
"In a Little While" by U2
U2's "In a Little While" was the background music for Emily and Luke's confetti-filled first dance at their Toronto, Canada wedding.
"At Last" by Etta James
The bride's sister belted out Etta James' classic "At Last" for Kimberly's first dance with husband Stephen at their Sonoma, California wedding.
"Kiss to Build a Dream On" by Louis Armstrong
Katie and Greg's first dance at their Ojai, California wedding was punctuated with the sounds of the bride's cousin playing Louis Armstrong's "Kiss to Build a Dream On" on the trumpet!
"Share My Life" by Kem
Alicia and Lance hosted a stylish Atlanta wedding (complete with a helicopter getaway!), so their first dance had to be special. They selected "Share My Life" by Kem for their introductory spin as husband and wife.
"Come Away With Me" by Norah Jones and "You're My Best Friend" by Queen
High school sweethearts Mariel and Jack made a custom mash-up song for their first dance at their New York City wedding. They walked out and started dancing to Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" before transitioning into Queen's "You're My Best Friend," at which point they invited their entire wedding reception to join them on the dance floor.
"Shameless" by Garth Brooks
To start their life together as husband and wife, April and Matthew danced to Garth Brooks' "Shameless" at their Denver wedding.
"You Got What I Need" by Joshua Radin
While Cristina and Mark hit the dance floor to Joshua Radin's "You Got What I Need" at their Napa Valley wedding, there was another special song they added to their playlist. "Both of our parents were married in the same year and had the same first-dance song," Cristina explains. "Of course we played this song for all of us to dance to."
"Heaven" by DJ Sammy
College sweethearts Andrea and Carl chose "their song" for their first dance, even if it was a non-traditional pick. Their selection of "Heaven" by DJ Sammy helped them transition straight into a party atmosphere at their Sacramento, California reception.
"I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra
Daisy and Justin showed off their dancing prowess to the sounds of Frank Sinatra's "I've Got You Under My Skin" at their destination wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
"She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel
Casey and Dan met and fell in love when they were only 14 years old. When they finally wed 15 years later, the pair chose "She's Got a Way" by Billy Joel for their first dance as husband and wife at their Washington, D.C. wedding.
"You Are the Best Thing" by Ray Lamontagne
For their Vail, Colorado wedding, Ellen and Jack chose to dance to Ray Lamontagne's "You Are The Best Thing."
"Bones" by Michael Kiwanuka
Nilam and Rick shared their first dance to Michael Kiwanuka's "Bones" at their rustic twist on a Hindu wedding in Baltimore, Maryland.
"The Way You Look Tonight" by Fred Astaire
Though Robin rarely dances, he practiced for his first dance to new wife Mirna at their Santa Clara, California wedding. They decided to dance to Fred Astaire's famed "The Way You Look Tonight."
"You and Me" by Dave Matthews Band
At Linda and Sean's Malibu, California wedding, the Dave Matthews Band hit "You and Me" filled their reception space as the couple danced.
"Can't Help Falling in Love With You" by Elvis Presley
While Casey and Pat's public first dance was to Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love With You," the couple also shared a private dance to the sounds of the Shannon Rovers, a group of bag pipers, at their Glenview, Illinois wedding.
"Use Somebody" by Kings of Leon
Melissa and David waltzed to Kings of Leon's hit "Use Somebody" atop a custom petal-patterned dance floor that, the bride reveals, "took hours to design and even longer to install," at their Beverley Hills, California wedding.
"Save Room" by John Legend
At their vineyard wedding in Winters, California, college sweethearts Mary and Mark danced to "Save Room" by John Legend, a song that the groom had put on a mixtape for his future bride back when they were still "just friends."
"Let's Get Lost" by Chet Baker
Katie and Chris grooved to "Let's Get Lost" by Chet Baker, which was spun by the bride's brother at their destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico.
"These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding
Exactly one year after getting engaged, Jeff dipped his new bride Kate during their first dance to "These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding at their Fair Haven, New Jersey wedding.
"Can't Get Enough of Your Love" by Barry White
Erin and Brett chose Barry White's catchy song "Can't Get Enough of Your Love" for their first dance as husband and wife since they wanted a lighthearted tune playing at the start of their Hudson Valley, New York Wedding.
"On a Night Like This" by Dave Barnes
Meghan and Andrew shared their first dance to "On a Night Like This" by Dave Barnes at their Dana Point, California wedding. The song held special meaning because, "We fell in love with this song after seeing Dave perform live in Austin," the bride said.
"I Will Love You" by Fischer
Sara and Chris chose to share a first dance to Fischer's "I Will Love You" at their Dana Point, California wedding.
"I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" by Diana Ross
Sarah and Scott shared their first dance to the Pete Saunders Band's rendition of Diana Ross's "I Love You More Today Than Yesterday" at their wedding at New York City's University Club.
"That's How Strong My Love Is" by Otis Redding
For their first dance at their Palm Springs wedding, Natali and Brian chose Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is", spun by DJ Chris Paul, who also provided the evening's soundtrack.
"Ribbon In the Sky" by Stevie Wonder
Candace and Philippe, who married in Washington, D.C., shared their first dance as a married couple to Stevie Wonder's "Ribbon In the Sky."
"Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra
Amanda and Pablo took to the dance floor for the first time as a married couple to Frank Sinatra's classic "Fly Me to the Moon" at their Brooklyn, New York wedding.
"All For You" by Sister Hazel
Ali and Rob selected Sister Hazel's '90s tune "All For You" for their meaningful first dance at their wedding in Miami, Florida.
"You Are Loved" by Josh Phillips Folk Festival
Foodie couple Breana and Scott danced to "You Are Loved" by Josh Phillips Folk Festival at their Napa Valley wedding.
"What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
Betsy and John chose the classic Louis Armstrong tune "What a Wonderful World" for their first dance. Southtown Fever, a 12-piece band, provided the music at their Clearwater, Florida wedding.
"Forever" by Ben Harper
Kristen and Lev wowed the crowd during their first dance to Ben Harper's song "Forever" before inviting guests to join them on the dance floor at their New Jersey wedding.
"Swept Away" by The Avett Brothers
Sarah and Kimo took to the dance floor to The Avett Brothers's "Swept Away" for their first dance at their wedding in Sonoma, California.
"Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss
Pei Pei and Christian wanted to stick to the European theme of their Italian destination wedding with their first dance song, so they selected "Blue Danube Waltz" by Johann Strauss.
"California Stars" by Wilco
As two members of the Portland-based band Parson Red Heads covered "California Stars" by Wilco, Emily and Cory enjoyed their first dance at their Oregon wedding.
"Por Debajo de la Mesa" by Luis Miguel
Angelica and Everto stepped onto the dance floor to the beautiful Mexican song "Por Debajo de la Mesa" by Luis Miguel at their Southern California wedding. "He sings the most romantic boleros, and the song resonates well with our love story," the bride explains. "The song means underneath the table—but the song is not what you are thinking about!"
"Amarte es un Placer" by Luis Miguel
For their first dance at their New York City wedding, Laura and Ernesto chose a Spanish-language song to honor the groom's Uruguayan heritage. "He's a Mexican music icon," Laura says of Luis Miguel, who sang "Amarte es un Placer." "The lyrics to this song are so romantic."
"Let's Stay Together" by Al Green
Maria and Casey danced to Al Green's romantic song "Let's Stay Together" performed by the Don Hanson Orchestra at their Philadelphia wedding. "Since Casey plays sax, we wanted to find a band with a strong horn section. Plus, this group's repertoire was phenomenal," Maria says.
"Crazy Love" by Michael Bublé
Jacqueline and David danced the night away with guests at their New York City wedding to a 10-piece band from Craig Scott Entertainment after taking to the floor for their first dance to Michael Bublé's "Crazy Love."
"Then" by Brad Paisley
Lauren and Brad had a country-flavored first dance at their blue-hued reception in Montana. They chose Brad Paisley's "Then" for their moment on the dance floor.
"I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz
High school sweethearts Nicole and Brian had their first dance to Jason Mraz's song "I Won't Give Up" at their New Jersey wedding.
"Everything" by Michael Bublé
After Sarah and Beth danced to Michael Bublé's "Everything" for their first dance, the newlyweds and their guests gathered around a bonfire at their Denver, Colorado nuptials.
"La Vie en Rose" by Louis Armstrong
After Katherine and Ken danced to Louise Armstrong's classic song "La Vie en Rose", the music went on all night at their Washington, D.C. nuptials.
"You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne
Sarah and David danced to the Jimmy Church Band's rendition of Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing" at their Philadelphia wedding.
"At Last" by Etta James
For their first dance, Erica and Guillaume chose Etta James's classic "At Last", performed by Rhythm Nation at their Sarasota, Florida wedding. "Guillaume surprised me by swinging me into a dip—he was so professional about it, as if he'd been doing it for years," says Erica. "It's one of my favorite memories of the night."
"Stand By Me" by Ben E. King
For Kate and Michael's first dance, guests joined them on the dance floor as the Bill Magee Blues Band performed Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" at their Santa Barbara, California wedding.
"That's How Strong My Love Is" by Otis Redding
Liz and Jake chose Otis Redding's song "That's How Strong My Love Is" for their first dance at their San Francisco wedding. "DJ Sol played pop, hip-hop, and basically anything people could groove to!" says Liz. "Watching our families and friends from different parts of our lives dance their hearts out was so much fun."
"Into My Arms" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
For their first dance at their Detroit wedding, Sarah and David selected "Into My Arms" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Music was spun by DJ Mike Rundel from Mike Staff Productions.
"Nothing Can Change This Love" by Sam Cooke
At their Houston, Texas wedding, Paige and Matt performed a sweet first dance to "Nothing Can Change This Love" by Sam Cooke.
"When You Got a Good Thing" by Lady Antebellum
Mallorie and Dan shared their first dance as husband and wife to Lady Antebellum's tune "When You Got a Good Thing" at their New York City wedding. Afterward, Hank Lane Music & Productions kept guests on the dance floor all night long.
"Stay With You" by John Legend
Sarah and Juan shared their first dance to John Legend's song "Stay With You". Music was provided by Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music at their Barnegat Bay, New Jersey wedding.
"I'd Have to Be Crazy" by Willie Nelson
For their first dance, Larke and Jonathan chose Willie Nelson's tune "I'd Have to Be Crazy", spun by a DJ from Fantasy Productions DJ Entertainment at their Califon, New Jersey wedding.
"I Will" by The Beatles
For their first dance, Ferrill and Rob chose the Beatles' song "I Will", which was played by the Bucktown All-Stars at their Pensacola, Florida wedding.
"Crazy Love" by Van Morrison
For their first dance at their seaside wedding in Darien, Connecticut, Josie and Jack chose Van Morrison's classic song "Crazy Love." Afterward, everyone flooded the dance floor to enjoy a mix of tunes played by Big City Swing.
"Only You" by Liz Momblanco
For their first dance at their Hartland, Michigan wedding, Jennifer and Chad chose a song they'd heard on the day they met, selecting "Only You," performed by their friend, Liz Momblanco.
"Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra
Emily and John's first dance was to Frank Sinatra's standard "Fly Me to the Moon", performed by the band Jumpstart at their glamorous Palm Springs wedding.
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Lady Antebellum
For her Glenview, Illinois wedding to Matt, Hollyn organized an iPod playlist for the couple's reception that she still listens to, she says. The couple waltzed to Lady Antebellum's "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" for their first dance.
"Grow Old With Me" by the Postal Service
Elizabeth and Louis didn't want a big band crowding their limited outdoor tent space at their Washington, D.C. wedding, so they hired five musicians to keep guests on the dance floor all night long. "They learned our first dance song, "Grow Old With Me" by the Postal Service, and they nailed it," Elizabeth says.
"Everything" by Michael Bublé
KT and Chad were all smiles during their first dance at their Lake Tahoe wedding. They worked on a choreographed routine set to Bublé's hit song "Everything."
"Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum
Alison and Justin shared their first dance as husband and wife to Lady Antebellum's song "Just a Kiss" during their wedding in North Carolina's Outer Banks. The bride says, "We choreographed our first dance and did a lift for our guests."