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.
"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.
"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.
"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."
"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.
"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."
"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.
"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."
"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."
"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.