Wedding receptions

14th August 2018

11 definitive first dance songs from the last five decades

Many songs come and go, but few remain eternal classics. Here are 11 songs ranging from the 60s to the 00s which make for a memorable first dance.

The 1960s

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley

Who DOESN’T love Elvis? It’s a slow number with lovely lyrics that all generations will sway along to.

Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Frankie Valli and The 4 Seasons

The upbeat tempo of the main sections will have everyone singing along, and you can rope guests onto the dancefloor early on if you’re keen to share the limelight.

The 1970s

Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton

“And then she asks me, Do I look all right? And I say, Yes, you look wonderful tonight.” – are your eyes welling up yet?

You Are the Sunshine of my Life – Stevie Wonder

For those who prefer a tune with a happy-go-lucky vibe, this Stevie Wonder classic could be just for you.

The 1980s

Endless Love – Lionel Richie & Diana Ross

The pairing of two incredible voices, the meaningful lyrics and the slow tempo will make this song an infinitely perfect choice for a first dance.

(I’ve Had) The Time of my Life – Bill Bedley & Jennifer Warnes

As the instantly-recognisable soundtrack of Dirty Dancing, this song is perfect for those couples with slightly more confident footwork – you could even attempt the infamous lift if you’re somewhat seasoned dancers.

The 1990s

Kiss From a Rose – Seal

With its alternating high and low points, Seal’s Kiss From a Rose – which won multiple awards as the Batman Forever soundtrack – is a worthy first dance contender from this decade.

I Don’t Want to miss a Thing – Aerosmith

At least three quarters of your wedding guests are likely to know this song, either through their love for Aerosmith or the film Armageddon. Either way, it’s a winner.

The 2000s

Ho Hey – The Lumineers

The lively tempo of Ho Hey will likely encourage your guests to sing and move alongside you as you share your first dance, and what can we say about the lyrics? “I belong with you, you belong with me you're my sweetheart”…

All of Me – John Legend

Written for his wife, Chrissy Teigen, and featuring her in the song’s music video, John Legend created a tune for the ages with All of Me, and makes for a great first song to dance to as husband and wife.


Perfect – Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran’s instant hit, Perfect, easily became the most popular first dance song of the year, and probably for quite a few years to come. It’s like it was written just for that moment in a couple’s big day!

Image Credits

Becca Dilley Photography

Wedding Directory