Unique first dance songs that haven’t been done to death

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Not that I have anything against Etta James' “At Last” or Michael Buble's “Everything,” — they're both a perfect first dance song — but I've heard them both WAY too many times at weddings.

So, combining my database of musician friends (some of whom made the list) with the Offbeat Wed editorial team's tastes, we've compiled a list of totally not overused first dance songs… from the silly, to the romantic, to the extremely controversial! Because when the newlyweds step onto the dance floor, we want to keep things unique!

The goal here is to share wedding songs that you might not have heard too many times. We love the likes of Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, John Legend, Adele, Jack Johnson, and Frank Sinatra too, but if you want your guests to feel surprised at your reception, you might want to go for one of these more unusual first dance songs.

Oldies but Goodies — classics along the same lines of “At Last” or Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody”

  • The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (hear it)
  • Shuggie Otis' “Strawberry Letter 23” (hear it)
  • Marvin Gaye's “Let's Get it On” (hear it)
  • Otis Redding's “That's How Strong My Love Is” (hear it)
  • Van Morrison's “Sweet Thing” (hear it)
  • The Zombies' “This Will Be Our Year” (hear it)
  • The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” (hear it)
  • Toussaint McCall's “Nothing Takes The Place Of You” (hear it)
  • Al Green's “Love and Happiness” (hear it)

Sexy Romantic with great lyrics

  • (Ariel's) Me'Shell NdegΓ©ocello's “Love Song #1” (hear it)
  • Ben Folds' “The Luckiest” (hear it)
  • Peter Gabriel's “In Your Eyes” (hear it)
  • Massive Attack's “One Love” (hear it)
  • Mazzy Star's “Fade Into You” (hear it)
  • Portishead's “All Mine” (hear it)
  • Lou Reed's “Perfect Day” (hear it)

Wonky and Fun

  • Adam Sandler's “I Wanna Grow Old With You” (hear it)
  • The “Family Matters” theme song “As Days Go By” (hear it)
  • Doris Day's “A Bushel And A Peck” (hear it)
  • The Velvet Underground's “I'm Sticking with You” (hear it)
  • The Band's “Cripple Creek” (hear it)
  • Toto's “Africa” (hear it)
  • Sam Hart's “Mario Kart Love Song” (hear it)
  • Rick Roll those bitches!


  • (Megan's) Pavement's “We Dance” (hear it)
  • Jon Brion's “Here We Go” (hear it)
  • Neko Case's “This Tornado Loves You” (hear it)
  • Sufan Stevens' “The Dress Looks Nice On You” (hear it)
  • Wilco “I'm the Man Who Loves You” (hear it)
  • The Cure's “Friday I'm in Love” (hear it)
  • Bright Eyes' “First Day of my Life” (hear it)
  • Nick Drake's “Northern Sky” (hear it)
  • The Pixie's “La La Love You” (hear it)


  • Bird and the Bee “My Love” (hear it)
  • Obi Best “Nothing Can Come Between Us” (you can get a free mp3 here)
  • The Moldy Peaches' “Anyone Else but You” (hear it)
  • The Mountain Goats' “No Children” (hear it) — yes, some people find this song controversial!
  • Jeff Mangum's “I Love How You Love Me” (hear it)
  • She & Him's “I Was Made For You” (hear it)
  • Captain Beefheart's “I'm Glad” (hear it)

Jazzin' — along the same lines of Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, or Louis Armstrong

  • Sara Gazarek's “Makes Me Feel This Way” (hear it) or her version of “You Are My Sunshine” (hear it)
  • Harry Connick Jr.'s “Come By Me” (hear it)
  • Kurt Elling's “I Feel So Smoochie” (hear it)
  • Jamie Cullum's “I Think, I Love” (hear it)
  • Renee Olstead's ” A Love That Will Last” (hear it)

Upbeat Swingin'

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  • (Shrie's) Chuck Barry's “You Never Can Tell” (hear it)
  • Barry Louis Polisar's “All I Want Is You” (hear it)
  • Sly & the Family Stone's “You Can Make It If You Try” (hear it)
  • Huey “Piano” Smith's “Little Liza Jane” (hear it)

Laidback Easy-Peasy

  • Mayer Hawthorne's “Make Her Mine” (hear it)
  • Cat Power's version of “Sea of Love” (hear it)
  • Peter Gabriel's “Book of Love” (hear it)
  • Air's “Playground Love” (hear it)
  • The Fruit Bat's “When U Love Somebody” (hear it)

Dark and Romantic

  • Judas Priest's “Angel” (hear it)
  • Rammstein's “Ohne Dich” (hear it with English translation)
  • Type O Negative's “Love You to Death” (hear it)
  • Stone Temple Pilots' “Still Remains” (hear it)
  • Incubus' “Monuments and Melodies” (hear it)
  • Killswitch Engage's “My Curse” (hear it)
  • HIM's “Join Me In Death” (hear it)

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Comments on Unique first dance songs that haven’t been done to death

  1. We didn’t dance at our wedding, but if we would have, we would have danced to “Dance With Me Now, Darling” by Hem. (hear it)

      • We had our friend preform Into My Arms during our ceremony, but our first song was a deeper tribute: Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” (hear it)

    • That Peter Gabriel song, Book of Love is a cover of the Magnetic Fields song, btw. So…yeah.

  2. We used The Pogues “A Rainy Night In Soho.” It begins: “i’ve been loving you a long time, down all the years, down all the days…” (hear it)

    perfect. i reccomend it.

    • Undecided between a few songs, we went with the one we sing to each other the most, and rainy night in soho won out! Somuchlove!!!

  3. The second I heard Blood Bank by Bon Iver I knew were I to get married, that song had to be it. It’s slow, but not too slow and absolutely beautiful. (hear it)

    • We wanted a more obscure first dance song, something we hadn’t heard a million times that would truly be “our” song. We settled on Little Trip to Heaven (on the Wings of Your Love) by Tom Waits. It’s blues-ey and soulful and very romantic. Also, the muted trumpet gives it kind or a thirties/forties feel to it.

      • That’s great! My fiance and I are playing with the idea of using Tom Waits’ “Picture in a Frame.” It’s simple but beautiful…man, that guy can write a song.

      • We’re having “warmness on the soul” by avenged sevenfold…… The most beautiful song we’ve heard and its almost as if they’re telling our story

  4. My hubby and I danced to Toto’s Africa at our wedding, so seeing it on this list made me smile like crazy. πŸ™‚

    • “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. It’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.”

      We’re not gonna dance, but I am singing this song to Groom for sure.”

      • my fiance and I LOVE Toto’s Africa!! We are having it as our Recessional, and I imagine it will be requested many times at the reception…..we’ve gotten out friends hooked, too!

  5. See also : Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head” for upbeat jazzy awesomeness. (hear it)

  6. We’re doing “I’ll Cover You,” from Rent (hear it) — we’re both big fans of the musical, and it’s such a sweet, upbeat love song. If my fiancee liked the Magnetic Fields a little better (read: at all), we’d be doing “It’s Only Time,” which is a slow, incredibly sweet song about life-long commitment (by a gay artist, which makes it even more poignant when he sings “marry me”). (hear it)

    • We thought of “I’ll Cover You” also! We are going with “First Day of My Life” (hear it) because of sentimental value, but we’re going to use “I’ll Cover You” as our last song. Lurv!

    • i’ve wanted i’ll cover you to be part of my wedding ever since i was a sophomore in highschool

  7. Yaaaay! We’re using Chuck Barry’s “Never Can Tell” in June! We have a whole little swing routine and moves in honor of Pulp Fiction (our favorite movie).

    • *Gasp* I love that! Awesome choice. Was planning on learning a swing routine too :).

      Now I’m thinking “Girl, you’ll be a woman soon” also from Pulp Fiction would be a good choice though. (hear it)

  8. I think you should probably take “No Children” off the list, considering it’s about a marriage ending and ending badly. Not sure even an unconventional wedding needs a song with the lyrics, “I hope you die, I hope we both die.”

    • Alyssa: Au contraire! We’ve actually had a several OBBs dance to No Children at their wedding, and were very happy with their choice. Which is why I included it!

    • We’re actually thinking of using that song. We’ve been Mountain Goats fans for a very long time, and that’s one of our favorite sing-at-the-top-of-our-lungs road trip songs.

    • This is why music is becoming the most difficult part of planning. If I simply chose my favorite songs, we’d be listening to breakup songs for hours. Some of my favorite artists have made ONLY anti -love songs! However, I’m determined to have positive vibes going so I’ve been scouring the web for love songs that don’t suck. Luckily I like a wide variety of music (just not many love songs) so there’s a lot to choose from. I passed on “No Children” and added “This Year” to our playlist – which isn’t about love, but it’s not about breaking up so, yay.

      • The Mountain Goats have this great song called “Last Man on Earth” that I think is totally wedding-appropriate. Or even something like “Going to Georgia” or “Genesis 30:30” or “Sax Rohmer #1”.

    • For the past 18 years, it’s been UB40’s version of (Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You. (hear it) I am always astonished when I don’t see that song on “Offbeat first Dance Songs” ESPECIALLY for “Whirlwind” romances (like mine! πŸ˜‰

      • I’m glad you both mentioned this song! I’m a HUGE Elvis fan, so I love the classic version, but UB40’s is fun and upbeat too! I always thought I would want this song to be played at my wedding. πŸ™‚

    • OR “You and I,” (hear it) or “The Way I Am.” (hear it) both amazing

    • I am totally considering doing a recording of this for my first dance song! πŸ™‚

      • Oh my gosh, you and me both! I’ve got to figure out how to get a band together to do the background, but I’d like to do the vocals of “The Way I Am” and surprise my man with it for our first dance. Now that will be a serious coup if I can pull it off.

  9. I’ve always liked

    Neat Little Domestic Life – Of Montreal (hear it)
    Do You Realize? – Flaming Lips (hear it)
    Hotel Yorba – White Stripes (hear it)

  10. Kate, Peter Gabriel wrote “The Book of Love,” covered by both The Magnetic Fields and Now It’s Overhead.

    We’re thinking Dean and Britta’s “You Turn My Head Around” (hear it) or The Band of Blacky Ranchette’s “Getting It Made.” (hear it)

    • Mz Fitz: Credit where credit’s due! The Peter Gabriel version of “The Book of Love” is actually a cover of Stephin Merritt’s original.

    • But he put it on his “Covers” album… so, that made me believe it was a cover, no?

  11. “Hallelujah” cover by Jeff Buckley (hear it)
    No idea what its even about but it’s what i’d use if i could do again…. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t know who performed in, but my cousin had that song for her first dance song, too, and it ha a lot of meaning to them and such. They loved it!
      I know at least one verse’s inspiration came from the Biblical Samson and Delilah.

  12. “You Picked Me” by A Fine Frenzy. VERY sweet and touching, but not overdone at all! This is our song for sure! <3 (hear it)

    (Thanks for all the other ideas. I'm iPod-DJing my wedding and I'll have to add these!)

  13. I love, love, love the Mountain Goats, and I’m all for being quirky, but “No Children”?? That song is the most vicious breakup anthem of all time. “Woke Up New” might be better.

    • I think that “Woke Up New” is a super sad breakup song! I like “No Children,” I feel like even thought the couple is destructive, they will always go down together, even if it is in flames.

    • For the Mountain Goats I’d go with “Old College Try.” I LOVE that song, but we are going with Cosmo Jarvis’ “Gay Pirates” πŸ™‚

  14. My brother and his wife used “Girlfriend” (“Summertime Rolls”) by Janes Addiction. It didn’t go over well with the ‘rents, but everyone else loved it. (hear it)

    • My mom hates the original of this song, but loves the cover version by Puracane, slower and more traditionally “pretty,” but just as sweet, subversive, and sexy.

  15. My fiancee is a huge Goo Goo Dolls fan and he has the sheet music from Iris tatooed on his back. So he’s going to record a version of Iris for us to dance together to.

  16. Okay! We’re getting ladies who are pretty heated up about the “‘No Children’ controversy of 2010” but I’d like to point out that a few former OBBs have used that song much to their delight, including this wedding. So let’s keep the comments respectful. And let’s hear more ideas!

  17. When we started our wedding planning, the first song was the first thing that was taken care of. My husband said “I’m on it.” Who knew it was that improtant to him? I should have know since he is in a band…

    We used “I love how you love me” but rather than the original or one of the many covers, he went a step further and got a whole new cover. My husband is friends with Jonah Matranga from Far who will record any song you want on a sliding scale. He did an AMAZING job and we gave a CD of his song and the original music the best man composed for the ceremony as favors.

      • I love Jonah! He’s the best! We’ll definitely have “Oh I’m so lucky” and “smile” aaaand “I want you to be my witness”!

    • our song is :Stand by Me: by Ben E King…dating myself I know, but it never fails to move me when i hear it and we’ve been married 25 years now…sigh…its wonderful to still be in love

  18. We are planning on “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers. So funky and jazzy and sweet, I can’t wait for our first dance! (hear it)

  19. AAAAAH!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Cat Power – Sea of Love is on here. That won’t be our first dance song (not sure we’re even having a first dance) but that is OUR song! We heard a few different versions of it randomly together at different events when we started dating and it just stuck! *swoon*

  20. i think we’re going to use tracy chapman’s “you’re the one.” (hear it) i love how it’s not super gooey-lovey-dovey; i think the realism of it makes it so much more romantic than a lot of more traditional ones (not that i don’t adore some ooey-gooey sappy songs! i just want something more meaningful for this)

  21. oldies — “Calico Skies” by the Beatles (hear it)
    indie — “Jesus, Etc” by Wilco (hear it)
    indie folk — “Love Serenade” by the Waifs (hear it)
    “Tango” by Patty Larkin (or anything off her new “25” album… it’s 25 love songs, but not lovey-dovey songs… some are sad, some are beautiful, some are just weird…) (hear it)
    “you” (from Kitchen Radio album) or “you meet the nicest people in your dreams” by Peter Mulvey (hear it)

    • Calico Skies is actually a Paul McCartney Song, not a Beatles song. It’s off his album Flaming Pie, which was released in 1997.

  22. We are dancing to “Oh,It is Love” by Hellogoodbye, sung as a duet by the best man and my fiance’s sister. Its kinda one of our songs (we have many!). I’m really looking forward to it! (hear it)

    • We just decided on “Oh, It Is Love!” How did you dance to it? Neither one of us are very good dancers. We always pictured a slow song as our first dance. Now we’re terrified lol. But we love this song. It suits us so well.

  23. Not sure if there’s going to be a way for us to have a first dance given the way our wedding’s rolling, but if we have the option, we might use “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads. David Byrne <3 (hear it)

  24. DH & I danced to “I Wanna Grow Old With You”! It just seemed so perfect for us and it’s such a sweet but funny song. We got so many compliments. And I love that it’s not over done.

  25. I’ve always planned to play “life, in a nutshell,” by Barenaked Ladies. It was originally written about the lead singers relationship with his wife but it fits an couple who are as happy together as they alone. (hear it)

    I also love the moludy peaches song that’s used in Juno. (hear it)

  26. My pick is Ray LaMontagne’s “you are the best thing.” (hear it. How about a list for offbeat songs to walk into the reception? I am having a hard time with that one.

    • we are using “little green bag” by the george baker selection. this is more of an homage to reservoir dogs (and it has fantastic opening music). (hear it)

    • I think we’re going to play Sea of Love by Cat Power as our processional; we’re walking out together, and having and ocean side wedding, and it would be really sweet.

    • We are walking into Accidentally in Love by the Counting Crows. Its fun and up beat. (hear it)
      My future sister in law walked in to Jump by House of Pain, it made the whole dance floor do just that. (hear it)

  27. We’re going with ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure. It’s ‘our song’ and was playing on the jukebox in our local pub right before he proposed. We’re also having the lyrics read during our (church) ceremony. (hear it)

  28. I LOVE Neko Case, but I’m not sure that “this Tornado Loves You” is a good idea. I guess it would would if you’re in an openly co-dependent relationship, or are marrying a stalker. Seriously, you and your guests would have to have really good senses of humor to have just about any Neko Case song.

  29. I walked in to Sufajn Stevens – The dress looks nice to you (hear it). We danced to Sufjan’s – To Be Alone With You. (hear it)

    We are kinda Sufjan fanatics, but what can I say? It is good wedding music!

    • We are too! It’s even weirder that this post came right after the one above it because my future husband still wants to use MAPS. We also tossed around Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

  30. The Cure – Mint Car (hear it)

    The first verse is perfect can you get any better than…

    The sun is up
    I’m so happy I could scream!
    And there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be
    Than here with you
    It’s perfect
    It’s all I ever wanted
    I almost can’t believe that it’s for real

  31. “In Your Eyes” always brings a tear to my eye, especially the acoustic version. I love it!

    “I Say a Little Prayer” is also a good one – very sweet and fun. Even an atheist like me loves it!

  32. Oooh!
    The cover of “We’ve Got a World That Swings” by They Might Be Giants.
    We’re massive TMBG fans.
    “I’d like to take you on this wild, wonderful venture, fly like a kite through space, no strings…”

  33. i am slightly offput that there are no rock, metal or industrial songs on here. BUT, we alts/goths/metalheads don’t really need help picking out songs πŸ˜‰
    we tend to excel at it in the first place πŸ˜‰

    • Lily! Please suggest some! I was at a total loss. And no one I asked had any ideas for me. If you suggest some I will totally add them and I would be grateful to you!

      • We’re into punk, old rock n roll, and rockabilly. We did a swing dance to the pop-punk song “I’m a Pretender” by The Exploding Hearts. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKls3n6lpWU)

        Other songs we considered:
        “Do you wanna dance” (hear it), “I wanna be your boyfriend” (hear it), “Oh oh I love her so”, “she’s the one” – by the Ramones
        Rockabilly Ramones covers by Full Blown Cherry
        “I will rock and roll with you” (hear it), “She my baby” by Johnny Cash
        “Oh Boy” (hear it), “It’s so Easy” (hear it), “Everyday” (hear it), “You’re the one”, “I don’t care (baby your so square) by Buddy Holly (hear it)
        “Come on, let’s go” by Ritchie Valens (hear it)
        “Church on Sunday” (hear it), “Poprocks and Coke” (hear it), “80” by Green Day
        “Chocolate Eyes” (hear it), “He’s All Mine” (hear it – Kim Lenz

        Other ideas:
        Me first and the gimme gimmes does covers of various popular songs
        “1-2 crush on you” (hear it) – the clash
        “what’s inside a girl” – the cramps
        “mass pike” – the get up kids (hear it)
        “great expectations” (hear it), “old white lincoln” (hear it) – gaslight anthem
        “feel like makin love” (hear it), “more today than yesterday” – goldfinger
        “sweetnes” – jimmy eat world (hear it)
        “do you wanna touch me?” – joan jett (hear it)
        “what a wonderful world” – joey ramone (hear it)
        “this is for real” (hear it), “it had to be you” (hear it) – motion city soundtrack
        “and i will be with you” (hear it), “i just wanna do it with you” (hear it)- mr. t experience
        “i will dare” – the replacements (hear it)
        “hot un” – granpaboy
        “question” (hear it), “indefinitley” – the old 97s
        “valentine” (hear it), “our love” (hear it) – rhett miller
        “luv luv luv”, “kissed” – pansy division
        “love you in the fall” – paul westerberg (hear it)
        “love you til the end” – the pogues (hear it)
        “the sun always shines around you” (hear it), “fuck the world” (hear it) – the queers
        “i know” – save ferris
        “i think we’re alone now” – penny and the loafers
        “punk rock princess” – something corporate (hear it>
        “what i like about you”, “i never promised you a rose garden” – the suicide machines (hear it)
        “i wanna waltz” (hear it), “i’ll be you my heart” – wanda jackson
        “when i’m with you, i’m ok” (hear it), “inside me, inside you” (hear it) – ultimate fakebook
        “for always” (hear it), “here with me” (hear it), “without you” (hear it) – mxpx
        ‘under the hedge” – ted leo (hear it)
        “i won’t let me”, “in love this way”, “good good things” – the descendents
        “carry you” (hear it), “think the world” (hear it) – all
        “olive me” – nofx
        “this time darlin” – social distortion (hear it)
        “best of me” – the starting line (hear it)
        “no place feels like home” – midtown (hear it)
        “today’s the day”, “have you ever”, “sweet sweet boy” – the unlovables
        “cupid’s victim” – tiger army (hear it)
        “sealed with a kiss” – the eyeliners (hear it)

        uh yeah … so that’s a lot but there’s probably more ….

        • Ha. You just named, like, half of the music that was on my wedding mix. My husband and I had our first dance to the “I Want You Around” by The Ramones. The song “Danny Says” is actually really sweet too, but something other than junior high dance step pace was a little too much for us.

    • I’d love some suggestions for first dance songs that are a bit rock-n-roll. Was thinking of “All I want” by Staind? (hear it)

  34. We danced to the Smashing Pumpkins version of “My Blue Heaven” for our first dance. Hubz is a HUGE SP fan… it worked out great, it’s a waltz. (hear it)

  35. We’re dancing our first dance to “Chariots Rise (Acoustic)” by Lizzie West and Baba Buffalo. The song is originally from the movie Secretary, but this version is much sweeter and softer. (It also replaces the line “what a fool am I to fall so in love” with “what grace have I to fall so in love”) (hear it)

    • “Secretary” is my favorite movie of all time. I love, love, love the song too. I may even put Leonard Cohen’s “I’m Your Man” to throw people off too. πŸ˜‰ (hear it)

  36. I don’t care how old-meme it is; we are totally Rickrolling everyone for our first dance. If you take the time to listen to it, it’s actually a sweet song about love and commitment πŸ˜€

    Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…

    • I wish I could find a photo someone sent me once – it was a Rickroll cake, just said…I think… “Never gonna give you up or dessert you.” Coordinating wedding cake? :-p

  37. Last summer, my boyfriend volunteered to dj for some friends’ wedding. She very desperately wanted to have The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” be their first dance, and my boyfriend balked because it’s not very first-dance-able.

    He searched high and low, and he found a mashup of The Commodores’ “Easy Like Sunday Morning” with the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”. It was AWESOME. (hear it)

  38. probably Cure´s Lovecats, that´s the one the DJ played during our engagement, on the club where we first maked out!

  39. I’m doing The First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes! It always makes me cry, lol. (hear it)

    Also try
    -You and Me by Plain White T’s (hear it)
    -Nothing With You by The Descendants (hear it)
    -The Dolphins Cry by Live (hear it)
    -Here In Your Arms by hellogoodbye (hear it)

  40. We’re using “The Way I am” by Ingrid Michaelson. It’s sweet, and I love the line about rogaine. (hear it)

    • We are, too. In addition to being adorable and just quirky enough to fit our relationship, it’s also short (2:15!), which is easier on my non-dancing FH. πŸ˜‰

    • My fiance and I are dancing to a tango song, cuz that’s how we met. But if we were doing a song with english lyrics, it would be “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson

      “…I wanna do what bunnies do with you if ya know what I mean…”


  41. Used to Be- Olu Dara (hear it)

    “Used to be an apple, now you’re an apple pie. Used to be, used to be the one, now you my baby.”

    Tell Me Why You Love Me- Chris Smithers (hear it)

    My grandparents’ song is Cheek to Cheek, the Fred Astaire version. I would love to have that as a first dance.

  42. If you are looking for CUTE & GEEKY try “Mario Kart Love Song” by Sam Hart. And for all my fellow She & Him fans don’t forget about “Never Had Nobody Like You” from M. Ward’s solo album. But it features Zooey so it might as well be She & Him. We haven’t decided which to use yet for our first dance, but both will be in there somewhere.

  43. My fiance and spent all summer trying to come up with our first dance song, as we had been together for awhile and had a long list of “our song” titles. We were at a Ziggy Marley concert in July and as soon as he started playing “Is This Love,” we looked at each other and knew that had to be it! We used his dad’s classic version. It was a little hard to dance to reggae, but we had a blast and it really represented *us* in a wedding full of compromises with our traditional families.

  44. You do realise that “Friday I’m in Love” is about partying and taking drugs, don’t you? Not exactly right for a wedding dance…

    • Yeah, for some of us, our weddings are about partying and taking drugs. Just cuz it’s not right for your wedding doesn’t make it wrong!

  45. Thanks for the link to Sara Gazarek – you are my sunshine. I have been searching for a classy version of that song. We love the muppets version but its not exactly danceable to! We are supposed to be dancing to Somebody by Depeche Mode but that could change now!

    • You are MORE than welcome. Sara is actually a friend of mine (getting married really soon) and I’m glad that I could turn you on to her! Her voice is incredible.

    • We LOVE Avenged Sevenfold. Our current plan is for me to walk up the aisle to “Warmness on the Soul” and we keep talking about doing Dear God as our first dance. (hear it)

    • those songs actually make me wish the hubs and i were long distance so we could use them!

  46. Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” is going to be our song… Besides the fact that we love Queen, it’s also featured in one of favorite movies– “Shaun of the Dead”!!!! πŸ™‚ (hear it)

    • Please please tell me you’re also going to use “Don’t Stop Me Now.” And choreograph a dance with pool cues and zombies. (hear it)

  47. our first choice was “perhaps perhaps perhaps” by doris day, but we ended up dancing to “these arms of mine” by otis redding – very sweet song πŸ™‚ (hear it)

  48. I’m considering “I Will Follow You Into The Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie (morbid, but sweet) (hear it), an acoustic version of “The Good Left Undone” by Rise Against (hear it), and “Good Enough” by Evanescence (hear it). My friends chose “Swing Life Away” by Rise Against, which I think is a great choice. (hear it)

    • I love dcfc’s “I will follow you into the dark”. It’s such a beautiful song.

      • a friend of mine who is
        super talented sang it when his friends got married,for the processional. the couple got married in a backyard in new hampshire i believe, and he had his acoustic and sang. i watched a video of it and it was AWESOME.

    • Lily, I’ve been looking for the perfect 1st dance song and I think that I’ve found it with your Rise Against suggestion. Do you have any idea where I’d be able to find a good acoustic recording of the song?

    • My boyfriend played this song for our friends a few months after we met and I intend on using it for our first dance!

  49. I wonder if my husband and I were the only ones to ever use Rancid’s “Who Would’ve Thought” as a first dance song. And the only compromise we made in our whole wedding was to bleep the swear words because we had several children as guests. (hear it)

  50. Megan – Thats Cool! I tried to purchase the song but as I don’t live in the US amazon wouldn’t let me – boo! πŸ™ Anywhere else we might be able to get it?

  51. It’s definitely not for everybody, but we danced to “I Love You Too” from the movie Pete’s Dragon at our wedding. Yes, it’s a love song between a boy and his dragon. Our guests loved it and my 26-year-old flower girl cried. :o)

    Check out this link to relive your/my childhood (song starts @ 1:45):

  52. @Leigh: I LOVE Adele’s cover of “Make You Feel My Love”! Not at all trying to be a downer, but if I may ask, how did you get around/resolve the line that goes, “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet”? That one silly line has (for now) crossed it off the list for us.

    We’re looking at “Brighter than Sunshine” by Aqualung. You could probably file that one under “Dork Central.” (hear it)

    One of our dark horse candidates is “Ring of Fire”, by Johnny Cash. (hear it)

  53. @Nelle – That’s our song too!!! We are big Queen fans, and that song is so sweet but not overly lovey dovey. Yay Freddie!

  54. I have, on average, two thoughts a day…. and I am going to waste them both on this reply.

    In no order of importance:

    Thought #1: I don’t think the people taking offense to the suggestion of “No Children” understand the song “No Children”. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why you don’t get it. This world would be for the worse if everybody understood why that is one of the most powerful love songs ever written. Crazy… I know… but here is why I think so: It is the most powerful love song of all time for one simple reason…. it puts into words the most challenging aspect of love- complete and utter devotion. This song has nothing to do with a break-up (as suggested). It is about a couple, bonded by their flaws… who are willing to sink together. Granted… not going to make the cut for the soundtrack of a Disney movie…. but Disney movies suck. It is about the other side of love and connection… the side that keeps you there when the other person is getting on your last nerve, or you are having trouble finding anything to love about that person. Sure… its a gross exaggeration, maybe even comical…. but the message is deadly serious and poignant. It may not speak to you, or most people for that matter, but there are couples who this song speaks very directly to and is a great anthem for Love and Devotion. Before you discount it as such….. ask a couple that has been married for a while if this line means anything to them:

    “I am drowning
    There is no sign of land
    You are coming down with me
    Hand in unlovable hand”

    #2: The great thing about a LIST of songs….. is that you get to choose which one to use (or not use). I am fairly certain these recommendations were not intended as a 7-hour medley first dance (I will make my own recommendation that you DO NOT attempt this…. as it will be silly, your legs will get tired, your open bar tab will be extravagant…. not to mention that the 2 weeks of dance lessons you signed up for before the wedding have not prepared you with 7 hours worth of moves). SO…. that being said…. rather than dis someone else’s choice (a great one, btw), just pick another song… or don’t, it’s up to you really.

    Best to you all….

    • I realize I’m responding to a super-old comment and this is going into waaaay too much detail, but…

      I don’t think any of the Mountain Goats songs about the Alpha Couple are love songs, not even Old College Try, and especially not No Children, specifically because they’re Alpha Couple songs. Those lyrics, the song even, can definitely be taken out of context and made to work, but I really disagree that anyone who says No Children isn’t a love song just doesn’t understand it. In fact, John Darnielle kinda says just that: http://www.timmcmahan.com/mountain.htm

      So for sure, anyone who wants to use it, I doubt the guests at their weddings are going to know all this back story. But I personally would hold off on No Children until I’m actually in an old married couple. Seems a little too soon to be emulating a toxic, alcohol-fueled relationship that’s about to burn to the ground πŸ˜€

  55. me and hubby have a song already- “My Curse” by Killswitch Engage, which we’ll use when we get married (one day lol). (hear it)

    other ideas, from a mostly metal/rock perspective:
    – Everything I Do (I do it for you)- Bryan Adams (altho is probably done a lot) (hear it)
    – So Beautiful- Darren Hayes (hear it)
    -Angel- Judas Priest (for serious) (hear it)
    -Hysteria- Def Leppard
    -Mama I’m Coming Home- Ozzy Osbourne (hear it)
    -Ohne Dich- Rammstein

    For a funny/smart alecky-type song I think “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meatloaf would be great. (hear it)

  56. What a great list!
    Some of my favorite songs are on there

    ME and the FH are dancing to Friday I’m In Love -Cure
    Since he texted a lyric from that song early on in the relationship and totally werded me out…”What? he loves me…ugh…”

    BUT how does one dance to a song like this?
    I don’t really dance at all,
    and we’ve never danced together before.
    But I like the idea of being held by him and having fun… hmmm

  57. Neither of us is a fantastic dancer, so we decided to high-school-prom-slow-dance to Norah Jones’ “Painter Song”. (hear it)

    Our relationship was Long Distance for a good long time, so a song about being together meant a lot to me. Plus, I’m an artist — so it worked out great πŸ™‚

  58. We haven’t talked about first songs yet, but one I will be pushing if we do have a “first dance” will be “Never Doubt I Love” by Melanie Doane. It’s one I repeat to him when he forgets. Very low key, but a gorgeous song about the fact that the world is far from perfect, and life may be hard, but the one thing that cannot be doubted is the love the singer feels. It’s kinda sappy, but it fits us. And it is more parent-friendly than Nin Inch Nails “We’re in This Together.” (hear it)

  59. We’re probably using Old College Try by The Mountain Goats. I love that song so much. (hear it)

  60. Ours was Elton John’s “Your Song.” To be honest, the song itself isn’t particularly meaningful to us personally, but he’s one of Jason’s favorite musicians. We used mine (Queen – “You’re My Best Friend” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”) for the cake cutting, so it evened out. =)

  61. My partner and I were considering Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance me to the end of love’. I haven’t been to enough wedding to know if this is way overdone… any thoughts? (hear it)

    thanks for the morning playlist. It put my day on the right track!

    • There’s a great cover of that on the “Strange Days” soundtrack that might be easier to dance to. I love that song!

    • You really, really need to hear The Civil Wars’ new-ish cover to “Dance Me to the End of Love.” It’s brilliant, and we have it in the first dance rotation, but it will at the very least be a major dancing part of our wedding.

  62. From one of my favorite albums, Closing Time by Tom Waits – Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love). (hear it)

    • That’s one I have high on my list too. Beautiful song and you really can’t go wrong with Tom Waits. Ever. Waits is never wrong.

  63. Some of my friends used: Nick Cave “Into my arms” , which I thought was an awesome choice. I think there are probably many many good romantic Cave songs. (hear it)

    Jens Lekman “Higher Power” would be good for some… (hear it)

    • Oh yeah to the Jens. Funny story: the first time I heard this, I thought the line was “You had a black shirt on with a big picture of Peaches”. (actual line said “Nietzsche”) LOL!

  64. Oh, and for us, this is the subject of much, much debate. We’re both music people with, er, strong held opinions.

    My current ideas are

    Jesus, etc–Wilco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcRWZ3yvxVo (my favorite song ever)
    Dance me to the end of Love–Leonard Cohen (yes, I know it’s inspired by the Holocaust, it’s still a ridiculously beautiful song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PIadFsvDk
    I Will Follow You Into The Dark–by Death Cab for Cutie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYF8cUlbs3I)
    Tougher than the Rest–by Bruce Springsteen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_91hNV6vuBY
    Light as the Breeze–Billy Joel (written by Leonard Cohen and probably waaaaaay to complex to be a wedding song, but it’s so very, very pretty) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kakz1WnHL14

    This will probably change and alter over the whole planning process.

  65. Jigzag – “Melt into you” (hear it)

    or “Jericho” (hear it)

    or “Over the Fence” (hear it)

    actually Jigzag have some really kick ass songs for offbeat weddings. They are an aussie folk band range from melodic ballad type songs right through to jazzy swing and blues music. “Over the fence” is a really swingy and fun song.

  66. You And Me by the Wannadies (I was going to have this…with my ex *ahem*) (hear it)

    Our current frontrunner is This Is The One by the Stone Roses. (hear it)

  67. My inner 90s alt pop lover likes these two songs –

    Simplicity is Beautiful by Juliana Hatfield (hear it)
    Hey You, Get Off My Moon by Velocity Girl (hear it)

    Simplicity is Beautiful is my pick for our first dance. I might walk down the aisle to Hey You, Get Off My Moon.. We’ll see…

    Also, this list doesn’t have a lot of R&B choices. Why the snub??

  68. we did frank sinatra covering the beatles “something”…
    i love the beatles and he loves frank sinatra…it worked well for us!

  69. My views on first dance songs may be kinda weird, but I’ve been toying with how fun it could be to start off with an energetic dance…say, Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You”
    Speaking of the ‘without you’ but on a more traditionally slow song, I’ve always liked the idea of using Rammstein’s Ohne Dich… I find the sentiment of “Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein” very lovely.
    But…I might be crazy. XD

    • JD, I like your views on first dance songs. In fact “Ohne Dich” is one of the choices!

      • So… stumbling on this 8 years later… I share for later searchers.
        Rammstein’s Ohne Dich is, translated, not a fantastic sentiment for a wedding. Following the stated sentiment comes “Mit dir bin ich auch allein” — with you, I am also alone. Eep. Might as well use Du Hast because it contains wedding vows.
        Instead, I suggest Eisbrecher’s version of Ohne Dich for a celebration of love.

  70. We’re Dancing to “I’m in the Mood for Love” by Lord Tanamo, an old ska/reggae track. It’s awesome. (hear it)

  71. hah! i have a whole site dedicated to this πŸ™‚

    i might just have to blog about your post cause there are some good songs on here! of course i’ll link back here and provide proper credit.

    xo – from one music lover to another!

  72. I LOVE this post–I feel like half of our reception playlist is finished πŸ™‚

    A few additions, some good for first-dance songs, others maybe less so:

    The Weepies, Somebody Loved (hear it)
    Feist, Brandy Alexander (hear it), Mushaboom (hear it), etc
    Johnny Cash, Rose of My Heart (hear it)
    Stevie Wonder, I Believe (hear it)
    btw, I too love Neko Case, and I tend to agree with the comment that she’s a tough fit into a happy wedding, but I might sneak “That Teenage Feeling” in any way. (hear it)

    Maybe it’s super obvious and perhaps overplayed by now, but I still think Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” is a great love song πŸ™‚

    and THANK YOU to the commenter who found a Tom Waits lurve song!

  73. I’m trying to convince my gal to go for one of the following:

    “They All Laughed” (the Gershwin classic) (hear it)
    “I Won’t Dance” – Jane Monheit version (hear it)
    “When You’re Dancing” – Danny Kaye version from White Christmas

    I HATE to dance. But if I have to, it’s going to be to something classy, fantastic, and kinda funny

  74. My FH and I both made each other mix tapes (yes, 90 minutes!) of potential first dance songs that we’ve shared or that make us think of one another. The verdict: Tom Waits- Shiny Things (gruff and swoon worthy- go have a mini cry) (hear it)

  75. With all the geeks, Pagans, and/or GLBT folk around here, I’m amazed nobody’s mentioned the ultimate geek sing-along love song – “Under Your Spell” from Buffy! (hear it)

    Admittedly, for our first dance my fiance and I are planning to either ask a talented friend to write & perform a song for us, or dance to “All About Soul” by Billy Joel (because we’re not just geeks … we’re dorks, too). But “Under Your Spell” definitely has to be the final dance of the night. Not only is it beautiful, meaningful, geektastic, and incredibly appropos for our relationship, it’s also an under-the-radar way to reference my fiance’s Paganism during our wedding, without “outing” him to the conservative family members of his who will be in attendance.

  76. we are dancing to “your eyes” by the B Foundation!!!! they are my favorite band and my fiance actually proposed to me on stage at their show! the band was so stoked that they are now actually coming up from L.A (we live in Vancouver Canada) to play at our wedding and we will get to dance to our song live! (hear it)

  77. Folk: ‘Forty-five Years’ by Stan Rogers, it’s one of my absolute favorite love songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BeAL9vmcv0 (Guitar players, you could pull this one out and have everyone sniffling)

    In the old school jazz category,
    Billie Holiday’s ‘Come Rain or Come Shine’
    or ‘For Sentimental Reasons’ which has been sung by a lot of people, including Nat King Cole http://www.last.fm/music/Nat+King+Cole/_/I+Love+You+For+Sentimental+Reasons

    And from way out of left field, if you happen to have a connection to 1980s South African rock, Johnny Clegg & Savuka’s ‘It’s An Illusion’ http://www.last.fm/music/Johnny+Clegg+and+Savuka/_/It%27s+an+Illusion

    Not first dance, but I ran across this song and I’m amused enough to share: Smash the bride’s face with the wedding cake, by Signal Burden http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd_xPSM38f8

  78. Wow, The Zombies’ “This Will Be Our Year” IS our song. We decided on it after he’d been hit by a car and needed me to take care of him about 2 years into our relationship. Awwww. (hear it)

  79. My partner and I sometimes speak almost exclusively in Simpsons quotes (try it, there’s one for every occasion and a few for occasions that will never arise). That’s why early on we decided the B Sharps song “Baby on board” was “our” song. It’s probably silly to dance to a song from a cartoon, but if you know the lyrics, it’s a song about being happy because somebody you love is beside you.

  80. “I’ll Catch You” by The Get Up Kids (hear it)

    I love all these suggestions! So much fun!

  81. I think we’ve settled on the Deftone’s cover of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love”…partially because it’s a sexy romantic song but partially because its a song that centers on a private joke of ours, so we’ll probably laughing the entire time we’re dancing. (hear it)
    But here are some others that we have been considering:
    Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric (hear it)
    Such Great Heights by The Postal Service (hear it)
    Up To the Mountain by Patty Griffin (hear it)
    Lover, You Should Have Come Over by Jeff Buckley (hear it)
    Like a Stone by Audioslave (hear it)

  82. We’re doing “Wild is the Wind” by David Bowie, loveeee it. Love that the Kinks got included in your lineup! Ray Davies is our hero πŸ™‚ (hear it)

  83. I’m with MsFitz @38. If you’re going to choose a Neko song, “This Tornado Loves You” isn’t it. Maybe “That Teenage Feeling” (which begins “Now that we’ve met, we can only laugh at these regrets”) (hear it) or perhaps “No Need to Cry.” (hear it) Maybe “Honky Tonk Hiccups” if you’re feeling silly! (hear it)

    Count me in with those who are kind of horrified that anyone would use “No Children” as their wedding song. o_o

  84. OMG, I love that you put Type O Negative on there. I just about shit bricks. JUST CLOSE THOSE EYES AND LET ME LOH-HOVE YOU TO DEAAAATH!

  85. I wasn’t even gonna join this conversation, but hey, it might help somebody…

    Lucky–Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat (hear it)
    Whisper of Angels–Amici Forever (hear it)
    Such Great Heights–Iron & Wine (hear it)
    La Vie en Rose–Louis Armstrong (hear it)
    Sway–Julie London (hear it)
    Ice Cream–Sarah Mclachlan (hear it)
    Songbird–Eva Cassidy (or her cover of Fields of Gold). (hear it)
    Also, Frank Sinatra. I know some of it’s totally overplayed, but there are a lot of forgotten gems.

    Hah. Doing this made me realize how little sense most of me and my partner’s songs make. Lovin’ Arms would probably not figure into any sane person’s wedding…

  86. For us it could only ever be one of these two songs…

    (my idea…) “Always” by Zug Izland. For starters, I’m a Juggalo so this is a natural choice. But also, seriously, the lyrics couldn’t be any more perfect from me to him.


    (his idea…) “Heaven (Little by Little)” by Theory of a Deadman. Yes I know what the song is about, but I have chronic pain issues and was going through a tough time when I met my man, and he’s always said that he wants to get rid of all my pain. We both get teary-eyed every time that song comes on our iPods. (hear it)

  87. Our first dane song is Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to The End of Love” (hear it) and the father/daughter is the Johnny Cash/Fiona Apple version of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

  88. Mz Fitz, “The Book of Love” is originally by Magnetic Fields – it was on 69 Love Songs in ’99. Peter Gabriel’s version didn’t come out until about five years later, and is slightly better known ’cause it appeared on the almost-finale of “Scrubs.”

    We’re using Magnetic Fields’ version! Excited.

  89. @Leigh: we did Adele’s cover too. It was perfect!
    I’ve been in a musical rut, can’t wait to check out some of these artists. Thanks!

  90. The following are songs that are being considered for our first dance. Not sure how to dance to some of them.

    The Sacrament-HIM (hear it)
    What I Really Want To Say-Steven Curtis Chapman (hear it)
    Swing Life Away-Rise Against (hear it)
    If All Else Fails-Matchbook Romance
    Such Great Heights-The Postal Service (hear it)
    Eight Days A Week-The Beatles
    If I AinÒ€ℒt Got You-Alicia Keys (hear it)
    I Caught Fire (In Your Eyes)-The Used
    Imagine Me Without You-Luis Fonsi (hear it)
    In My Life-The Beatles
    Head Over Feet-Alanis Morissette (hear it)
    I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)-Fall Out Boy (hear it)

  91. Wow – I’ve just been going through this for my wedding. Started off with about three pages – here’s my shortened list – bit of a mixed bag:

    More than Words – Extreme (hear it)
    The Luckiest – Ben Folds (hear it)
    Don’t You Think It’s Time – Bob Evans (hear it)
    We’ll Grow Old Together – Lior
    Forever – Ben Harper (hear it)
    Gorecki – Lamb (hear it)
    First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes (hear it)
    You and Me – Matthew Barber
    If Everything Fell Quiet – Reindeer Section (good parent dancing song too) (hear it)
    Can’t Take My Eyes off of You – Muse
    Over the Rainbow – Israel K’AMADA’WIWOOLE (hear it)
    Better When We’re Together – Jack Johnson
    You Give me Something – James Morrison
    Unintended – Muse
    Pefect Now – Sarah Blasko
    Brighter than Sunshine – Aqualung
    Sea of Love – Cat Power
    At Last – Eva Cassidy
    Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
    Look After You – The Fray
    Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits
    Juno Soundtrack


    • I felt compelled to comment and say that you’ve got EXCEPTIONAL taste in music – it’s like you’ve lifted a chunk out of our playlist!!!!

  92. @EstherB I love “I’ll Cover You” and considered using it.

    We’re planning on dancing to Idina Menzel’s “Gorgeous.” She’s a member of the OBC of RENT to boot. Maybe I could find a way to mash up the two.

    Another meaningful love song by Idina Menzel is “So Beautiful.”

    For any gamer geek, the Final Fantasy game series have some great themes:
    “Eyes on Me”, “Melodies of Life”, and “Suteki Da Ne.”

  93. Some awesome New Zealand love songs out there which might not have been heard a million times: Tiki Taane’s “always on my mind”, Hollie Smith’s “by my side” and pretty much anything by Aaradhna are just a few!

  94. my husband and i used “into my arms” by nick cave. none of our older relatives had ever heard it, and i got so many compliments on it!

  95. I almost feel like I don’t want to share this one because ever since I first heard this song I’ve known it’s going to be ours whenever we get around to making it legal:

    Valery Gore – Dancing. Hello, Canadian piano player/singer.

    Also, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Hysteric is up there for me.

    Iron and Wine has a ton of amazing folky love-type songs that are not “Such Great Heights,” if you’re looking for something similar but are finding it a bit overdone (with good reason; it’s a great song). (hear it)

    Naked As We Came, the Sea and the Rhythm, Boy With a Coin… all equally wonderful.

    • I think that the best best Iron & Wine wedding song is “Each Coming Night.” It is haunting and beautiful. We will definitely use it at some point in our wedding.

  96. We danced our first dance to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson, which is a nice, upbeat, swingy kind of song. That said, we also had a friend sing “Fly” by Sara Groves during the ceremony. It’s absolutely gorgeous. However, Sara Groves is a contemporary Christian singer/songwriter, and we, too, are under-the-radar pagans, so we never would have known about it if it weren’t for a discussion much like this on Indiebride two years ago.

    (Shout out to Elana- let me know if you’re interested in hearing about the ways we incorporated neo-pagan elements into the ceremony without alarming all the Catholics in my family. πŸ™‚

  97. We had three contenders.

    -If ever by Foo Fighters
    -Sparks by Coldplay
    -Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip

    We ended up going for Sparks.

    • Our song is Sparks by Coldplay. It is hauntingly beautiful! If you are a “Love Realist” check it out. If you think love is always happiness and rainbows- choose something else.

  98. We already have an ‘our song’ in ‘Would you Go with Me?’ by Josh Turner.
    However thanks for all the new songs I get to explore this weekend!

  99. a few more suggestions:

    Brandi Carlile – The Story (We used this!)

    Yellowcard – Dear Bobbie (we would have used this but it makes me bawl!)

    Reliant K – Must Have Done Something Right (fun and upbeat)

  100. We might have a bit of a boogie to Dave Matthews Band – Shake Me Like a Monkey. It’s cute and upbeat and the lyrics are quietly filthy. I love it ^_^

  101. We ate using a song I’ve never heard used before – but I’m surprised it has never been!

    Billy Joel: you’re my home

    it’s pretty perfect.

    • I never thought of doing that! FH and I both love “The Hazards of Love” and will definitely be putting this on the top list of possibilities.

  102. Arms by Seabear

    Je T’aime, Je T’aimerai – Francis Cabrel

    The Arms of A Woman – Ray LaMontage

    Good call on the Bowie song from Labrynth… childhood obsession!!!!

  103. We’re going to dance to “Drinking with You,” by Jonathan Coulton. Nerd love ftw!

  104. Also, we love “Waterloo Sunset” but his name is Terry so it’s like “Who the eff is Julie?!” hehehe.

  105. Ours is gonna be a dual first dance.
    -“Come What May” from Moulin Rouge (he sang it to me when we first started dating)
    -“Twisting” by They Might Be Giants (the first time he knew he was in love w/ me was when he was messing around on a keyboard and accidentally played the first few notes. I recognized it and kinda squee’ed.)

    • We danced to “Come What May” as our first dance song and it was lovely. Are the lyrics not perfect?!

  106. I love these suggestions. I have to two to add:

    Maybe I’m Amazed- Paul McCartney

    and my favorite even if it might come off sad. I think it is beautiful…

    No One’s Gonna Love You More- Band of Horses (so beautiful).

    • THANK YOU for posting this!! I LOVE Band of Horses and couldn’t find the right song. I have also had Cee Lo’s version of “No One’s Gonna Love You More” but it just wasn’t quite right. The mix was perfect! I got chills!!

  107. We are getting married in an old theater & having a “movies” theme. Every song on our playlist is featured in a movie we like. For the first dance, I’m torn between “You Never Can Tell” with Pulp Fiction moves, OR “Hip to be Square” (a lÑ American Psycho). I think it would be funny and a blast to dance to, but I’m not sure if anyone will get the reference. Or if it’s even danceable.

  108. bob dylan – “lay lady lay”
    the black keys – “i’ll be your man”
    chuck ragan – “above the flames”
    chuck ragan – “do what you do”
    david bowie – “soul love”
    neil young – “comes a time”
    billy bragg & wilco – “california stars”
    joe strummer – “sleepwalk”
    my morning jacket – “wordless chorus”
    pixies – “here comes your man”
    the cure – “love cats”
    billy idol – “dancing with myself”
    screeching weasel – “totally”

    these are all my significant other and i’s “songs”, but would use bob dylan’s “lay lady lay” as our first dance song. it’s so pure and beautiful.

  109. “No One’s Gonna Love You More- Band of Horses (so beautiful)”

    This is the one we are playing for our first dance. My fiance loves Band of Horses, and we went and saw them in concert a couple years ago. Love the song.

    • we were thinking of this song too! or well, at least anything by band of horses. my fiance got me into them, and when we saw them live we both just fell in love with the band.

  110. Wonderful list and wonderful suggestions! We had first day of my life- bright eyes. Our wedding band ( a local alt country band) did a cover version of it, so so perfect. We had also considered the iron and wine version of such great heights .
    I walked down the aisle to do you realise by the flaming lips and while we signed the register we listened to JoyZipper a thousand christmases.
    Oh and ps. If my husband didn’t hate Mountain Goats with a deep seated and wild passion we would of only had Mountain Goats song

  111. Oooh!
    The cover of “We’ve Got a World That Swings” by They Might Be Giants.
    We’re massive TMBG fans.
    “I’d like to take you on this wild, wonderful venture, fly like a kite through space, no stringsÒ€¦”

  112. OMG, i love this list just for the fact that it has my fav band Incubus in it lol. perfect song.

  113. I love David Gray’s “Be Mine” and Death Cabs ” I’ll follow you into the dark”

  114. Oh My Word My fiance and I were just talking about songs we could do our first dance to/ walk down the aisle to and we hit a blank of sorts. And I log on here and TA DA Solutions lol Love it

  115. For Gothy and Fun couples, Voltaire’s – Stuck with you. Is a great song!

  116. Flowers in the Window by Travis.

    Oh wow, look at you now, flowers in the window
    It’s such a lovely day, & Im glad you feel the same
    You stand up, out in the crowd, you are one in a million & I love you so,
    Lets watch the flowers grow.


  117. We are totally doing “As the World Falls Down” from Labyrinth!! Maybe a BIT common, but I never gave a HOOT about my “future dream wedding” as a little girl EXCEPT I knew I needed hair s ridiculously large as my dress, and THIS SONG. Well, I’ve outgrown the hair and dress ideals, but I still want the song!!

    “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge is a GREAT suggestion. It makes me choke up every time. We are playfully toying around with the idea of singing this to each other at the wedding but I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it off. ^_^;; Nicole Kidman has some PIPES.

  118. I don’t know if my honey and I are going to have dancing at our wedding, but even if we don’t, I am going to find SOME way to work in Nothing Else Matters by Metallica — it’s my favorite Metallica song, Metallica is one of his favorite bands, the lyrics are actually quite sweet, and, hey, it’s even a waltz!

  119. We danced to the Checkers version of The White Cliffs of Dover. Awesome doo-wop! So upbeat and optomistic, it was such a totally joyous first dance.

  120. I’m kinda amazed that some posters are using the Cure’s Just Like Heaven as their song because to me that song has always been really subtly dark and very depressing, about a love that can’t be had for some reason!

    Love the suggestion of the Zombies’ “This Will be Our Year”. Best oldies band.

  121. we danced to Mason Jennings’ ‘Keepin’ It Real’ in part because we used to sing it to each other when we first got together. How can you not love a song that has a refrain like this:

    Oh yes, my oh my, the earth shakes when you walk by
    It’s a fairy tale that we made true
    I can’t believe that i found you
    And it’s oh yes, my oh my
    People turn and look when we walk by
    It’s a big fat love we feel in our hearts
    We’re keepin it, keepin it, keepin it real

    • I *love* Mason Jennings. I like the idea of “Darkness Between the Fireflies,” because most couples have a past.

      “you should know by now that someone’s always been there, long before you. you’re never gonna be the only one”

  122. Dogbowl – “Hot Day in Waco”
    M. Ward’s cover of “Let’s Dance” (Slow and very pretty)
    Depeche Mode – “Somebody”
    Modest Mouse – “Sleepwalkin”
    Smashing Pumpkins – “Take me down”
    Television Personalities – “Smashing Time” (Quirky and fun)
    Velvet Underground – “I love you”

  123. I’M ON FIRE, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN…..for all those Bruce fanatics out there, worked really welll…….very special and sensual….x

  124. No question:

    Naked As We Came – Iron and Wine

    She says “wake up, it’s no use pretending”
    I’ll keep stealing, breathing her.
    Birds are leaving over autumn’s ending
    One of us will die inside these arms
    Eyes wide open, naked as we came
    One will spread our ashes ’round the yard

    She says “If I leave before you, darling
    Don’t you waste me in the ground”
    I lay smiling like our sleeping children
    One of us will die inside these arms
    Eyes wide open, naked as we came
    One will spread our ashes round the yard

    It may be very sad, but I heard this very early on with my boyfriend and we both just knew.

  125. We used “Fields of Gold” by Sting… it was kind of corny and sentimental, but pretty… I really wanted to use “Darlin Companion” by Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash, but the hubby didn’t want to fast dance in front of all those people… so we played it 3rd.

  126. Sarah Harmer’s ‘The Open Window’ (The Wedding Song) has always been my first choice.

  127. Oh, we wanted to use ‘Love you to Death’ so badly, but just decided against it.

    We’re using the Across the Universe version of ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand.’ :3

  128. awesome suggestions.

    A friend’s sister got married and played The Smiths ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out.’ Its lovely and it’s also been covered by The Magic Numbers (amongst others)

    I’d like ‘Red Sweater’ by the Aquabats, fun and adorable.

    “You’re my girl
    I’m your man
    I don’t care if we live in a garbage can
    I’m your man
    You’re my gal
    I’m so glad that we are pals.”

    or anything by Allo Darling,
    or Blink 182, or the Cure or the Beach Boys, or the Clash… it’s gonna be difficult deciding when the time comes…!

  129. Pink Martini – Over the Valley (top choice)
    Pink Martini – Splendor in the Grass
    I Never – Rilo Kiley

    • I realize you posted this AGES ago, but I have to say a HUGE thank you! without this I wouldn’t have found Over the Valley hear it, which is what we’ll be using. it’s a little long, but it’s such a perfect song!

  130. we’re dancing to “dance with you” by Live, for any 90’s lovers out there πŸ™‚

  131. Oh, a couple of others:

    “As” by Stevie Wonder (many people know it as “Always”)

    “Everlong” by Foo Fighters (especially the acoustic version)

    • yay! so glad someone mentioned “everlong” πŸ™‚ FH and i absolutely LOVE the foo fighters and both loved this song since high school!

      • If I ever were to marry my boyfriend (trolling wedding sites for my mom–she’s into graphic arts), this would be it.

        When this song came on as background music on ‘my playlist’ while he was ‘courting me’… I fell in love on the spot. If we break up I’ll forever lament the missed opportunity for this as a first dance/special song.

    • I am walking into the acoustic version of “Everlong”, and we are walking OUT to the electric version! Played and sung by my uncle and two of our groomsmen. I am VERY excited.

  132. My hubby and I used “Write you a song” by the Plain White T’s. The song describes up to a “T” (ha ha) and we both LOVE the Plain White T’s and have seen them live a couple times. I’m not even kidding, I think the most asked question after the wedding was “what song was that and where can I get it?”

    Everyone loved it…and we loved that it meant something so special to us.

    My Dad and I danced to “turn, turn, turn” by the Birds…another fitting song, and one that we used to sing together when I was younger, snuggled up on the couch. It was magical.

    There are so many options out there other than the boring songs you hear at EVERY wedding!!!

  133. My friend and her husband had “Happy Ever After In Your Eyes” by Ben Harper as their first dance. It’s so perfect, I’m actually a little bit jealous that she thought of it first. πŸ˜‰

  134. We used “Storybook Love” From Princess Bride only because we used “Forever” by Dropkick Murphys as our recessional, otherwise that would’ve been our choice. We did find that “Storybook Love” was quite long though. Oops!

  135. Incredible list!!

    #1 ) As The World Falls Down – David Bowie (Labyrinth)
    Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
    Love This Life – Crowded House

    Someone – The Rembrandts – especially for a vow renewal:
    We’ve been together now for such a long time
    Through every trial we’d ever care to go
    When I look back I almost can’t believe it
    We’re not the same people that we used to know

    With all the years behind me spent pretending
    I didn’t need someone like you around
    It makes it even harder to imagine
    The life I’d be livin’, if I hadn’t found


    When there was no one left for me to turn to
    When all the world I knew was fallin’ down
    Oh there were times I could not face the mornin’
    But everything’s changed since the day that I found

    Come on-Come on-Come on-Come on now!!
    (CHORUS 2x)

  136. We considered Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me” and The Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love” and settled on The New Pornographers’ “Go Places” in the end.

    None of them are on the list – boooo πŸ™‚

  137. I didn’t read all the comments, so this might be on here already but I had really wanted to substitute out our planned last song for “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. I thought that would be quite funny. I wasn’t totally sure my husband would have gotten as much of a kick out of it, so I chickened out, but if you have a partner who would think that’s funny, I think it’s perfect!

  138. We told our band, friends of mine, that under no circumstances at all were we to have a first dance because we both found it so painful to be in front of people doing something like that. So, we didn’t get a first dance. Instead, at the very end of their set they told everyone we hadn’t wanted a first one so we were getting a last one instead: Lovecats, by The Cure. It was awesome.

  139. Thank you for this post! I just bought the mp3 for Adam Sandler’s “Grow Old With You” (Hilarious Hitmakers has a version that doesn’t include the cart-crashing, and the song is barely over a minute long- perfect). This will be a good sub for what I originally wanted but wasn’t sure how it would really go over, Lyle Lovett’s “She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife”!
    Thanks! πŸ™‚

    • Not to mention that I will always forever associate it with that intensely painful addiction montage in Trainspotting. But, it is a beautiful song. It will probably make it onto my playlist somewhere.

  140. Oh man, I have never commented before but this seemed like the right time.
    We picked “Go” by Daniel Johnston as covered by Mark Linkus (of Sparklehorse fame, RIP) and Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne. Not only are the lyrics perfect, but they manage to make distorted voices and a line about cows absolutely drop dead romantic.
    If you want an indie vibe but also to cry your eyes out, this is THE song.

    “To understand and be understood is to be free”

  141. my addition to the list would be “Be my yoko ono” by the barenaked ladies

  142. “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds was my wedding song! Unfortunately, it’s ruined for me as we’re divorced, but it’s still a great song. Very romantic.

    My brother’s wedding song was “Oh! Darling” by The Beatles. Much fun. πŸ™‚

  143. Oooh, I love these!

    For Dark & Romantic, you could add “Just For Tonight” by Ville Vallo & Manna.

  144. my fiancee is a huge the used fan…and she’s gotten me (a folk rock/indie lovin gal) to like them too!

    our song is ‘smother me’ by the used & will be our first dance song, as well! ^-^

  145. My fiance’ and I are going to dance to “Just One Thing” by My Morning Jacket. Most romantic MMJ song!!! Love it.

  146. We had a Halloween wedding with a gothic/medieval/renaissance/vampire/Lord Of The Rings mixture. So we used “Love Song For A Vampire” by Annie Lennox from the soundtrack to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    We also used it as our processional but done by a string trio. It was really perfect for us.

  147. Neither of us wanted anything sappy, so we used Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” We got the idea from Shaun of the Dead and it was awesome. Even my conservative grandma thought it was very “us” and enjoyed it.
    To dance with our parents we used “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder, which I think would also make for a happy, upbeat first dance.

  148. I have a playlist in a section of the notebook I always carry with me, just so I can scribble ideas in it.

    Right now, my top picks for our first dance are:

    “Everything” by Alanis Morisette
    “Love You Til the End” by the Pogues
    “Smother Me” by the Used
    “The Best is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra
    “The Aeroplane Over the Sea” by Neutral Milk Hotel
    “Let’s Do It” – the Etta James cover

    We have pretty diverse musical tastes between us and right now he’s pooping on dancing at all, so we’ll see how that goes.

  149. Ella Fitzgerald’s “From This Moment On” is ubpeat and very appropriate. It’s what I’m playing for my first dance.

  150. We did “You Brought a New Kind of Love” by Robin McKelle… it was very swingy and fun.

  151. We had a terrible time trying to decide on a first dance song…I wanted “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”, he wasn’t into it, I wanted “Tribute” by Tenacious D, he wasn’t into it…we went through a million choices, including “I Want to Know Your Plans” by Say Anything, one of my favourite songs of all time. Nothing was quite right until I suggested Ryan Adams’ version of “Wonderwall” and we decided that was perfect. Sweet, but not sappy and not overdone.

  152. Ok, bear with me, because I have a feeling people are going to be losing their minds when they see the artist on this, but “One in a Million” by Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana/whatever. I know, I KNOW. But it’s an awesome song!

    (ignore the video and listen to the song…totally sweet)

  153. Good call on Chuck Ragan, Raina! I think we’ve got Jon Gaunt on the guest list.

  154. My fiance and I are likely dancing to All or Nothing by Theory of a Deadman and using Adam Sandlers Grow Old With Me for our cake cutting ceremony.

    I want to do something different, but not tacky.

  155. Some of the songs I’ve considered are:

    Amazing – Aerosmith
    I Thank You – ZZ Top
    Is This Love – Bob Marley
    I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders

    What I’m actually working on is recording a blues cover of ‘I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles. I’m going to sing it with my friends’ Delta blues band backing me up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out well. It’ll be a surprise for my fiance.

  156. I am having a hard time picking a song, but I am leaning towards “Feeling Good” bu MUSE! MUSE is our favorite band, and most of their songs are beautiful and passionate and lovely! I didn’t know this song was a cover for the longest time lol! I think it is a perfect choice:

    Birds flying high you know how I feel
    Sun in the sky you know how I feel
    Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

    It’s a new dawn
    It’s a new day
    It’s a new life
    For me
    And I’m feeling good

    Fish in the sea you know how I feel
    River running free you know how I feel
    Blossom on the tree you know how I feel


    Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don’t you know
    Butterflies all havin’ fun you know what I mean
    Sleep in peace when day is done
    That’s what I mean

    And this old world is a new world
    And a bold world
    For me

    Stars when you shine you know how I feel
    Scent of the pine you know how I feel
    Oh freedom is mine
    And I know how I feel

    ALSO, for a bunch off offbeat free thinkers y’all are being mighty judgmental about ppl’s songs! It’s a very personal choice, and if someone wants a song about killing or drugs or what the hell ever that’s their business! It’s their day, not yours! Remember that before you sneak in a comment about how blah blah’s song was SOoo inappropriate and hey don’t you know that song’s about eating baby kittens????

    Love, BZ

  157. I can understand the backlack against ‘No Children’, but if we have a song that’s it. I have a wonderful memory of hands clasped tight screaming it at a concert and a smile filled kiss when it ended.

    I love the Bright Eyes and Deathcab suggestions as well. Another great one is Cloud Cult’s ‘May Your Hearts Stay Strong’

  158. Friends of mine walked in to the The Pixies, “Where is my Mind?” and I thought that was pretty cool. πŸ™‚

  159. Thank you for this list and all the suggestions!!! I’ve been trying to find a really good but not over done song and had no luck, until now, thanks again!!

  160. We used Bon Jovi – Next 100 Years – it’s our song and Bon Jovi played it at our first date. If I could go back and re-pick I’d use Stand Inside Your Love by Smashing Pumpkins. The hubs loves them and it’s beautiful (It’s also the inscription on the inside of his ring).

  161. We used “St. Lawrence River” by David Usher, but another good one is “Dance Me to the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen (there is a lovely cover by Madeline Peyroux if you don’t love Mr. Cohen’s voice or cadence). If you are looking for something darker, “Stirb Nicht vor Mir” by Rammstein is a good one too!

  162. We were an ocean apart for 1.4 years, and one of the songs that best fit that situation is “I Will” by the Beatles. I’d never heard it before, listened to it once, and fell in love. It’s short, it’s happy, it tells a story. Our last song will be “Gold” by Interference from the Once soundtrack. I used part of it for my mate’s ring tone. Every time I hear it I think back to when we were apart. We can’t tell if it’s a happy song or not, but it’s beautiful and has fantastic memories attached.

  163. I love love love this list! I would also respectfully submit “You Can Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor. Soft and gentle and beautiful! I also love the José GonzÑlez version of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop”. Thanks for opening up such a great conversation!

    And I agree…how about walking down the aisle songs. We are going to do “Magical Mystery Tour” by the Beatles (the slow part at the end is so regal with all the horns. love it!).

  164. Ingrid Michaelson’s “Take Me the Way I am” — Adorable, fresh, upbeat. I love that song!

  165. My sweetie and I are dancing to “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones. Because it’s the closest thing to “our song” that we have – shortly after we started dating we discovered that we both collect covers of it! There are a LOT of covers of it. No, it’s not a love song, but, really, I prefer it that way. And we’re having a totally goth wedding so it fits.

    Though “Still Remains” by STP is a good one. I could imagine dancing to that πŸ™‚

  166. I wanted our first dance to be Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life” so bad, but we decided to dance to our live band… and it was a mariachi band. Still wish that had been the song!

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