There are thousands of decisions to make when it comes to planning your wedding, not least of which is: “What song will be playing for our first dance as husband and wife?” From tried-and-true classics like Etta James’ “At Last” to modern day hits like John Legend’s “All Of Me,” you can’t go wrong spinning one of these phenomenal love songs during your first dance as a couple!
Oldies But Goodies
“At Last” by Etta James. First released on Argo Records in November, 1960, this seminal classic is one of the most popular wedding ballads ever written. Not only did the Etta James version appear in the films Rain Man, Pleasantville, and American Pie, the song was also performed by Beyonce at President Barack Obama’s 1999 Inaugural Ball. Timeless lyrics include: “And here we are in heaven/For you are mine at last”.
“Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. First appearing in Elvis Presley’s 1961 film Blue Hawaii, this beautiful ballad topped the British charts in 1962 and was often the last song Elvis sang at live performances throughout his career. Notable tear-jerking lyrics include: “Take my hand/Take my whole life too/For I can’t help/Falling in love with you”.
“In My Life” by The Beatles. A favorite first dance song, the Fab Five first released this track in 1965 and has since been recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine as the 23rd “Greatest Songs of All Time.” Features the unforgettable, sing-along lines: “Though I know I’ll never lose affection/For people and things that went before/I know I’ll often stop and think about them/In my life I love you more”.
“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Originally performed by Fred Astaire (for all you trivia fans out there), this 1936 hit won Sinatra an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Since Ol’ Blue Eyes released his version of the song, it has been re-recorded by Billie Holiday, The Jaguars, and The Lettermen. It’s nearly impossible to top Sinatra’s swoon on lyrics like “There is nothing for me but to love you/And the way you look tonight”.
“Your Song” by Elton John. One of Elton John’s most underrated songs, this diddy was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. More recently, Ellie Goulding’s cover jumped to #2 on the UK Singles Chart in 2010, though Gen Y-ers will likely associate “Your Song” with Ewan McGregor’s performance in the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! You can’t go wrong at your wedding with lyrics like: “I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words/How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”
“Lucky” by Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz. Since its release in January, 2009, this simple-yet-beautiful song has become the go-to first dance song for couples around the world, even netting the pop singers a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2010. You won’t find more perfect wedding lyrics than this: “Lucky I’m in love with my best friend/Lucky to have been where I have been/Lucky to be coming home again”.
“All Of Me” by John Legend. Dedicated the Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen (who also appears in the music video), this sweeping, melodic ballad has become Legend’s biggest hit to date. Though a full 5 minutes long, the song is buoyed by inspiring lines like: “All of me loves all of you/Love your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections/Give your all to me, I give my all to you/You’re my end and my beginning/Even when I lose I’m winning”.
“Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. Released on July 24, 2010, on Elektra Records, it has earned a Platinum Certification six times over, and was the best-selling digital single of 2011 (12.2 million copies sold). The perfect song for couples who want an upbeat song for their first dance, “Just The Way You Are” features soaring choruses and lyrics that make you believe in unconditional love: “When I see your face/There’s not a thing that I would change/Cause you’re amazing just the way you are”.
“First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. First released on Bright Eye’s album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning in 2005, this stripped-down, bouncy folk tune has become a go-to song for couples that buck traditional romance anthems. Never is Conner Oberst more gracefully raw than when crooning the lyrics: “Yours is the first face that I saw/I think I was blind before I met you/Now I don’t know where I am, I don’t know where I’ve been/But I know where I want to go.”
“The Best Is Yet to Come” by Michael Bublé. Though this song was originally recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1964, Bublé’s version gives the Sultan of Swoon a run for his money. (Interesting fact: The words “The Best is Yet to Come” are etched on Sinatra’s tombstone.) A new take on a classic, these lyrics will appeal to all generations: “Come the day you’re mine/I’m gonna teach you to fly”.
“The Only Exception” by Paramore. Released by Fueled by Ramen Records in February, 2010, this powerful single skyrocketed Paramore into the mainstream and earned the group a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. Honest and beautiful, the song’s lyrics are ideal for a couple’s first dance: “And I’ve always lived like this keeping a comfortable distance/Up until now I had sworn to myself that I’m content with loneliness/Because none of it was ever worth the risk/Buy you are the only exception”
For more amazing wedding planning tips, contact Olivia Restaurant’s professional wedding coordinators today or schedule a viewing of Olivia Restaurant, the De Luxe Ballroom, or the De Luxe Lounge!