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Top 10 First Dance Songs for Your Wedding Reception

Updated on September 15, 2008

Your first dance as man and wife should be very special and romantic, so make sure that you choose a song that not only expresses how you feel but that also makes you comfortable out on the dance floor. I have chosen my top 10 Favorite First Dance songs to use at your wedding reception. If you don't find what you are looking for here, be sure to check out my list of Contemporary songs for your Ceremony, as any of those would work as well!!

1. When A Man Loves A Woman

"Yes, when a man loves a woman

I know exactly how he feels,

'Cause baby, baby, baby

I am a man.

When a Man loves a woman"

This song is just a classic. You have several recordings to choose from, ranging from Percy Sledge's original to Michael Bolton. It's a very nice song to dance to, and is one that everyone at your wedding will recognize and enjoy.

2. At Last

Etta James's "At Last" is a great song to dance to. It's so romantic and lends itself well to a ballroom style dance. The words are wonderful as well.

"My heart was wrapped up in clovers

The night I looked at you

I found a dream that I could speak to

A dream that I can call my own."

This is another song that everyone at your reception, no matter their age, will enjoy and love. If you are having a Jazz band at your reception, this is the perfect choice. Chances are, this is already in their repertoire!

3. Our Love is Here To Stay

Even if a bit on the old fashioned side, the Gershwin's really knew how to write a love song! Back in 1938, they introduced this song and it was made popular later by such greats as Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. The words are simple, "It's very clear, our love is here to stay/ Not for a year, but ever and a day." Also, the beat is not super slow, and it's not super fast. It is a comfortable pace to twirl and whirl around the dance floor. A Jazz Band would probably also have this song in their regular repertoire. Or, if you are using a DJ, there are tons of different recordings to choose from, so listen to them all and pick the one that you love best!

4. Can You Feel the Love Tonight

Okay, so this is from a Disney movie, but doesn't it say everything you'd want to say at your reception? Elton John made this song popular in the 90's and it appeared on the soundtrack to The Lion King. "Can you feel the Love tonight? It is where we are / It's enough for this wide-eyed wanderer, that we got this far / And can you feel the love tonight." I'm sure that everyone in the room will be able to feel the love that you share with your new spouse!!!

5. No One

If you are looking for a more upbeat pop song to dance to, and you are not really a couple that is into sappy and sweet slow songs, think about this song by Alicia Keys. It will have everyone moving their feet and wanting to dance with you.

"I just want you close

Where you can stay forever.

You could be sure

That it will only get better."

6. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

This song was made popular in 1967 by Frankie Valli, and has since been covered by more than 20 others like Frank Sinatra, Lauryn Hill (amazing, btw, you have to hear it!), and even Cake. If you love this song, you should definitely take some time to listen to all of the different recording of it to figure out which one suits you as a couple. You can find recordings that are super slow and romantic and others that are faster.

The words couldn't be better, since you surely will not be able to take your eyes off each other all night!!

7. Bubbly

This is a really recent song by Colby Callait, but it is super cute and fun. If you are looking for something new and upbeat that will set a fun tone for the rest of the evening, this is a really good choice. "It starts in my toes, makes me crinkle my nose, where ever it goes, I always know that you make me smile, please stay for a while now."

8. Heaven

This song was first made known by Bryan Adams, but my favorite version is Kylie Minogue's. There is also a recording by DJ Sammy that uses Kylie's version and turned it into a techno version. If you really want to speed it up, you could use the techno version, but personally, I recommend the slow Kylie version. It is so beautiful! There is a really nice piano accompaniment in it, and it makes you want to grab your loved one and hold them close.

"Baby you're all that I want

When you're lyin' here in my arms

I'm findin' it hard to believe,

We're in heaven."

9. The Way You Look Tonight

Have I put too many Frank Sinatry style songs on this list? Oh well, I can't help it! They make great first dance choices!! Of course, this is also a song that has been recording like crazy, so listen to the Tony Bennett, Michael Buble and Rod Stewart versions as well.

The lyrics are so romantic, and speak so well to the moment. You will both look back on this moment and think about how you looked and how you felt on your wedding day. That is something you will never forget and you will always cherish, and this song expresses that so well.

"Lovely... Never, ever change.

Keep that Breathless charm.

Won't you please arrange it?

'Cause I love you... Just the way you look tonight."

10. When You Say Nothing At All

I couldn't end this list without mentioning this song! Alison Kraus has one of the most Angelic voices I have ever heard, and this song just makes me want to cry. I love how it begins with just her voice and a guitar, and then grows from there.

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall,

You say it best, when you say nothing at all."

To me, it makes for the perfect moment. There are no words to describe how you feel in that moment when you take the dance floor as man and wife, but like it says in this song, just looking into each other's eyes says it all.


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    • Gratitude Journal profile image

      Gratitude Journal 

      5 years ago

      Awesome hub. Weddings are such a nice experience, especially the romantic first dance.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome list!!! I'm having a really difficult time deciding what song I want for my first dance!! I have to bring in the song by next week to the studio that we're getting our dance choreographed from (we live in Mesa AZ so if you want to know more, I'll post a link!!) and I can't decide!! This list helps A LOT:)

    • profile image

      Mark Trezise 

      7 years ago

      The Entertaining Dj’s – Sample Song List

      80’s & 90’s Slow Ballads

      Everything I Do, I Do For You – Bryan Adams

      Heaven – Bryan Adams

      I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith

      I Can Love You Like That – All 4 One

      What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

      Always – Atlantic Star

      I’ll Never Break Your Heart – Backstreet Boys

      Take My Breath Away – Berlin

      Have You Ever – Brandy

      That’s What Love Is All About – Michael Bolton

      Soul Provider – Michael Bolton

      When A Man Loves A Woman – Michael Bolton

      End Of The Road – Boyz II Men

      I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men

      Un-break My Heart – Toni Braxton

      You Mean The World To Me – Toni Braxton

      You’re Makin’ Me High – Toni Braxton

      Valentine – Jim Brickman

      A Whole New World – Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle

      Hero – Mariah Carey

      I’ll Be There – Mariah Carey

      Someday – Mariah Carey

      After All – Cher & Peter Cetera

      You’re The Inspiration – Chicago

      Tears In Heaven – Eric Clapton

      I Love You – Climax Blues Band

      Up Where We Belong – Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes

      True Companion – Mark Cohen

      Unforgettable – Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole

      It Had To Be You – Harry Connick, Jr.

      I’ll Always Love You – Taylor Dayne

      Lady In Red – Chris DeBurgh

      Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion

      The Power Of Love – Celine Dion

      When I Fall In Love – Celine Dion

      My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion

      Lately – Divine

      Tonight I Celebrate My Love – Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson

      Love Will Keep Us Alive – Eagles

      I Live My Life For You – Firehouse

      Love Of A Lifetime – Firehouse

      In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

      One In A Million – Larry Graham

      As I Lay Me Down – Sophie B. Hawkins

      Angel Eyes – Jeff Healey Band

      Sea Of Love – Honeydrippers

      Greatest Love Of All – Whitney Houston

      I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

      I’m Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston

      One Moment In Time – Whitney Houston

      Saving All My Love For You – Whitney Houston

      Can You Feel The Love Tonight – Elton John

      Something About The Way You Look Tonight – Elton John

      Faithfully – Journey

      Open Arms – Journey

      All My Life – K-Ci and Jo Jo

      Beautiful In My Eyes – Joshua Kadison

      Cherish – Kool And The Gang

      Lightning Crashes – Live

      My Body – LSG

      Into The Night – Benny Mardones

      Now And Forever – Richard Marx

      Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx

      Push – Matchbox 20

      I’ll Be – Edwin McCain

      Anytime – Brian McKnight

      Wind Beneath My WIngs – Bette Midler

      For You I Will – Monica

      God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You – Nsync

      Suddenly – Billy Ocean

      On The Wings Of Love – Jeffrey Osbourne

      We’re Going All The Way – Jeffrey Osbourne

      Most Beautiful Girl In The World – Prince

      Just You And I – Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gayle

      Almost Paradise – Mike Reno & Ann Wilson

      Truly – Lionel Richie

      How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes

      Endless Love – Lionel Richie & Diana Ross

      I’m Your Angel – R. Kelly and Celine Dion

      Lady – Kenny Rogers

      Through The Years – Kenny Rogers

      Somewhere Out There – Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram

      Don’t Know Much – Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville

      All My Life – Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville

      I Want You – Savage Garden

      Truly Madly Deeply – Savage Garden

      I Could Fall In Love – Selena

      When I’m With You – Sherriff

      2 Become 1 – Spice Girls

      Have I Told You Lately – Rod Stewart

      I Finally Found Someone – Barbra Streisand

      Nobody – Keith Sweat

      Twisted – Keith Sweat

      How’s It Going To Be – Third Eye Blind

      Nobody Knows – Tony Rich Project

      Here And Now – Luther Vandross

      Endless Love – Luther Vandross & Mariah Carey

      Say It – Voices of Theory

      Hold On – Jamie Walters

      Heaven – Warrant

      That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick & Friends

      Save The Best For Last – Vanessa Williams

      For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder

      I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

      Invisible Man – 98 Degrees

      Dance/Rap/R&B From The 80’s & 90’s

      Get Ready For This – 2 Unlimited

      No Limit – 2 Unlimited

      Twilight Zone – 2 Unlimited

      California Love – 2 Pac

      Dear Mama – 2 Pac

      Short Short Man – 20 Fingers

      Can You Feel It – 3rd Party

      Tootsie Roll – 69 Boyz

      The Hitman – AB Logic

      All That She Wants – Ace Of Base

      Cruel Summer – Ace Of Base

      Beautiful Life – Ace Of Base

      The Sign – Ace Of Base

      Are You That Somebody – Aaliyah

      Back & Forth – Aaliyah

      This Is Your Night – Amber

      One More Night – Amber

      Barbie Girl – Aqua

      Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

      Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys

      Quit Playing Games – Backstreet Boys

      It Takes Two – Rob Base

      Joy And Pain – Rob Base

      Intergalactic – Beastie Boys

      Poison – Bell Biv DeVoe

      Still Not A Prayer – Big Punisher

      I’m Gonna Get You – Bizarre Inc.

      Everybody Everybody – Black Box

      Strike It Up – Black Box

      I Like It Like That – Blackout Allstars

      No Diggity – Blackstreet

      Take Me There – Blackstreet

      Don’t Be Cruel – Bobby Brown

      My Prerogative – Bobby Brown

      Motownphilly – Boyz II Men

      Get Ready To Bounce – Brooklyn Bounce

      Boriqua Anthem – C&C Music Factory

      Gonna Make You Sweat – C&C Music Factory

      Here We Go – C&C Music Factory

      Word Up – Cameo

      More And More – Captain Hollywood Project

      Flashdance – Irene Cara

      Emotions – Mariah Carey

      Fantasy – Mariah Carey

      Strokin’ – Clarence Carter

      I Feel for You – Chaka Khan

      Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry

      Atomic Dog – George Clinton

      Lean On Me – Club Nouveau

      1, 2, 3, 4 – Coolio

      Fantastic Voyage – Coolio

      Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio

      Baby Baby – Corona

      Rhythm Of The Night – Corona

      Jellyhead – Crush

      Mr. Vain – Culture Beat

      Take Me Away – Culture Beat

      Superhero – Daze

      Groove Is In The Heart – Dee Lite

      Ain’t Nobody – Diana King

      Shy Guy – Diana King

      Humpty Dance – Digital Underground

      Rhythm of Love – DJ Company

      Let Me Clear My Throat – DJ Kool

      What’s Up – DJ Miko

      Dazzey Dukes – Dulce

      My Lovin’ – En Vogue

      Gimmie Some Love – Gina G.

      Ooh Aah…Just a Little Bit – Gina G.

      Do You Miss Me – Jocelyn Enriquez

      Let’s Get Ready To Rumble – ESPN Jock Jams

      Conga – Gloria Estefan

      Everlasting Love – Gloria Estefan

      Heaven’s What I Feel – Gloria Estefan

      Rhythm Is Gonna Get You – Gloria Estefan

      Turn The Beat Around – Gloria Estefan

      Da Butt – E.U.

      Freeway Of Love – Aretha Franklin

      Da Dip – Freak Nasty

      Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Nicki French

      Killing Me Softly – Fugees

      You Dropped A Bomb On Me – Gap Band

      Party Train – Gap Band

      My Boo – Ghost Town DJ’s

      Stomp – God’s Property

      Electric Slide – Marcia Griffiths

      What Is Love – Haddaway

      U Can’t Touch This – M.C. Hammer

      Now That We Found Love – Heavy D & The Boyz

      Doo Wop – Lauryn Hill

      Jump Around – House of Pain

      How Will I Know – Whitney Houston

      I Want To Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

      I’m Every Woman – Whitney Houston

      Freak Like Me – Adina Howard

      Control – Janet Jackson

      Escapede – Janet Jackson

      Go Deep – Janet Jackson

      I Get Lonely – Janet Jackson

      Miss You Much – Janet Jackson

      Nasty – Janet Jackson

      Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson

      Together Again – Janet Jackson

      What Have You Done For Me Lately – Janet Jackson

      Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

      Give It To Me Baby – Rick James

      Super Freak – Rick James

      Boom! Shake The Room – Jazzy Jeff

      This Is How We Do It – Montell Jordan

      Come Baby Come – K7

      Move It Like This – K7

      Here Comes The Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze

      Give It Up – K.C.

      Celebration – Kool and The Gang

      Get Down On It – Kool and The Gang

      Ladies Night – Kool and The Gang

      Jump – Kris Kross

      Be My Lover – La Bouche

      Sweet Dreams – La Bouche

      Tonight Is The Night – Le Click

      I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

      Not Tonight – Lil Kim

      When I Fall In Love – Lil Suzy

      Don’t Stop Movin – Livin Joy

      Dreamer – Livin Joy

      déjà vu, Uptown Baby – Lord Tarif

      Macarena – Los Del Rio

      Raise the Roof – Luke

      Sexual Healing – Max-A-Million

      Take Your Time (Do It Right) – Max-A-Million

      Fat Boy – Max-A-Million

      Get Away – Maxx

      Crazy For You – Madonna

      Dress You Up – Madonna

      Express Yourself – Madonna

      Holiday – Madonna

      Into The Groove – Madonna

      Like A Virgin – Madonna

      Lucky Star – Madonna

      Material Girl – Madonna

      Ray Of Light – Madonna

      Vogue – Madonna

      Good Vibrations – Marky Mark

      Top of The World – Mase

      Feels So Good – Mase

      Another Night – Real McCoy

      Automatic Lover – Real McCoy

      Come And Get Your Love – Real McCoy

      Run Away – Real McCoy

      Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

      Ghetto Supastar – Pras Michel

      Freakazoid – Midnight Star

      No Parking On The Dance Floor – Midnight Star

      The Locomotion – Kylie Minogue

      The Boy Is Mine – Monica

      Touch It – Montifah

      Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S

      Return of The Mack – Mark Morrison

      Coco Jamboo – Mr.

    • DanielCook profile image


      7 years ago from London

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I agree. Great list.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      If you have a great wedding story or are just looking for ideas for your own wedding then goto : Lots of free advice and articles that will take you step by step through the painful process. Take care.

    • 02SmithA profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      Very nice list!


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