Your Big Day Playlist: First Dance Wedding Songs

Music plays a big role in just about any wedding, setting the tone from the ceremony to the last moments of the reception. And while every musical decision will influence the feel of your big day, nothing has a bigger impact than first dance wedding songs.

The first dance you share says a lot about not only who you are as a couple, but what kind of marriage you'll have moving forward. Will you do a playful routine to your favorite jock jam or slow-dance to the song that made you fall in love? Anything goes—just take the time to find a first dance wedding song that's perfect for you. Here are some ideas to help you settle on a song that embodies your relationship:

Tried-and-True Classics

Whether your wedding is traditional or eclectic, classic love songs from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Elvis Presley will always be a perfect fit. Universally beloved tunes such as Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" and Etta James' "At Last" will have everyone from your grandparents to your niece swaying along with stars in their eyes.

Rootsy Romance

Barn weddings and casual outdoor receptions call for a more laid-back soundtrack with a hint of twang. Consider acoustic-driven country, roots, and Americana songs such as "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers, "Better Together" by Jack Johnson, and "God Gave Me You" by Blake Shelton.

Just Dance

Ready to get the party started? Opt for a dance-happy tune that's sure to get toes tapping. You could go old-school with a bit of Stevie Wonder ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered") or Al Green ("Let's Stay Together"), or choose something more modern such as Bruno Mars ("Marry You") or Maroon 5 ("Sugar").

A Touch of Humor

Maybe you're nervous to have all eyes on you and you'd like to defuse the tension, or maybe you two just like to have a good laugh together. If you really want to have fun with your first dance, choose a song with a sense of humor, such as Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" or "A Whole New World" from the Aladdin soundtrack. Up the silliness by starting with a slow, traditional song and quickly cutting to something more upbeat.

Wild Cards

Ultimately, it's about finding a song that means something to you—don't worry about what anyone else will think. So, if Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" truly has special meaning to you, let that be your first dance song. Here are a few more songs you may not have thought of:

  1. "Can't Help Falling in Love," by Ingrid Michaelson: Everyone loves a thoughtfully done cover.
  2. "La Vie en Rose," by Edith Piaf: Who says first dance wedding songs have to be in English?
  3. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes: You can end it with a dramatic swan dive.
  4. "Kiss From a Rose," by Seal: This nineties classic is at once ironic and super-sweet.
  5. Any song by Ed Sheeran: The fiery-haired Englishman knows how to write a love song.

Have fun picking your song, and of course, have fun dancing to it!