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10 Unique First Dance Songs

Get some inspiration for your wedding with this list of 10 unique first dance songs!

Coming by unique first dance songs isn’t exactly easy. By the time you’ve stumbled across a perfectly suited song, it’s been played at the last 3 weddings you’ve been to!

Well, today is your lucky day. We’ve put together a list of 10 unique songs for a first dance, along with the perfect act to perform it, the most memorable line, and whether it’s a slow jam or a toe-tapper (an important distinction!).


Come Softly to Me by The Fleetwoods

  • Perfect acts: Acoustic trio, A Cappella Group
  • Most memorable line: I speak softly, darling / Hear what I say / I love you always / Always, always
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Toe-tapper

Performed originally in a wonderfully effortless arrangement by the Fleetwoods, this tune ticks all the boxes for a unique first dance song. Vintage? Check. Romantic? Check. Not in Spotify’s top 50 first dance songs playlist? Check. The tender lyrics and brisk tempo of this classic song (from 1959, might we add!) make it a top contender on our list of unique first dance songs.

re:stacks by Bon Iver

  • Perfect acts: Singing guitarist, Acoustic Duo
  • Most memorable line: It’s the sound of me unlocking and you lift away / Your love will be / Safe with me
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow jam

Skinny Love—the lead single from Bon Iver’s first album ‘For Emma, Long Ago’—was a sensation when it was first released. When Birdie covered the song in 2011, it skyrocketed in the charts. But, for all the popularity of that lead single, our pick for a truly unique first dance song from Bon Iver is re:stacks.

re:stacks is a beautifully mellow song for singer and acoustic guitar. The lyrics, though cryptic, and perhaps even a little bleak, end on a hopeful, deeply touching note. The song is in an ideal tempo for a slow dance. We think this one will have you and your partner feel like the only two people in the world, if just for a moment.

In Love With You by Erykah Badu & Stephen Marley

  • Perfect act: Pop duo, Soul Band
  • Most memorable line: And when I look In your eyes / I know that you were meant to be
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow jam

Soulquarian, queen of Neo-Soul, and one of the most talented singers in the world right now, Erykah Badu adds to our list of unique first dance songs with her smooth as silk duet, In Love With You. Featuring the son of Bob Marley, Stephen Marley, this song weaves a tapestry of lyrical call-and-responses between the two poetically-minded singers. All this is sandwiched in a light and eminently danceable funk beat.

La Vie En Rose by Michael Bublé & Cécile McLorin Salvant

  • Perfect act: Jazz Duo, Jazz Band
  • Most memorable line: And when you speak, angels sing from above / Everyday words seem to turn into love songs
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow jam

You’ll probably find Michael Bublé’s music in plenty of first dance song lists. Surprisingly though, you don’t often see this inspired cover included! As if the original wasn’t amazing enough already, in this cover Michael Bublé and Cécile McLorin Salvant piece together a wonderful reconstruction of the Édith Piaf standard. The lyrics in this version are in both the original French, as well as translated English, giving those monolinguists in the audience the opportunity to fawn over the dancing couple just as authentically as the French-speakers.

Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) by Ella Fitzgerald

  • Perfect act: Singer, or Singing Pianist
  • Most memorable line: Birds do it, bees do it / Even educated fleas do it / Let’s do it, let’s fall in love
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Toe-tapper

Cole Porter’s comedic love song has been covered numerous times, by artists like Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong, all the way to Alanis Morissette. But we think one particular version takes the cake. Ella Fitzgerald, jazz legend and icon, keeps true to the ‘take-it-easy’ feeling of the Porter original, with a stripped down, uncomplicated arrangement. This version puts her unique voice centre stage, giving the lyrics a renewed and well-deserved prominence.

You and I by Dennis Wilson

  • Perfect act: Singing Guitarist, Pop band
  • Most memorable line: You make me laugh / When I’m feelin’ down / No more lonely nights
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow Jam

Dennis Wilson, drummer of the Beach Boys, released his solo album ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ in 1977. Sadly, it turned out to be the only album he released in his lifetime. At the time it was released, it didn’t very good press—it was a far cry from the sunny, feel-good music of his band. However, the album has since gained a cult following, with fans praising its deeply emotional, intimate quality. The song You and I is an endearing tribute to the endurance of love, and a well-suited addition to our list of unique first dance songs.

Let It Be Me by Roberta Flack

  • Perfect act: Singer, Soul/Motown Band
  • Most memorable line: Each time we meet love / I find complete love / Without your sweet love what would life be
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow jam

Delicate, heartfelt, soulful: they’re all appropriate words one could use when describing Roberta Flack’s masterful version of Let It Be Me. The song was originally made popular by The Everley Brothers in 1960, and has been covered by hundreds of singers since. This version sets itself apart though: the light purr of the band, the velvety string interludes, Flack’s softly wavering vocals. They all combine to create something truly breathtaking and original.

Best Part by Daniel Caesar (feat. H.E.R.)

  • Perfect act: Singing Guitarist, Acoustic Duo, DJ (because the original is just so good!)
  • Most memorable line: Where you go I follow / No matter how far / If life is a movie / Oh you’re the best part
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Slow jam

It’d be hard to make a list of unique first dance songs without including something from one of the most unique R&B artists around today, Daniel Caesar. And Caesar’s buttery melody is just the icing on the cake—H.E.R.’s feature (not to mention her dazzling harmonies) take it one step further and make this track something special indeed.

Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) by Astrud Gilberto

  • Perfect act: Acoustic Duo, Bossa Nova Band
  • Most memorable line: This is where I wanna be / Here with you so close to me
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: (Bossa nova) slow jam

A bossa nova and jazz standard, Corcovado is about as romantic as it gets. It’s a uniquely crafted song, and never better than when sung by Astrud Gilberto in her inimitable, dream-like style.

Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire

  • Perfect act: Gypsy Jazz Band (& Singer), DJ (if you’re after that vintage crackle!)
  • Most memorable line: I’m in heaven / And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak / And I seem to find the happiness I seek / When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek
  • Slow jam or toe-tapper: Toe-tapper

To finish off our list, we’ve gone vintage. Back to 1935 to be precise. The lyrics in this song are almost too perfect for a first dance! Add to that the fact that it invariably makes those that hear it grin from cheek to cheek.

Cover image courtesy of The Covered

Harry Burgess

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