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500 Best First Dance Songs for Weddings in 2024 [List]


Your first dance is one of the highlights of your wedding. The ceremony is over and everyone is relaxing at the party. This is your chance to have a special romantic moment with your partner before the craziness of the partying descends again. 

Here at Encore we’ve helped thousands of happy couples book musicians for their weddings and choose their first dance song. In this article, we’ve picked out the songs that come up again and again. Whether you want a popular tune, something off the beaten track, an upbeat number or a slow dance – you’ll find all the best songs here!

And if you haven’t booked your DJ or band to play your first dance track – we’ve got you covered! Encore is the UK’s #1 wedding musician supplier, with over 5000 acts ranging from sophisticated string quartets to raucous rock bands and everything in between. Browse our musicians here.

Browse all Wedding Musicians →

And why not listen to our Top 10 selection while you scroll?

Need more general advice on planning your wedding music? Read our Ultimate Guide to Hiring Wedding Musicians 


Most Popular First Dance Songs, According to Spotify

Spotify have analysed their algorithms and come up with the top 50 most popular first dance songs according to Spotify. [Source]

  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

  • You Are The Best Thing – Ray Montagne

  • At Last – Etta James

  • All of Me – John Legend

  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

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Best First Dance Wedding Songs

Here are a few of the best first dance songs that Spotify missed in their round-up! The songs that get chosen, again and again for first dances.

  • That’s When I Knew – Alicia Keys

  • Songbird – Eva Cassidy

  • Latch – Sam Smith

  • Love You ‘Till the End – The Pogues

  • You and I – Stevie Wonder

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

Romantic First Dance Songs

Make this a moment to cherish for a lifetime, by choosing a song whose lyrics profess the beauty of love between two people. 

  • Luckiest – Ben Folds Five

  • (There Is) No Greater Love – Amy Winehouse

  • Mirrors – Justin Timberlake

  • She’s Got a Way – Billy Joel

  • I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 


Slow first dance songs

Your first dance is a chance to take a step away from the planning, the crowds, the bustling energy of a wedding. Why not take the opportunity to slow things down by choosing a more relaxed, down-tempo first dance song.  

  • My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder

  • Baby I Love You – Aretha Franklin

  • Wild Horses – The Rolling Stones

  • L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole

  • Forever Like That – Ben Rector

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

Upbeat First Dance Songs

Not keen on a slow dance? Get the party started with a rollicking dance floor filler!

  • Here Comes Your Man – Pixies

  • Starry Eyed – Ellie Goulding

  • Kiss Me – Sixpence None the Richer

  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Stevie Wonder

  • One Day Like This – Elbow

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 


Modern First Dance Songs

Going for more of a modern wedding? Why not choose a classy, contemporary song to kick off your wedding day dance. 

  • All of Me – John Legend

  • Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves

  • XO – John Mayer

  • Still Into You – Paramore

  • Rather Be – Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

Indie First Dance Songs

If you’re not a huge fan of the pop hits, you might want to select a hip alternative first dance track to kick off your dancefloor. 

  • Re:stacks – Bon Iver

  • Somewhere Only We Know – Keane

  • Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

  • Mushaboom – Feist

  • Wild Love – James Bay

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

Unique First Dance Songs

What to to stand out from the rest? Make your first dance memorable by choosing a unique first dance song.

Looking for a more in-depth guide to unique songs? Have a read of our Top 10 Unique First Dance Songs article. 

  • The Only Exception – Paramore

  • Mountains – Biffy Clyro

  • Nothing Else Matters – Metallica

  • Every Other Freckle – Alt J

  • You Make My Dreams – Hall & Oates

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 


Alternative First Dance Songs

Want to break the mould? Below are our top choices for alternative first dance songs, guaranteed to make your first dance stand out from the rest.

  • “Everlong” by Foo Fighters 

  • “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” by Jeff Buckley

  • “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood

  • “Us” by Regina Spektor

You can listen to the rest of the playlist here: 

First Dance Songs FAQs

What is the most popular first dance wedding song?

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran came out as the number 1 wedding first dance song in Spotify’s analysis of top first dance songs.

Jewellerybox.co.uk, carried out research looking at which looked into user-created Spotify lists to find which songs have been used the most. They found that Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years was the most popular, appearing on 46 playlists. All the top first dance songs are included in our list above 🙂

What is the first dance at a wedding?

The first dance is a wedding tradition where the couple dance together for the first time in front of their family and friends. It is often performed after the meal and marks the opening of the dance floor when other family and friends join them on the dancefloor for the rest of the evening.

Who dances with the bride first?

The groom dances with the bride first. Then traditionally the order of first dances is:

  • Bride dances with her father, and the groom with his mother.
  • Bride dances with her father-in-law, and the groom with his mother-in-law.
  • The parents dance with each other
  • The bride dances with the best man, and the groom with the maid-of-honour
  • The ushers and bridesmaids join, and when the whole wedding entourage has dances together everyone else joins.

However, most couples only dance together and with their parents (first 2 steps).

How do couples choose their song?

Most couples choose a first dance song which was an important song in their relationship. A survey by the American speaker company Sonos revealed that more than half of couples polled (57 per cent) choose their first dance song based on the music they had listened to and reminded them of when they first got together.

It should also be a song you both feel comfortable dancing to in front of your friends.

Should you choreograph your first dance?

Choreographing your first dance can be a nice way to take some of the awkwardness out of it and impress your guests.

However, make sure you don’t take it too seriously – the evening is about having fun after all!

Is the first dance before or after dinner?

Usually – after the dinner. Traditionally, it signals the beginning of the dancing part of the reception, so feeding your guests beforehand is a good idea. Full bellies mean full dancefloors!

How do you make your first dance not awkward?

Your first dance should never be awkward! It’s a special moment for you and your new spouse to celebrate your marriage after the seriousness of the ceremony.

A few tips for making sure it’s not awkward are:

  1. Choose a song you both love. The kind of song that when it comes on you both rush to the dance floor
  2. Go for an upbeat song if you’re not the kind of couple that enjoys slow, smooshy music.
  3. Keep it brief! Dance for a few minutes and then invite your family and friends onto the dancefloor.
  4. Choregraphy. If you like a bit of planning, why not choreograph or at least plan a few moves to pull out so in the heat of the moment you have some reliable shapes to pull out!

Phew! You’ve reached the end of all 500 of our top first dance songs.

We hope you found the perfect one for your wedding amongst them all. If you still need a hand with advice on which music to book for your wedding, why not drop us a list message at [email protected] and one of our dedicated booking specialists will be happy to help.

In the meantime, you can also browse our selection of the UK’s top wedding musicians here.

Browse all Wedding Musicians →



Jonny Venvell

Jonny is Encore's Head of Artist Relations.

He's responsible for supporting and helping musicians on the platform and writes most of the musician-facing articles on the blog. He can usually be found singing in choirs, drumming in bands, or nodding meaningfully to particularly good chords in London's jazz bars.

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