Best Unique First Dance Songs

We’ve all heard the standard first dance songs. Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and Natalie Cole provide some favorites, while newcomers like Ed Sheeran and John Legend have plenty of romantic options.

If you prefer something unconventional, here are some ideas for unique first dance songs. Read on to find one that suits you!

“Just The Two Of Us” By Bill Withers feat. Grover Washington, Jr.

Song Year: 1980

This soulful song has a little kick to the beat if you want to move your way around the floor, but remains slow enough to sway to if you prefer a more traditional dance. The lyrics’ focus on hopes and dreams is perfect for your special couple moment.

“Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton

Song Year: 2015

Though maybe not a good option for a dry wedding, this modern classic from Stapleton is a lovely choice. Blues-tinged country is more unique than the traditional pop ballad flavor of most first dances. In “Tennessee Whiskey,” harmonies from Stapleton’s wife contribute to the intimate couple-y feeling, sure to sweep you both away in a private moment of bliss.

“Everywhere” By Fleetwood Mac

Song Year: 1987

This favorite off of the band’s Tango in the Night album sits at a nice mid-tempo feel, providing a fun alternative to slow first dances. Rather than swaying in place, you can grab your new spouse and get groovy on the dance floor. Have fun and entertain your guests while enjoying the song’s theme of commitment and devotion.

“Come and Get Your Love” By Redbone

Song Year: 1974

This song is funky and fun, combining the old-school feeling of both 1960s Motown and also the 1970s soul era. It would pair well with a vintage gown, especially if the bride wears her mom’s dress, and fits any throwback wedding theme. Let yourself get down to Redbone’s irresistible beat.

“If I Ain’t Got You” By Alicia Keys

Song Year: 2003

Keys injects a little R&B attitude into one of her career’s earliest singles, off the Diary of Alicia Keys album. Romantic and soulful, this tune will draw you together on the floor, while steering away from the bubblegum pop ballad choices that most couples pick for their first dance.

“Wonderful Tonight” By Michael Buble feat. Ivan Lins

Song Year: 2007

Forget the deep messaging about eternal love and celebrate how good the one looks who you just exchanged vows with. Though many know “Wonderful Tonight” as a dance tune, Buble and Lins update it in a bossa nova style, alternating English and Spanish lyrics for extra romance.

“Butterflies” By Kacey Musgraves

Song Year: 2018

The safety of a committed lover is a feeling that buoys us. Whether you’ve known your spouse for years or had a quick courtship, this cute song strikes just the right balance of affection and carefree love. Enjoy the excitement they bring into your life as you dance together as husband and wife.

“How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” By James Taylor

Song Year: 1975

This folk-pop classic is a common choice for older couples, usually as a father-daughter tune or placed elsewhere in the ceremony. Shake up tradition and opt for this as a first dance. Younger couples especially will enjoy the vintage feel of dancing to something their parents knew first.

“One And Only” By Adele

Song Year: 2011

A song that begins in Adele’s traditional piano-ballad format quickly adds a lilting rhythm that begs you to dance with your new spouse. The message is timely, addressing lovers who forget their past and entrust their hearts to a new relationship. You won’t regret this luxurious throwback as a first dance.

“Harvest Moon” By Lord Huron

Song Year: 2018

Themes of nature and enduring love make this Neil Young tune an iconic choice for weddings. It makes a perfect option for a beautiful autumn wedding, updating Young’s sound a bit for the new generation of first-dance couples to appreciate.

“Tenerife Sea” By Ed Sheeran

Song Year: 2014

For Sheeran fans who are tired of hearing “Thinking Out Loud,” this is a lovely alternative. The lyrics, sung from a husband’s perspective, show how in awe he is of his wife’s beauty and how in love he is with her. A soft acoustic guitar lets you have an intimate moment together.

“Lost Stars” By Adam Levine

Song Year: 2014

Off the soundtrack to Begin Again, this sweet song focuses less on romance and more on the big questions of life, such as youth, meaning, and the changing of the seasons. But the chill beat and Levine’s soaring vocals make it an excellent choice for a dance. It’s easy to see why this tune garnered an Academy Award nomination and a Critic’s Choice Movie Award.

“When You Look Me In the Eyes” By the Jonas Brothers

Song Year: 2007

Mid-tempo rock with a country flavor, the Jonas Brothers offer a thoroughly modern song for your first dance. The lyrics show a lover’s adoration of his sweetheart, noting how she brings him peace and comfort when a look passes between them.

“Versace On the Floor” By Bruno Mars

Song Year: 2016

Mars continues to redefine the boundaries of pop, soul, R&B, and funk with this tune, a rare ballad from his album 24K Magic. It’s perfect for slow dancing with your new love, as long as you and your guests don’t mind the message being a little risque.

“You’re All I Need To Get By” By Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

Song Year: 1968

Another old-school tune, this one is notable for its blend of a slow soul groove with a bolder chorus. Choose this one if you can’t decide how you want to dance, and then make the decision as you go, letting your spontaneity take the lead.

“When You Say Nothing At All” By Alison Krauss

Song Year: 2020

Ronan Keating’s country classic from 1999 gets a re-working from the crystal-clear vocals of Alison Krauss. Hold your new spouse close and enjoy the silence together as you sway to the harmonies and feel the closeness of one another.

“Like A Star” By Corinne Bailey Rae

Song Year: 2006

The chill acoustic vibe and Rae’s bluesy vocals make this tune the ideal choice for an outdoor summer reception. Celebrating the magic of an intimate connection, the lyrics reel in awe of a new relationship and recognize that we’re never the same after we find our true love.

“Never Gonna Give You Up” By Rick Astley

Song Year: 1987

Though this award-winning tune became a joke that spawned the Rickroll phenomenon, you could stun and amuse your wedding guests by choosing it as a first dance number. The lyrics about dedication fit the occasion, and its fun ‘80s flavor will prop up the energy in the room. Bonus points if you bust out some retro dance moves.

“I Got You” By Jack Johnson

“I Got You” By Jack Johnson

Song Year: 2013

Jack Johnson’s carefree island sound has been a favorite of wedding planners everywhere for many years. Skip “Banana Pancakes” and go with this tune, a more obscure one that retains the same aesthetic and creates an atmosphere of comforting love.

“Sailing” By Christopher Cross

Song Year: 1980

This song won three Grammys the year it made its debut and no wonder. The easy rhythm, accompanied by lush strings and tight harmonies, takes you away on a daydream just as if you hopped aboard a sailboat on a lake.

“Whole Wide World” By Bahamas

Song Year: 2011

The theme of searching for true love is easy to correlate to your big day. This tune is simple but not boring, letting you move gently to its waves of guitar and subtle tambourine hits. “Whole Wide World” is a great choice for an indie/folk-themed wedding.

“I Can’t Help Falling In Love” By Ingrid Michaelson

Song Year: 2008

Virtually everyone knows this Elvis favorite. Delight your guests with this contemporary update, featuring only Michaelson’s vocals and piano chords. It’s easy to picture yourself wrapped in the arms of your spouse, creating a protective ring of intimacy.

 “Guilty” By Barry Gibb and Barbara Streisand

Song Year: 1980

Is this song pop, disco, R&B, or soul? It’s hard to tell when it effortlessly incorporates all of them into one irresistible package. Perfect for an old-school couple or just to introduce your friends to a great vintage tune, you’ll enjoy the easy groove of “Guilty.”

 “Crazy Love” By Van Morrison

Song Year: 1970

From his iconic Moondance album, Van Morrison gives us a gorgeous and tender song that allows any couple to bond on the dance floor. The bluesy folk-rock feel cradles you with its soft rhythm and lets the singer’s soulful voice lead you to a place of mellow, comforting, crazy love.

“Stand By Me” By Florence and the Machine

Song Year: 2016

Nearly everyone is familiar with the original Ben E. King version of this tune. But Florence gives us her rendition, featured in Final Fantasy XV, that’s slower and more symphonic. Soaring vocals and strings make this one romantic and just the right amount of mystical.

“Stickwitu” By The Pussycat Dolls feat. Avant

Song Year: 2005

There’s nothing wrong with a sweet pop ballad for your first dance. Nicole Scherzinger leads the girl group in “Stickwitu,” which drops their typical attitude in favor of lyrics about dedication and commitment. If you were a teenager in the early 2000s, this might be the one for you.

“The Only Exception” By Paramore

Song Year: 2009

A surprising departure from Paramore’s typical fare, this song in 6/8 time lends itself well to a couples dance. The jaded singer lets herself be vulnerable, confessing that the object of her desire is the one with whom she allowed herself to be hopeful again after too many heartbreaks and bad romantic experiences.

“Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” By Stoney LaRue

Song Year: 2007

This melodic ballad is perfect for the country couple who doesn’t want to stray into pop-hit land. LaRue’s passionate vocals and the twangy blues guitar strike just the right tone for a modern couple west of the Mississippi.

“No One’s Gonna Love You” By Band of Horses

Song Year: 2007

We can virtually guarantee no one at your wedding will have heard this song. If you want an appealing indie tune with a sweet message that is truly unique, look no further than “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

“Teenage Dream” By Katy Perry

Song Year: 2010

This song is an enduring pop hit, great for your guests to sing along to while you’re locked in your new husband or wife’s arms. It’s more up-tempo than a typical first dance number, which means it’s up to you whether to go with the traditional sway or choreograph some killer moves.

“The Luckiest” By Ben Folds

Song Year: 2001

Folds’ brand of piano-pop lends itself well to any occasion, but this particular slow tune is more intimate than his usual fare. Have the DJ play it as you take your love’s hand and lead them out onto the dance floor and enjoy the feeling of your wedding-day stress melting like butter.

“Something About Your Love” By Mason Jennings

Song Year: 2008

This underrated singer-songwriter and guitarist offers a tune that celebrates the mystery of love. Simple but profound, it carries a chill energy, inviting you to relax into your spouse’s embrace and appreciate them for the way they appreciate you.

“They Can’t Take That Away From Me” By Ella Fitzgerald

Song Year: 2017

Though this song was recorded many decades ago, the London Symphony Orchestra added their romantic touch to her classic tunes just a few years ago. For an even more unique touch, consider the version that includes Louis Armstrong.

“Like Real People Do” By Hozier

Song Year: 2013

With tender vocals reminiscent of Bon Iver and a steady guitar rhythm, this dreamy song makes a lovely inclusion on your wedding day playlist. It’s not one of Hozier’s better-known compositions, meaning you may be the only person who ever chooses it for their first dance.

“Don’t Know Why” By Norah Jones

Song Year: 2002

This lazy, cafe-atmosphere tune is Jones’ breakthrough hit and has endured for two decades since its arrival on the music scene. The message is about love, but not marriage, making it an unconventional choice for a first dance.

“Sweet Disposition” By Temper Trap

Song Year: 2008

If you want an indie/alternative sound that doesn’t kill the enthusiasm in the room, “Sweet Disposition” might be the song for you. There’s an undercurrent of crackling energy in the drum and shimmering guitar line, meaning it’s versatile for whatever kind of dance you want to do.

“You Send Me” By Sam Cooke

Song Year: 1957

The last suggestion on our list is a true oldie. This tune was the B-side from Cooke’s first record and saw success on both the pop and R&B charts. Use this blast from the past for a little hint of nostalgia in your nuptials.

Unique First Dance Songs, Final Thoughts

Whether a cover of a classic or a modern favorite, we’re sure there’s something on our list that will work for your big day. Enjoy choosing the perfect soundtrack as you dance for the first time as husband and wife.

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