Courtesy Tony Schwartz
What makes for a timeless First Dance song? I would say that it’s a well-written song that comes from the heart and soul and one that never goes stale. Timeless first dance songs are also as simple as they are beautiful. And when it comes to choosing that perfect romantic song for your First Dance, it’s a selection you just can’t go wrong with.
Now, let’s review and listen to 75 timeless First Dance songs – from classic hits to modern selections – over the course of three separate posts. Please use these song lists as a starting point in your search for the perfect First Dance song for your wedding.
- Timeless First Dance Songs, Part 1
- Timeless First Dance Songs, Part 2
- Timeless First Dance Songs, Part 3
Elvis Presley – “Can’t Help Falling In Love”
With sweet and simple lyrics like “Take my hand/ Take my whole life, too/ For I can’t help falling in love with you” this song will be played at weddings for years to come.
Dooley Wilson – “As Time Goes By (From Casablanca)”
The Frank Sinatra version is very good, but there is something extra romantic about this version, made famous by one of the most romantic movies of all time, “Casablanca”.
Lonestar – “Amazed”
TIME Magazine called this song one of their top overplayed wedding songs. Sounds like sour grapes to me. With lyrics like, “I don’t know how you do what you do/ I’m so in love with you/ It just keeps getting better/ I wanna spend the rest of my life/With you by my side” this song describes this moment in time – your First Dance – perfectly.
Van Morrison – “Crazy Love”
The chorus is sweet and simple. The substance is found in each verse with lyrics like the opening lines “I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles/ And the heavens open every time she smiles/ And when I come to her that’s where I belong”.
Natalie Cole – “Our Love Is Here To Stay”
A popular jazz standard from the 1930s, I like Natalie’s version for the First Dance. A simple song about a timeless love that will outlast everything else that comes and goes.
Train – “Marry Me”
If there ever was a song written for the wedding day, it’s this one with lyrics like “You wear white and I’ll wear out the words ‘I love you’”
Otis Redding – “That’s How Strong My Love Is”
It would be an injustice to not include at least one Otis Redding song on a list of first dance songs that feature heart and sou
Jack Johnson – “Better Together”
A modern, upbeat selection that should stand the test of time as a timeless First Dance song selection.
Etta James – “At Last”
What more can be said? A timeless first dance classic then, now, forever
Christina Perri – “A Thousand Years”
With a chorus of “I have died everyday waiting for you/ Darling, don’t be afraid, I have loved you/ For a thousand years/ I’ll love you for a thousand more” it’s safe to say this will one day be a tried-and-true classic.
Aerosmith – “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”
If you were a 90s child, you’ll remember this song from the movie “Armageddon”. Easily Aerosmith’s biggest hit, it pretty much went #1 worldwide.
Journey – “Faithfully”
One of my favorite classic rock ballads of all-time. If you’d prefer a contemporary cover version, give Boyce Avenue’s rendition a listen
Jason Mraz – “I Won’t Give Up”
There’s been some debate on whether this song is “appropriate” or not; to which I say, if the song speaks to the story of your relationship, run with it. If not, there’s plenty of other choices on this list
The Beatles – “In My Life”
If I had to list a top five of Beatles songs, “In My Life” is on that list. Sung from the singer’s perspective, there have been many people that he has met, but only one special person does he choose to focus on. Definitely worthy of consideration for a timeless first dance song list.
Brad Paisley – “Then”
I think this is one of Brad Paisley’s finest songs. The line “And I thought I loved you then” is brilliant, as the lyrics of this song will continue to be relevant with each passing anniversary
Oasis – “Wonderwall”
“Wonderwall” is not your typical first dance song, but it definitely works with lyrics like “Because maybe/ You’re gonna be the one that saves me/ And after all/ You’re my wonderwall”. A popular sing-a-long, it’s a great song if you’re looking for a timeless first dance song from the alternative genre.
The Flamingos – “I Only Have Eyes For You”
If you are both old souls, this 1959 classic may be perfect for you. It’s slow (very slow), it’s dreamy, and definitely romantic with lines like “Are the stars out tonight/ I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright/ I only have eyes for you dear”. It’s also been covered by several artists, if you would like a different rendition.
Alicia Keys – “If I Ain’t Got You”
The meaning of this popular 2000s R&B hit can be summed up with the final two lines of the song: “So nothing in this whole wide world don’t mean a thing/ If I ain’t got you with me, baby”
The Righteous Brothers – “Unchained Melody”
It’s been covered often, but The Righteous Brothers version is the definitive version. With it’s epic build towards the end, it’s a love song that became a prominent hit twice: once in 1965 and again in 1990 when it was featured in this iconic scene from the movie Ghost.
Luther Vandross – “Here and Now”
“Here and Now” is a soulful R&B song written specifically for the First Dance, in my opinion. With sweet, swoon-worthy lyrics like “I look in your eyes and there I see/ What happiness really means” you can’t go wrong.
Louis Armstrong – “La Vie en Rose”
As an alternative for the English version, the Bing Crosby version works well. For the French version, consider Édith Piaf’s rendition.
Adele – “Make You Feel My Love”
Adele is an AMAZING singer – maybe one of the best vocalists of our time – but most of her material really isn’t First Dance worthy. Hopefully, in the coming years, that may change. However, this cover of the Bob Dylan song does work for those Adele fans out there
Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
As I’ve aged, I’ve grown to better appreciate the musical genius that is Paul McCartney. If you are searching for a timeless classic rock first dance song, “Maybe I’m Amazed” definitely needs to be considered.
Billy Joel – “Just The Way You Are”
A song about pure, unconditional love with lyrics like “I took the good times, I’ll take the bad times/ I’ll take you just the way you are”. Plus, it’s Billy Joel – everyone loves Billy Joel.
Frank Sinatra – “Fly Me To The Moon”
It would be an insult to every reader of my blog to not include a song from Old Blue Eyes on this list. And while it’s extremely popular, the sentimental lyrics describe the feeling of the moment perfectly
Michael Bublé – “Everything”
We end part one of our timeless First Dance songs list with this recent hit from Mr. Bublé. What makes it unique from other first dance songs? It’s relatable; we are living in some crazy times, but having that special someone in your life makes it all worthwhile.