Once you've made all of your wedding-planning decisions for your ceremony and reception, it's time to start organizing the entertainment for your big day! Though the full playlist for your wedding day is important, some of the most notable tunes are the special dance songs – songs for your father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, and of course your first dance song. While there are thousands of first dance songs to choose from, you'll have to make a decision on choosing a very personal song, a classic first dance song, or unique songs to dance to with your best friend.
This list is for those couples who can't bear to sit through another tearful dance to "All of Me" by John Legend, "At Last" by Etta James, or "Can't Help Falling In Love" by Elvis Presley. While those first dance songs are classic for a reason, they're not for everyone. This list of unique first dance songs is for you brides- and grooms-to-be who pride yourselves on discovering that awesome indie band before they're featured in an Apple Music or Spotify commercial, and those who consider your musical tastes to be a reflection of who you are as a couple.
Instead of choosing one of the same, overplayed, tired love songs millions of other couples have used as their first dance song, find a song for your first dance that's off the beaten path and unique, but just as romantic as the old standbys. Don't be afraid to go for the quirky song you two love but your parents have never heard of for your first-dance wedding song. After all, you want your wedding to reflect your unique style, and the first dance song is one of the easiest ways to do just that!
The following 16 first dance songs are sweet, memorable, and haven't been played at every other wedding – we promise!
"Hold Each Other" by A Great Big World
This duo between pop duo A Great Big World and rapper Futuristic is a great choice for couples who want a unique first dance tune to sway to. Notable lyrics include, "You give me chills and I can't imagine you leaving. If I could build a perfect person, honestly you would be it. And you know nobody knows you like I know you. I can't wait to come back home, so I can hold you."
"Never Let Me Go" by Florence + The Machine
This song certainly isn't your typical love song, but it does make a unique first dance choice. Florence + The Machine always performs with incredible vocals and if you want to hold your beloved on the dance floor as the powerhouse singer belts "Never let me go," this is the first dance song for you. Romantic lyrics include, "And the arms of the ocean are carrying me, and all this devotion was rushing out of me."
"Let It Be Me" by Ray LaMontagne
This is a great song to celebrate the one in your life who always lifts you up and helps turn a bad day into a good one. His lyrics, "That's when you need someone, someone that you, you can call when all your faith is gone, it feels like you cant go on. Let it be me," are a wonderful way to share how much you want your new spouse to lean on you and think of them as a rock in your relationship and your life. It also has a lovely melody. Songs – dance or not – that are part of your wedding should be meaningful to you personally, so be sure to keep that in mind!
"When You're Next To Me" from A Mighty Wind
Whether you and your beloved love the movie A Mighty Wind or you just love the song or lyrics, this is a great option for a first dance with the one you've chosen to grow old with. Lyrics include, "When I’m standing next to you, there’s a song to sing. I know everything’s feeling right when I’m standing next to you. Steeple bells ring, only good things do I see when you’re next to me." The last part of the song is equally as romantic: "When I’m lying next to you, I feel moonbeams burn, I see rainbows turning to gold. When I’m lying next to you, I hear angels play, I see sweeter days, I see rivers wind through the end of time, I see hatred fall from the highest hill, I see God’s good grace shining in your eyes, that’s what I see when you’re next to me."
"Hey Jude" by The Beatles
This song isn't traditionally a love song, but it is a great reminder to tell the one you love that you love them, thus making it a great first dance wedding song for a couple who wants a unique tune. The lyrics, "You have found her, now go and get her. Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better," are sweet and could be a great reminder of your beginnings for the first dance.
"I'll Cover You" from Rent
This song from the famous musical is full of romantic song lyrics, one of our favorites being: "I've longed to discover something as true as this is. So with a thousand sweet kisses, I'll cover you." Dances with songs from musicals are a great way to bring new life to the special moment – guests who have seen the show will remember that part of the story, and those who have not will still appreciate the lyrics.
"Maps" by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
If the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs are more your style than a classic crooner, let the band serenade you and your beloved with "Wait, they don't love you like I love you" for your first dance. It's not the typical wedding song, but you don't have to be typical at your wedding – you just have to be you! Do what makes the most sense for you both as a couple.
"Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star
Here's another first dance wedding song that's definitely not typical, but the song lyrics "A stranger's light comes on slowly, a stranger's heart without a home, you put your hands into your head and then smiles cover your heart" can be a great sentiment to a relationship.
"Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
This is probably one of the more popular wedding song choices of those on the list, but it's still unique enough to make a statement. "Home, let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you," is such a sweet way to tell someone you love them – and it makes for a beautiful wedding tune regardless of it's used for your first dance or even a song played during the reception or cocktail hour.
"Day Too Soon" by Sia
A number of Sia's songs make it into wedding playlists, but this is one of the lesser-used tunes. "Oh honey I will stitch you. Darling I will fit you in my heart. Honey I will meet you. Darling I will keep you in my heart," is great way to incorporate some romance into this special wedding dance without being too sappy!
"The Moon Song" by Karen O
This could be a wonderful choice for couples who either are currently or have been long distance at some point in their relationship. These lyrics – "We're lying on the moon, it's a perfect afternoon. Your shadow follows me all day making sure that I'm okay and we're a million miles away" – are a subtle way to share your love story with your wedding guests.
"Crazy in Love" cover by Daniela Andrade
Even if you don't like Beyoncé, it's hard to deny that this cover of Queen Bey's hit "Crazy In Love" is a great version... and if you are a fan of Beyoncé, this acoustic cover is a great way to incorporate the lyrics you love in a way that's wedding-appropriate for a first dance. We love the lyrics: "It's the way that you know what I thought I knew. It's the beat that my heart skips when I'm with you, but I still don't understand just how your love can do what no one else can."
"How Deep Is Your Love" cover by The Bird and the Bee
Whether you're a fan of the Bee Gees or not, this cover is impressive. It's calming, sweet, and serene – perfect for your first dance at the wedding. The first lyrics of the tune – "I'll know your eyes in the morning sun, I feel you touch me in the pourin' rain, and the moment that you wander far from me, I wanna feel you in my arms again" – are some of our favorite romantic lyrics.
"Pull Me Down" by Mikky Ekko
If you and your beloved love this tune or connect with the lyrics – such as "I want you to know that I've got your back, even when the whole foundation seems cracked, two punk kids up against the world" – it can be a wonderful choice for your wedding day. It's all about choosing music that you both love and connect with – after all, it's your big day so don't feel that you need to do anything ordinary!
"The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)" by Flight of the Conchords
This one's for the couples with a comedic side! Flight of the Conchords is a favorite and if you've spent hours watching the show together, why not dance to one of the most popular moments in the show? It's sure to bring a smile to your guests' faces, and beneath the silly lyrics, there's one that will hold true for your beloved even at the wedding: "Looking 'round the room, I can tell that you are the most beautiful girl in the room."
"After Tonight" by Justin Nozuka
The title of this one is a great sentiment for a wedding – "After Tonight" so much will change, after all! You'll be married and joined together forever, committed to each other in a way you never have been before. Enjoy this special moment and look forward to the future!
For wedding dance song ideas from real brides and grooms, look to this list of 31 popular first dance songs. Be sure to check out this curated list of Ingrid Michaelson's favorite first dance songs, and if you and your future spouse want to delight your guests with a well-known tune, check out 50 of the most popular wedding songs.