9 First Dance Song Choices Inspired by Movies

These tunes from your favorite soundtracks are perfect your first dance as newlyweds.

9 First Dance Song Choices Inspired by Movies

Photo: Yvette Roman Photography

Movies are always a popular source of inspiration for wedding planning, whether the event has a Hollywood glam theme or table numbers are paired with your favorite quote. For a more subtle take on bringing your favorite movie into your big day, you can take a song from the soundtrack of the film. This does not have to be a song that was written for the movie, but even simply a tune that was prominently used in the film.

For example, those in Generation X and younger will probably always think of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when they hear “Twist and Shout” even though it was a hit for The Beatles many years earlier. Of course, songs written specifically for films certainly work as well, given the popularity of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” in the years that followed the release of Titanic.

If your future spouse is not much for dancing and has dragged their feet when it comes to picking a song, selecting a tune from their favorite film may help inject enthusiasm into the proceedings. Below are nine options we love, from both newer movies and classic films.

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” - 10 Things I Hate About You

This iconic scene features Patrick (Heath Ledger) singing the classic tune to win the affections of Kat (Julia Stiles). Though there is no recorded version with Ledger singing, the original Frankie Valli version should suffice. The song’s changing tempo also offers the opportunity for fun and surprising choreography.  

“Your Song” - Moulin Rouge!

Christian (Ewan McGregor) sings his heart out to start the tragic romance. If his version feels too theatrical for your wedding, the Elton John original and Ellie Goulding cover make for excellent choices.

“Falling Slowly” - Once

The Oscar-winning composition is a gorgeous and simple arrangement that is perfect for couples who want to gently sway together for their first dance. If you are more of a theater fan than a film buff, Once was adapted as a Broadway musical, providing another version of the song.

“Earth Angel” - Back to the Future

Though the film might not be a love story, the scene when Marty’s parents kiss for the first time is, thus allowing Marty (Michael J. Fox) and his siblings to have been born after all. There are several versions of this oldie, and guests may not even realize the movie reference if you would prefer that detail to be a private joke between you and your dance partner.

“Unchained Melody” - Ghost

As the soundtrack to the famous pottery wheel scene, this is one of the more prominently featured songs on the list. However, it is also undeniably romantic and makes for a beautiful first dance choice.

“Kiss From a Rose” - Batman Forever

Although the song might be from the most well-received Batman movie, this Seal classic could be a compromise if you are marrying a comic book lover, or if you are one and had other related songs rejected.

“It Had to Be You” - When Harry Met Sally

Harry's (Billy Crystal) speech in the New Year’s scene is often used as inspiration for vows or proposals, but one of the best romantic comedies of all time also includes a tune sung by Harry Connick, Jr. and features a big band twist on the old standard.

"How Long Will I Love You" - About Time

Once again, there are multiple versions of this song, but the soundtrack features the Ellie Goulding cover as well as the Jon Boden, Sam Sweeney, and Ben Coleman version – the latter of which accompanies the montage scene that shows the main characters falling deeper in love.

“Don’t You Worry 'Bout a Thing” - Silver Linings Playbook

“My Cherie Amour” might be the more traditional Stevie Wonder choice from the soundtrack, but considering that song is a trigger for Pat (Bradley Cooper) because of associations with his ex-wife’s affair, the tune for their final dance scene is a wiser decision. You could even recreate the routine from the movie, by fading into "Fell In Love With a Girl" by The White Stripes and the following jazz instrumental. Just make sure you can stick the lift at the end!

For more wedding song ideas, take a look at 12 tunes from wedding-themed movies, 16 first dance songs that are actually cool, and some of the most popular songs chosen by brides and grooms from real weddings!