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70s First Dance Tunes: Wedding Songs from the 1970s

A playlist of 70s wedding songs and classic rock tunes so you and your spouse can get your groove on.

When it comes to the wedding world, the 1970s is sometimes mocked for the powder-blue tuxedos and feathered hair that ran rampant throughout the decade; however, there's one aspect where those years really shined: '70s love songs for weddings.

real wedding photo at the standard club chicago moody romantic style bride dip by groom first dance ballroom reception live band
Photo: KingenSmith

Brides and grooms have thousands of options for first dance songs. While many couples choose from the modern dance song ideas from the moment, other pairs choose to incorporate dance songs from decades past that symbolize their everlasting love for one another. If you're looking for a first dance song that will stand the test of time, look to artists such as Stevie Wonder, John Denver, Eric Clapton, and Elton John.

When it comes to weddings, the 1970s is sometimes mocked for the powder-blue tuxedos and feathered hair that ran rampant throughout the '70s, but there's one aspect where those years really shined: the music industry. No, it was not all disco in the 1970s. The '70s were also the peak of what's still considered "classic rock," as well as a time full of Motown and R&B hits that make for wonderful dance song ideas for the wedding day and beyond.

first dance songs from the 1970s, wedding songs from the 70s
Photo by Crystal Stokes Photography; From Real Wedding: White Winter Wedding at an Art Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina

If you and your future spouse are '70s music lovers, you may want to consider turning back the clock to the 1970s to find the perfect wedding song to play during your first dance. These romantic tunes absolutely stand the test of time, so a selection from that era will also represent the staying power of your marriage and be the perfect song for your first dance. If you can't choose just one favorite, consider having your friends and family hit the dance floor with '70s music that guests of all ages will love.

Ironically, choosing an older wedding song will also keep your first dance from feeling dated when you look back on your wedding video years later. Since you'll have the benefit of knowing these wedding songs are here to stay, picking a classic will help give your wedding day a timeless quality desired by so many. Listen to the playlist below of first dance songs to discover the right wedding song for you.

A Complete List of Wedding Song Ideas from the 70s:

"Let's Stay Together" - Al Green

"Let's Stay Together" was released in 1972 by Al Green on an album of the same name. The R&B wedding song is wonderfully romantic and soulful, making it a great song to sway to with your new spouse at the wedding reception. It's also been featured in many movies, including How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, so fans of the film will have an extra-special connection to the music.

"Lovely Day" - Bill Withers

For an upbeat first dance song, "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers will certainly set the celebratory tone for your big day. Released in 1977, this joyful tone has just what you need to ensure your wedding music brings a ray of sunshine to your celebration. This wedding song is all about finding the one you can turn to when life gets tough to ensure you have a lovely day – a great sentiment for the wedding!

"First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" - Roberta Flack

Though this song was written in the 1950s, Roberta Flack became an international hit with her recording of "First Time I Ever Saw Your Face" in 1972. Decades later, it's been featured in modern television shows like Glee and in movies such as X-Men: Days of Future Past.

"Just the Way You Are" - Billy Joel

Released in 1977, "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel is a romantic song that will help you and your beloved feel like it's just you two in the room. It's sweet and also upbeat, perfect for couples who want to gently sway or perform a choreographed routine.

"Your Song" - Elton John

Elton John has written countless hits, but "Your Song" is arguably one of the most special songs and most popular for wedding events. Whether you use the original or Ellie Goulding's "Your Song" cover, this is a truly timeless selection you won't regret.

"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" - Stevie Wonder

Another great upbeat '70s wedding song is "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder, released in 1972. Even if you don't choose it for your first dance song, it's a great selection for any point in your wedding from the recessional to the cocktail hour.

"Nobody Does It Better" - Carly Simon

Fans of 007 and particularly James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me will love dancing to this tune at their wedding.

"You Are So Beautiful" - Joe Cocker

Though not originally released by Joe Cocker, his slow version certainly hit the top of the charts. It's been featured in a number of movies and television shows, including the 1994 movie The Little Rascals when Alfalfa sang the romantic tune to Darla.

"How Deep is Your Love" - Bee Gees

For a disco wedding feel without the disco, this pop song featured in the movie Saturday Night Fever can be a fun option for couples who love to listen to '70s music or love the songs and music from that film.

"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" - Natalie Cole

Released in 1975 and the first of many hits for Natalie Cole, this is one of those songs that will instantly put your guests in a great mood. It's fun, romantic, and will easily allow the first dance to roll right into the rest of the festivities!

"Three Times a Lady" - The Commodores

Written by Lionel Richie, this Motown song was actually written as a waltz and dedicated to his wife. If you've been thinking of music perfect for a waltz, this is one of your top songs to choose from!

"Wonderful Tonight" - Eric Clapton

The soft rock, love ballad "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton is another one of those songs that will always be in style. It's sweet and romantic, making it perfect for your first dance as husband and wife.

Other favorites include: "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain & Tennille, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, "The Most Beautiful Girl" by Charlie Rich, and other favorites from John Lennon, The Doobie Brothers, and more.

For more song ideas, listen to first dance songs from the 1980s and wedding songs from the 1990s, and discover more wedding trends from the '70s

Opening photo by KingenSmith; Floral & Event Design by HMR Designs; From Real Wedding: Dark, Moody & Romantic Wedding Inspired by Van Gogh in Chicago