Today's Bride

Choosing Your First and Last Dance Songs


Everyone knows that music is the most important ingredient at every wedding reception. Music not only brings everyone together, but it also stabilizes the environment and creates moments that are never forgotten. One of the most important traditions of every wedding reception is the first dance, and though it is often overlooked, the last dance can be equally important as well.


Choosing Your First and Last Dance Songs | Photo by Malick Photo | As Seen on

Malick Photo


Usually, the song for the first dance is chosen because it is both personal and soothing to both you and your spouse. The first dance usually revolves around a song that sums up the entirety of your relationship in one heartfelt romantic melody. Not only does the first dance signify the importance of your relationship, but it also determines the mood for the rest of the evening. If your reception takes more of a classical direction, you might choose an instrumental piece or something that is more ornate.

Timeless Choices:

  • “At Last” by Etta James
  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis Presley
  • “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” by Elton John
  • “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Crocker
  • “Your Song” by Elton John
  • “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Ray Charles
  • “Sea of Love” by Phil Phillips

Pop, Folk, Country and Unique choices:

  • “All of Me” by John Legend
  • “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran
  • “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry
  • “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
  • “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges
  • “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes
  • “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  • “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
  • “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  • “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton
  • “Latch” by Sam Smith
  • “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison
  • “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
  • “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes
  • “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
Choosing Your First and Last Dance Songs | Photo by Justin Ketchem Photography| As Seen on

Justin Ketchem Photography


If a live band is providing music for your reception, a powerful instrumental piece would be perfect for the first dance, or perhaps they might perform a unique cover of a popular song. A lot of wedding receptions incorporate a song that is both recognizable and generally accepted by those attending, but this isn’t always necessary.

When choosing the song for your first dance, you want to be sure that it fits both you and your spouse, that it captures everyone’s attention, and that it follows your desired theme. Your first dance marks the beginning of a celebration, so your goal in choosing a song is to bring life to the party in a very unique way and to invigorate that little flame inside everyone’s heart with something memorable.


Choosing Your First and Last Dance Songs | Photo by Genevieve Nisly Photography | As Seen on

Genevieve Nisly Photography


As the party comes to an end, the last dance is usually overlooked because of the dwindling crowd or because those who remain for the reception’s entirety might be blissfully enjoying the benefits of an open bar. Whatever the case, the last dance is extremely important because it gives everyone a chance to return to the dance floor one last time, and it will become the last thing everyone will remember from your big day. The last dance usually follows the same suit as the first dance.

Slow and Romantic choices:

  • “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
  • “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King
  • “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
  • “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds Five

By incorporating a song that is both well known and upbeat, your reception can have a great climax.

Upbeat and Fun choices:

  • “Glad You Came” by The Wanted
  • “Shutup and Dance” by Walk the Moon
  • “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
  • “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
  • “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO
  • “Closing Time” by Semisonic
  • “Don’t Stop Belivein” by Journey

Whether you end with a popular alternative song that will bring everyone to their feet, or with a climactic classical piece, the final dance has all of the potential to leave a lasting impression on your guests.

To find local DJ’s, Bands & Reception Entertainment near you, click here!


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