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5 Unexpected Songs for Your First Dance

Building a wedding playlist can be quite tricky. You want to strive to get every guest on the dance floor at some point, and often that means playing some long-forgotten jams for Nana and some ear-piercing, new-wave hits for the kids.

But there is only one song that truly matters: The song played for the first dance.

Choosing a Song

First dance songs are meant simply for the couple of the hour. They can represent a lot of things; the lyrics could reflect you and your partner’s story, or maybe the song brings back a special memory from your relationship.

But let’s get real: Many of these songs are cheesy, and they don’t age well. The songs chosen are often some of the most popular songs of the year, which doesn’t mean they’re bad–it simply means they’re overused. By the time 2020 begins, you can bet that everyone’s going to be sick of Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur and Speechless by Dan + Shay.

Some folks like cheesy, and weddings are a great opportunity to soak unabashed in all the joy and gooey feelings. And that’s okay!

But if you and your partner are the type to roll your eyes at predictability (think Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, All of Me by John Legend, Can’t Help Falling In Love by Elvis, and I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith), then this list is for you.

  1. 5 Years’ Time – Noah And the Whale (2007)
  2. Amber – 311 (2002)
  3. You Are the Best Thing – Ray La Montagne (2008)
  4. Coming Home – Leon Bridges (2015)
  5. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)

Why These Songs Are Great for a First Dance

  • Catchy, playful melodies that haven’t been overused
  • They’re old enough that people won’t hear them on the radio seven times on the way to the venue
  • They address love in abstract ways, making them a little less cheesy

The first dance isn’t meant to please anyone but the couple–but if you and your fiancée like to go against the grain, think about choosing one of these five songs that are recognizable without being repetitive.

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