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Modern First Dance Songs for Your Wedding

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Modern First Dance Songs for Your Wedding

Great songs for couples who want to dance to a contemporary classic

By DJ Ben Boylan

modern first dance songs
Valerie Demo Photography

Are you looking for a well known song for your first dance? A song that your guests will know and love? If so, this is the perfect list for you. These modern first dance songs are no brainers. All your guests will love your choice.

All of these are love songs (obviously). Some are midtempo. You can dance to them a bit. But most are slow. No dance classes necessary. So start listening. It's time to choose a song for you and your love's first dance!

Ray LaMontagne - You Are the Best Thing


This is the most popular first dance song for years now. Usually listed under folk or indie, it actually sounds like an R&B song by Otis Redding or Sam Cooke.

Ed Sheeran & Beyoncé - Perfect Duet


A stripped down, acoustic version of the original, with Beyoncé singing the second verse. Most of my couples choose this over the original because she makes it cooler.

Jack Johnson - Better Together


Very popular. Chill and happy.

John Legend - Stay With You


John Legend has many songs that could be on this list. This is less well known than All of Me. Many of my couples have chosen this song.

Norah Jones - Don't Know Why 2002

Very pretty song that won many Grammys including Song of the Year. Actually a cover.

John Mayer - XO


Admittedly, I never was the biggest fan of John Mayer but this is amazing. Just as good as Beyonce's original version. Also on my indie first dance song list.

modern first dance songs
Jason Thomas Crocker Photography

Ingrid Michaelson - Can't Help Falling In Love


What makes this song popular is that it's a cover of Elvis Presley's version. That version is one of the biggest first dance songs ever. You could substitute this for Haley Reinhart's or Kira Grannis' version.

Leon Bridges - Beyond


This is kind of an indie song, but I've been asked for it so many times it feels mainstream to me. Coming Home is more well known, but this one is great too.

Kodaline - The One


I don't know much about this song (or the group), but a lot of people like it.

Ed Sheeran - Thinking out Loud


Huge pop smash. The other Ed Sheeran song. I think I get more requests for this than for "Perfect." "Tenerife Sea" is also popular.

Beyoncé - Love On Top


Beyoncé's best song? A DJ-friend of mine pointed out to me this was better as the last song of the night because it builds. Either way, it's a great song and many couples choose it for their first dance. Midtempo so you'll have to dance a bit.

Train - Marry Me


modern first dance songs
Jacqueline Patton Photography

Jason Mraz - I'm Yours


This used to be popular as a first dance pick but I haven't got it in a while. I think I have a stripped down version of it a few couples asked for.

John Legend - All of Me


Huge song. No brainer.

Sam Smith - Latch (Acoustic)


Great song for indie couples with mainstream families. This is an indie song that a lot of people know. Your guests who haven't heard the acoustic version will love it.


Originally released by Bob Dylan in 1997, this song has also been covered by Garth Brooks and Billy Joel. Adele's version is great for a first dance.

Bright Eyes - First Day of My Life


Minor hit in the UK and featured in many TV shows. I put it in my indie wedding songs playlist as well.

Justin Timberlake & Alicia Keys - Morning Light


Off of Timberlake's "Man of the Woods" album. Was this song a hit? Either way I had at least two couples choose this song in 2019.

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years


I am not sure if I've had a couple choose this for their first dance. However, it is extremely popular for it so I will probably get it soon.

Leon Bridges - Coming Home


This is his most popular song. It's off his first album and has become a classic modern first dance song pick.

Modern first dance songs

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