The top 30 most popular first dance songs of 2020

Wedding songs

Wedding songs

If you’re struggling for first dance inspiration, there's no shame in choosing a tried-and-tested classic that's guaranteed to put a smile on everyone's faces. Here are our top 30.

The top 30 most popular first dance songs of 2020

Finding ‘your song’

‘Your song’ isn’t always the one that was playing when you first met, went on your first date, or first said ‘I love you’. The most meaningful songs might reveal themselves gradually over time and could be as ordinary as a tune you both do the washing up to. It triggers memories of good times spent together and can symbolise your hopes and wishes for your marriage and future together.

    Of course, you don’t always need a song that’s been with you for years. Sometimes, just a damn good song will set the right tone, and after your wedding day will forever be ‘your song’. There are lots of songs to choose from, so think about tempo, style, genre, and most importantly how a tune makes you feel when you hear it.

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    Band or track?

    If you've already booked a live band, you'll need to decide whether they perform it live or play the track through their PA system. So think about what you’d prefer – the track exactly as you remember it, or a band who’ll put their own spin on it.

    Unless you've chosen a second dance (to dance with close relatives), make sure the band or DJ are ready to start their first set as soon as the song has finished. It avoids awkward pauses and keeps your guests where you want them – on the dancefloor!

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    First dance nerves?

    Perhaps you're the type who wants to put on a show and have even found a choreographer to teach you a dance routine – in which case, great, we're not going to take that away from you!

    But if the thought of stepping out onto the dancefloor fills you with dread, choose a first dance which is short and sweet. 'The Nearness Of You' by Norah Jones clocks in at around 3 minutes.

    Alternatively, speak to your wedding band or DJ on the day and ask them to make an announcement after the first chorus inviting your guests to join you on the dancefloor. This way, the spotlight will be on you for a shorter amount of time without taking away from your special moment.

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    Most popular first dance songs of 2020

    To get you inspired, here are some of our most frequently requested songs over the past couple of years:

    1. Perfect – Ed Sheeran

    Written for his wife-to-be Cherry and released in 2017, this song is still riding high in the first dance charts today. It was number 1 in the UK, the USA and 16 other countries around the world, and was followed up by duets with Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli.

    2. Shallow – Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper

    The standout smash hit from 2018 movie A Star Is Born, this song topped the charts in 20 countries as Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper stole hearts around the world with this romantic and gritty ballad.

    3. Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon

    This upbeat floor filler will have all your friends and family itching to join you and your partner on the dancefloor, so if you’re nervous about all eyes being on you during the first dance, a song like this might help take the pressure off.

    4. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

    Winner of Song Of The Year at The Grammys in 2016, this number 1 single from Ed Sheeran is a guaranteed crowd pleaser! The lyrics from this instant classic don't promise human perfection, but loving acceptance of each other's faults, and a beautiful sentiment for a strong marriage.

    5. Rewrite The Stars – Zac Efron, Zendaya

    Zac Efron and Zendaya performed this powerful song in The Greatest Showman (2017) during an aerial rope rehearsal for the circus. With lyrics about forbidden love and love overcoming all obstacles, this was an instant hit with the public.

    6. Your Song – Elton John

    Originally released in 1970, featured in Moulin Rouge in 2001, then in Rocketman in 2019, this is a true song of the ages. Known and loved by generations old and young, dancing to Elton John's Your Song is a beautiful way to start your married life together.

    7. Grow Old With Me – Tom Odell

    A fantastic sentiment and another great song from Tom Odell to start your married lives with. Don’t worry, our bands will perform the clean version if preferred!

    8. Loving You – Paolo Nutini

    This has has a similar grit and edginess to it. The lyrics are gorgeous (“pack up loneliness, hello tenderness”) and it’s an easy tune to pick up, so those who haven’t heard it before will soon be singing along.

    9. Only Love – Ben Howard

    The fourth single from Ben Howard, Only Love, was his first big hit, making it to number 9 in the UK Singles Chart. His unique vocals and powerful lyrics have so far made Only Love a very popular choice for newlyweds!

    10. Say You Won't Let Go – James Arthur

    It’s not surprising that this huge 2016 hit is still proving really popular for first dance requests. It’s a truly modern take on first dates and a commitment to a future together. The ending is sudden, so you'll need an attentive band or DJ ready to go straight into the next song.

    11. At Last – Etta James

    Timeless lyrics and stunning vocals make this a firm first dance favourite that will be on this list for years to come. Her voice is passionate and sultry and the lyrics powerful. There’s a reason people keep requesting this year after year.

    12. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne

    For a big feel-good intro as you both walk onto the dance floor, Not too slow but still effortlessly romantic. "You are the best thing that ever happened to me", should really sum up why you’re marrying each other.

    13. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri

    Featured in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, A Thousand Years was American singer-songwriter Christina Perri’s second big UK hit. This modern and romantic song brings a bit of ethereal fantasy to your first dance. And younger guests will love it too.

    14. All Of Me – John Legend

    Despite only making it to number 2 in the UK charts, this track was a massive hit, and hugely popular amongst the newlyweds of Britain. The romantic lyrics and passionate vocal from John Legend make this the ultimate slow dance song.

    15. I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz

    This one has replaced a first dance favourite from previous years by Jason Mraz, I’m Yours. The lyrics are very well suited for this moment of your big day; "I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough".

    16. Real Love – Tom Odell

    Evoking memories for some of the 2014 John Lewis Christmas advert with Monty the penguin, this is also a perfect first dance song. It’s a tender chorus, but also just two minutes, so perfect if you tend to feel a bit awkward about dancing for too long.

    17. Is This Love? – Bob Marley

    A joyful number that will get everyone in high spirits – guaranteed to have everyone from your great aunt to your nieces and nephews dancing to the beat and singing along. It oozes uncomplicated happiness, coupled with the best of romantic lyrics.

    18. Let's Stay Together – Al Green

    Originally released in 1971, and ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, a classic upbeat love song like this will never age. Easy to dance to, well-known and fun, this one won’t let you down during your first dance! For an even more passion-filled and energetic take on the song, go for the legendary Tina Turner's 1992 version.

    19. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran

    A slightly more obscure choice from Ed Sheeran; Tenerife Sea is an unreleased track from his 2014 album, x. This song made it into the UK Top 100, peaking at 62, despite the fact it has never been released as a single.

    20. Marry You – Bruno Mars

    Although it may seem an obvious choice, the quirky charm behind this early Bruno Mars song from his debut album is a fun and uplifting first dance song! It has a vibrant celebratory vibe, and is guaranteed to fill the dancefloor after your big moment.

    21. Make You Feel My Love – Adele

    Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love has been covered by numerous famous faces including Billy Joel and Kelly Clarkson, but Adele's powerful and memorable version has really stood the test of time. Easy to dance to, heartfelt and timeless, it's a great first dance choice!

    22. Better Together – Jack Johnson

    From Jack Johnson's first album, In Between Dreams (2005), this sweet love song was very popular at the time. Johnson recently performed this live on One World: Together At Home and reminded us how much we love it!

    23. L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole

    A timeless classic, L.O.V.E. is requested year after year. Short and sweet, this beautiful, jazzy love song is widely know by all as it's still well used in film and TV. L-O-V-E features a very gentle pace for an easy two-step and a poignant message about an extraordinary love.

    24. How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

    This was originally written by folk-rock band The Waterboys and covered by Ellie Goulding in 2013 and featured on the soundtrack of About Time. The lyrics speak for themselves, with a message of loving someone forever: "How long will I love you, as long as stars are above you, and longer if I can".

    25. The One – Kodaline

    Kodaline are an alternative rock quartet from Dublin, and this hit comes from their second studio album, Coming Up for Air, released in 2015. This has been hugely popular with newlyweds in the years since, and is still being requested today.

    26. Can't Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams

    A true classic, this is perfect for a slow, romantic start and a rousing, crowd pleasing finish! All generations will know this one, and you can sing along with the chant even if you don't know the words. An all round winner!

    27. Symphony – Clean Bandit ft. Zara Larson

    A more modern hit from 2017, this light-hearted and danceable choice has been a surprise favourite at weddings over the last few years. You'll need a talented female vocalist in your band to hear this one live!

    28. Everything – Michael Bublé

    This was written for Bublés then girlfriend, Emily Blunt, and is ideal for first dances. It's upbeat, but slow enough to make for an easy two-step with your new husband or wife, and everyone will know this one!

    29. Love On Top – Beyoncé

    A classic romantic upbeat pop song from the Queen Bey, this is always a crowd pleaser! Cheerful, fun and sexy, Beyoncé's lyrics and riffs are loved by all, and if that's not enough, the endless key changes at the end will have everyone smiling and singing along.

    30. Come Away With Me - Norah Jones

    From her debut album by the same name released in 2002, this song was an instant wedding song classic! The lyrics depict escaping with your lover and promises of everlasting love. Its slow pace and gentle waltz-like feel, Come Away With Me is a great choice if you've got two left feet - a very easy song to sway along to.

    More first dance ideas:

    Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

    The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra

    Can't Help Falling In Love – Elvis

    Amazed – Lonestar

    Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton

    First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes

    Lucky - Jason Mraz

    What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

    I'm Yours – Jason Mraz

    Green Eyes – Coldplay

    Better Half Of Me – Tom Walker

    We've Only Just Begun – The Carpenters

    You're My Best Friend – Queen

    Songbird – Eva Cassidy

    Never Too Much – Luther Vandross

    My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone

    Never Gonna Give You Up – Nick Astley

    If I Ain't Got You – Alicia Keys

    Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars

    Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson

    My Girl - The Temptations

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    Function Central are a live music agency providing bands and DJs for hire throughout the UK.

    Many of our wedding bands are happy to learn your first dance song free of charge. Some clients prefer an acoustic version of their favourite song for a more relaxed start to the evening’s entertainment, while others choose a guaranteed floor filler to get their party started.

    If your band aren’t able to arrange your song to suit their line up, or if you’d rather hear the original version, don’t worry! They’ll be happy to play it for you through their PA system.

    Your first dance is a great opportunity for you to share a special moment with your spouse and your guests. You could choose a song that represents your relationship or has a special meaning to you and your fiancé, or simply a song you both love!

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