The first dance is as important to your wedding as the cake, the best man’s speech, the vows – everyone looks forward to it, and it just wouldn’t be the same without it. And much like all of these, you’re going to want your first dance song to reflect your relationship. There have been some wild cake designs, unheard of tales and truly touching sentiments at weddings over the years, so why not make your first dance a little different too? Here are some beautiful songs with meaningful messages behind them that’ll make a refreshing change from Ed Sheeran:
1 I Believe in a Thing Called Love – the Darkness
Hard rock fans with a sense of humour find it hard not to smile when this track kicks off. The lyrics are pure romance, and the exuberance and energy of the music will make a believer out of anyone who sees you dancing to it.
2 Never Met a Girl Like You Before – Edwyn Collins
This Bond-theme style hit from the 90s has a slinky, sultry feel punctuated by xylophones and ripped apart by screaming guitar solos. There probably isn’t a cooler way to tell someone how much they affect you.
3 Islands – The xx
Frank and minimalistic, the band whose name looks like two kisses set ruminations on what it means to be forever tied to someone to a dark, house-influenced rhythm. The soft, whispery vocals are reminiscent of a secret promise.
4 Stuck On a Puzzle – Alex Turner
This Arctic Monkey scored the indie flick Submarine, and in doing so captured the sound of sweet, confused teen romance.
5 Sea of Love – Cat Power
Ethereal and jazzy, Cat Power’s soothing voice will lap over you like waves in the sea she’s inviting you to swim in.
6 Tainted Love – Marilyn Manson
A darker take on a song made defiant by Gloria Jones and playful by Soft Cell, Manson’s rendition is slow, creepy and thoroughly entertaining.
7 You’re Gorgeous – Babybird
The chorus says it all – an uplifting rallying cry certain to get anyone who remembers the 90s singing along. Its mid-tempo, gentle feel will send you swaying.
8 Two Doors Down – Mystery Jets
Indie fans’ trendy hearts will melt at this 80s-inspired track. It’s a plaintive, wide eyed love story with danceable rhythms, saxophone solos, plenty of ‘oohs’ and repetitions of the phrase ‘I think I’m in love’.
9 Crazy For You – Best Coast
The title track from this dreamy surf pop outfit’s debut is a fun exploration of how irrational true love can really be – you’re up on minute, you’re down the next, but throughout it all there’s one person who’s your entire world.
10 I’ll Be Your Mirror – the Velvet Underground
A song Lou Reed wrote specifically for Nico’s husky voice, this song is a sweet reflection on how sometimes all you need when you’re doubting yourself is for a loved one to remind you how they see you. The music itself chimes gently, as if reverberating off the glass.
11 La La Love You – Pixies
A rather experimental performance piece featuring atonal guitar and wolf whistling, what could be sweeter than being told ‘I love you’ by each of the Pixies? The answer is: the chorus. Plain and simple – ‘all I’m saying, pretty baby…”
12 Close to Me – The Cure
With nervous, breathy vocals and layer upon layer of random keyboard conversations, the sentiment of this Cure number is very sweet. The anticipation Robert Smith describes can easily be applied to this moment in your wedding, and the upbeat, positive music will crack many a smile.
13 All Day and All of the Night – The Kinks
You’d struggle to find a guest who hadn’t heard this 60s classic before, but never were the song’s lyrics more applicable than right now. It’s fun, short and a beautiful declaration of love – the only time you feel alright might be by each other’s side, but it’s happening right now, and everyone can see how just how alright it is.
14 Red Light – the Strokes
The track that closed the Strokes’ third and at the time most diverse album, Red Light features a irresistible skipping rhythm, some intricately smooth guitar interplay, and some of the sweetest lines Julian Casablancas ever committed to paper. When you’re both dancing to this, you really can believe two can be complete without the rest of the world.
15 I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself – the White Stripes
Dusty Springfield’s version of this Burt Bacharach-penned masterpiece is beautiful, but Jack White’s intensity and desperation is so much more palpable, through both his vocals and his guitar playing. The slight, stop-start rhythm of the verse slowly builds into a four-to-the-floor fuzz fest as the singer seemingly descends into madness at the thought of not being with the one he love