The Most Popular
Wedding First Dance Songs

What’s the most popular first dance song for newlyweds?

Until recently, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if you attended a wedding where Etta James ‘At Last’ or The Waterboys ‘How Long Will I Love You’ were the first dance songs of choice. But, modern day newlyweds have fallen head over heels to the sounds of Ed Sheeran, James Arthur and John Legend.

We spoke to over 4,000 loved-up couples to determine the most popular first dance songs. The study reveals a top 10 that’s a mix of all-time classics and modern-day hits. We also discovered the only three love songs that span the generations – popular with newlyweds born in the 60’s through to the 90’s.

To hear a snippet of the wedding songs simply click on the face of the artist.

The Most Popular First Dance Songs

Out of the entire catalogue of songs, these are the top 10 most popular first dance songs. Ed Sheeran is number one, and new singer-songwriters like John Legend and James Arthur are also challenging the status-quo, but it’s good to see that timeless classics like Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ also made the cut.

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# of respondents who chose this song
Year of song release
1. Thinking out loud Ed Sheeran
2. All Of Me John Legend
3. The One Kodaline
4. A Thousand Years Christina Perri
5. At Last Etta James
6. Amazed Lonestar
7. Can’t help falling In love Elvis Presley
8. Perfect Ed Sheeran
9. How long will I love you The Waterboys
10. Let’s stay together Al Green

The First Dance Songs That Span The Generations

The three songs that are popular across all four generations (with people born in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s) are Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’, ‘All Of Me’ by John Legend, and Kodaline’s ‘The One’.

Etta James’s ballad ‘At Last’ and ‘Amazed’ by Lonestar are often selected by 60’s, 70’s and 80’s kids. And children of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s are also likely to choose ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri, ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran and ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’ by James Arthur.

The 3 songs that span the generations
The 2 songs for people born any time before the 90’s
The 3 songs for people born any time after the 60’s

Top 10 Songs for people born in 60’s or before

  • At Last Etta James
  • From This Moment On Shania Twain
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley
  • Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
  • Endless Love
    Endless Love Lionel Richie and Diana Ross
  • Amazed Lonestar
  • All Of Me John Legend
  • Three Times a Lady Commodores
  • The One Kodaline
  • Rule The World Take That

Top 10 Songs for people born in 70’s or before

  • The One Kodaline
  • Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
  • All Of Me John Legend
  • Amazed Lonestar
  • A Thousand Years Christina Perri
  • Let’s Stay Together Al Green
  • How Long Will I Love You The Waterboys
  • Perfect Ed Sheeran
  • Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur
  • At Last Etta James

Top 10 Songs for people born in 80’s or before

  • Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
  • All Of Me John Legend
  • The One Kodaline
  • Perfect Ed Sheeran
  • A Thousand Years Christina Perri
  • At Last Etta James
  • Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur
  • How Long Will I Love You The Waterboys
  • Amazed Lonestar
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley

Top 10 Songs for people born in 90’s or before

  • Perfect Ed Sheeran
  • Thinking Out Loud Ed Sheeran
  • The One Kodaline
  • A Thousand Years Christina Perri
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley
  • Tenerife Sea Ed Sheeran
  • All Of Me John Legend
  • Say You Won’t Let Go James Arthur
  • I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing Aerosmith
  • I Won’t Give Up Jason Mraz

The Artists With The Most First Dance Songs

From headlining Glastonbury to his Game of Thrones cameo, we’re now crowning Ed Sheeran the king of first dance songs.

He’s the number one artist of choice for people born in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Not only that, Ed Sheeran has 14 songs in the data set, that’s three more than Elvis!

  • All Of The Stars
Ed Sheeran 14 songs
Elvis Presley 11 songs
John Legend 9 songs

Surprisingly, Adele wasn’t the female artist with the most songs in the data set as she had five songs played. Celine Dion took the top spot with eight songs, followed by Beyoncé with seven and Alicia Keyes with six.

The Most Unlikely First Dance Songs

We analysed the data to find the songs that only had one entry to find the most unlikely first dance songs; these songs go beyond the traditional.

  • 99 ProblemsJay-Z
  • Cotton-Eye JoeRednex
  • Greased LightningJohn Travolta
  • Beat ItMichael Jackson
  • CopacabanaBarry Manilow
  • Gangnam StylePSY
  • J’Adore HardcoreScooter
  • Gay BarElectric 6
  • I’ll Bring You FlowersSweet Female Attitude
  • BamboleoGipsy Kings

No matter what the musical taste of the happy couple, there’s certainly a beat for everyone.

Methodology:
hitched conducted the survey in June 2017, with 4,474 respondents, who all got married within the last 50 years. The respondents were asked four questions, including when they were married, the artist and title of their first dance song and their date of birth.

You can view the full data here.