“If I Ain’t Got You,” Alicia KeysThis song has it all--lovey-dovey lyrics, a bouncy piano line, and some serious soul when the chorus kicks in. It has more of a groove to it than most ballads, so there can be some twirling if you’re into it.
Sample lyric: “Some people want it all, but I don’t want nothing at all / if it ain’t you baby / if I ain’t got you baby.”
“Let’s Stay Together,” Al GreenThere’s no denying the knock-down drag-out soul of Rev. Al Green, and the lyrics are a great match for kicking off a marriage. Just be aware that this one might fill up the dance floor; it’s got an undeniable get-up-and-sway beat.
Sample lyric: “Let’s stay together, lovin’ you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad.”
“Forever and Ever, Amen” Randy TravisLest you think we’re overly partial to soul ballads, here’s a lovely little two-steppin’ ditty from the peak of 90’s country. It’s a little bit corny, but not overly so, and there’s some genuine emotion in there.
Sample lyric: “They say time takes its toll on a body / makes a young girl’s brown hair turn gray / but I don’t care, I ain’t in love with your hair / if it all fell out, I’d love you anyway.”
“The Luckiest,” Ben FoldsIf you want to make sure there’s not a dry eye in the house for your first dance, this quirky piano-driven ballad is definitely a tear-jerker. Nobody does plaintive like Ben Folds, and this one’s a doozy.
Sample lyric: “Where was I before the day I first saw your lovely face / Now I see it every day / And I know that I am the luckiest.”
“You Might Think,” the CarsIf you’d rather hop and bop instead of sway for your first dance, this bubbly 80’s new wave track is a great pick. It’s got sugary-sweet synthesizers, slightly nerdy lyrics, and a cool little breakdown in the middle.
Sample lyrics: “You might think it’s foolish, or maybe it’s untrue / you might think I’m crazy, but all I want is you.”
“Fly Me to the Moon,” Tony BennettMost couples who go for a crooner to start the reception go with Frank Sinatra and “The Way You Look Tonight.” But we’ve always been partial to this one--it simply soars, and by the last chorus your guests will be ready to get up and join you.
Lyrics: “Fill my heart with song and let me sing forever more / you are all I long for, all I worship and adore.”
“The Things We Said Today,” the BeatlesThis song has a lovely dark, introspective tone. It makes for a nice pause to catch your breath before diving into your crazy reception dance party. And the lyrics couldn’t be more appropriate for a wedding.
“Someday, when we’re dreaming / deep in love, not a lot to say/ then we will remember the things we said today.”
Whether you want your first dance to be a romantic slow dance, sexy slow jam, or party-starting up-tempo number, one of these seven songs is sure to kick off your marriage right.