Did you know that music is scientifically proven to help with associative memory? For those who are like me looking at that sentence thinking, huh? It means that if you listen to a song that you associate with a particular event in your life, it helps to trigger and recall memories associated with that event. So, using weddings as an example, every time you think about the song you walked down the aisle to, it’ll take you right back to that moment.
I’m a big lover of music. In all of my first couple meetings I usually ask; “what songs are on your wedding playlist?” when talking about wedding details and it’s a topic that I recommend couples to bring up with your wedding videographer, so that they can catch onto your tastes and styles! Unfortunately, in wedding videos, we wedding videographers must use licensed, copyright-free music in our work, unless we get permission from the people who own the song to use it publicly. Which is very difficult to do! So it’s not always possible for you to have your exact first dance song in your video. But, I do think it’s so important to think about your wedding song choices in helping to spark those memories and emotions in the years to come! It’s a task, but music is such a powerful tool and it’s a topic I love discussing and sharing with my couples!
Music is so important in setting the scene in both your wedding videos and your wedding day. You want song choices that will get you excited and settle any nerves on the morning of your wedding, to getting people on their feet for the party! You might also want some alternatives that you’ve never heard before so that you can put these fresh memories onto new songs.
So here are a few of my suggestions, favourites and classics that will keep your wedding fun and feel good for you and all your guests. I’ve narrowed it down to five suggestions for each section of the day and I’ve tried to use a mixture of genres. So here we go:
1. “Butterflies” by Scouting for Girls
A truly underrated song that will perfectly sum up those wedding morning feelings. “I still love you, even more now. I got no place to hide, I still get butterflies when I see you. Of that, there’s no doubt, there’s no doubt” It’ll make you get those good butterflies before you walk down the aisle!
2. “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole
This has definitely been used in a fair few rom coms but I can’t put my finger on the one that it brings me back to. “This will be, an everlasting love” It’s chilled, it’s cheery, the lyrics are positive and it’s perfect for the morning excitement.
3. “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs
If you’re partial to a bit of country and love a song that allows you to be a little pensive and appreciative. I’d add this to your wedding morning playlist. With lyrics like “Beautiful, crazy, she can’t help but amaze me. The way that she dances, ain’t afraid to take chances and wears her heart on her sleeve” it gives you a moment to appreciate all that you have before the day rushes by.
4. “Take my Hand” by Picture This
I love the story this song tells, and being a fun, feel good videographer that’s all about sharing your wedding day with your friends and family. The fact this song touches on “I love the way your hair falls in the summer. I’ll treat you like your father treats your mother and I’m no longer scared of your older brother” just fits in with all that I’m about really! It’s a real feel good one to get you pumped in the morning.
5. “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
It’s impossible not to feel care-free and happy when listening to this song. The lyrics are so simple and it’s also one to get you moving with a little happy dance on the morning of your wedding.
Too Good to Not Mention:
“Sugar” by Maroon 5; “Love Story” by Taylor Swift; “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder; “Hello My Love” by Westlife; “The Greatest Day” by Take That.
ceremony / walking down the aisle
1. “The Best Day of My Life” by American Authors
If you’re looking for a fun, feel good wedding song to walk down the aisle to that’s a little unconventional. This is it. With it being such a bouncy song, it’s not the first choice you would think of when walking down the aisle, but it will definitely kill any nerves you have when taking that first step! It’s such a joyful song that both you and your guests won’t be able to stop smiling to, after all it is about the best day of your life!
2. “Maestro (The Holiday)” by Hans Zimmer
One of the more classical options and perfect for if you’re having a Christmas wedding! It’s such a beautiful song and one that builds. With it being paired with the film The Holiday, it feels like this is such a romantic piece of music (i.e. if you want people to cry as you make your big entrance, this is a good shout!) I find this piece of music works so well emotionally and it’s not the same old wedding march, yet it’s classical and happy without being too bouncy.
3. “You’ve Got the Love” by Florence and the Machine
If you’re looking for a powerful song, perfect for a grand entrance worthy of any rom-com, this is it. With the song being about the one person who can help you through all of life’s challenges. There’s no doubt that this song makes you feel energised, brings in a flood of emotion and is super romantic. Think the moment the guy or girl is running through crowds of people to tell their love it’s all about them!
4. “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
I mean, there’s a reason this song is so popular at weddings and in my opinion, it’s so justified! If you’ve checked out my about me page on my website, you’ll know that I love Ed Sheeran, as cliché as it seems! I could copy the whole song in here as a reason to walk down the aisle to it. One of the most romantic, storytelling, sweet songs you could have to walk down the aisle to.
5. “One Day Like This” by Elbow
This song is so feel good! It brings you that little bit of sunshine you need on your wedding day. It’s almost an anthem. The lyrics tell the story of someone realising they are in love and how it makes them feel. When you break the lyrics down, they really are beautiful and so romantic; “Cause holy cow, I love your eyes and only now I see the light. Yeah, lying with you half awake, stumbling over what to say. Well, anyway, it’s looking like a beautiful day.” If you’re looking for an anthem song to walk down the aisle to, this is a good choice!
Too Good to Not Mention:
“Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros, “Place We Were Made” by Maisie Peters, “Yours” by Russel Dickerson, “Hello My Love” by Westlife, “Still Falling for You” by Ellie Goulding, “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
1.“Hey Ho” by The Lumineers
If you’re into a little bit of a folk vibe with a first dance song that isn’t too icky romantic, then this may summarise your vibes perfectly. “I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart”. It’s simple yet lovely and summarises true love.
2. “You and Me” by Lifehouse
Super romantic and very intimate. If you’re idea of a first dance is to forget the world around you for a moment and enjoy dancing with each other. This does just that, “it’s you and me and all of the people and I don’t know why, I can’t keep my eyes off of you” summarises that kind of feeling of being so in love, nothing else matters, doesn’t it?
3. “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men
If you’re looking for a song that’s not overused, not too slushy romantic but still tells a story and allows for not too much slow dancing. This is a good option. I just love the opening lines to this song “I don’t like walking around this old and empty house, so hold my hand I’ll walk with you my dear” it’s a great theme to walk into married life to, right?
4. “Beyond” by Leon Bridges
With the lyrics “I’m scared to death that she might be it. That the love is real, that the shoe might fit. She might just be my everything and beyond” it’s destined to be the fairy tale first dance song. It’s super chilled so if you’re someone who just wants something you can sway and spin to with a bit of soul, this is perfect for you!
5. “Still into You” by Paramore
So I actually saw an acoustic version of this song blend into the original, can’t help but jump around, version that someone had used as a first dance. Honestly, it opened up my eyes as to how beautifully romantic and feel good this song is! “I should be over all the butterflies but I’m into you, I’m into you and even baby our worst nights, I’m into you…Yeah, after all this time, I’m still into you” Perfect for a long-running relationship or childhood sweethearts. I could copy in a lot of this song, but are these not some of the most romantic lyrics you’ve heard? Even if you don’t choose this as your first dance song, it’s one you should have on your party playlist for the effect it has on a crowd when it kicks in!
Too Good to Not Mention:
“What have I done?” By Dermot Kennedy, “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, “Consider Me” by Allen Stone, “Hold My Girl” by George Ezra, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “I’ll Be” by Edwin McCain
1. “Mr Brightside” by The Killers
It seems like an odd but obvious choice for a wedding, in my opinion. But think about it, have you ever been to an event where Mr Brightside hasn’t brought people on their feet and air guitaring without a second thought? This song is a perfect candidate for keeping people on the dancefloor as the night goes on and one to bring out when the energy is up there for maximum enjoyment!
2. “(I’ve had) the Time of My Life” by Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes.
Now if you’ve checked out my website or my pricing packages. You’ll have guessed that I’m a dirty dancing fan. You just can’t beat the energy in that final dance and I’ve yet to go to a wedding where guests haven’t attempted that infamous lift! It’s one of my favourite moments to capture at a wedding party and let’s face it, you can’t beat a little bit of cheese to get people moving!
3. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel
A classic feel good, party song. This song is perfect for a dad/ daughter or mother/son dance as it allows for both the slower swaying type dancing and the bouncy stuff! If you need a song to bring people up onto the dancefloor after the initial excitement of your first dance. This is a great addition to keep on your playlist and another classic!
4. “Hey Ya!” by Outkast
So we’re getting on to some of the well-known, standard party choice classics here. I just want to make sure you don’t miss anything! Have you ever heard a more “hold my drink, I need to dance” song? Once the party has started and you need a high energy number to keep the feet on the floor, or equally a song to get your Uncle Bob up on his feet for some comedy gold, this song will do just that!
5. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars
I’ve actually seen people who are about to leave a wedding, stop, turn and walk back in to the venue when this song has come on. That’s how much of a must this is on your list! It’s one that all your guests will have heard and a great choice for some serious dance offs! Feel Good, tick! Get everyone dancing, tick! What more can you want!
Too Good to Not Mention:
“Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon, “Castle on the Hill” by Ed Sheeran, “Sweet Child O’Mine” by Guns and Roses, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, “What a Man Gotta Do” by Jonas Brothers, “I Want to Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston, “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce ft Jay Z.
So there it is! My little list of 20 and all the reasons why, in my opinion, they’ve made the top five in their categories. Along with some others I just couldn’t decide on! If you’re scouting this list and haven’t seen your match, I’d love to hear about what songs you’ve got on your playlist!