The downside of choosing a first dance song is that plenty of great options go unused. And I spent a lot of time compiling options! Someone needs to use these. Ideally someone I know so I can be there, but an internet stranger will do just fine, too.
"When You Say Nothing At All" - Alison Krauss
Classic Nashville first dance song.
"Here, There and Everywhere" - The Beatles
Rated very high for criteria #4: A message that’s sweet, simple, and realistic. And it’s The Beatles! Who doesn’t love The Beatles? (Matt.) And if it matters to you, this is the song that Phoebe from Friends walked down the aisle to (played on the steel drum).
"Is This Love" - by Bob Marley, but the version sung by Corinne Bailey Rae (verrrry different)
This was a close second for me. But again: Definitely the Corinne Bailey Rae cover, which is mellow R&B instead of reggae.
"The More I See You" - Peter Allen
Awesomely classic song. The most danceable on the list. Frank Sinatra-esque without being as obvious as Sinatra. Matt hated it.
"For Once in My Life" - Stevie Wonder
Upbeat, fun, and a crowd pleaser. (Please watch the music video with the amazingly retro backup dancers. Matt says it looks like a parody. I think it looks like zumba.)
"I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)" - The Proclaimers
I threw this in the mix as a wildcard, and was surprised by how totally it into Matt and I were. It’s not easy to dance to. It’s kinda weird. But it’s so goddamn fun. We spent a while looking at each other going, Are we the kind of couple who could have this as their first dance song? Eventually we concluded that sadly, no, we are not that couple. We are not going to arrive at the ceremony via canoe, and I am not going to wear a brightly colored dress, and we are not going to mime walking 500 miles for our first dance. Some ideas you have to let go.