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Move over Ed Sheeran and the Goo Goo Dolls because as much as we love you, it’s time to show your guests your quirky sides…
We have compiled a list of the 17 best alternative first dance songs that will guarantee to leave your guests with something to talk about for years after your wedding day.
Image provided by Paul Willetts Photography
When it comes to choosing your first dance song, you both need to be satisfied and comfortable with your choice. The majority of couples will choose a song that means something to the both of them and these tend to work well.
Photograph by Henry Wells Photography
There is nothing worse than attending a wedding and finding out the highly anticipated first dance song is ‘Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran… again.
If you’re one of those couples who just can’t decide on a song, or you’re totally sick of hearing the same unoriginal songs played for a first dance then take a look at my top choices of unique first dance songs for the ‘original’ couple.
Whatever your musical tastes, I’m sure there’s a song below that will reflect your personalities beautifully.
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1. Velvet Underground- I’m Sticking With You
This has to be one of the most unique love songs out there and possibly the cutest. The lyrics are absolutely gorgeous and totally relatable for those couples who are head over heels for each other.
If your heart doesn’t melt at these lyrics; I’m not sure what will! It’s the perfect speed for a first dance too – just sway together in a beautiful embrace. I just love it.
2. Barry Louise Harper- All I want is you
Yes, this song appears on the same film soundtrack as The Velvet Underground, but it is my second choice for our list of best alternative first dance songs based purely on its beautiful and very appropriate lyrics… ‘All I want is you, will you be my bride. Take me by the hand and stand by my side.’
The mixture of the upbeat harmonica and pleasantly unique vocals make this song a strong choice for a first dance.
3. Metallica- Nothing Else Matters
As one of the most influential metal bands, we couldn’t really leave them out of our top alternative first dance songs list!
Metallica aren’t shy of a cracking guitar riff and the intro to this song is sublime (and slow enough to dance to).
I managed to speak to Baz from the wedding band The Benedicts, who performed this song for a couple on their wedding day. It is the most original first dance song that they have performed and he told me,
‘Given that the majority of our band comes from a rock/metal background this was a really fun one for us to do and certainly something a little different. Lyrically it’s perfectly suited for a first dance. It sounded great.’
Have a listen and imagine it for yourself!
4. Noah and the Whale- Five Years’ Time
The perfect combination of summer sounds and a ukulele, Noah and the Whale have the ultimate tune to accompany your first dance together. It’s certainly an unusual melody to dance to and this is where you can really have some fun together.
5. Foo Fighters- Everlong
The legend that is Dave Grohl perfectly reflects the feelings of having a deep connection with a partner in this song.
Although an unusual wedding song, it was written when Dave Grohl fell hard for Louise Post which is echoed well in the lyrics ‘Breathe out, so I can breathe you in’.
6. Ben Howard – Only Love
This song is a wonderful alternative to Ed Sheeran. For those Ben Howard fans, you will understand how beautiful this singer’s lyrics and voice really is. He is probably one of the most underrated artists, but that might just be us being biased.
As a personal favourite, this song couldn’t be left out of our list of unusual first dance songs! It’s the perfect melody that enables you to close your eyes and become lost in the moment together.
7. Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses
This indie rock band has produced a fun and loveable song that has some really beautiful lyrics: ‘Cradle me, I’ll cradle you’. It’s almost as cute as The Velvet Underground.
I spoke to The Junos, who performed Toothpaste Kisses for a first dance, and rate it as their top alternative tune! “It was sweet and reflected the couple well….”
8. Bob Marley- Is This Love
A great choice for the reggae loving couple, Bob Marley is a must and this song certainly is different enough to stand out to your guests.
Although it sounds like love is being questioned in this song, it is the exact opposite ‘I want to love you every day and every night’. Cute.
9. The Wannadies- You and Me Song
Every couple can relate to this song on some level and the lyrics are charming: ‘You and me –always- and forever.’ Although this song is upbeat, it has a beautiful introduction which is perfect to sway to. It most certainly introduces a fun atmosphere and a great way to invite others on the dancefloor.
Be careful of the chorus, as The Fake Plastic Chairs discovered that after performing this as a first dance song, the couple surprisingly sprung apart at the chorus because they hadn’t thought it through.
If you’re going to use this song, we suggest creating a fun dance together to really impress your guests. You’ll certainly have a laugh together doing it.
10. Muse- The Resistance
Although it’s not the typical love song for a first dance, this song is perfect for couples who have ever had to rebel against someone for their love.
It’s all in the lyrics, ‘Love is our resistance, they’ll keep us apart and won’t stop breaking us down.’ It’s like sticking your middle finger up at everyone who disapproves of you. Why not!
11. Shaggy ft. Rayvon – Angel
To go for something completely different, this song by Shaggy and Rayvon is a blast from the millennium and will create a fun atmosphere.
Underneath the subtle lyrics ‘closer than my peeps you are to me’ it is meant to show that this girl means more than anyone else.
Hard to Handle performed this for a first dance at a wedding and we must say, their drummer does an incredible impersonation of Shaggy. Needless to say this song was fun for everyone involved.
12. The Beatles- And I Love Her
We are going way back with this song and The Beatles have a number of love songs ideal for weddings but this one is our absolute favourite.
The lyrics in this have to be some of Paul McCartney’s finest work ‘A love like ours could never die. As long as I have you near me.’
13. Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 miles)
Not the highest choice for some, but this is such a fun and enjoyable song especially if you’re a couple wanting to make a statement. You can be really quirky with this and come up with a dance routine to perform in front of your guests.
We spoke to Jukebox who certainly had a lot of fun performing this for a couple’s first dance.
‘The bride and groom had a really entertaining dance routine devised, they got their shining moment and everyone was smiling and clapping along with them.’
14. Drake and Rihanna – Take Care
For those RnB lovers, this song is a beautiful duet between Drake and Rihanna and really well executed. The heartfelt lyrics can bring a tear to your eye especially when you listen to them on a much deeper level.
15. Lana Del Ray- Young and Beautiful
This track subtly reflects a life growing old together really well. Lana’s quirky music style makes this track slightly different to your average first dance song.
It is the perfect speed to hold each other in an embrace whilst listening to the lyrics. It also appears in The Great Gatsby film which of course is an iconic novel.
16. The Wurzles- Combine Harvester
All first dance songs have to be about love, right? Actually, no. If you’re the sort of couple that just want to have a laugh and a bit of fun, this song is a hilarious song for a first dance.
Very well-loved in the South West of the country, Combine Harvester most certainly has a cheeky undertone that your guests will find hilarious!
I’ll leave you to work this out…”I drove my tractor through your haystack last night, I threw me pitchfork at your dog to keep quiet.”
17. Electric Light Orchestra- Mr Blue Sky
This is totally out of the ordinary and perfect for couples that just want fun, you cannot help but smile when you hear this tune. We suggest performing a routine with your partner and perhaps inviting your guests up to join in.
Of course, there are many more unusual first dance songs out there and if none of these have taken your fancy, I hope you feel a little more inspired to get creative and start planning your first dance.
If you have any suggestions to make, please use the comments below to share your ideas! Whichever song or music you choose, we hope it’s a fabulous one!