Sorry, Sinatra: 10 Alternative First Dance Songs That Rock (Indie, Classic Rock & More!)

April 4, 2012 by emilyanderson
shefinds | Weddings

Ladies and gents, there’s a short roster of first dance songs that will make an experienced wedding guest wince. Not because they’re not beautiful, evocative songs – but because they are played out. (See our list of cheesiest first dance songs ever!) If you’re planning to use “At Last” by Etta James as your first dance song – congrats. Your choice takes the cake as the most overused first dance song of the last 50 years.

If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, here are 10 modern love songs that will help create a perfectly unique wedding moment for you and your guests. (You can hear the entire playlist by clicking here!)

“Lay, Lady, Lay” Bob Dylan – this steel guitar-tinged Dylan track makes for premium slow dancing. (And IMHO, it’s one of the most gorgeous love songs of all time.)

“I Found A Reason” The Velvet Underground – while some of The Velvet Underground’s most famous songs were about Lady Heroin, the silky smooth “I Found A Reason” is about finding a reason to live again.

“This Will Be Our Year”  The Zombies – With the repeated refrain of ” this will be our year, took a long time to come”, this is a fab choice for couples who have had a particularly lengthy trip to the altar.

“Ladies And Gentleman, We Are Floating In Space” Spiritualized –  The soft, overlapping vocals make this spacey jam a lush, transcendent treat. (If you listen closely, you’ll notice the chord progression in this song is actually the same as “Pachelbel’s Canon.”)

“That’s Where It’s At” Sam Cooke – This soulful, slow-burning number is just about sharing a quiet, private moment with your lady. Full disclosure: This was actually my first dance song.

“The Book Of Love” The Magnetic Fields – Couples who have a particularly droll sense of humor will really appreciate this indie love song fave.

“First Day Of My Life” Bright Eyes – This painfully sweet and sincere acoustic ditty will likely bring a few of your guests to tears (if only because it reminds them of their own first loves.)

“I Will Follow You Into The Dark” Death Cab For Cutie – Warning: this one is a little poignant, but it’ll strike a chord with almost everyone.

“Sea Of Love” Cat Power – This minimalist cover of a 1950’s classic is fast becoming a popular wedding song for ceremonies and first dances.

“Fade Into You” Mazzy Star – Viva la 1990’s! Gen X-ers will particularly revel in this dreamy piece of slow-dancing heaven. (This is also an excellent song to play as the evening winds to a close.)

Brides, we want to know – what’s making it on your wedding playlist? (If you’re looking for some old school classics for your cocktail hour, be sure to check out Tony Bennett’s top 10 first dance picks!)

Looking for more unique wedding inspiration? Check out our shopping guides to the best unique wedding invitations, eco-friendly wedding favors, and pink wedding dresses!

[Photo credit: NYMag Weddings]

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