Wedding first dances are a very personal affair, and by no means are they compulsory, but they are a tradition that guests wait eagerly for, and there can always be the pressure as to what song to play. Do you go with something that’ll please the guests, or something more personal to yourselves, or perhaps you’ll find a happy medium that everybody’s contented with. Hopefully, this article will be a help for those still choosing.
I present to you a compact selection of songs including a couple of contemporary pieces and a handful of classics for the Top 10 First Dance Wedding Songs of 2011.
- Mariah Carey – I Want To Know What Love Is
- Alicia Keys – Unthinkable
- Corinne Bailey Rae – Closer
- Etta James – At Last
- The Stylistics – Betcha By Golly Wow
- Chaka Khan – Sweet Thing
- The Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun
- Shania Twain – From This Moment On
- Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
- Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
Mariah Carey – I Want To Know What Love Is
Originally sung by Foreigner, Mariah updated the 80s love song, and gave it an R&B and gospel twist. It’s definitely as powerful as the original, and the words are refreshing and vulnerable.
Alicia Keys – Unthinkable
This song can take on several meanings. It’s all about taking that next step, making a commitment, whether it’s committing to a serious relationship or even going further and getting married. It’s a sincere and beautiful song.
Corinne Bailey Rae – Closer
Corinne’s lush voice over a sensual beat and a delicious bass-line makes this a serious contender for a first dance piece.
Etta James – At Last
At Last, famously sung by Etta James, was written almost 20 years before she released it, and covered by a couple dozen of other artists, like Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, Ben E King, Judy Garland, Doris Day, The Fatback Band, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera and Beyonce. So you have a choice of styles to go with if you love this song. It starts with, ‘At last, my love has come along, my lonely days are over.’ Simply beautiful.
The Stylistics – Betcha By Golly Wow
This song has been covered many times over the years, most notably by Prince, Dionne Warwick and Phyllis Hyman. The words are sweet and romantic. ‘Never thought that fairy tales came true, But they come true when I’m near you’, and ‘If I could, I’d catch a falling star, To shine on you so I know where you are’ stays in the mind.
Chaka Khan – Sweet Thing
Singer Chaka Khan co-wrote this song about her then husband with her Rufus bandmate Tony Maiden. In fact, in this song, Chaka Khan implores this man to be her sweet thing.
The Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun
A few songs by The Carpenters could have been included in this list. I’m sure I’ll include another one for next year. According to wikipedia, it’s a popular wedding song, most likely because the words are so fitting. The song signifies the start of a journey with your loved one, hence, it opens with, ‘We’ve only just begun to live’.
Shania Twain – From This Moment On
Another Wikipedia fact: From This Moment On was written as a love song between Shania Twain and Robert Lange. “Can’t wait to live my life with you, can’t wait to start,” has to be one of the most memorable lyrics from this song.
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
If you’ve never seen the movie, The Bodyguard, I’m sure you’ve the heard its penultimate song, ‘I Will Always Love You’ by Whitney Houston. It’s not the original version, but a brilliant version nonetheless, most famous for its a cappella beginning, where there’s nothing but her voice before the rest of the music starts.
Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
Last but not least is Jason Mraz’ I’m Yours. With a laid back rhythm, almost reggae in nature, Jason Mraz sings to a special someone. You can imagine being on a beach, or in a garden, or even the middle of wondrous nature. His lyrics, ‘I wont hesitate no more,’ encapsulates his love and desire to be complete with somebody.
I hope you enjoyed the Top 10 First Dance Wedding Songs of 2011 as chosen by the Editor of Carol Black Music, Wedding Music UK.