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If the thought of dancing your first dance to an overplayed John Legend ballad makes you want to hurt someone, we don’t blame you.  

Your first dance is something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life, so you want it to say something about you both — maybe that you’re an epically adventurous couple whose life together will be anything but traditional. Never fear. There’s plenty of music in the world to reflect you as a couple. Check out our list of 25 popular alternative rock first dance songs. 

1. Love You ‘Till the End,” by The Pogues. Featured in the film“P.S. I Love You,” this tune by one of the most iconic punk bands ever pretty much says it all for a newly married couple. ‘Til the end, baby!

2. Wild Love,” by James Bay. A languid jam about the euphoria of falling for someone, this song would make for a beautifully sensual first dance. With lyrics like, “I wanna give you wild love, the kind that never slows down. I  wanna take you high up, let our hearts be the only sound,” it might shock some of the guests — which is just another reason it’s a great first dance song!

3. I Found a Reason,” by The Velvet Underground. This song probably doesn’t show up at a lot of weddings — but it should, especially if you appreciate the alt-rock sounds of the ‘70 and ‘80s.  

4. Everywhere,” by Fleetwood Mac. Opening with the celestial sounds of bells, this song will take you back in time and lovingly point you toward your future together.  

5. Baby I’m Yours,” by Arctic Monkeys. This version of the ‘60s hit, created by Van McCoy and sung by Barbara Lewis, is a smooth-as-silk love song.   

6. Bloom,” by Paper Kites. Come on, any song that mixes beautiful fingerpicking guitar riffs with lyrics like,“ you fill my lungs with sweetness” has got to be a contender for your first song. 

7. Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight),” by Thin Lizzy. A finger-snapping song with plenty of swing, its lyrics tell the story of teenage love in Dublin. Even if you don’t pick it, add it to one of your Spotify playlists.   

8. Just Like Heaven,” by The Cure. Written by frontman Robert Smith for his wife Mary, “Just Like Heaven,” is one of the band’s most famous songs. With a solid rhythmic feel and Smith’s distinctive vocals, it’s classic and perfect for that first dance.  

9. This Will Be Our Year,” by The Zombies. Featuring an upbeat and “sprightly” piano sound, this tune is considered one of the Zombies’ most enduring. Interesting note: the song was featured on the album“Odessey And Oracle,” released in 1968 after the band had broken up.         

10. Good Times,” by Edie Brickell. Offering up a smooth, sensual vibe combined with Brickell’s distinctive vocals, this song features perhaps the most honest take on what marriage will include with the lyrics, “Good times, bad times, give me some of that.”   

11. First Day of My Life,” by Bright Eyes. This is a sweet and shadowy acoustic song about how a relationship can truly transform someone’s life. 

12. All I Want Is You,” by U2. An epic love song written for Bono’s wife, Ali, this pick is haunting and lush, featuring an epic string arrangement and poetic lyrics like: “You say you’ll give me eyes in a moon of blindness. A river in a time of dryness. A harbor in the tempest.” 

13. Kiss,” by Prince. If you’re looking for something funky to kick off your life together, this might be it. Chances are your grandma probably won’t approve,  with lyrics like, “I want to be your fantasy. Maybe you could be mine,” but hey, it’s your wedding.

14. Lay, Lady, Lay,” by Bob Dylan.  A seductive song featuring pedal steel guitar and Dylan’s newly acquired baritone croon (apparently from giving up cigarettes), it’s a great slow dance for a new couple. 

15. All I Need,” by AWOLNATION. With lyrics, “All I need is you smiling at me, all all I need, all I need is life, love with you,” need we say more?

16. The Only Exception,” by Paramore. With the sweet vocals of singer Haley Williams, this song explores the moment a person pushes through their fear of heartache to love someone. It’s slow, steady and simply beautiful.  

17. Fade Into You, by Mazzy Star. Featuring the ethereal vocals of Hope Sandoval combined with the dreamy slide guitar of David Roback, this is a gentle hug of a song that’s perfect for a first dance. 

18. Lullaby (acoustic),” by Sigaloa, Paloma Faith. This acoustic version of the  2018 dance track features sweeping strings and Paloma Faith’s rich vocals for a perfect wedding song about finding someone who makes you feel like you’re home. 

19. Be the One,” by Jack Penate. A high-energy tune mixing brass and chimes into a funky sound, this is a great first-dance pick to set the tone for your celebration. Penate croons lyrics like, “I lay and watch you sleep beneath the citrus sky, pretending not to see through my wanting eyes. I knew you could be the one,” so how can you go wrong? 

20. I’ll Be There,” by Jess Glynne. Filled with cool vocal runs, a danceable beat and a heartwarming message, this song is just right.“I’ll be there — when you need a little love, I’ve got a little love to share.”

21. My Love Goes On,” by James Morrison and Joss Stone. In this soulful anthem, James and Joss sing passionately about…well, love. It’s perfection. 

22. Ho Hey,” by The Lumineers. This foot-tapping tune has become a hit and for good reason. With lyrics like, “I belong to you, you belong with me. You’re my sweetheart,” enough said. 

23. I’m Gonna See You,” by that dog. Over an upbeat, sunny vibe, singer Anna Waronker croons, “I’m gonna see you in the morning, I’m gonna see you when you’re uptight, I’m gonna see you when you’re boring, I’m gonna see you every night.”What’s not to love about that message?

24. Walking Through That Door,” by Future Islands. With lyrics like, “I want to be the one to help you find those dreams,” it’s hard not to connect with this ethereal, dreamy song.  

25. Hanging by a Moment,” by Lifehouse.“I’m falling even more in love with you, letting go of all I’ve held on to.” These are first dance lyrics if ever there were. 

Head over to our Spotify playlist to hear all of these songs, and sign up for our newsletter below to learn when we add new playlists to our channel

If the thought of dancing your first dance to an overplayed John Legend ballad makes you want to hurt someone, we don’t blame you.  

Your first dance is something you’ll probably remember for the rest of your life, so you want it to say something about you both — maybe that you’re an epically adventurous couple whose life together will be anything but traditional. Never fear. There’s plenty of music in the world to reflect you as a couple. Check out our list of 25 popular alternative rock first dance songs. 

1. Love You ‘Till the End,” by The Pogues. Featured in the film“P.S. I Love You,” this tune by one of the most iconic punk bands ever pretty much says it all for a newly married couple. ‘Til the end, baby!

2. Wild Love,” by James Bay. A languid jam about the euphoria of falling for someone, this song would make for a beautifully sensual first dance. With lyrics like, “I wanna give you wild love, the kind that never slows down. I  wanna take you high up, let our hearts be the only sound,” it might shock some of the guests — which is just another reason it’s a great first dance song!

3. I Found a Reason,” by The Velvet Underground. This song probably doesn’t show up at a lot of weddings — but it should, especially if you appreciate the alt-rock sounds of the ‘70 and ‘80s.  

4. Everywhere,” by Fleetwood Mac. Opening with the celestial sounds of bells, this song will take you back in time and lovingly point you toward your future together.  

5. Baby I’m Yours,” by Arctic Monkeys. This version of the ‘60s hit, created by Van McCoy and sung by Barbara Lewis, is a smooth-as-silk love song.   

6. Bloom,” by Paper Kites. Come on, any song that mixes beautiful fingerpicking guitar riffs with lyrics like,“ you fill my lungs with sweetness” has got to be a contender for your first song. 

7. Dancing in the Moonlight (It’s Caught Me in Its Spotlight),” by Thin Lizzy. A finger-snapping song with plenty of swing, its lyrics tell the story of teenage love in Dublin. Even if you don’t pick it, add it to one of your Spotify playlists.   

8. Just Like Heaven,” by The Cure. Written by frontman Robert Smith for his wife Mary, “Just Like Heaven,” is one of the band’s most famous songs. With a solid rhythmic feel and Smith’s distinctive vocals, it’s classic and perfect for that first dance.  

9. This Will Be Our Year,” by The Zombies. Featuring an upbeat and “sprightly” piano sound, this tune is considered one of the Zombies’ most enduring. Interesting note: the song was featured on the album“Odessey And Oracle,” released in 1968 after the band had broken up.         

10. Good Times,” by Edie Brickell. Offering up a smooth, sensual vibe combined with Brickell’s distinctive vocals, this song features perhaps the most honest take on what marriage will include with the lyrics, “Good times, bad times, give me some of that.”   

11. First Day of My Life,” by Bright Eyes. This is a sweet and shadowy acoustic song about how a relationship can truly transform someone’s life. 

12. All I Want Is You,” by U2. An epic love song written for Bono’s wife, Ali, this pick is haunting and lush, featuring an epic string arrangement and poetic lyrics like: “You say you’ll give me eyes in a moon of blindness. A river in a time of dryness. A harbor in the tempest.” 

13. Kiss,” by Prince. If you’re looking for something funky to kick off your life together, this might be it. Chances are your grandma probably won’t approve,  with lyrics like, “I want to be your fantasy. Maybe you could be mine,” but hey, it’s your wedding.

14. Lay, Lady, Lay,” by Bob Dylan.  A seductive song featuring pedal steel guitar and Dylan’s newly acquired baritone croon (apparently from giving up cigarettes), it’s a great slow dance for a new couple. 

15. All I Need,” by AWOLNATION. With lyrics, “All I need is you smiling at me, all all I need, all I need is life, love with you,” need we say more?

16. The Only Exception,” by Paramore. With the sweet vocals of singer Haley Williams, this song explores the moment a person pushes through their fear of heartache to love someone. It’s slow, steady and simply beautiful.  

17. Fade Into You, by Mazzy Star. Featuring the ethereal vocals of Hope Sandoval combined with the dreamy slide guitar of David Roback, this is a gentle hug of a song that’s perfect for a first dance. 

18. Lullaby (acoustic),” by Sigaloa, Paloma Faith. This acoustic version of the  2018 dance track features sweeping strings and Paloma Faith’s rich vocals for a perfect wedding song about finding someone who makes you feel like you’re home. 

19. Be the One,” by Jack Penate. A high-energy tune mixing brass and chimes into a funky sound, this is a great first-dance pick to set the tone for your celebration. Penate croons lyrics like, “I lay and watch you sleep beneath the citrus sky, pretending not to see through my wanting eyes. I knew you could be the one,” so how can you go wrong? 

20. I’ll Be There,” by Jess Glynne. Filled with cool vocal runs, a danceable beat and a heartwarming message, this song is just right.“I’ll be there — when you need a little love, I’ve got a little love to share.”

21. My Love Goes On,” by James Morrison and Joss Stone. In this soulful anthem, James and Joss sing passionately about…well, love. It’s perfection. 

22. Ho Hey,” by The Lumineers. This foot-tapping tune has become a hit and for good reason. With lyrics like, “I belong to you, you belong with me. You’re my sweetheart,” enough said. 

23. I’m Gonna See You,” by that dog. Over an upbeat, sunny vibe, singer Anna Waronker croons, “I’m gonna see you in the morning, I’m gonna see you when you’re uptight, I’m gonna see you when you’re boring, I’m gonna see you every night.”What’s not to love about that message?

24. Walking Through That Door,” by Future Islands. With lyrics like, “I want to be the one to help you find those dreams,” it’s hard not to connect with this ethereal, dreamy song.  

25. Hanging by a Moment,” by Lifehouse.“I’m falling even more in love with you, letting go of all I’ve held on to.” These are first dance lyrics if ever there were. 

Head over to our Spotify playlist to hear all of these songs, and sign up for our newsletter below to learn when we add new playlists to our channel

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.