Planning a wedding and reception takes a lot of time and attention to detail. It can be stressful, but it is also exciting. Everything from choosing a wedding dress, color theme, and flowers to finalizing the guest list can be hectic and perhaps a bit overwhelming. However, it all becomes worth it when the big day arrives! The dance-related parts of the reception should not be overlooked as an afterthought. The music is integral in creating the energy your guests feel and will remember forever. If the music made them want to get out on the dance floor, then you know everything was a success. Our team at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Raleigh can help. Here are some of the best wedding dance songs going forward into 2021, according to popular music sources, to help make planning your wedding a little bit easier. We’ve also included some helpful tips on preparing for your time dancing in the spotlight.

Most Popular First Dance Songs for Weddings in 2021

The first dance between the bride and groom is extremely important to set the tone for the rest of the reception music. According to The Knot in their “Real Weddings Study,” the most popular first dance song for the fourth year in a row is “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. Number two is the country love song “Speechless” by Dan + Shay and number three is “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Here are others that show up in the top 10 list:
  • “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri
  • “All of Me” by John Legend
  • “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers
  • “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne
  • “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
  • “First Dance” by Justin Bieber and Usher
  • “Everything” by Michael Buble
  • “Perfect Duet” by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce
  • “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele
  • “Amazed” by Lonestar

Top Songs for the Father/Daughter Dance

After the bride and groom dance, it’s time for the father/daughter dance. You can also have the mother and groom dance now or have a separate dance for them.
  • “Sweet Pea” by Amos Lee
  • “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor
  • “Father’s Eyes” by Amy Grant
  • “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole and Nat King Cole
  • “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
  • “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Cralisle
  • “Father and Daughter” by Paul Simon
  • “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart
  • “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Top Songs for the Mother/Son Dance

Here are some of the most popular songs for the mother/son dance if you choose to have a separate dance for them:
  • “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler
  • “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon
  • “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
  • “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins
  • “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” by Stevie Wonder
  • “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw
  • “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges
  • “I Got You” by Ciara
  • “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Great Dance Songs for the Rest of the Reception

Besides selecting some of your favorites, here are some time-tested dance songs that will surely get your guests up on the dance floor:
  • “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston
  • “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon
  • “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
  • “Yeah!” by Usher
  • “Love Shack” by The B-52’s
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake
  • “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” by Beyonce
  • “Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough” by Michael Jackson
  • “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison
  • “Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper
  • “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
  • “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
  • “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
  • “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire
  • “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley
  • “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
  • “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard
  • “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Preparing for Your Dances in the Spotlight

So, you’ve finally selected songs for your first dance, the father/daughter dance, and the mother/son dance. Now, it’s time to prepare for those moments! Here are three simple, quick tips for the big day.

Take a Few Dance Lessons

One of the best things you can do to get ready for these dances (where all eyes will be on you) is to take some lessons. This increases your confidence and makes sure your dance moves work with the songs you’ve picked. Grab your fiance or your father/daughter and enjoy a few dance classes! Depending on what you want, you can even learn special choreography during your lessons. Ultimately, it’s all up to you and your wishes, but taking a few dance lessons before the big day certainly helps.


It’s important to practice your dance moves with your partner before the wedding so you feel comfortable and confident. Our professionals at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Raleigh recommend regularly practicing at least four months before the wedding. This gives you enough time to master your dance moves!

Relax and Have Fun!

Weddings are incredibly special and memorable experiences. With preparation, you can relax, have fun, and truly enjoy the moment. Don’t stress over your first dance or the father/daughter dance, just relax. Even if you mess up a little (or even a lot), don’t worry about it. Just keep dancing! The guests will be enthralled and will love you even more!

If You Need Dance Lessons Before Your Wedding, Call Us!

At our Raleigh dance studio, we offer First Dance, Father/Daughter, and Mother/Son dance lessons to help you get ready for the big day. We have assisted thousands of happy couples in choreographing their special dances or simply learning some new moves in a variety of styles. We can certainly do the same for you! To schedule your wedding dance lesson today, give us a call at 919-872-0111 or complete the form below.