Top 10 Rock Wedding First Dance Songs

Bride and groom silhouetted against the background during their first dance.

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If you are a rock music fan picking music for your wedding first dance song can be a tough decision. You want a song that expresses how you feel, your personal style, and something you can dance to. Here is a list of some of the best rock wedding first dance songs in several different styles of rock music. A few lessons and choreography from a professional dance instructor is an inexpensive way to ensure a special and memorable first dance. These songs can also be used as wedding reception dance songs, background music, or even during the wedding itself.

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Chris Cornell: "Thank You" (Led Zeppelin cover)

Chris Cornell

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Although the Led Zeppelin's original 1969 version of "Thank You" is one of their greatest songs it's a little too fast to dance to. Chris Cornell's slower solo live acoustic version of "Thank You" is a beautiful, romantic cover that's easier to dance to. Cornell's hard to find 2006 Swedish Unplugged in Sweden version is slower and has less crowd noise than Cornell's 2011 Songbook live album version. Edit out the clapping at the end if you have the know-how. You'll have plenty of clapping of your own after your dance.

Sample lyrics:
"If the sun refused to shine / I would still be loving you / If mountains crumbled to the sea / There would still be you and me."

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311: "Love Song" (The Cure cover)


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For couples who like reggae-rock, 311's 2004 version of The Cure's "Love Song" is a great first dance choice. Like many of the covers on this list, this version is slower and more danceable than the original. 311's lilting arrangement provides the perfect accompaniment to make this a wedding classic.

Sample lyrics:
"Whenever I'm alone with you / You make me feel like I am home again / Whenever I'm alone with you / You make me feel like I am whole again."

Listen here.

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Metallica: "Nothing Else Matters"


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For couples who are metal fans, Metallica's 1991 power ballad "Nothing Else Matters" is a clear choice. The song's 3/4 orchestral arrangement makes it perfect for couples who want to strut their stuff by learning how to dance a waltz. 

Sample lyrics:
"Trust I seek and I find in you / Every day for us something new / Open mind for a different view / And nothing else matters."

Listen here.

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Iron & Wine: "Such Great Heights" (The Postal Service cover)

Iron & WIne

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For indie rock fans, Iron & Wine's 2003 slow acoustic version of The Postal Service's faster electronic song is a winner. The song's romantic lyrics and slow tempo make this an intimate first dance song. 

Sample lyrics:
"And I have to speculate / That God himself did make / Us into corresponding shapes / Like puzzle pieces from the clay."

Listen here.

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Paul McCartney: "Maybe I’m Amazed"

Paul McCartney

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"Maybe I'm Amazed"—off of Paul McCartney's 1970 debut solo album McCartney—is a romantic classic rock first dance song. It has perfect lyrics for a wedding song. In a late 2009 interview McCartney said "Maybe I'm Amazed" was "the song I would like to be remembered for in the future."

Sample lyrics: "Maybe I'm amazed at the way you help me sing my song / Right me when I'm wrong / Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you."

Listen here.

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INXS: "Never Tear Us Apart"


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From the song title alone INXS' 1988 hit "Never Tear Us Apart" is a great choice for 80's rock fans. This epic ballad has a danceable tempo, passionate lyrics, and a smouldering saxophone solo that makes it an ideal first dance song. 

Sample lyrics: "I / I was standing / You were there / Two worlds collided / And they could never tear us apart."

Listen here.

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The Beatles: "In My Life"

The Beatles

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This 1965 classic by The Beatles has been a wedding staple for years. "In My Life" is slow enough for anyone to dance to and the lyrics, which reminisce about memories from childhood through adulthood, are a symbolic of marriage as a next step in life's journey.

Sample lyrics: "Though I know I'll never lose affection / For people and things that went before / I know I'll often stop and think about them / In my life I love you more."

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The Smashing Pumpkins: "Today"

The Smashing Pumpkins

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From its first lyrics to it's mid-tempo beat The Smashing Pumpkins 1993 hit "Today" has become an alternative rock classic first dance song. If 90's rock is your thing this is a great pick. Although some of the song's lyrics are a little off-kilter for a wedding song, everyone will be paying much more attention to your dance. 

Sample lyrics: "Today is the greatest day I've ever known / Can't live for tomorrow / Tomorrow's much too long."

Listen here.

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The Rolling Stones: "Wild Horses"

The Rolling Stones

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The Rolling Stones 1971 song "Wild Horses" is a great first dance song for classic rock fans. The song—which was written my Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and country-rock legend Gram Parsons—is a slow, country-tinged ballad with evocative, symbolic lyrics.

Sample lyrics: "No sweeping exits or offstage lines / Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind / Wild horses couldn't drag me away."

Listen here.

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Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

Bright Eyes

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Bright Eyes' 2005 indie rock classic "First Day Of My Life" has become popular first dance song. With it's contemplative lyrics about love and slow acoustic arrangement this song an excellent first dance pick.

Sample lyrics: "Yours is the first face that I saw / I think I was blind before I met you / Now I don’t know where I am / I don’t know where I’ve been / But I know where I want to go."

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