The 9 most popular wedding first dance songs of 2016

27 MAY 2016
Blog post by Adam Southall
Estimated read time: 3 minutes

To devise this list, we conducted extensive research on the weddings in 2016 booked via FixTheMusic, but we also created our own survey which was completed by several hundred brides in the UK. Although many of the weddings have not yet taken place, nearly all the couples have decided on their first dance song. Here we present the most 9 most popular wedding first dance songs of 2016.

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9. At Last by Etta James

This timeless classic was written in 1941 by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren. The version that we know and love was recorded in 1960 by American blues singer Etta James. At Last has featured in the soundtrack to several films, including Rain Man and Pleasantville. Beyoncé Knowles performed the song in 2009 at the first inaugural ball of President Barack Obama, and since then it has surged in popularity which continues to this day. In 2016, it was the 9th most performed first dance song at UK weddings.

8. Uptown Funk by Ronson/Mars

The 3rd most watched video on YouTube, Uptown Funk, a collaboration by producer Mark Ronson and singer Bruno Mars, was released in 2014. The sound-world harks back to the heyday of 1980s American funk. It’s an eminently “danceable” song which has proved popular at wedding receptions up and down the country throughout 2016. Have a listen to London-based wedding band Slixonic performing Uptown Funk (3rd video).

7. Sugar by Maroon 5

Released in January 2015, Sugar by Maroon 5 is the 7th most requested first dance song at weddings in the UK in 2016. The song has an uplifting disco-pop-soul feel to it and the music video is certainly wedding-themed. Based on the 2005 film Wedding Crashers, it features Adam Levine and the rest of the band driving around Los Angeles, crashing several weddings and delighting ecstatic guests in the process.

6. All Of Me by John Legend

Written by German music producer/songwriter Toby Gad and Legend himself, All Of Me was released in 2013 and became the 3rd best selling song of 2014. It has a lyrical R&B/soul style with a video shot in Italy, a few days before Legend's wedding, and featuring his fiancé Chrissy Teigen. This was the 6th most played first dance song at UK weddings in 2016.

5. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

This soft-rock song was written by Christina Perri and David Hodges, and featured in the soundtrack to movie The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. At FixTheMusic, we’ve found that arrangements of the song for the harp, piano and string quartet are particularly popular at wedding ceremonies, but its also the 5th most popular first dance song at wedding receptions this year.

4. Stay With Me by Sam Smith

Released in 2014, this song has a soulful feel with clear gospel influences. Stay With Me peaked at no. 1 of the UK singles chart. It was revealed in 2015 that Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra) and Tom Petty were awarded songwriting credits due to its similarity to their 1989 song I Won't Back Down. The agreement was amicable, with Smith stating that he had not intentionally plagiarised, but acknowledged the similarities nonetheless.

3. A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay

This 2014 song from the album Ghost Stories, inspired by electronic dance music and classic pop, was co-written and co-produced by Avicii, aka Tim Bergling. The music video features Martin performing as a one-man-band as he walks through suburban Sydney. It’s a high-tempo, catchy tune which may surprise many to be featured as the 3rd most popular first dance song at UK weddings in 2016.

2. Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

Released in 2015 as part of the soundtrack to 50 Shades of Grey, this electro-pop ballad spent four weeks at no. 1 in the UK singles chart. The video features Goulding and her on-screen partner ballroom dancing, interspersed with scenes from the aforementioned movie.

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1. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

This 2015 soft-rock hit was co-written by Sheeran and Amy Wadge, a Welsh singer songwriter. It peaked at number 1 in several countries, and became the first song to spend a full year within the UK’s Top 40. The music video was shot at the Crystal Ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, and features Sheeran ballroom dancing with Brittany Cherry, a contestant from an American TV dance show. Thinking Out Loud is a soulful and romantic ballad, and with a video displaying beautifully-choreographed ballroom dance moves, it’s easy to see why this is the most popular first dance song at UK weddings in 2016.

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About Adam Southall — Adam is a co-founder of FixTheMusic and works on everything from copywriting and marketing to design and user experience. He studied Music at Cambridge University. Adam is a keen pianist and also learned cello and trumpet from an early age.