Today, with many couples financing their own weddings, personalized playlists run the gamut, from music played during the ceremony to a first dance song.
Keeping many choices in mind, here are five songs that seem to speak to modern lovebirds.
“ALL OF ME” — JOHN LEGEND
Singing “‘Cause all of me/ Loves all of you/ Love your curves and all your edges/ All your perfect imperfections,” Grammy-winning R&B artist Legend doesn’t just channel his love for his wife (and model) Chrissy Teigen, he proclaims it.
After analyzing more than 400,000 wedding-themed playlists worldwide, Spotify in 2015 named the song the top choice for tying the knot.
“I love the lyric ‘your perfect imperfections,’” said Jill Sieracki, senior features editor of Brides magazine. “It’s a common theme with these songs that they have these great lyrics, about appreciating the person for who they are.”
Doug Farra, who owns Wedding DJ Plus in Las Vegas, said “All of Me” is fading in popularity but is still a good choice.
“Even if you’re not that couple that’s taking ballroom dance lessons, this is easy to dance to,” said Sieracki. “Everyone’s watching you, and you want to look good for your first dance. You want it to be sweet and loving.”
“THINKING OUT LOUD” — ED SHEERAN
Speaking of ballroom dancing, British singer-songwriter Sheeran made a splash when his video for 2014’s “Thinking Out Loud” debuted, featuring him sashaying with “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Brittany Cherry, who was clad in a white dress.
“And, darling, I will be loving you till we’re 70/ And, baby, my heart could still fall as hard at 23,” Sheeran croons, later belting, “Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars.”
The midtempo guitar- and piano-fueled song, which won two Grammys, including 2015 song of the year, is a favorite wedding tune for Brides magazine readers.
“We’ve seen that song explode in popularity, and it ticks all the boxes for everyone. It’s so fun,” said Sieracki. “A lot of these newer songs, too, they’re not gender-specific. They’re very open to all couples, whether it’s two grooms or two brides. It’s a love story.”
“MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE” — ADELE
Backed by a steady piano melody, mega-hit-maker Adele’s 2008 cover of Bob Dylan’s 1997 song “Make You Feel My Love” doesn’t just ooze melancholy romance; it showcases her instantly recognizable soulful voice. The song was on her first studio album, “19.”
“When the rain is blowing in your face/ And the whole world is on your case/ I could offer you a warm embrace/ To make you feel my love,” Adele sings at the beginning, filling each note with a raspy warmth.
“AMAZED” — LONESTAR
With lyrics such as, “I wanna spend the rest of my life/ With you by my side,” Lonestar’s 1999 twangy power ballad “Amazed” has become a favorite for country music lovers, said Sieracki.
Oodles of videos on YouTube show couples doing their first dance to the tune.
“There are a lot of people that look to country music for their wedding songs,” she said. “This song is a love story, a lyrical piece that really works for all types of couples.”
Farra also recommends Hawaii singer-songwriter Jack Johnson’s mellow acoustic ode “Better Together” for cake-cutting or a processional. “It has an upbeat feel to it,” he said. “The lyrics are about being better with that other person.”
“AT LAST” — ETTA JAMES
With its sweeping violin melody and James pouring her heart out, “At Last” has a timeless quality.
Short and direct, its poetic lyrics muse about finding and keeping love. “My heart was wrapped up in clover/ The night I looked at you,” James intones.
“There’s something that holds true with the lyrics in 2016, 2017,” said Sieracki. “It doesn’t matter what the couple looks like, their ages. At your 50th anniversary, this is the song you’re going to want to dance to again.”