Once upon a time, they knew how to write a love song for the ages. Modern couples may have fallen in love while dancing to Beyoncé or John Legend, but the messages we get from love songs can last centuries without dulling or fading.
Look a little further back through time and you might find a classic romantic song that puts into words perfectly how you feel about the love of your life.
If you don’t have a song that is yours as a couple and are looking for something to walk down the aisle to, or have your first dance to, check out our list of classic song inspiration. Almost all of these have been covered by modern singers if you would still like something sounding a bit present day, or you could go truly old school and make sure you play the original artist’s version.
For instant street-cred with all of the octogenarians at your wedding celebration, have a listen to our playlist below. You will be swept away with feelings of love and reminded of how timeless the emotions of a wedding ceremony can be.
16 Classic Songs to Use on Your Wedding Day
Come Rain or Come Shine
The very suave Ray Charles had a voice like velvet and certainly knew how to pen a love song. Starting or ending your wedding day on a very romantic note, if you play this original version you will be sure to have a good time, and probably also get lucky.
Dream a Little Dream
Although covered many times, including in the last few years by Robbie Williams and Lily Allen, this sweet playful number was originally recorded by Ozzie Nelson in 1931, but you could also use the version from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong from 1963 or Mama Cass’s recording from 1968 and still get points for vintage crooning.
As Time Goes By
Dooley Wilson sang this song in the film Casablanca, which for many is the essence of a love story. In the film, the lovers don’t end up together, but with this song playing during your first dance, your love will be sure to stand the test of time. This singer’s version of ‘It Had To Be You’ from the same movie is also an excellent choice.
Baby Just Cares For Me
Nina Simone is a woman with a voice gifted straight from heaven. This is a cute song, not as slow as some, but oh so romantic in its tone. The lyrics tell of a man who is not fancy or sophisticated, but who loves her, and that is all she needs.
While we are talking of incomparable women, it is very hard to go past this song by Etta James without getting goosebumps about your wedding day. The story of a romantic who has waited a very long time for their soulmate, the lyrics of this gorgeous song might resonate with you perfectly.
Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
Frankie Valli sang the original and we think this is still the best. What can be more romantic that singing about someone that you can’t stop looking at and quite simply can’t get enough of? The song starts slow and then builds beautifully which could make for an unforgettable choreographed first dance.
The Righteous Brothers released this song, but the movie Ghost made it famous, and it’s about time for another comeback we think. It is difficult not to sing along to this, however, and unless you are particularly talented we don’t recommend trying to; the range of these men’s voices is phenomenal.
Can’t Help Falling in Love
Elvis Presley had a very romantic set of pipes on him, and his crooning will have you swooning on your wedding day. This song works well if you are having a vintage fifties theme for your day, but is a classic that will always be in fashion no matter what year you get married. We also love ‘Always On My Mind’ for another great choice.
Stand By Me
Ben E King sang the best version of this song, and we just love it. Singing about how no matter what the world throws at him, he will never fear anything as long as his love is beside him, you will feel your relationship within the lyrics of this tune.
No list of romantic songs would be complete without Nat King Cole. This song literally is unforgettable and will make your first dance equally so.
An absolute classic song from The Temptations, this might be a bit boppy for your first dance but could work very well to either walk down the aisle to or leave the ceremony together as a married couple. It would set the ideal light and fun tone to begin your reception.
What a Wonderful World
This song is not technically a love song, but it talks of how beautiful the world can be when we appreciate all of the simple and special things in it, and that to us is very romantic. There are a few versions, but you could take your pick really, they are all lovely. This is a wonderful song for your first dance.
You Make Me Feel So Young
Frank Sinatra’s recording of this song is our favourite version for your special wedding day. It tells of a love that will last a lifetime and keep the pair of you youthful together, which is a tender way to start off your married life.
In My Life
This is a gentle, soothing tune from The Beatles and is just simple and sweet for your wedding day. If this song is not already a favourite of yours, it will be once you give it a listen.
La Vie en Rose
The original recording was a haunting number in French by Edith Piaf, and you could certainly go with this version, but we will also allow the version in English by Louis Armstrong.
The Rolling Stones created this love song, and it seems as though it was written just for a wedding day. Perhaps a lovely slow number to end your night on together.