Experts Predict the Top First Dance Songs of 2016

by Kim Forrest
First dance songs sam jasper photography

Searching for just the right first dance song for your 2016 wedding? We asked wedding music experts to share their picks for the hottest first dance songs for next year. Some are old favorites, others are new classics, but they’re all great picks to get the party started. Check out the song selections and then listen to the Spotify playlist below to get inspired!

“I think the top first dance song for 2016 will be Odessa’s ‘I Will Be There.’ It is a romantic indie ballad sung by a female artist with an angelic voice.”—Skip Erickson of Headsmile Productions in Bothell, Washington.

“Many of our clients over the last couple of years have gone away from the popular Top 40 hits, and have chosen more classic and unique first dance songs which makes it difficult to predict what will be popular in 2016. But one song I have seen trending in popularity over the last year is Ray LaMontagne’s ‘You Are the Best Thing.’ I believe LaMontagne continues to gain popularity as an artist without yet being ‘overplayed’ and we will continue to see this song growing in popularity as first dance classic.”—David Fox of Bunn DJ Company in Charleston, South Carolina.

“For 2015, I started seeing a trend toward more indie, or ‘not on the radio’ type songs. Artists like Beruit, Ryan Adams and The Postal Service to name a few. I think the trend is toward a song that is deeply personal for the bride and groom, and not necessarily one that is mass-produced, so we may see a shake up of the traditional ‘everyone is using this’ for 2016.” —Aaron Lane of Aaron Lane Pro DJ Entertainment in Lafayette, Louisiana

’Thinking Out Loud’ by Ed Sheeran is a great love song by a talented, likeable singer-songwriter. I believe it will continue to kick off the party in 2016.”—Michael O’Neill of DJ Michael in Brighton, Massachusetts

“Most of my couples like to look outside the box for their first dance song. I really enjoy a wonderful British singer Simon Webbe, who has three songs in particular that are perfect for first dances: ‘Sunshine (Love Like That),’ ‘Free,’ and ‘Sanctuary.’ Other songs that I like are ‘Young and Beautiful’ by Lana del Rey, ‘Your Song’ by Ellie Goulding, ‘Last Night on Earth’ by Green Day, and ‘Grow Old With Me’ John Lennon Anthology version.”—Carol Moore of A Starry Night Music in New York, New York.

Sam Smith is big right now and he has a song called ‘Lay Me Down’ which is a bit obscure, but he sang it on his debut to the states on SNL. It’s a very soulful and beautiful song. I’m hoping that one catches on. The other big guy on the adult contemporary scene is Jason Mraz. He’s had big success with ‘Lucky’, ‘I’m Yours’ and recently ‘I Won’t Give Up. If he continues this trend, I think any one of the following songs could be a winner: ‘You Can Rely On Me’ or ‘Best Friend’ or ‘The Woman I Love.’”—Greg Capozzi of C-Zone Entertainment in Boston, Massachusetts

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