People have been writing and singing about love since the beginning of time itself. And from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Adele and Ed Sheeran, there are a million different options for brides and grooms to play at their wedding reception. Narrowing them down to just 100 took a team of us several hours poring over our favourite albums and memories of the best weddings we’ve attended – but we persevered (!) to bring you this article which, we think, has to be the ultimate rundown of the best 100 love songs for your wedding. Have a scroll, have a listen, and let us know what you think!
And to make all the scrolling just that little bit easier, we’ve also divided the best 100 love songs into categories for you!
- The Absolute Classics
- The Ones To Get Everybody Dancing
- The Heartfelt Ballads
- The Modern Tunes
- The Alternative Songs
- And A Small Extra…
So let’s kick this thing off with the all-time romantic favourites. You can’t get any more wedding-appropriate than these tracks…
Queen – Somebody to Love
Is there a more appropriate song to kick this mega playlist off with? A resounding classic that’ll have everyone singing along, you can never go wrong with Queen.
Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
One of the most romantic songs of the early 70s, when everyone was too into disco for romance, this is a great tune for a first dance.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Oh What A Night
With one of the most recognisable opening beats in musical history, travel back to 1963 with Frankie Valli at your wedding reception.
Roy Orbison – Pretty Woman
We can’t not think of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere when this one kicks off… a soft pop classic, Roy Orbison here creates the perfect song to introduce the blushing bride.
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Do we even need to explain why this should be here? One of the best singers in human history, Whitney Houston will have every person in the room in tears with this one.
Bill Medley & Jennifer Warne – (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life
One of the most infamous scenes in cinema, Dirty Dancing is the film that showed every 15 year old in the world what love really was. Maybe avoid attempting that lift though…
Aretha Franklin – You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman
No one had pipes like Aretha, and the recently departed Queen of Soul proved it time and time again with Natural Woman – the ideal romantic song for your reception.
The Beatles – All You Need Is Love
No wedding playlist is complete with this tune from the Beatles. Immortalised in Love Actually, this colourful fanfare of a song is a great one for dancing.
Bee Gees – More Than A Woman
The perfect backing track for your slow dance with your new partner – we can already hear it playing as you look into each other’s eyes…
Dolly Partin & Kenny Rogers – Islands In The Stream
A feat of country music, this one makes the list for its us-against-the-world theme.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Another early entry from Frankie, we can’t imagine having a wedding without this song playing at some point – the ultimate classic love song to get everyone misty-eyed.
Aerosmith – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing
Aerosmith were a blessing to the world of rock and roll when they first began in the 1970s, but this loving ballad soon became one of their most popular songs.
Frank Sinatra – Can’t Help Falling In Love
Frank Sinatra is the name that immediately springs to mind when you think of love songs, so make sure you don’t skip this absolute tune from the world’s greatest crooner.
Elton John – Can You Feel The Love Tonight
Good ol’ Elton kills two birds with one song here – it’s perfect for romantics, and for Disney fans (though isn’t it funny how these two often collide…)
David Bowie – Heroes
One of David Bowie’s most infamous songs, not only are the lyrics profound and beautiful, but the drama of the guitars and his rolling vocals make it truly unforgettable.
Elbow – One Day Like This
Elbow have made so many albums that it can be difficult to remember individual songs, but we can’t get enough of this sweet tune.
Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer
The song that you belted out whilst driving at 70mph on your first date, Bon Jovi’s rock-version of romance belongs in every wedding playlist, regardless of theme, style or location.
Spandau Ballet – Gold
Hands up who cried when Tony Hadley announced his retirement… Okay, well we might’ve been the only ones, but it’s just because we love Gold SO much.
George Michael & Mary J Blige – As
Whoever came up with the idea for a duet between these two deserves a raise even 20 years after it was released – a fantastic melody, and incredibly passionate, As has earned its space on your playlist.
Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
The song that everyone knows, but can never remember the name or the band who sang it! “When everything’s meant to be broken, I just want you to know who I am…” Yeah, you’ve got it.
George Michael – Amazing
Yes, George Michael is here twice in the space of 3 songs. We love him. And for this song, we want you to try and guess the adjective we would use to describe it (hint: it’s pretty obvious).
It’s not a wedding reception if there isn’t any dancing, so here are the best party love songs, those uplifting tunes that just make you want to boogie!
The Beach Boys – Kokomo
Low voice: Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya…/High voice: Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama. A great one to duet, and a great beat to get the party started.
Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
Arguably Chaka Khan’s best song, the first twenty seconds of this song will make you feel like the coolest person in the world as you make your way to the dancefloor.
T-Rex – Bang A Gong
Managing to make sex a radio-friendly topic, Bang A Gong is a great throwback for your guests who grew up in the best era for music (yeah we said it!).
Tom Jones – It’s Not Unusual
Start swinging and swaying now, because Tom Jones not only gets everyone up to do the classic Carlton dance, but is an absolute tune.
Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
Strut your stuff on the dancefloor with Donna Summer. The Queen of Sultry Pop released this song in 1979 to critical acclaim, and it’ll never stop being a fantastic hit for the ladies.
KC & The Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight
Groove and jive to this brilliant tune. Pulled straight from Forrest Gump, this sensual, sexy and funky dance classic will have everyone out of their chairs.
Etta James – I Just Want To Make Love To You
Sorry, did we already describe another song as sexy? We might have to redact that, because this song is the one is where you can really get down to it.
David Bowie – Modern Love
Get me to the church on time seems like an appropriate lyrics for this special day doesn’t it. Bowie’s second entrance onto the list is a veritable bop.
The Emotions – Best Of My Love
We swear this song plays in the credits of every rom-com ever, but we can’t deny that it’s funky and fun, and great for all ages to have a boogie to.
The Pointer Sisters – Jump (For My Love)
Love Actually lasts for a sometimes-excruciating 2.5 hours, but every person in Britain will say Hugh Grant dancing round No. 10 Downing Street is the best part – don’t miss this one for your reception.
Toto – Africa
I think we all remember where we were the first time we heard this song. Recently brought back to life by a whole generation of university students, you can’t go wrong with this belter.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Ferrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Country-rock has to be one of the greatest genres of music ever created, and this is one of the best. Rock out to this classic duo tune for your reception!
Madness – It Must Be Love
Madness are one of the most quintessentially British bands in musical history, and one of their top songs It Must Be Love is a sweet, slow tune that everyone can still sway to.
Duran Duran – Rio
Okay, between us, who didn’t fancy Simon Le Bon in the 1980s? Or, actually, the entirety of Duran Duran… Rio is one of their best hits, and a fantastic one to liven up any party.
ELO – Sweet Talking Woman
Probably one of the only orchestras to ever dominate the charts, Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra knew just how to write a love song – and Sweet Talking Woman is one of the best for dancing.
Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael Jackson always makes people groove – just put on Thriller and see everyone immediately go for it. And this track is essential for a wedding – the right balance of sexy and endearing, you can’t go wrong.
The Proclaimers – 500 Miles
Believe us when we say that this is the perfect song for a reception or after-party, especially when everyone is a couple of drinks in. You’ll have the entire wedding party on their feet, shouting out those da lat da‘s with absolute joy.
Spice Girls – When Two Become One
We all grew up singing this song into our hairbrushes at sleepovers, and singing it at karaoke bars in the early 2000s, so it’s a great throwback for all your girls at your reception. Plus, it genuinely is a great song.
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Another one of those songs that you know, but can never quite remember the name of who sang it! Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a great little number to rock out to as you sip at your champagne and catch up with friends.
Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
There are a lot of Queen songs that no event should be without, but their second entry is unmissable for a wedding. A new blend of country and Queen’s traditional sound, this tune rocked the world in the 1980s, and it’ll do the same for your wedding!
Toploader – Dancing In The Moonlight
Is it just us, or did this song play at every disco in the late 90s and early noughties? It’s probably one of our office’s absolute favourites…
Our advice with the ballads is to use them sparingly. Whilst they’re some of the most beautiful songs out there, you want to celebrate your romance – not drown your guests in it!
Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly
Okay, we hear your objections to the synth-pop revolutionaries being included in the ballads section. But nothing will swell your heart more than this track…
Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
…and the same goes for the Stones. Whilst not traditionally who you turn to for romance, Wild Horses will have you slow dancing in seconds.
Rival Sons – All That I Want
This up and coming Californian rock band are incredibly diverse, ranging from heavy blues rock to this absolutely beautiful slow track that will bring several tears to your eyes.
Take That – A Million Love Songs
One of the most commonly played wedding songs, we couldn’t miss including this one. It might err into cliché territory now, but it’s still a great tine.
Robbie Williams – Angels
With this song, we don’t just remember the gorgeous lyrics, but the infamous black-and-white video of ol’ Robbie singing his heart out for a woman who owns his heart. A must-have.
Adele – Make You Feel My Love
It might be a cover, but Adele made this song her own all those years ago at the beginning of an illustrious career. There are perhaps more romantic songs (we’re looking at you All I Ask), but we really love this one.
Elton John – Something About The Way You Look Tonight
Okay, are we the only one who know about this song?? One of Elton’s most romantic hits, no wedding party could be complete without this playing – and it would be a perfect accompaniment to make everyone cry during your first dance.
Luther Vandross – Always and Forever
A background vocalist for many of the people on this list, Luther Vandross’s solo career gave us some of the most romantic songs of the 20th century.
Bee Gees – How Deep Is Your Love?
Once voted the world’s favourite Bee Gee’s song, this gentle melody and soft lyrics will remind you of all of those small, intimate moments between you and your partner on your wedding day.
Jake Shears – Everything I’ll Ever Need
Former frontman of one of the greatest bands of the 21st century – the Scissor Sisters, (a non-negotiable acclamation) – Jake Shears’ recently debuted his eponymous album which featured this absolute beauty.
Billy Joel – She’s Always A Woman
One of the most covered songs of all time, the original from our fave Billy Joel is a tear-jerker that will have everyone in tears – particularly the parents and grandparents!
Christina Perry – Arms
The greatly underappreciated Christina Perry has disappeared since her debut in 2010, but this simple melody is one of the most heartfelt, and most beautiful songs you’ll ever hear.
Etta James – At Last
Another song that everyone knows, Etta James’ classic tune is a great one for the oldies who were your age when it was first released. For a touch of nostalgia, this is great.
Leona Lewis – Run
Does everyone remember that year when Britain was obssessed with Leona Lewis? A great singer with a fantastic set of pipes, Run is a beautiful tune of everlasting love.
John Legend – All Of Me
We have to admit, I think we’re all a tiny bit bored of this song (the radio ruins us by overplaying our faves!) But John Legend is the Sinatra of the 21st century, so we couldn’t not include this one…
Hurray For The Riff Raff – Junebug Waltz
This folk-pop-blues band from New Orleans is probably the best group out there at the moment. With soul rooted into every song they’ve made since their debut in 2008, Junebug Waltz is a gorgeous, ethereal track for those romantic interludes at your reception.
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
The biggest karaoke song of all time, Bonnie Tyler brings us a classic love song that everyone can bellow out together.
Kate Bush – The Man With The Child In His Eyes
Kate Bush’s comeback in 2014 reminded us all of just how incredible her voice was, and nowhere was this more apparent than this song. Not as piercing (we love you Kate but really) as Wuthering Heights, this is a great addition.
Led Zeppelin – 10 Years Gone
When they weren’t making some of the best rock songs in history, Led Zeppelin wrote some really gorgeous tunes. A lament to a lost love who made him choose between the band and her, Robert Plant’s unique voice makes this track a stunner.
Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is
I mean, who doesn’t? The build up to the eventual rip-roar of the chorus in this song is a great journey, and made worth it with the beautiful lyrics.
Peter Gabriel – The Book Of Love
If you don’t cry your heart out at this song, then you shouldn’t be at a wedding to be honest. The story of one love, from beginning to end, with Peter Gabriel’s raw vocals, gives you goosebumps from the start.
So when we say modern, we mean 21st century (hey, it’s modern to some of us!). Here are some of the best love songs from the past two decades, to get all the young ‘uns up on their feet.
Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake – Love Never Felt So Good
Released after Jackson’s death, the combo of 20th and 21st century pop’s greatest achievements made for one of the greatest summer songs of 2014.
Rudimental – Feel The Love
One of the more club/festival-themed songs on this list, Rudimental gave us a fantastic dance track with this song.
Scouting For Girls – She’s So Lovely
The song we all wanted someone to sing to us when we were pre-teens, Scouting For Girls had massive success with this succinct tune.
Beyoncé – Love On Top
What kind of credibility would we have if we had a Top 100 anything without Beyoncé? And we just love to move to this great song.
Scissor Sisters – Might Tell You Tonight
Most of these guys’ songs were explicit – and we mean, inappropriate for a wedding explicit! – but they also did some of the greatest love songs of all time. This one is the perfect mix of sweet and dance-y.
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Ed Sheeran is perhaps the ultimate wedding-song singer, and this one was specifically written to accompany someone down the aisle, so we’d definitely recommend its inclusion.
Coldplay – Yellow
The song that made them famous, Yellow is a great melody for dancing at your wedding – and a very romantic one at that.
Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved
Before they made themselves more palatable to the charts, Maroon 5 made some really gorgeous songs about love and longing that are great for your reception.
Jason Mraz – I’m Yours
An acoustic classic, Jason Mraz’s song topped the Top 40 for months and had us all singing it on the bus and on our way to work. A lovely one for all ages.
Florence + The Machine – You’ve Got The Love
Ethereal and majestic, there’s no one that we at Zankyou love more than Florence Welch (not just for her music, but her fashion sense as well!). This tune is a must for any party.
Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are
Another track that people sang for months on end, Bruno Mars had every girl in the world wishing for someone who loved them like this – we hope you’ve found yours!
Jack Johnson – Better Together
Jack Johnson was the original Ed Sheeran (for those of us who know better…), and had some outstanding acoustic tracks in the early noughties. This one is beautiful for a first dance!
Taylor Swift – Style
Apparently written about her summer romance with Harry Styles, this song has a great beat to dance to and some great lyrics.
Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful
Emeli Sandé may have dropped off the face of the earth, but luckily her music stayed with us! This beautiful song is an exploration of what it means to be honest and open with the person you love the most.
Harry Styles – Woman
Speaking of our favourite member of 1D (sorry not sorry to the rest of them), Harry Styles has to be in here with his track Woman. A uniquely brilliant track, don’t forget this one!
Hayley Kiyoko – This Side Of Paradise
Known in certain circles as Lesbian Jesus, Hayley Kiyoko is set to dominate the pop scene in coming years – and for good reason. This woman has a great voice, demonstrated once and for all in this moving song.
One Direction – Little Things
Are these boys ever coming back?? Maybe if we all collectively play this song when we get married, they’ll hear it like a siren call and reunite…
Sam Smith – Like I Can
Famous for being depressing when it comes to love, Sam Smith must not seem like the prime candidate for a wedding, but this one is full of joy and promise.
The Paper Kites – Bloom
Slow and melodic, you can’t go wrong with this recent release from the indie band The Paper Kites.
George Ezra – All My Love
Set to rival Ed Sheeran when it comes to beautiful lyrics, this song from George Ezra will make your heart beat a little faster.
Michael Bublé – Everything
A fantastic crooner, Michael Bublé’s earliest works are the best place to look for wedding inspiration – and this one is one of his greatest!
Not everyone likes mainstream music, and so here’s just a handful of what’s out there for the more non-traditional couples, to give you a taste!
ACDC – You Shook Me All Night Long
For a reception that ROCKS, make sure you get this song in there. It might be a bit too on the nose to describe this as a banger, but it’s a must-have for your after-party.
Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring
One of their best songs, Being Boring is the slow synth-pop track that will have you swaying and dreaming of summertime in the 90s at your reception.
Led Zeppelin – Thank You
These guys could do everything. This tune is perhaps one of the most heartfelt, gentle and loving songs of all time, but with a great guitar rift as well.
Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
A proper jazz-rock song, this tune is one man’s ode to the woman who he would let trample him into the dust just to be able to say she acknowledged him. We like the sound of that…
Bleachers – Shadow
A great alternative pop band from the States, this song is a promise that they will forever follow and support the one they love, no matter what. What could be more appropriate?
David Bowie – Drive In Saturday
And thrice is the charm! The best song off of Aladdin Sane, Drive In Saturday is a fantastic dancing tune with some unexpectedly penetrating lyrics.
Hurray For The Riff Raff – Ode To John and Yoko
We have to admit, this playlist nearly ended up just being HFTRR. But this song from one of their early albums is an incredible alternative rock/blues track, for one of the greatest pair of lovers in musical history.
Siouxsie and the Banshees – Kiss Them For Me
The Queen of Punk for much of the 1980s, Siouxsie Sioux is not who you typically look to for romance. But this track is heartfelt and adoring, whilst also featuring the best of her dreamlike, synth-punk compositions.
KISS – I Was Made For Loving You
Great from the get-go, this is one of the most rocking songs of the 20th century, and should not be missed under any circumstances!
The Ramones – Baby I Love You
This is an unexpected tear-jerker from a band that normally liked to make their fans headbang. Seems that whilst these boys fought like cat and dog, they really understood love.
Did you know that ABBA invented romance in 1974? No? Well, no wedding is complete without at least one ABBA track, so we’ve managed to bring our suggestions down to just six of the absolute best…
Take A Chance On Me
Remember when Julie Walters sang this in Mamma Mia? We were *literally* screaming. A brilliant song.
One of the softest and sexiest songs that ABBA ever wrote, this is a beautiful song for a first dance.
Kisses of Fire
Full of passion and desire, Kisses of Fire will have everyone dancing.
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
Included without comment.
Is it possible to listen to this song without dueting with the person nearest to you? Not in our experience!
If It Wasn’t For The Nights
This song sums up the 70s in 5 minutes, and is fantastic for all you newlyweds out there.
Did we miss your favourite? Or have there been a few surprises here that you hadn’t thought of yet? Let us know in the comments! Best of luck with choosing your music – and all the dancing that is sure to go along with it!