Top 10 Contemporary Wedding Songs for Your Ceremony
Have you been looking for the perfect way to express your feelings during your wedding ceremony? Besides your vows, music is the best way to say what is in your heart during that special moment—and finding just the right song can make all of the difference. With wedding ceremonies becoming more and more unique and personalized, brides are more free than ever to make their own choices when it comes to music.
Sure, some churches still have rules and require approval on the music selections. So make sure you know what the rules are at your chosen venue. But for the most part, it is completely appropriate to have someone sing a more popular contemporary song during your wedding ceremony.
Don't know a singer? Find a great recording and play it through the sound system. The important thing is that you get the perfect day that you deserve! Here is a list of my 10 favorite choices for contemporary wedding songs. These are also good choices for your first dance. So even if you are having a more traditional ceremony, maybe you can get some good ideas for your reception.
Top 10 Modern Songs to Play at Your Wedding
- "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain
- "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack
- "All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo
- "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole
- "Love Will Be Our Home" by Sandi Patty
- "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Grobin
- "Something in the Way She Moves" by James Taylor
- "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait
- "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
- "The Prayer" by Charlotte Church and Josh Grobin
1. "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain
"From This Moment" by Shania Twain is a great songto use during your wedding ceremony. The lyrics were definitely tailored towards the event. "From this moment, life has begun, From this moment you are the one, Right beside you is where I belong, From this moment on." And it only gets better from there.
Of course, this song is a country song, but it's not as twangy as old time country, so even if you are more of a pop music bride, give this song a fair chance and make sure to listen to it. The end of the song has these words, "From this moment as long as I live, I will love you, I promise you this, There is nothing I wouldn't give, From this moment I will love you as long as I live, From this moment on." How could you express what's going on during your ceremony better than that?
2. "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack
I love this song. Roberta Flack made this song popular in 1969 when she sang it on her album "First Take". It was written by Ewan MacColl in 1957 for his wife Peggy as a folk song, but Roberta made it a little bit sexier and sultry, and it won a Grammy Award for best song of the year in 1972.
"First Time" is a slower song that makes for a truly memorable moment when you are at the altar staring into your love's eyes. "The first time ever I saw you face, I thought the sun rose in your eyes, and the moon and stars were the gifts you gave, to the dark and empty skies, my love." Isn't that incredibly romantic?
My only warning with this song is that the third verse says "The first time ever I lay with you" which is a pretty sexual reference, and depending on your location and crowd, might not be appropriate for you. If you love the song but that line makes you uncomfortable, think about changing it to "The first time I fell in love with you" or something else that matches the rhythm of the song.
3. "All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo
"All My Life" by K-Ci and JoJo is a very passionate song about how you've waited all of your life for this one person. "All my life, I prayed for someone like you, and I thank God that I finally found you." The lyrics are absolutely beautiful and really express the feelings of someone who feels like they waited a long time to find this one special person. Even better than the lyrics is the amazing melody that is soaring and grows throughout the song, ending with a very emotional and passionate ending.
4. "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole is a bit old school, but his songs are truly classics, and he wrote one of the most romantic songs ever written when he wrote "Unforgettable" in the early 1950s. This song can be performed with a piano or even a string quartet for a really stunning interlude during your ceremony. It can also be done as a duet, like his daughter Natalie put together in the 90's using her father's recordings.
"Unforgettable in every way,
And forever more, that's how you'll stay
That's why, darling, it's incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am, Unforgettable too."
5. "Love Will Be Our Home" by Sandi Patty
Contemporary Christian artist, Sandi Patty, made this song famous, and it truly touches my heart. Whether your wedding is outside or in a church or on the beach, this song is a great choice that will connect with everyone there. I love the thought that no matter where you go throughout your marriage, love will be your home. Even though you may not stay in one place, your hearts will always be as one.
"Wherever there is laughter ringing
Someone smiling, someone dreaming,
We can live together there
Love will be our home."
6. "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Grobin
"You Raise Me Up" by Josh Grobin is such an amazing song. It definitely is more of a religious contemporary song, and would likely be approved by even some conservative churches for your wedding ceremony. I would recommend having someone perform this song with an organ, because it really needs some great backup for when it starts to get louder and more emotional. The organ can provide the best accompaniment. If your wedding is outside and an organ is not a possibility, consider getting a string ensemble to back up the singer, or if all else fails, find a quality accompaniment track and pipe it through a good sound system.
"When you come and I am filled with wonder, Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity."
"I am strong, when I am on your shoulders; You raise me up, To more than I can be."
Isn't that what a great relationship and marriage is all about? Lifting each other up so that we can be better and more successful and having someone who really supports you?
7. "Something in the Way She Moves" by James Taylor
Although I adore the Beatles, I am talking about the James Taylor song "Something in the Way She Moves" here. (The Beatles song "Something" is also gorgeous and romantic, but I am not sure the lyrics really work for a wedding.) Of course, when James Taylor performs this song, he is almost always solo with his acoustic guitar, and it is just breath-taking. If you have a friend who plays guitar (or if you or your fiancé does!), this song might be perfect for you.
"And I feel fine anytime she's around me now
She's around me now just about all the time
And if I'm well you can tell she's been with me now
She's been with me now quite a long, long time
And I feel fine."
It is just a great and very romantic song. It would be a beautiful choice for when you are walking down the aisle as well! Also, to make this song more about both of you, just change some of the verses to say "He" instead of "She".
8. "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait
Another country song that just pulls on my heartstrings every time I hear it is Geroge Strait's "I Cross My Heart." Just read the lyrics and you will know that this is how you feel about your love!
"Our love is unconditional, we knew it from the start.
I see it in your eyes, you can feel it from my heart.
From here on after let's stay the way we are right now,
And share all the love and laughter
That a lifetime will allow.
I cross my heart and promise to
Give all I've got to give to make all your dreams come true.
In all the world you'll never find a love as true as mine."
Doesn't that just make your heart melt? I love it! Every single word of this song is perfect for a wedding and an expression of complete love. If you aren't a big country fan, try finding a good pianist and singer who can put a more pop ballad flavor to it.
9. "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts
Admittedly, "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts is a very situationally appropriate choice. If this is your first love and you have not been through any difficult times or turbulent relationships, this song probably won't mean much to you. However, if you are divorced or you have both made some bad choices along the way, and you feel that this love that you have found now makes you complete and is a huge blessing in your life, this song might be the perfect song for you.
"Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you."
This song gives me chill bumps. It has so much meaning and emotion in it for me as I am divorced, but have finally found someone so amazing. I know I made some mistakes along the way, but God still found me fit to bless with the most amazing fiancé now. If your experience is similar, maybe you will find a connection to this song as well. Like songs before, it is more of a country song, but you can feel free to change to arrangement a little to make it match your style a bit no matter what your favorite style may be.
10. "The Prayer" by Charlotte Church and Josh Grobin
As the name suggests, this song is a prayer asking God to guide you and give you faith. It is usually done as a duet, and was made popular by Charlotte Church and Josh Grobin. It has also been performed by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. The harmony towards the end is absolutely gorgeous!
I added this song to the list because I wanted to show you an option that would be perfectly appropriate for a more formal wedding. Just because you are having a more formal ceremony, there are still more contemporary options that will work for you. The way the duet is written, the man sings the words in Italian and the woman echo's him in the English translation. There's no need to print the translation in your program, as it speaks for itself, just make sure you have two strong singers who can sing in Italian! It will make your heart soar!!