TOP WEDDING SONGS 21st century


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If you want a quick, easy choice, check out the red-headed Brit’s catalogue for some ripe wedding songs. They are among the most popular choices in modern history for good reason. If you’re looking for something outside of that box however, read on.

1. First Day of My Life, Bright Eyes

Minimalistic, quirky, sweet. You’ll feel like your wedding is a scene in an indie movie and this is the soundtrack.

2. You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne

You don’t need to be able to pronounce Ray’s last name to be able to confidently walk down the aisle with a skip and a jump to this upbeat earthy tune. The horns that introduce the song make for a great “announcing” cue.

3. Better Together, Jack Johnson

“It’s not always easy and sometimes life can be deceiving. I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together.” If it’s a sunny day, this will accompany the weather perfectly. If it’s raining, this is guaranteed to warm the cockles. Do people still say, “warm the cockles”?

4. Come Away With Me, Norah Jones

This sultry call to getting away from it all will wash the air with its mellowing tone and settle the twitching nerves of nervous fiancés.

5. I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

This helium-filled pop-tasm (may or may not be a real word,) is so damned catchy that even haters will find it hard to turn down a smile. It came out back in 2008 so enough time has passed for it not to be considered “overplayed” as it was when it first hit the airwaves.

6. Home, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

This hooky, lyrically jumpy tune is a back and forth duet that sings of finding a home with the one you love.

7. Sea of Love, Cat Power

Have you got a friend or family member that sings and strums guitar okay but is stuck on “Wonderwall”? Ask them to learn this simple, yet deeply intoxicating song and have them sing it while you drift (or your significant other drifts,) down the aisle.

8. No One’s Gonna Love You, Band of Horses

A slice of indie heaven. I’m not crying you’re crying.

9. The Luckiest, Ben Folds

From one of the most charming “under the radar” romance films of this century (About Time,) comes one of the most beautiful melodies about friendship and feeling blessed to be within that friendship ever. That is all.

10. Walking On a Dream, Empire of the Sun

This is a bit more “colourful” than others on the list and provides a nice stepping beat.

11. Best Part of Me is You, Busby Marou

These chill cats from Australia bring the mellow island vibes for those fulfilling their wedding fantasies on the beach. Or wherever.

12. Only You, Joshua Radin

Yes it’s a cover and Alison Moyet’s version may be the stand out for many but this indie-feel version with soul soothing harmonies hits the sweet spot for me.

13. Falling Slowly, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

From the super cool Irish indie flick ‘Once’. My wife and I sang this at my brother’s wedding. He and his wife are still together and it’s been about 10 years so…

14. Crazy in Love, Beyonce

For a more upbeat procession or 1st dance go with the modern classic from Queen B. For a more mellow, acoustic cover, check out Daniela Andrade.

15. Ophelia, The Lumineers

This is the only choice if you happen to be named Ophelia or are marrying someone named Ophelia. It also means “help” so if you’re marrying someone from the service and hospitality industry this could also be a good choice.

16. Hold Back the River, James Bay

“Hold back the river let me look in your eyes.” Holding back a river can only be done by damming it. So you could, in your wedding speech mention that and say “When I first saw you I was all, DAMN you’re fine!” You’re welcome.

17. If I Aint Got You, Alicia Keys

This is a song about nothing else being as important as the relationship with the song’s subject. This is one of Alicia’s best in my opinion and sounds great in it’s recorded format, or even with a soloist behind a piano or guitar declaring that without this love, nothing else matters. You could also choose Metallica’s ‘Nothing Else Matters’ if that’s the theme you want to run with but that came out in the 90s so I have to sneak it onto this list.

18. Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol

This was one of the most overplayed songs when it was first released and so it has, like Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’ it became that scene on the Simpsons where Homer went to hell and the devil forced him to eat donuts for eternity. They may taste good at first, but you get sick of them after a while. Thankfully enough time has passed, and this is such a gorgeously warming song that it’s worth consideration as a wedding song. Come to think of it, Homer was never satiated in that episode no matter how many donuts were shovelled into his mouth so maybe it’s a bad example.

19. Breathe, Faith Hill

Here’s what you do; have all the bridesmaids walk in and down the aisle by the 1:10 mark. That is the point where the big chorus kicks in and the bride will enter through the doors with a “Ta Da” and take the breath of the groom and every attendee away.

20. Ordinary People, John Legend

Admittedly, his song ‘All of Me’ is more of a wedding song but this one is perfect for that “real” romance. The one with accepted ups and downs and ins and outs. Like champagne and brie, or peanut butter and chocolate, this song would go down nicely with a toast similar to the one given by Tina Modotti, to her friends and fellow revolutionary artists Frida Kahlo and Diego.

“At best, it’s a happy delusion. These two people, who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they are about to make each other. But, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don’t think it’s conservative or delusional. I think it’s radical and courageous; and very romantic.”

21. Turn Your Lights Down Low, Bob Marley (with Lauryn Hill)

Okay, I’m stretching things a bit here but for good reason. The original came out in 1977 and the duet (posthumous on Bob’s part,) came out in 1999. It really hit the charts though in 2000 so I feel justified. Plus, this was the song that my wife and I walked in on. Our friend sang an acoustic rendition on the guitar. It’s smooth, sexy and lushly romantic.

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