What Your First-Dance Song Says About Your Relationship

When it comes to selecting the song for your first dance at your wedding, everyone's got an opinion. Do you go for a sappy ballad that'll make your parents' eyes well up while your friends convulse in laughter? Do you shell out for dance lessons so you can do that classic Sinatra tune justice? Do you just go with the song that actually means something to you and your new spouse, even though you're pretty sure the lyrics are about heartbreak, drug abuse, infidelity, or other non-eternal-love-related topics?

There are so many options. Fast. Slow. Sentimental. Silly. Uplifting. Maudlin. Gershwin. Disney. Dion.

To help you narrow your playlist down — or to potentially make you rethink the song you already shimmied to in some hotel ballroom as disco lights flickered — we've highlighted some popular first-dance song choices. Are they right for you? What do they say about your relationship? Is Ed Sheeran the only way forward?

The answers lie ahead...
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Bruno Mars, "Marry You"
You were torn between this and "Just the Way You Are." This song will immediately be followed by "Happy." You got engaged in a flash mob. One of you is wearing a trilby/Converse/funky socks.
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Etta James, "At Last"
You're an old-school romantic at heart. Also, you dated for years and years before a ring ever surfaced. Or you dated, broke up, married other people, bumped into each other at the high school reunion, and finally got together. Or, you're a gay couple who has been waiting decades for the courts to let you marry, and you'd like to have something romantic while still throwing in an "about effing time" jab.
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Dixie Chicks, "Cowboy Take Me Away"
At least one of you is from the South, but neither of you is an actual cowboy. The wedding venue is lousy with Mason jars and wildflowers. You lost your virginity to "Strawberry Wine," but right now you're all about the jam-jar margarita bar you insisted upon for the reception. You're traditional, but not conservative. Right now you're girl-bossing it up while the two of you save up enough money to buy the dreamy country house you've always wanted.
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The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows"
You're one of those couples who loves to argue, because you love to make up. Huge public displays of affection aren't really your thing. Having to dance in front of all these people is excruciating. You chose this song because it's short and not too schmaltzy. Also, you each think that the other person is the one who'd be nowhere without you.
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Bright Eyes, "First Day of My Life"
You heard this at a party and just knew. One day you would get married (spouse TBD) and this would be your first dance. Then you met someone at a party and just knew. One day that would be the first person dancing with you to this song. And, sure, you've done a lot in your life — a year abroad in Ecuador, a master's degree in art therapy, fostering rescued cats, starting your own gluten-free bakery — but really, now is when your real life starts. The second day of your life involves embarking on a cross-country road trip in an old VW bus for the honeymoon.
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Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"
Be honest: It's been a whirlwind courtship, right? Was it only a few months ago that you met-cute at Starbucks when the barista managed to write the same mangled nickname on both of your pumpkin spice lattes? It was just meant to be. And, after dating so many jerks who just didn't appreciate you, you were ready to settle down — especially with someone who likes to rub your feet during The Notebook, lets you get your pinot on, and doesn't seem to mind that this is your third engagement. Can't wait to meet the in-laws at the wedding!
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John Legend, "All of Me"
You guys are so having hot sex tonight.
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Elton John, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight"
You're kids at heart, and you have the matching SpongeBob pajamas, the action-figure collection, and the infantile nicknames to prove it. Others may poke fun, but you've found your kindred spirit, and that's all that matters.
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Elvis Presley, "Can't Help Falling in Love"
Either you're tying the knot in Vegas, or you're doing this ironically. Because, really, what could be more ironic than commemorating your union with a melodramatic love ballad from a larger-than-life pop icon who managed to stick with Priscilla for only seven years of holy matrimony? At some point, this will segue into the UB40 or Ingrid Michaelson version, and your hipster-wedding world domination will be complete.
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Al Green, "Let's Stay Together"
Why break the box? This song is sexy as hell, but it's still sweet enough to elicit cheers from your grandparents. Your courtship hasn't always been easy, but you've come out the other side stronger than ever.
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Train, "Marry Me"
You're not really one for hidden meanings. You like things clear-cut, straight-shooting, and spelled out. Your favorite show is The Big Bang Theory.
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Ellie Goulding, "Love Me Like You Do"
You guys like couples massages and snuggling on the couch in front of the TV. You just really, really hope that nobody remembers that this song is from Fifty Shades of Grey, though that's unlikely, seeing as you saw it with 12 girlfriends on opening night, and they're all here.
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Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
Basically, your wedding plans haven't budged since 1997, and you found someone so eager to marry you they've signed on to whatever your heart desires. You like to have the power, but deep down you're a total softie.
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Alison Krauss, "When You Say Nothing At All"
One of you is the strong, silent type. One of you insisted on cool credibility by going with Alison Krauss and not the Ronan Keating Notting Hill version. You're both romantic, but you don't need to make a big deal about it.
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Lana Del Rey, "Video Games"
You have matching tattoos. The best valentine you've ever received is a heart-shaped puddle of candle wax melted onto your coffee table and shaped by a cigarette lighter. Actually, it was your roommate's coffee table, so she kicked you out. But it's all good in the hood, because you've got each other.
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Damien Rice, "The Blower's Daughter"
You guys broke up at some point, right?
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Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"
You're a fun couple, if not exactly cutting-edge. And, after practicing that leap for weeks on end, you're also as fit as hell. You've both got a soft spot for the cheesier things in life, which is fine. Who said a wedding had to be serious? Just wait till you see the "Single Ladies" routine your bridesmaids have cooked up.
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Righteous Brothers, "Unchained Melody"
You met in show choir, and it was love at first "do-re-mi."
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