The perfect song for your first dance can be a stressful pick — especially if you love music. Theatre lovers might enjoy using this opportunity to inject their love of theatre into their wedding, but with all of the wonderful options out there, it can be overwhelming. Here is a list of theatre love songs that might be perfect for your first dance: we’ve tried to include some more uncommon choices that you might not have thought of before and have left off some romantic staples in the interest of bringing you new ideas. Even if you aren’t a big theatre fan, this list is a great place to get ideas for songs that won’t feel overdone.
10) In Whatever Time We Have (Children of Eden)
In whatever time we have / For as long as we are living / We can face whatever comes / If we face it now as one
This song is a pretty ballad that speaks to facing all of your struggles together which is a great start to a marriage. The song itself is slow- which may be an asset if you and your partner aren’t great dancers and just want a chance to “shuffle” in the middle of the dance floor while your friends and family enjoy the sentiment of the song.
9) Run Away With Me (The Mad Ones)
Run away with me / Let me be your ride out of town / Let me be the place that you hide / We can make our lives on the go / Run away with me
This fun number is a great piece that you can dance to from a musical that isn’t often performed — meaning your guests probably won’t have heard it before. It’ll always be special for you and your spouse. You won’t have to “share” your song with many other couples.
8) How Bout A Dance (Bonnie and Clyde)
How ’bout a dance? / Let’s make a start / Music like this can really throw ya / You’ll lose the blues / And you may lose your heart
You’ve definitely heard of the infamous couple in history but you may not have heard of the musical inspired by their story. This song can be a fun nod toward their story — which is great if you and your sweetheart tend to favor the counterculture — but there aren’t any references to their crimes in the song so you won’t have to worry about upsetting your relatives.
7) Something To Believe In (Newsies)
Till the moment I found you / I thought I knew what love was / Now I’m learning what is true / That love will do what it does / The world finds ways to sting you / And then one day decides to bring you / Something to believe in
This is a sweeter option and a choice for Disney lovers. This song comes from the Broadway production of Newsies. This is a great option for those wanting a sweet and simple choice from a popular show about finding hope in new love. Other Disney entries have been left off the list in favor of mentioning something more unexpected, but we’ll also encourage you to think of your favorite Disney love scene: Can You Feel The Love Tonight?, A Whole New World, and the title song from Beauty and the Beast are other great Disney-Broadway options.
6) Gold (Once)
And I love her so / I wouldn’t trade her for gold / I’m walking on moonbeams / I was born with a silver spoon
This romantic option has a great folk-rock feel that can appeal to a wide audience; it could function as a little semi-hidden bit of theatre if you wanted it to. The cast recording for the musical features two versions of the song Gold: the song and an a capella variation. Either would work beautifully for a first dance with a little more of a rock feel.
5) Take Me As I Am (Jekyll and Hyde)
Give me your hand / Give me your heart / Swear to me we’ll never part! / (We’ll never part!)
This is one of the more theatrical options on this list. While some songs were chosen because they were less obviously from musical theatre, this one isn’t subtle — which might be perfect for you. Take Me As I Am could also appeal to horror lovers as its from a musical retelling of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde. This piece gives a similar vibe to popular Broadway love songs like “All I Ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera but isn’t as popular.
4) Sun and Moon (Miss Saigon)
You are sunlight and I moon / Joined here / Bright’ning the sky / With the flame / Of love
Based on the popular opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon tells a tragic love story against the backdrop of war. This is a wonderful song for you and your sweetheart to dance to, especially if you’ve had to overcome hardship to get to where you are. The lyrics still work well out of context. Your guests won’t need to be familiar with the show to understand.
3) Promises (Hadestown)
Can’t promise you fair sky above / Can’t promise you kind road below / But I’ll walk with you, my love / Any way the wind blows
The love story of Orpheus and Eurydice from Greek myth is still being retold. This love song comes from a new musical that you may not have heard of yet. The lyrics act as sweet wedding vows for the couple — and their meaning can work for yourself and your partner as well. The sweet promise to stay by your lover’s side come thick or thin is a wonderful frame of mind for your first dance.
2) Elaborate Lives – Reprise (Aida)
I know you’ll give me courage / To face what I must face / With all these complications / In another time and place
Aida is another Broadway show based on a classic opera, this time updated by Elton John for the Disney company. This tragic romance was originally to be adapted into an animated film but its somber, serious tone was deemed to dark for a Disney movie. Instead of scrapping the project, Disney put the show on Broadway. Today, you can still enjoy the tragic love of a brave captured Princess and her forbidden love. Aida features several love duets but we suggest using the reprise of Elaborate Lives as it holds up the best out of context.
1) I’ll Cover You (Rent)
I think they meant it / When they said you can’t buy love / Now I know you can rent it / A new lease you are my love / On life, all my life
This is probably the most upbeat song on the list and definitely the best choice if you want to start your wedding reception off with a load of fun and the giddy feeling of falling in love. This song is popular in the theatre community but not as overdone as (still wonderful) classics like Tonight from West Side Story. This song is also traditionally sung by two men — making it a very meaningful choice if you are a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The best choice, of course, is a love song from your favorite musical. Tell us what your favorite musical-themed first dance songs are!