- The Washington Post/Contributor/Getty Images
- The Black Tux surveyed over 900 married couples about the song they chose for their first dance.
- The most popular song among baby boomers and Generation X was “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers.
- Millennials‘ most popular choice was “All of Me” by John Legend.
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There are lots of musical choices to make when planning a wedding – what song to walk down the aisle to, what the band should play in the background during the cocktail hour, and which tunes will get people onto the dance floor.
But one of the musical centerpieces of many weddings is the couple’s traditional first dance before the floor opens up to the rest of the guests.
The Black Tux surveyed over 900 married couples about the song they chose for their first dance and broke the results down by three generations: baby boomers, Generation Xers, and millennials. Some songs appear in more than one category, a testament to their timeless melodies.
Here are the most popular first dance wedding songs through the years.
The third-most popular song baby boomers danced to was “At Last” by Etta James.
- Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
The song was written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the film “Sun Valley Serenade” and recorded by Etta James for her album “At Last!” in 1960.
“The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra was the second-most popular first dance song for baby boomers.
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“Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers was baby boomers’ favorite first dance song.
- Gems/Redferns/Getty Images
The song “Unchained Melody” was written for the 1955 movie “Unchained” and was recorded by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. 10.9% of baby boomers chose this song for their first dance.
Generation X’s third most-popular first dance song was “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith.
- Gems/Redferns/Getty Images
“I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” was Aerosmith’s first and only number one hit, written by songwriter Diane Warren and released in 1998.
The second-most popular first dance song for Generation X was “At Last” by Etta James.
- House Of Fame LLC/Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images
Generation X also danced to “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers as their number one first dance song.
- GAB Archive/Redferns/Getty Images
The movie “Ghost” helped reinvigorate the song’s success in 1990. 7.3% of Generation X members chose this song for their first dance.
Millennials’ third-most popular first dance song is “Amazed” by the country group Lonestar.
- Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images
“Amazed” was written by Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey and Marv Green and released by Lonestar in 1999. Mayo and Linsey married after writing the love song together.
Millennials also love Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” as their second-most popular first dance song.
- Kevin Winter/ Getty Images
The song was nominated for an Oscar for best original song in 1999.
The song most chosen by millennials for their first dance is “All of Me” by John Legend.
- Rich Polk/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium
John Legend wrote “All of Me” with songwriter Toby Gad for his wife (then-fiancée) Chrissy Teigen and released it in 2013. The song won a Grammy for best pop solo performance in 2014. It was the first dance song for 7.6% of millennials surveyed by The Black Tux.