11 modern waltzes for your first dance

Posted by
Photo by Honeysuckle Photography.
Photo by Honeysuckle Photography.

The first dance is something I'm particularly excited about, but here is the issue — the groom only knows how to waltz in 3/4 time.

So here's the deal… I'd like to know your favorite modern songs in 3/4 time — i.e., Waltzin' Songs.

My groom and I would like something sweet and peppy, and not too “classic.” Got any ideas?


This question is near and dear to my heart, because that guy I married and I wanted to do a waltz for our first dance. Only… we couldn't agree on which modern waltz song to use!


So here are a few of our favorite modern waltz choices:

Your turn! What are your favorite modern waltzes?

Meet your new BFF wedding vendor

Trending with our readers

Comments on 11 modern waltzes for your first dance

  1. Ok, I just wanted to point out that “You and Me” by Lifehouse is our song!!! AND WE’RE DOING A WALTZ TO IT!!!

    Just a little fyi, we’re doing to Viennese Waltz to it because it’s a REALLY fast tempo and that makes it a little easier to keep up with the beat. That probably holds true for a lot of modern waltz songs.

    We actually took up lessons for our first dance! It’s been amazingly fun and, if you have the budget, I completely recommend it. It’s something fun, that the FH and I like to do together. Plus, the fact that it’s a little exercise in my week doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

  2. Even though it’s technically in 6/8, “Getaway” by Train feels very much like a 3/4 piece. (It also appears to be in A Major, but I can’t confirm that since I don’t know the note it ends on. I just happen to love that key.) The same goes for “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues. (By the way, go for the radio edit with the. It’s shorter, and I think the extended version does change meter after the song most people will know.)

  3. It should be noted that even though I thoroughly enjoy Norah Jones, “Come Away with Me” is in 4/4 time.

    It’s not modern, but “So This is Love” from Disney’s Cinderella is a waltz. A song that I really, really like and I’ve never heard from a wedding. An instrumental version would be lovely.

    • I’m sorry to have to correct you, it’s an annoying habit of mine that I have to correct everything, especially grammar for some reason. But “Come away with me” is actually in 3/4 😉

  4. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
    ^ Always imagined the looks we’d get for waltzing to it… 😉

    Waltzes aren’t my thing, but here’s a tip for anyone who’s looking for one:
    If you can say “rashers and sausages” in time with the beat (or be boring and count 1-2-3-4-5-6) it’s suitably waltzy!

    “Our song” is probably Ralph Wiggum by the Bloodhound Gang. Yeahhhh…….

    • 🙂 I’m actually highly considering Nothing Else Matters, but for my Father/Daughter dance.

    • I used the S&M version in my first wedding – highly recommend! Our friends even started singing along! I think we had a friend play with the tempo to speed it up a little.

    • Our wedding is offbeat-lite because my poor groom is quite traditional and we have completely different tastes in music, but we did agree on Nothing Else Matters performed on cellos by Apocalyptica. It’s the perfect kind of surreptitiously offbeat that certain people will recognize, but mostly people will just think “what a beautiful instrumental piece”.

  5. I’m guessing that Ms. Finley meant to suggest ‘Turn Me On’ by Norah Jones, which strikes me as a wonderful rough-equivalent (in terms of mood) to the more common choice of ‘At Last’.

    When I saw this question, the first artist that came to mind was CAKE. They make a point of including a few songs in 3/4 (or 6/8) time on most of their albums, and the lead singer likes to lecture live audiences about 3/4 time’s waning popularity. Granted, their songs tend to be less than romantic (even their love songs), but here are a few worth mentioning:

    ‘Where Would I Be?’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v3OVDXZDf4
    ‘Mexico’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZItvCgsMMgI
    ‘Bound Away’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUSlBuEynQ4
    ‘Teenage Pregnancy’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAklPRS0HOg
    ‘Sad Songs and Waltzes’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK-DcAcQ-7Y

    And then there is the impossibly lovely ‘ Valse d’Amelie’ from the eponymous film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD3WwM6l1J0

    More great suggestions here: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-497789.html

  6. Cradle of Filth – Nymphetamine Girl. We’re putting that on our wedding play list for sure!

  7. I know that its older… almost 60 years old… but “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty is a VERY obvious waltz so if you want one that’s super easy to follow… its what one of my friends taught me to waltz to.

    • The cover of this by Lana Del Ray for Maleficent is dark, haunting, and downright lovely.

  8. Our first dance was swing (Nat King Cole’s “Let There be Love), but my father-daughter dance was a waltz (Glenn Yarbrough’s “More I Cannot Wish You”).

    Our couples’ dance was a waltz version of Bruce Springsteen’s “If I Should Fall Behind.” We chose it because it’s my parents’ joint favorite – my mom is a huge Springsteen fan, my dad loves folk, and the version of the song blends a bit of both. I stumbled across it a few years ago and sent it to my dad; sometimes when my mom is really stressed, he’ll ask her to dance to this song with him. And to add to the romance, this version’s performed by Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa (his wife). I get goosebumps when I listen to it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrfIGgZeFXk

Read more comments

Comments are closed.