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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, we check out research into the most popular wedding songs in 2023, and ask if you chose one for your own wedding?

Wedding Songs

Weddings are a kaleidoscope of emotions, a whirlwind of cake and confetti, and, of course, a soundtrack that forever intertwines with your love story. But with trends as fickle as a bridal veil in a hurricane, which tunes truly reigned supreme in the wedding aisles of 2023?

New research conducted by experts from wedding music booking platform, Encore Musicians, has shown the most popular wedding songs in the UK this year by analysing 2,300 song requests from newlyweds made on their platform to determine the most requested songs and artists for weddings in 2023. 

So, whether you’re planning your own fairytale or simply love eavesdropping on love stories set to music, buckle up and grab your metaphorical bouquet. We’re about to embark on a musical journey through the most epic wedding moments of 2023, one love song at a time.

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Most Popular Wedding Songs In 2023

Perfect

Topping the list as the most popularly requested song at UK weddings is ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran. A staggering 16.3% of couples chose this romantic hit for their first dance, proving its timeless appeal since its release in 2017.

The song celebrates the imperfections that make our loved ones perfect in our eyes. Sheeran’s lyrics, “Darling, you look perfect tonight,” go beyond outward appearance, embracing the quirks and complexities that make your partner unique and irreplaceable. It’s a testament to the unconditional love that forms the foundation of a strong marriage.

All Of Me

Following closely behind is John Legend’s Grammy award-winning record, ‘All of Me’. Originally penned for his wife in 2013, this heartfelt song was requested by 15.2% of newlyweds in 2023 for their first dance.

“All of Me” strips away pretense, laying bare the singer’s vulnerability and his willingness to offer every aspect of himself to his beloved. This raw honesty resonates with the commitment and open communication essential for a strong marriage. “The good, the bad, the ugly,” he sings, “I let you see in.” What could be a more profound promise of acceptance and trust?

Can’t Help Falling In Love

Securing the third spot is Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. This romantic ballad, known as the King of Rock and Roll’s signature tune, was chosen by 12% of couples for their first dance. 

From the opening line, “Like a fool, I fall deeper in love with you every day,” the song sets the tone. It’s an unapologetic admission that love isn’t a choice, but an irresistible force that pulls you in deeper, day after day. This passionate surrender to love resonates with the overwhelming emotions of a wedding day.

Thinking Out Loud

Ed Sheeran makes another appearance in the top 10 with his Grammy-nominated 2014 hit, ‘Thinking Out Loud’, which was requested by 235 couples in 2023.

The song traces the couple’s love story, from young and reckless beginnings to imagined glimpses of a future filled with wrinkles and grey hair. This resonates with the sense of timeless commitment and shared future that couples pledge on their wedding day. It captures the promise of growing old together, overcoming challenges, and finding joy in the everyday moments.

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I’m Yours

Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’ takes the fifth spot, being requested by 199 couples, making it the fifth most popular wedding song in 2023.

The song isn’t a grand, dramatic declaration of love, but rather a quiet, confident assurance. “I’m yours,” Mraz sings simply, encompassing everything within those three words. It’s a complete surrender, an offering of every part of himself to his beloved, resonating with the commitment and devotion couples embrace on their wedding day.

Make You Feel My Love

Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’ ranks sixth, with 185 couples selecting it for their first dance.

The song starts with a direct and unwavering promise: “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet, But I would never do you wrong.” This raw honesty sets the tone for a commitment built on trust and vulnerability, echoing the vows exchanged at a wedding. It’s a powerful assurance that your love is constant and unwavering.

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Intellifluence

September

The classic 1978 hit ‘September’ by Earth, Wind, and Fire was requested by 175 couples, making it the seventh most popular wedding song this year.

Let’s be honest, Earth, Wind & Fire’s signature sound is pure sunshine in musical form. The infectious bassline, funky horns, and Maurice White’s smooth vocals instantly create a party atmosphere, inviting everyone to move and groove. It’s impossible not to smile when this song comes on, setting the perfect tone for a joyful and celebratory wedding.

According to data from EncoreMusicians.com, September is consistently the third most-popular month for weddings taking place in the UK (after August and July), which explains the popularity of the song! Perhaps we’ll see “August” by Taylor Swift climb the ranks next year following the success of her Eras tour…

At Last

Etta James’ timeless ballad ‘At Last’ takes the eighth spot, with 166 couples choosing it for their first dance.

The song celebrates the simple joys of being together, painting a picture of “golden summers” and “whispered secrets.” This focus on everyday moments highlights the promise of building a life together, filled with shared experiences and quiet intimacy.

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Marry You

Bruno Mars’ catchy tune ‘Marry You’ ranks ninth, with 7% of couples requesting this song.

The song captures the whirlwind romance and impulsive desire to commit. While not everyone proposes on a rooftop with a sign held up, it speaks to the overwhelming feeling of certainty and the desire to spend every moment with your beloved. This resonates with couples who value passion and spontaneity in their relationship.

Isn’t She Lovely

Stevie Wonder’s beloved song, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ rounds out the top ten with 155 couples requesting this song for their big day.

The song is an ode to the wonder and beauty found in the beloved. Lines like “I never thought that life could be so sweet” and “Isn’t she lovely this little girl of mine?” translate beautifully to a celebration of your partner, highlighting the joy and perfection you see in their presence. It becomes a personal declaration of how your partner has made your life brighter and more complete.

Сollaborator

Ten most requested songs for first dances at UK weddings

RankingSongArtistNumber of requestsPercentage of couples
1.PerfectEd Sheeran37616.3%
2.All of MeJohn Legend34915.2%
3.Can’t Help Falling in LoveElvis Presley27712.0%
4.Thinking Out LoudEd Sheeran23510.2%
5.I’m YoursJason Mraz1998.7%
6.Make You Feel My LoveAdele1858.0%
7.SeptemberEarth, Wind and Fire1757.6%
8.At LastEtta James1667.2%
9.Marry You Bruno Mars1607.0%
10.Isn’t She LovelyStevie Wonder1556.7%

The most featured songs on wedding Spotify playlists

Encore Musicians also comprehensively analysed Spotify data, reviewing almost one thousand playlists with the word “wedding” in their titles. The purpose was to identify the most commonly featured songs on Spotify wedding playlists. This extensive review encompassed 55,182 unique songs and 16,410 artists.

Bruno Mars’ catchy tune ‘Marry You’ emerged as the most popular song on wedding playlists, appearing on a remarkable 19.4% of wedding playlists on Spotify. Whitney Houston’s iconic 1987 hit ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ ranks second, featuring on 16.8% of wedding playlists.

Securing the third position is Ed Sheeran’s heartfelt ballad ‘Perfect’, which found its way onto an impressive 14.4% of wedding playlists. Not far behind, WALK THE MOON’s energetic anthem ‘Shut Up and Dance’ ranks in fourth place, featuring on 14.1% of playlists.

Black Eyed Peas’ infectious hit ‘I Got a Feeling’ is in fifth place, appearing on 13.7% of playlists. ABBA’s timeless classic ‘Dancing Queen’ ranks in sixth place, featuring on 13.6% of wedding playlists.

Ed Sheeran makes another appearance with his soulful track ‘Thinking Out Loud’, earning the seventh position, appearing in 13.4% of wedding playlists. Usher’s hit song, ‘Yeah’ ranks eighth, while Beyonce’s 2003 hit, ‘Crazy in Love’ ranks ninth, both songs being perfect to dance the night away to during a reception.

Tied in tenth position are OutKast’s catchy ‘Hey Ya!’ and Jason Mraz’s heartfelt ‘I’m Yours’, both featuring on 12.4% of playlists.

RankingSongArtistNumber of playlists it featured onPercentage of playlists it featured on
1.Marry YouBruno Mars19419.42%
2.I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)Whitney Houston16816.82%
3.PerfectEd Sheeran14414.41%
4.Shut Up and DanceWALK THE MOON14014.01%
5.I Gotta FeelingBlack Eyed Peas13713.71%
6.Dancing QueenABBA13613.61%
7.Thinking Out LoudEd Sheeran13413.41%
8.Yeah!Usher (feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris)13313.31%
9.Crazy In Love Beyoncé (feat. Jay Z)12912.91%
10.Hey Ya!OutKast12412.41%
I’m YoursJason Mraz12412.41%

Our analysis of song requests from Encore customers provides a fascinating deep-dive into UK wedding music trends in 2023, and shows just how timeless some songs can be. It’s particularly interesting to note how influential the period from 2008 – 2017 was, with six of the Top Ten First Dance Songs being released in that time. It seems that no song released since 2017 has had a strong enough influence on couples getting married to break into the top ten! 

This would make sense, given the average age of first-time newlyweds in the UK is 30.6 for women and 32.1 for men, so these songs were big when couples were coming of age in their late teens and early twenties. 

Intellifluence on The Table Read Magazine
Intellifluence

It’s also fascinating to see a 30-year gap between 1978 when “September” was released, and 2008 when “I’m Yours” and “Make You Feel My Love” were released. No song in that 30-year period managed to steal the hearts of British newlyweds in 2023 enough to qualify for their first dance!

This is also reflected in the Spotify playlist data, with the most recent song in the top ten being Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” released in 2017. There’s also a similar gap between 1987 (Whitney) and 2003 (OutKast and Beyoncé).

Our prediction for 2024 is that hit songs from 2018–2020 start to break into these lists, from artists such as Harry Styles, George Ezra, Lewis Capaldi, Ariana Grande, The 1975, and Shawn Mendes.

-James McAulay, Founder and CEO of EncoreMusicians.com

The study was conducted by EncoreMusicians.com, the UK’s largest musician bookings platform. Encore makes it easy to find and book incredible bands, DJs and musicians, and has helped nearly 50,000 people book live musicians for their parties, weddings and corporate events since 2016. 

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