As a professional in the wedding industry, I've seen a LOT of first dances! While most couples choose traditional and timeless songs, I know there are plenty of brides out there who are looking for something a little more unconventional. From a personal standpoint, I'd be fine if I never had to hear Lonestar's Amazed or Etta James' "At Last" at a wedding reception again. (Not that they are bad songs, just overplayed.) Here is my own personal list of the best alternate/indie love songs (in no particular order):
Bright Eyes - "First Day of my Life" Such a sweet, simple tune with amazing lyrics. (And different from the average Bright Eyes song, if you're not a Conor Oberst fan.) Love is a new birth, a new beginning.
"Yours was the first face that I saw / I think I was blind before I met you / I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been / But I know where I want to go"
The Weakerthans - "The Reasons" This has been my favorite love song ever since I was introduced to it a few years ago. It's not mushy-gushy, or even very sentimental at all - it's a love song for the practical couple.
"I know you might roll your eyes at this / But I'm so glad that you exist"
Athlete - "Half Light" Make the most of your love! There's a lot of honest emotion in this song without being too cheesy or cliché.
"So when I see you next we'll make the most of it / Tell the sun to start moving again / The taste of your kiss I've still got on my lips / And I'll take you there with me"
Postal Service - "Such Great Heights" This song has gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years, but I don't think it's diminished the value at all. Very upbeat, it describes the awe in finding that one person who is your perfect complement, and missing her when she's not around.
"I am thinking it's a sign/ That the freckles in our eyes / Are mirror images and when we kiss / They're perfectly aligned"
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Hard to Concentrate" I loved this song from the second I first heard it. The beat is great and the lyrics deliver. One of my personal favorites from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Not only does this song scream love, it moves even deeper into the theme of marriage.
"All I want is for you to be happy / And, take this woman and make you my family / And, finally you have found someone perfect"
Death Cab for Cutie - "I will Follow You Into the Dark" This song speaks of death so it seems like a weird choice for a wedding perhaps, but what says true love more than dying with your partner? Haha. No, in reality I think it's about growing old with each other, and staying together through the most uncertain times, even into the greatest uncertainty (death).
"Love of mine / Someday you will die / But I'll be close behind / I'll follow you into the dark"
Old 97's - "Question" A cute song about a marriage proposal. How can you say no to that?
"Some day somebody's gonna ask you / A question that you should say yes to / Once in your life / Maybe tonight I've got a question for you"
Coldplay - "Fix You" This one's about being there for someone who has gone through a lot. Love enduring trials - what more could you want from a wedding song? It's too overplayed to really be considered indie/alternative, but I love it anyway.
"Lights will guide you home / And ignite your bones / And I will try to fix you"
The Afters - "Beautiful Love" This song sounds and reads a bit more like a mainstream top 40 song (pretty catchy, rather cheesy) but it's hard not to like.
"Maybe a greater thing will happen / Maybe all will see / Maybe our love will catch like fire / As it burns through me"
Aqualung - "Brighter Than Sunshine" A bright and happy song about recovering from heartbreak and being willing to risk it all again for love.
"Love will remain a mystery, / But give me your hand and you will see, / Your heart is keeping time with me"
Snow Patrol - "Chasing Cars" I'm a sucker for any tune that starts off slow but has a nice build to the chorus. This song captures that feeling of being lost in a perfect moment with the one you love.
"I don't quite know how to say how I feel / Those three words, are said too much, they're not enough"
Ben Folds - "The Luckiest" The piano and strings add a haunting element to the beginning of this song, but don't let that fool you! Sweeter and more earnest songs are hard to find.
"And where was I before the day / That I first saw your lovely face? / Now I see it every day / And I know / That I am, I am / I am the luckiest"
Iron & Wine - "Love and Some Verses" Lots of beautiful acoustic guitar and a soft voice make this a tender choice. People are always changing, but he wants to be a part of her life forever.
"Love is a dress that you made long / To hide your knees / Love to say this to your face / I'll love you only"