There aren’t many better ways to celebrate Black joy and excellence on a wedding day, than making sure you’re playing music by some of the greatest black artists ever.
Whether you’re walking down the aisle or having your first dance, our list of the best Black wedding songs has you covered.
Black Wedding Reception Entrance Songs
Let’s start with the best songs for making an impactful entrance at a black wedding.
1. “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean
Song year: 2012
With a heartbreaking falsetto and ethereal production, Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You” is a soulful and contemplative song to set a loving tone for the wedding reception.
The song is a more modern choice that will satisfy hip couples and romantics alike, with the light percussion and chiming guitars marking the momentous occasion.
2. “Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington Jr. ft. Bill Withers
Song year: 1980
Jazz musician Grover Washington Jr. teamed up with soulful crooner Bill Withers for the classic song of devotion, “Just the Two of Us.”
The song’s romantic sentiments and slow build are enthusiastic and energetic while grounded enough for the reception’s measured entrance. Just be sure to fade this one out before the spirited sax solo at the end.
3. “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
Song year: 1978
Earth, Wind & Fire’s hit single “September” is a spirited slice of R&B. The song is the perfect complement to a flash-mob-style reception entrance.
The song is a burst of pure joy and nostalgia that is welcome any time of year, and you can rest assured that everyone at the wedding is expecting to hear it.
4. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Song year: 1967
No wedding is complete without a little Motown. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountian High Enough” is a beautiful and soulful song dedicated to the power of love.
This track has a slow build that creates anticipation as the wedding party arrives while packing enough Motown punch to inject youthful energy into the proceedings.
5. “No One (Acoustic)” by Alicia Keys
Song year: 2007
Alicia Keys’ Grammy-winning single “No One” is a powerful proclamation of love that recognizes how special a significant other is regardless of what others say or think.
The acoustic version of the song is well suited for a wedding, though the original’s boom-bap drum beat would be a fun alternative for wedding receptions that want to dance their way down the aisle.
6. “So High” by John Legend
Song year: 2004
A song about a strong so love it keeps your head in the clouds, John Legend’s “So High” is a beautiful piano ballad that captures the joy of a wedding like few others can.
The song has a powerful crescendo that can be embraced or faded out before the bride walks down the aisle.
7. “So Amazing” by Luther Vandross
Song year: 1986
Luther Vandross’ ’80s slow jam “So Amazing” is a deep groove ballad that will set a joyful and romantic tone from its first notes.
The song is a classic choice for weddings because of its positive and beautiful sentiments of love delivered with Vandross’ smooth croon. As soon as “So Amazing” starts, hearts will stop.
Black Wedding Songs To Walk Down The Aisle
The bride walking down the aisle is the showstopper of every wedding. All eyes are on this singularly beautiful moment, so it’s essential to make sure the music matches this tone.
Thankfully, R&B is tailor-made for this expression of love, and the best songs for walking down the aisle are full of black excellence.
1. “For You” by Kenny Lattimore
Song year: 1996
’90s R&B balladeer Kenny Lattimore’s “For You” encapsulates the sweeping emotions of love as he sings to the object of his affection.
From its soft instrumentation to the references to unconditional love and marriage, there are few songs better suited to accompany the bride down the aisle than this classic slow jam.
2. “I Believe In You And Me” by Whitney Houston
Song year: 1996
Soft synthesizers and the angelic voice of Whitney Houston make the song “I Believe In You and Me” heavenly sounding. Initially recorded for The Preacher’s Wife, the track has become a wedding standard.
The song’s promises of unconditional love are a beautiful complement to the moment a bride walks down the aisle to make her own.
3. “Back At One” by Brian McKnight
Song year: 1999
Brian McKnight’s “Back at One” is a classic end-of-the-century R&B single. The song’s catchy chorus and smooth vocals made it a hit internationally, making it immediately recognizable and nostalgic for every wedding guest.
The song is a beautiful declaration of love that mirrors wedding vows by promising a life of devotion and affection.
4. “All My Life” by K-Ci & JoJo
Song year: 1998
With a delicate piano intro giving way to lush strings, K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life” is a beautifully arranged R&B song tailor-made for weddings.
With a passionate set of lyrics about life-long commitment delivered with conviction, few songs better highlight the wondrous occasion of marriage than “All My Life.”
5. “I Gotta Be” by Jagged Edge
Song year: 1998
Jagged Edge’s “I Gotta Be” mentions vows right in the lyrics, so you know they had their sites on marriage with this soulful, synth-heavy ballad.
This song’s ethereal backing track paves the way for tight vocal harmonies that allude to marriage, making it a meaningful choice for the walk down the aisle.
6. “Have You Ever” by Brandy
Song year: 1998
Brandy sings about a love so strong that it becomes all-encompassing in her single “Have You Ever?”
The singer’s rhetorical questions of love highlight her passion, resulting in a soaring torch song. The track’s tempo is well suited for a walk down the aisle and gives the singer’s question a resounding answer.
7. “Why I Love You” by Major.
Song year: 2016
Major. sings about the overwhelming feelings of reciprocated love in his modern R&B ballad “Why I Love You.”
The song’s plain-spoken lyrics make its grand romanticism even more epic and sentimental. With its lyrics, beautiful piano playing, and orchestral flourishes, this song will have everyone grabbing for the tissues.
Best Black First Dance Songs
The first dance is the last bit of spotlight on the sanctity of your wedding day before everyone cuts loose on the dance floor.
The song choice for a first dance will vary based on each couple’s unique style, but there are plenty of options to choose from by our best Black artists.
1. “At Last” by Etta James
Song year: 1960
Etta James’ “At Last” is as classic as love songs come, and it has become part of the wedding music canon over the last six decades.
From the first vocal note, the warmth and power of James’ voice wrap around the listener like a lover’s embrace, which makes the song an ideal choice for a first dance.
2. “Got Me One (Good Man)” by Keke Wyatt
Song year: 2010
Keke Wyatt has finally found a good man, and she wants the world to know in her single “Got Me One (Good Man).”
After the journey of awkward dates and failed relationships is over, it’s a great feeling to realize that you’re dancing with “the one.” Wyatt’s track captures this emotion like no other.
3. “By Your Side” by Sade
Song year: 2000
Sade promises unconditional devotion in her track “By Your Side.” With ’60s inspired horns and a ’90s beat, the song lulls the listener into a loving comfort.
As the lyrics read like a set of vows, the song is a fitting first dance for the bride and groom.
4. “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos
Song year: 1959
The Flamingos’ “I Only Have Eyes for You” is widely considered one of the best songs ever, with doo-wop vocal harmonies and staccato piano playing that would be enchanting in any era.
The song’s lyrics of love and devotion are the cherry on top of one of the most sublime songs ever, making it an excellent first dance song.
5. “Overjoyed” by Stevie Wonder
Song year: 1985
“Overjoyed” finds Stevie Wonder overcome with emotion at his dreams of love coming true. The song takes the funky quality of Wonder’s best work and manages to work it into a ballad.
The result is a heartfelt song about finding true romance that makes for a unique first dance.
6. “Everything” by Mary J. Blige
Song year: 1997
With everyone’s eyes on your first dance, Mary J. Blige’s “Everything” is a reminder that your only focus is your dancing partner.
The unique sound of this track, coupled with its loving lyrics, makes it a more modern option for a first dance without veering too far outside the traditional wedding atmosphere.
7. “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding
Song year: 1965
With so many loving songs to choose from, the undeniable devotion of Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” remains as vital today as it was over five decades ago.
Over a soulfully swaying backing band, Redding lays out his love’s dedication in grandiose terms. This song is perfect for losing yourself in someone else’s gaze.
Best Black Dance Songs
After the vows, the speeches, and a couple of glasses of champagne, it’s high time to get on the dancefloor and shake it.
Dancing is a beautiful expression of Black culture and joy. With so many great R&B and hip-hop songs, the only issue will be narrowing the dance playlist down!
1. “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston
Song year: 1987
Whitney Houston’s ’80s dance-pop hit, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” is a sure-fire wedding dancefloor favorite.
The song’s infectious groove and catchy melody beg the listener to dance. With Houston’s passionate lyrical appeal to find a dancing partner, the song’s metaphor for lasting relationships is apt for a wedding.
2. “Lady” by D’Angelo
Song year: 1995
D’Angelo’s neo-soul sound always has a deep, laidback groove that manages to be funky enough to get everyone dancing. His single “Lady” uses handclaps and plodding bass to lay the groundwork for a song of devotion.
Dance playlists need to have variation between bangers and slow jams. “Lady” is the perfect track to throw in to mix things up.
3. “Amen” by Anthony Hamilton
Song year: 2016
With gospel-tinged love lyrics over a light trap beat, Anthony Hamilton is rejoicing in his lover with style and substance in his single, “Amen.”
Songs like “Amen” remind us of the otherworldly and spiritual nature of romance while still managing to get us on the floor and shaking what our mothers gave us.
4. “Fantasy” by Mariah Carey
Song year: 1995
Mariah Carey’s impossibly catchy throwback jam “Fantasy” is a crowd-pleaser regardless of your age. The song remains just as popular today as it did in ’95 when it debuted at the top spot on the Billboard chart.
Its quirky new wave sample and sweet as honey vocals will have everyone rushing to the dancefloor.
5. “Good Times” by Chic
Song year: 1979
Chic’s disco-laced funk classic “Good Times” is a crowd-pleaser. Whether you love its nostalgic quality and funky bassline or the hip-hop songs that have sampled it, everyone will recognize this dancefloor staple.
Not only is this song impossible not to dance to, but its lyrics are extolling all of the joy your friends and families are celebrating.
6. “Shotgun” by Jr. Walker & the All Stars
Song year: 1965
Play Jr. Walker & the All Stars’ “Shotgun” at your wedding, and you’ll be amazed at the moves that the older crowd will unleash. This Motown classic is undeniably catchy, and Jr. Walker tears the roof off with his ragged vocals and saxophone tone.
This crowd-pleaser is an old-school example of the undeniable impact that Black artists have had on American music.
Top Black Wedding Songs, Final Thoughts
Your wedding day is one of the most lovely and important days of your life. While you share the day with all of the strong Black men and women that made you into the person you are, it’s fitting to include a soundtrack of the best Black song to punctuate the occasion.
Celebrate your joy and love with our list of the best Black wedding songs. These are the good times!