2015 is just around the corner, and I’ve been compiling my predictions for next year’s wedding trends. Music is one of my favorite topics—other than the dresses, of course—and I noticed something interesting as I analyzed the trends. It seems like modern wedding songs are actually remakes of the classics. I know how difficult it can be to create a unique playlist, so what’s the solution? Covers! Don’t throw away those crowd pleasers, but find a cover that will surprise everyone. From oldies like “Sweet Child O’Mine” to club favorites like “We Found Love”, we have a list of the best new takes on traditional tunes.
1. “At Last” by Jason Mraz
Original by Etta James
So many couples have danced to this classic since Etta James originally sang it in 1961, and it’s no wonder. If you need to hear this as you place a hand on your partner’s waist, try the acoustic version from the king of lyricism, Jason Mraz.
2. “You’re My Best Friend” by The Once
Original by Queen
We were all obsessing over Lauren Conrad’s big day, but I fell in love with her first dance song. The charming cover opens with a banjo (major plus) and the sweet harmonies of this indie folk group. If you’re having an outdoor reception, imagine it playing as you share your first steps under the stars.
3. “L-O-V-E” by Joss Stone
Original by Nat King Cole
This four-letter word has been sung by some of the greats, but I love the upbeat twist Joss Stone gives it. If you prefer grooving with your new spouse over slow dancing, this is the perfect choice.
4. “XO” by John Mayer
Original by Beyoncé
XO may not be a “classic” but I couldn’t pass up this popular wedding song
. Almost immediately after the Queen B released her self-titled album, John Mayer put his musical genius to the test. I think it’d be a killer processional.
5. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Ben Rector
Original by Whitney Houston
This has to be one of my favorite covers of all time! Ben Rector is still a small name in music, but his rendition of Whitney’s hit showcased his talents. I don’t care when you use this—just use it.
6. “You’re the One that I Want” by The Lennings
Original from Grease
While I love the original, this slower indie alternative is surprisingly romantic. I originally heard it on NBC’s Parenthood and thought it would be lovely for a first dance.
7. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Taken by Trees
Original by Guns ‘N’ Roses
This anthem plays at nearly every reception, so why not shock your guests with a modern approach? Taken by the Trees puts some charm into their rendition, and I think it makes for a fun parent dance.
8. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by Sleeping at Last
Original by Kenny and the Scots
I know this one-hit-wonder is supposed to be upbeat, but the message has so much meaning behind it! One of my personal favorites, this would be the ultimate (and unique) first dance song.
9. “We Found Love” by Tyler Ward
Original by Rhianna
This YouTube star has covered dozens of hits, but I think his take on Rhianna’s 2011 single is extremely creative. He’s slowed down the tempo, added some incredible harmonies, and replaced the bass with his guitar. The result? A romantic melody for a slow dance.
10. “The Way You Look Tonight” by Harry Connick, Jr.
Original by Fred Astaire
This has to be one of my favorite songs of all time, so it will have to be played on my big day. But I can’t ignore its popularity! That’s why I’ve looked for updates on the classic, and landed on Harry Connick, Jr.’s version. It still has the smooth factor you find in the original, but he’s added a big band feel.
11. “If I Ain’t Got You” by Maroon 5
Original by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys can’t be topped, but Adam Levine puts his musicality to the test when he sings her hit live. Don’t worry, he gives Keys a shout out when the applause begins. His version is available on Hands all Over
, the deluxe edition.
12. “Ho Hey” by the Nashville cast
Original by The Lumineers
I think we’ve all heard this adorable arrangement by now. Lennon and Maisy Stella, real life sisters who also play siblings on Nashville
, perform difficult harmonies—and make it look easy. The interpretation has been used by a few brides and grooms, so snag this modern wedding song quick.
13. “Is This Love” by Corinne Bailey Rae
Original by Bob Marley
Who knew a reggae hit could be so romantic? When Corinne Bailey Rae does it, it’s definitely possible. She pays tribute to the legend, but her portrayal is smooth and jazzy—exactly what you want for a romantic sway with your spouse.
14. “How Sweet it Is” by Julia Stone
Original by James Taylor
Yum—I love this depiction of James Taylor’s hit. It’s easy and sweet—exactly how Taylor would have wanted it. I think this could be romantic processional or first dance. What do you think?
15. “Let’s Stay Together” by Obadiah Parker
Original by Al Green
Obadiah Parker does it again with his acoustic portrayal of this groovy (might I say sexy…) Al Green tune. You still feel yourself dip and sway as his voice comes through the speakers, but grab your partner and share the romance with them.
Share your list of wedding songs!
Have you found covers of wedding hits? Or maybe you prefer the classics? Share your ideas in a comment below! My love playlist can never be too long.
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