Imagine it: sand, surf, sunset, and your beloved walking down the aisle at your picturesque beach wedding. But what do you hear? Choosing the right song for your big day is a special art form. Music is key to enhancing the romance and spectacle of any nuptial celebration.
With so many beach wedding songs out there, which are the best for your own seaside celebration? From pop to rock, 1960s to today, beach songs span genres, styles, and eras. The right choice can lend the perfect note to your festivities.
Read on for the ten best beach wedding songs to choose from.
Top Ten Beach Wedding Songs
Check out our other favorite tunes for the ultimate play list on your wedding day:
1. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys
Best lyric: “Oh, we could be married (oh, we could be married) / And then we’d be happy (and then we’d be happy) / Oh, wouldn’t it be nice?”
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” was the opening track on The Beach Boys’ 1966 hit album “Pet Sounds” and expresses the protagonist’s desperation to live a more “adult” life. This song is a perfect fit, and not just because “Beach” is in the band’s name!
Among the adult things that the singer thinks “would be nice” are the simple joys that come with married life.
This upbeat, jaunty tune chanting the joys of wedded bliss is perfect to play as the happy couple walks back up the aisle as a married pair.
2. “Is This Love” – Bob Marley and The Wailers
Best Lyrics: “We’ll be together / With a roof right over our heads / We’ll share the shelter / Of my single bed”
Reggae legend Bob Marley is synonymous with island life. This slow 1978 piece he recorded with The Wailers is all about the beauty of eternal partnership. He repeats the following throughout, with reverence almost like a prayer:
This sweet preview of a partnership-to-be is perfect to play as wedding guests take their seats right before the ceremony begins!
3. “I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
Best Lyrics: “But I won’t hesitate, no more, no more / It cannot wait, I’m yours.” Sounds just like a wedding vow, no? The sentiment of the song encourages one to declare their devotion.
Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” hit the charts in 2008 and the singer-songwriter noted that it’s about “generosity.” In other words, giving of yourself. The song features a breezy ukulele background that transports listeners to a peaceful island setting.
4. “Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World” – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
Best Lyrics: “And the dreams that you dreamed of / Dreams really do come true.” Hopefully, this beach wedding is the manifestation of your dreams!
Everyone knows this iconic 1990 mashup by the late Hawaiian artist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, and it’s hard not to imagine a sweet, wistful island sunset scene when you hear it.
The beachy sound is obvious, and the lyrics themselves speak to the exact dream world one hopes is beginning at a wedding celebration!
5. “Better Together” – Jack Johnson
Best Lyrics: Even when he touching on the uncertainties of life, he always comes back to the main refrain: “I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together.” Imagine a sweet first dance to this song!
This 2005 single from laidback crooner Jack Johnson is the sonic equivalent of a romantic walk on the beach. And the lyrics are infused with nostalgia for time spent with his lover, with a look toward the future together as well.
6. “Forever” – Ben Harper
Best Lyrics “So give me your forever / Please your forever / Not a day less will do / From you.”
The name of this 1994 song says it all: the singer is tired of short relationships and is in it for the long haul. Just like you and your loved one! The low-key acoustics and meandering, heartfelt melody make a perfect backing track to a couple’s slow-dance in the spotlight.
7. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves
Best Lyrics: “Walking on sunshine, woooah / And don’t it feel good! / Hey!”
“Walking on Sunshine” was the lead single on Katrina and the Waves’ self-titled 1985 album and speaks to the joy of finding true love.
The quick tempo gives a burst of energy that is great for a fun entrance – perhaps the bridal party entering the reception after a job well done on a sunshine-drenched beach?
8. “Watermelon Sugar” – Harry Styles
Best Lyrics: Tastes like strawberries / On a summer evenin’ / And it sounds just like a song” will have everyone feeling floaty and fine…and maybe craving another piece of that delicious wedding cake.
The subtext of former One Direction-er Harry Styles’ 2019 banger “Watermelon Sugar” may be a little racy, but don’t worry, it will fly right over the head of the mother-of-the-bride.
With its laidback beat, sexy undertones, and joyful ode to everyone’s favorite Summer fruit, this song is bound to get all your friends grooving on the dance floor.
9. “Cake by the Ocean” – DNCE
Best Lyrics: “I-I-I-I-I-I keep on hopin’ we’ll eat cake by the ocean!”
When Joe Jonas created his dance-rock band DNCE, his intention wasn’t to make a song about dessert. In fact, rumor has it that the title “Cake by the Ocean” refers to a confused drinker’s attempt to order a “Sex on the Beach” at the bar. And the euphemism throughout DNCE’s 2015 debut single is clear!
While you may not want to encourage guests to get that friendly at your beach wedding venue, you can still play this absolute banger of a dance song right at the moment you serve actual cake by the ocean! By the time the deliciousness arrives, guests will be singing along.
10. “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
Best Lyrics: Sí, sabes que ya llevo un rato mirándote/Tengo que bailar contigo hoy,” which means “Yes, you know I have been looking at you for a while / I have to dance with you today.”
According to co-writer Luis Fonsi, 2017’s “Despacito” was originally supposed to be a romantic ballad, before he brought in reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee to bring some upbeat, sexy spice. Have the DJ queue this one up when it’s time for the dancing to get serious!
What wedding guest can resist a call to the dance floor?
Whether you’re bopping to The Beach Boys or Harry Styles, you have an amazing range of summary tunes to choose from. Pop on the playlist, dance down the aisle, and enjoy a romantic celebration set to these fun and meaningful 10 beach wedding songs.
What is the best beach wedding song?
That’s a question each couple must answer for themselves, but “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys hits the perfect blend of theme and sound for a sunny big day.
Which moments in a wedding need special music?
Again, it’s up to the couple. But traditionally, there is a special song for the bride coming down the aisle, the couple going up the aisle together, the entrance of the wedding party, and the couple’s first dance.
Can these songs work for other events?
Sure! All of them have a beachy and/or party sound – and some are more romantic than others.