10 Best Sam Cooke Wedding Songs for a Perfect Celebration

Wedding songs to capture the romantic and celebratory mood are an art form. And where this art form is concerned, few artists are as much a virtuoso as Sam Cooke. The man was known for such powerful and soul-soothing lyrics and vocals that he is also called ‘Mr Soul.’ And did you know? He was also a civil rights figure—more on that later.

Anyway, while his big, round, and velvety voice may have gifted us with many melodies, many people particularly like his romantic melodies.  And if you are planning for that special day, you will almost certainly find Sam Cooke’s sounds an elixir worth giving yourself and your guests. 

That’s why we have made this post just for you. Reading on, you will learn some interesting things about this musical genius. You will also see our picks for the ten best Sam Cooke wedding songs that will make your wedding the perfect celebration of love that it should be. And so, let’s talk about a legend.

A Brief Tale of Cooke

Samuel Cooke’s influence on the global music industry has been phenomenal, the man having inspired generations of musicians to hone their art. But how do you get an artist of this calibre?

Sam Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, but would later relocate with his parents to Chicago. There, he would start singing as a child, eventually joining a gospel music band aptly named ‘The Soul Stirrers’ in the 50s. 

The young artist would go solo in 1957, in which year he released his hit single, ‘You Send Me.’ He would then go on to a stellar musical career that would contribute to the emergence of other legends like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder. 

But aside from his work in musical circles, Cooke also contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement, using his influence in both black and white communities to campaign for racial equality. 

Unfortunately, his time would be cut short when, in 1964, he was shot dead by the Manageress of a motel in Los Angeles. Though it was deemed a ‘justifiable homicide,’ the causative circumstances have been disputed by Cooke’s family. 

Top 10 Sam Cooke Wedding Songs

Cooke’s music offers a refreshing blend of blues, gospel, rhythm & blues, and pop that you will absolutely enjoy. Here are his ten best ones for your wedding ceremony.

You will also like these powerful hits for the ultimate play list on your big occasion:

1. “You Send Me”

Memorable lyrics from the song: “At first I thought it was infatuation/ But woo, it’s lasted so long/ Now I find myself wanting/ To marry you and take you home, whoa-oh”

When Cooke dropped this song in 1957, it became a massive hit, reaching number 1 on two billboard lists. Odds are, this song may have played at the wedding of one or more of your older relatives—just ask and see.

Now, the song gives off some of that retro vibe—it’s a fifties song, after all. However, it is still very playable today, as indicated by the fact that people still play it, and it’s among the 500 greatest songs of all time. It will make a great bridal entrance song, especially when played to a multi-generational audience.

2. “Wonderful World”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “I see them bloom/ For me and you/ And I think to myself/ What a wonderful world.”

This song was written by a team of songwriters but had its lyrics revised by Mr Soul himself. He would then render it to much acclaim from fans and critics alike. 

Though not unlike most Sam Cooke wedding songs in the relevant regard, this song is a particularly reflective one. It’s a song that appreciates the beautiful things in life, and its iconic first verse declares that these ‘bloom…for me and you.” Is there a more perfect song for that wonderful beach or garden wedding, especially for recession dances?

3. “Twistin’ the Night Away”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “Here they have a lot of fun/ Puttin’ trouble on the run/ Man, you find the old and young/ Twistin’ the night away.”

Cooke recorded this song in 1962 with The Wrecking Crew as session musicians. Naturally, it peaked at the top ten, even on two of Billboard’s lists, and would later be re-recorded by artists like Jerry Goldsmith and Rod Stewart. 

This is a great toe-tapping song for wedding receptions, and you might be surprised what dance moves it resurrects from any relatives who lived in the sixties. Even better, play it in the later hours, when everyone has had some good food and drink.

4. “Cupid”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “Cupid draw back your bow/ And let your arrow go/ Straight to my lover’s heart for me, for me.”

Cooke’s production team had asked him to write a love song for a female singer; then, they heard this song of his and had him scrap that. He did ‘Cupid’ instead, and it totally surpassed expectations. 

It arguably takes the cake as the most relatable Sam Cooke love song, as it is a song about a hopeful lover. 

5. “Nothing Can Change This Love”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “I know, I know…..That nothing, nothing, nothing can ever/ Change the love I have for you.”

This song was another smashing success for the King of Soul, later released as part of his 1963 album, ‘Mr Soul.’ It took him two recording sessions to get it right; the last one was just after midnight, a few hours before it was time to go on tour again. It affirms love that will stay in the face of every challenge, and it’s a great number to sway to at your wedding reception.

6. “Having a Party”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “Keep those records playin’/ ‘Cause I’m a-havin’ such a good time/ Dancin’ with my baby.”

It IS a party, after all—a party to celebrate love and union. So, what better tune for the moment than Cooke’s hearty party song? According to the recording engineer, when this song was produced, it was a happy studio session. 

It would later become a staple at Cooke’s concerts, typically played at the end while the backstage crew heightened the mood with some confetti. Similarly, this would make a great song for some hearty arm-in-arm jigging with your new spouse.

7. “Bring it On Home to Me”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “If you ever change your mind/ About leaving, leaving me behind/ Baby, bring it to me.”

This song was produced as a B-side to ‘Having a Party,’ and it enjoyed much acclaim. In fact, it was such a memorable song that it has had several re-renditions by artists in almost every music genre, has been used in many commercials, and is even a soundtrack on some major movies, such as ‘Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4.’ This song, we recommend as an awesome number for wedding reception dances.

8. “Summertime”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “It’s summertime and the living is easy/ Fish are jumping and the cotton is high.”

If you first thought of the similarly-begun song by Lana Del Rey, you weren’t too far off from the one by Sam Cooke. He recorded different versions of it from Porgy and Bess, the musical. The faster tempo of it seems more popular, however. Both the fast and slow tempos are great for wedding dances, the faster one being especially great for outdoor weddings in the summer.

9. “For Sentimental Reasons”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “I love you/ For sentimental reasons/ I hope you do believe me.”

This is a very popular song by Ivory ‘Deek’ Watson and William ‘Pat’ Best. And if you want to hear a sublime soul version, turn to Sam Cooke. The song expresses the understanding that love is a feeling we have, and there is no need to give it a rational reason. It’s a great dance song that will resonate with listeners from any generation, even your younger relatives.

10. “Desire Me”

Memorable Lyrics from the song: “That’s all I’ll ever ask of life/ That you will someday come to me/ And say that you love me as I love you.”

This song was released in 1960, and it peaked at 17th on the US RnB billboards. It’s the perfect song to express the desire of everyone to be desired by another. And on a special day when two people who desire each other finally come together, it’s the perfect number for a couple’s dance.


Here are some common questions about Sam Cooke wedding songs.

What is the most popular Sam Cooke wedding song?

It’s hard to tell which of Cooke’s wedding songs is the most popular, but ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘You Send Me’ almost certainly tie for that spot.

Are there other popular wedding songs by Sam Cooke?

Aside from the ones we’ve talked about, there are other great Sam Cooke wedding melodies,  such as ‘Just for You,’ ‘Lovable,’ and ‘Love Will Find A Way.’

Can I play Sam Cooke’s wedding songs at an engagement party?

Sam Cooke’s wedding songs are also great for engagement parties, especially the slower-tempo ones.  They also suit basically any wedding style, except culturally-oriented ones.


Music helps us render our deepest feelings and ideals into beautiful melodies that soothe the soul and create memorable celebrations. And who better to bring the power of good music to bear on your wedding occasion than Mr Soul himself?

You can never go wrong with any of these Sam Cooke wedding songs, as each is perfect for the moment. You will find that they work well for almost any kind of wedding ceremony you’re having. And it gets better: you can always hire a great vocalist to render these songs to a different but similarly awesome effect.

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