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London man and X-Factor finalist Andy Abraham has named his top 10 songs to perform at weddings, alongside advice for those planning their special day.
As a platinum-selling artist, former X Factor finalist Andy Abraham is no stranger to using his singing talents to bring an uplifting touch to special occasions.
Bursting to fame on the hit ITV show in 2005, he won the hearts of the nation with his renditions of romantic classics such as 'Greatest Love of All' and 'When I Fall in Love'.
Now with five hit albums and a successful nationwide Nat King Cole Songbook tour under his belt, Andy is something of an expert when comes to capturing the mood with music. His soulful voice, which took him straight to the top of the album charts, has wowed many a wedding reception, ensuring each couple's special day lives long in the memory.
Here, he gives us his favourite 10 songs, which he guarantees will create a wonderful romantic atmosphere for the perfect wedding day...
1) The Impossible Dream (Andy Williams) – This one holds a special place in my heart, as I'm sure it does for many. It's a beautiful message about chasing your goals, undeterred by anything or anyone else. It's why I chose it to be the title track on my debut album, charting my own journey to fame. Everyone at one time has thought of someone as their 'dream girl' or 'guy' that they would do anything for. It's why it is the perfect wedding song and I personally love singing it.
2) Ain't No Stopping Us Now (McFadden and Whitehead) – Preparing for a wedding can be stressful, no matter how much you are looking forward to spending your lives together! That's why this dance classic really allows everyone to kick back and relax. The lyrics also sum up everyone's journey to this happy moment, full of optimism for the future. What's more, it's sure to have everyone young and old up on the dancefloor!
3) Stay For Life (Andy Abraham) – This is my original song which I wrote about being at the altar myself and taking my vows. It's really chilled, upbeat and was inspired by my beautiful wife Denise. It's very personal but it also captures how people feel looking into their partner's eyes on what is a very special day. Definitely one for slowing things down after a few uptempo tracks.
4) Let There Be Love (Nat King Cole) – One straight from the Nat King Cole Songbook. Soulful, playful and with a great piano score, it has spawned many covers and interpretations over the years, as well as featuring on a few catchy TV ads! But primarily, this is a lovely romantic song, which I like to use to set the mood early on for something more uptempo later.
5) No One Could Love You Half As Much As Me (Andy Abraham) – This one is a grand expression of love, wrapped up in an emotional ballad. It's another personal one of mine, from my debut album, and has all the yearning, longing and passion that makes for a great love song. If there's anyone in the room with any special feelings to declare, now's your time!
6) Even If (Andy Abraham) – My Eurovision entry got lost amongst the politics of the occasion, but I was happy with the positivity it received back home. It's a high tempo love song with a touch of soul thrown in there, great for sticking on and keeping the party going.
7) Me & Mrs Jones (Billy Paul) – This track changed my whole life when I performed it on the X Factor. Like all great songs, it paints a lyrical picture, which is boosted by the melody that conjures up that special something we can all feel. It remains one of the most romantic love songs of all time!
8) When You Love Someone (Andy Abraham) – Here is another song that I love performing. It's an original track but feels like it was written and performed straight out of the golden era of soul. I have Eliot Kennedy to thank for that, a great musician that has worked with the likes of Bryan Adams and the Spice Girls.As he puts it: "It's about how brilliant it is to be in love - everything is more colourful, the sunshine's brighter and the world seems more beautiful." It's a feeling that makes you want to shout out the name of the one you love, and what could be more fitting for a wedding?
9) Can't Take My Eyes Off You (Frankie Valli) – From its sweepingly romantic lyrics to its sensual backing track, this one is an absolute shoo-in for a first dance. Everyone knows it, loves it, so much so that it has become part of our popular culture, featuring in loads of films, TV shows and adverts.That tempo shift for the chorus is so iconic as well - I think it really captures the euphoria of being in love and getting lost in a moment. Simply swaying side-to-side with your loved one to this track makes for many a special moment.
10) Unforgettable (Nat King Cole) – I could only end with one of Nat's greatest. If my previous choice doesn't quite float your boat for a first dance, then this is surely the way to go. It just sums up the way two people feel about each other perfectly, set to such a chilled-out melody and fantastic vocals. It's beautifully simple and elegant all at the same time. It is timeless and is rightly now part of the Grammy Hall of Fame, as well probably included on a few top ten wedding playlists!
Of course, while there is an endless list of songs you could choose to play at weddings, only very few will have special meaning to the couple getting married. That's why ultimately it should be about what those songs mean to them and above all, what represents their love most dearly. For full details on Andy Abraham and bookings, visit https://www.andyabraham.co.uk/