If there's a genre that's perfect for a wedding ceremony, it's rhythm and blues. R&B's ability to evoke deep emotions, convey romance, and celebrate love makes it a popular choice for couples on their special day — whether it’s for the first dance, a walk down the aisle, or setting the mood during the reception.

One classic R&B wedding staple is Etta James' "At Last." Its soulful melody and heartfelt lyrics perfectly captured the joy and relief of finding true love. Another enduring favorite is “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. This duet was a powerful declaration of eternal love, making it a natural choice for wedded bliss.

More modern hits have also played a significant role in contemporary weddings. John Legend’s “All of Me” is a prime example that quickly became a wedding favorite due to its intimate lyrics and beautiful piano arrangement. The song’s message of unconditional love resonates deeply and makes it a go-to choice for many. Similarly, “Marry You” by Bruno Mars offers a fun, upbeat vibe that’s perfect for both proposals and wedding receptions (or whenever a bride or groom chooses to utilize the track).

R&B’s rich emotional landscape and its focus on love and relationships make it an essential part of weddings. From classic hits to relatively current cuts, the below 29 tracks have ensured — and will continue to ensure — that every moment of the special day is filled with love and joy.

1. Always and Forever – Heatwave

"Always and Forever" was written by Rod Temperton and produced by Barry Blue, and was first recorded by funk-disco outfit Heatwave for their debut LP, Too Hot to Handle. The song became a hit, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart. It also achieved platinum certification by the RIAA.

Notably, Luther Vandross covered "Always and Forever" for his album Songs. His rendition earned a Grammy Award nomination and charted on several Billboard charts.

2. For the Love of You, Pts. 1 & 2 – The Isley Brothers

"For the Love of You, Pts. 1 & 2" was released as the second single from the Isley Brothers’ The Heat Is On. The song became a crossover hit and peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The success of "For the Love of You" was aided by the album's sequencing, which placed the funk and rock-oriented tracks on side one and the melodic, soulful ballads on side two. The song has been covered by numerous artists, including Whitney Houston for her Whitney album, and sampled by the likes of Tupac Shakur and Masta Ace.

3. You’re All I Need to Get By – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

"You're All I Need to Get By" is a song by duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell that was released on Motown's Tamla label. The track deviated from the typical "Motown sound,” as writers Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson were inspired by their experiences singing in a church choir. The recording session was also said to have been challenging due to Terrell's recovery from surgery for a malignant brain tumor, and tragically, the song marked Terrell's final performance before her passing.

The original recording of "You're All I Need to Get By" achieved significant success, peaking at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Billboard Hot R&B/Soul Singles chart for five weeks. The song served as the basis for Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s "I'll Be There for You/You're All I Need to Get By.”

4. Let’s Get Married – Jagged Edge

"Let's Get Married" is a song by Jagged Edge from their album, J.E. Heartbreak. The song topped the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart for three weeks and reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single also came with a popular music video which starred Fredro Starr and Kent Masters-King and the loving couple.

Several remixes were spawned from the original version of “Let’s Get Married” alongside the likes of Rev Run, Kanye West, and Jermaine Dupri. Jagged Edge also performed the ballad for WWE’s “SmackDown” live wrestling series.

5. My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder’s "My Cherie Amour" was co-written with Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby, the latter of whom also produced it. The song, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, was originally titled "Oh, My Marsha" and was about a then-girlfriend Wonder had at the Michigan School for the Blind.

The song was later sampled by DJ Philip George for "Wish You Were Mine," which topped the UK Dance Chart. In addition, Wonder humorously referenced the song during a "Saturday Night Live" skit.

6. Dontchange – Musiq Soulchild

"Dontchange" was a single from Musiq Soulchild's sophomore LP, Juslisen. The song showcased the Philly talent's smooth vocal style and heartfelt lyrics about unconditional love and acceptance.

"Dontchange" spent 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at No. 17. The emotionally charged cut, which boasted a heartfelt matching visual about lifetime companionship, also spent a considerable amount of time on Billboard’s Adult R&B Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.

7. All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo

"All My Life" was written by JoJo and Rory Bennett, and its heartfelt lyrics and smooth melody was inspired by the former’s daughter. Taken from K-Ci and JoJo’s debut LP, Love Always, the wedding-ready offering became the duo's most successful track – a surprising notion given that it was apparently meant for another artist.

"All My Life" was a commercial success and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. The platinum-certified cut also performed well internationally and landed on the top 10 in a wealth of countries around the globe. “All My Life” boasted a matching visual that interspersed shots of the brothers performing on stage with footage of others being affectionate with their loved ones.

8. I'm Still in Love with You – Al Green

"I'm Still in Love with You" was a soulful classic originally recorded by Al Green and released as a single from his album of the same name. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it remained on that chart for 12 weeks.

The song has also seen notable cover versions since its inception. R&B stars like Meli’sa Morgan, Seal, and Al B. Sure! created their own renditions with varying degrees of success. Outside of the genre, electronic duo Disclosure unveiled a remix of the track titled "Feel Like I Do” — that iteration could be found on their Moog For Love EP.

9. There Goes My Baby – Usher

"There Goes My Baby" is a sultry R&B ballad by Usher that can be found on Raymond v. Raymond. The track was co-written by James Scheffer, Frank Romano, Danny Morris, and Rico Love, the last of whom produced the record alongside Jim Jonsin. “There Goes My Baby” eventually landed at the top of the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart for multiple weeks.

The accompanying music video was directed by Anthony Mandler. The clip further emphasized the song's sensual appeal, much in part thanks to intimate and steamy scenes between Usher and the love interest he was pursuing throughout.

10. Differences – Ginuwine

Ginuwine’s "Differences" was a ballad from his third studio album, The Life, which he co-wrote with artist and producer Troy Oliver. In a past interview, the D.C. talent explained how the track was dedicated to his wife and born out of personal hardship following the loss of his parents.

Ultimately, “Differences” spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also achieved gold certification from the RIAA and came with a powerful, Hype Williams-directed visual to match.

11. Wifey – Next

"Wifey" was released as the lead single from Next’s Welcome II Nextasy album. The quintessential R&B hit was penned by the group’s frontman, Robert "RL" Huggar, Eddie Berkeley, Keir Gist, and Lil' Mo. The song soared to No. 1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart was a Billboard Hot 100 top 10.

The accompanying music video, directed by Jeff Richter, matched the song's upbeat and emotional narrative by showcasing the band members treating their significant others with affection and respect. Actress Natashia Williams also starred as RJ’s proverbial "Wifey" in the intimate, choreographed clip.

12. Because of You – Ne-Yo

"Because of You" was released as the lead single from his second studio album of the same name. The decorated singer and songwriter wrote the song with Mikkel S. Eriksen and Tor Erik Hermansen of Stargate. The song, a blend of R&B and pop, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and landed high on charts in several other countries.

The music video for "Because of You" was directed by Melina Matsoukas and featured Michael Jackson-inspired choreography. La'Shontae Heckard and Camila Alves appeared in said video as Ne-Yo's love interests.

13. Cater 2 U – Destiny’s Child

"Cater 2 U,” an ode to women wanting to serve their male partners, was featured on Destiny Child’s final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. The R&B ballad was co-written by the then-trio alongside producers Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Ricky "Ric Rude" Lewis, and Robert Waller. Its music video, directed by Jake Nava and filmed at Red Rock Canyon State Park in California, featured the group in various desert settings.

For a short time, "Cater 2 U" became a controversial topic due to allegations by singer-songwriter Rickey Allen, who claimed the group had adapted his earlier song of the same title. The legal dispute was eventually settled out of court.

14. You're the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White

"You're the First, the Last, My Everything" was a song written by Barry White and taken from Can’t Get Enough. Originally written as a country offering, Barry White transformed it into a soulful, disco-styled offering. As the title implied, the infectious cut saw the legendary singer expressing devotion and love for a significant other.

It became a big hit, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The song eventually scored gold and silver certifications in the United States and the U.K., respectively. It was also covered by other artists, including Howard Brown, whose version achieved its own commercial success across the pond.

15. Nothing Even Matters – Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo

"Nothing Even Matters" was a soulful duet by Lauryn Hill and D'Angelo that was featured on the Fugees singer’s groundbreaking debut LP, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The lyrics celebrated the intense emotional connection between two people and expressed how the world fades away when they are together – a notion that was reportedly inspired by Hill’s relationship with Rohan Marley.

The song received critical acclaim for its nostalgic feel and lyrical depth, and – as part of the aforementioned album – is considered timeless as a romantic offering. The Miseducation went on to top the Billboard 200 for a whopping 92 weeks, four of which were consecutive.

16. The Lady in My Life – Michael Jackson

"The Lady in My Life" is a song by Michael Jackson that served as the closer to his iconic album Thriller. It's one of the few songs on the album that wasn't released as a single, nor was it performed live by the late singer (but many, including Maxwell, did break out live renditions in tribute).

According to Jackson himself, recording the song proved challenging. Producer Quincy Jones wasn't satisfied with Jackson's vocals and told Jackson to literally "beg" in the song. Jackson dimmed the studio lights and sang with more emotion, resulting in the vocals you hear in the final version. Fun fact: There's a longer, six-minute version of the song with previously unreleased parts that later surfaced on the internet.

17. Forever – Jaheim

Jaheim’s “Forever” was taken from his debut studio LP, Ghetto Love, which earned the singer a top-10 placement on the Billboard 200 and a platinum certification. The ultra-slow, made-for-the-aisle offering was produced by Darren “D-Life” Lighty and Kay Gee, the latter of whom found fame as the DJ for Naughty by Nature.

18. All of Me – John Legend

"All of Me" was a song by John Legend that was taken from his fourth album, Love in the Future. The piano-driven ballad is a love song that the G.O.O.D. Music alum dedicated to his wife, Chrissy Teigen. The mostly black-and-white music video featured Teigen and ended with footage of the couple’s lavish wedding.

The song achieved massive commercial success, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming one of the best-selling songs of its time in the U.S. with a 14-times-platinum certification. Thanks to a genre-bending update from Tiësto, it also won a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical.

19. Outstanding – The Gap Band

You have to have a playlist for the reception dance floor, and this one would definitely add to the celebration. "Outstanding" was one of the Gap Band’s choice classics, which earned a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R&B Singles chart.

The song, which was written by Raymond Calhoun, has also been covered by other artists across genres — most notably, by British singer Kenny Thomas, whose version reached No. 12 on the U.K. Singles Chart. The original could be found on the group’s Gap Band IV album.

20. Love T.K.O. – Teddy Pendergrass

"Love T.K.O." is a soulful ballad written by Cecil Womack and Gip Noble, Jr., and was originally crafted for David Oliver and featured on his album, Here's to You. The song was later recorded by Womack & Womack as "T.K.O." on their debut album, Love Wars. However, the track gained widespread recognition through Teddy Pendergrass' rendition, which was arranged by Dexter Wansel and included on the album TP. Pendergrass' version reached No. 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Many other “T.K.O.” covers were delivered by a wealth of artists, including Regina Belle, Deborah Harry, Hall & Oates, Bette Midler, and Seal. Regina Belle's version, featured on her album Reachin' Back, peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard R&B chart. Others sampled the track to create new offerings, including Xscape and Kenny Lattimore.

21. Thinkin Bout You – Frank Ocean

"Thinkin Bout You" is a song by Odd Future alum Frank Ocean that was released as the lead single from his Channel Orange. Written by Ocean and Shea Taylor, the song was initially intended for Bridget Kelly's debut album, with Ocean releasing his demo version for free on his Tumblr account. Kelly released her version, "Thinking About Forever," on her debut EP, Every Girl.

"Thinkin Bout You" received widespread praise from music critics and performed well on various charts, including the Billboard Hot 100. It also achieved platinum certification by the RIAA. What was generally understood to be the song’s official video was directed by High Five Collective and featured Ocean as a doctor in a story about love and zombies.

22. You – Jesse Powell

"You," a quintessential wedding number, came courtesy of R&B maven Jesse Powell, and the track appeared on both his eponymous debut and its sophomore follow-up, ‘Bout It. The track effectively became the biggest hit of Powell's career, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video for the song, directed by Steve Wills, beautifully matched the song’s subject matter with a relatable love story that fans enjoyed.

23. Here and Now – Luther Vandross

Vandross’ "Here and Now" was written by David L. Elliott and Terry Steele, and was produced by Marcus Miller and Vandross himself. The single, taken from the compilation album The Best of Luther Vandross... The Best of Love, became the late singer’s fifth to reach No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles chart and his first single to chart within the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 6.

“Here and Now” eventually earned Vandross his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Notably, he performed the platinum-certified ballad on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and during a wedding scene in the TV show “227.”

24. Everything – Mary J. Blige

"Everything" is from Mary J. Blige’s third album, Share My World. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the song features elements from The Stylistics’ "You Are Everything," James Brown’s "The Payback," and A Taste of Honey’s "Sukiyaki,” which is itself a cover of Kyu Sakamoto’s “Ue O Muite Arukō” — all parties received songwriting credits as a result.

"Everything" reached No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song’s music video, directed by Hype Williams, was shot in Kauai, Hawaii.

25. Three Times a Lady – The Commodores

"Three Times a Lady,” from the Commodores, was written by lead singer Lionel Richie for their album Natural High. Co-produced by James Anthony Carmichael, the song became the group's first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 where it remained for two weeks. "Three Times a Lady" was initially intended for Frank Sinatra but was included on the Commodores' album at the insistence of their producer.

As Richie explained to Billboard, the song was inspired by a toast Richie’s father gave to his mother during their wedding anniversary celebration. The success of "Three Times a Lady" put Richie in high demand for a wealth of other artists – including Kenny Rogers, who enlisted him for the hit song "Lady.”

26. Always – Atlantic Starr

"Always" and its matching visual was taken from Atlantic Starr’s seventh studio LP, All in the Name of Love. The song became the group's biggest hit with a No. 1 placement on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard Hot Black Singles charts – the group’s only No. 1 to date. It also received plenty of attention on the international front, including in the United Kingdom, where it earned a silver certification.

27. Endless Love – Lionel Richie and Diana Ross

"Endless Love" was a ballad written by Lionel Richie that was initially recorded as a duet with Diana Ross. The track appeared on the soundtrack of Franco Zeffirelli's Endless Love, a film adaptation of Scott Spencer's book of the same name. The single was a No. 1 smash on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained in that position for nine weeks.

The song was later covered by Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey, who also found success at No. 2 on the aforementioned chart. A music video was also created for the latter version.

28. At Last – Etta James

"At Last" was originally written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical film Sun Valley Serenade. It eventually found its way to the late Etta James, who recorded a new arrangement of the track for her album of the same name.

Many artists, including Celine Dion and Beyoncé, have covered the song. James' version was inducted into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

29. Marry You – Bruno Mars

"Marry You" is taken from Bruno Mars first album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. The pop, doo-wop, and soul-inspired effort is essentially about impulsively getting married in Las Vegas. It has been covered by many artists – most notably, the cast of “Glee” whose version charted higher than the original.

Nonetheless, Mars’ version was a hit internationally, reaching the top 10 on charts across the globe but only reaching number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, despite not being released as a single there. It has been certified platinum or higher in many countries.