Tips For Choosing Your First Dance Song For Your Wedding

Think about it… you’ve said your “I do’s”, you’ve managed to walk down the aisle gracefully and you’re now a happily married couple. The pressure is off. Well, not quite. The “dreaded” first dance… for some anyway. Well it shouldn’t be. The first dance is perhaps one of the most (publicly) intimate and personal moments of your entire wedding day. It’s the part of the day where you show your guests how “together” you really are. That’s why I always say to couples who come to me looking for advice to choose a song or piece of music that is of special significance to them. The song you heard on your first date together, the song you heard and loved on that first road trip you took together or even the song you duetted on at karaoke. I don’t think it matters if your guests aren’t particularly familiar with the song. In fact the more obscure it is the more attention they are likely to pay to this special moment. There have probably been a million first dances to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton or even “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran – which is absolutely fine. You may just like to step outside the box a little and do something extra personal and extra special.

The Love Song

A timeless and classic first dance option. A slow ballad where you as a couple can simply hold each other and gaze into each other’s eyes. Perhaps you may even share a kiss or two during this special moment. As well as the aforementioned Clapton and Sheeran standards, other popular choices include Adele’s “To Make You Feel My Love”, Elton John’s “Your Song”, John Legend’s “All Of Me” and Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful”. The good news is that no complicated dance moves are required and it’ll all be over in around three minutes 🙂

Strictly Come (Bridal) Dancing

You’ve decided that a soppy love song is definitely not for you. It doesn’t represent you as a couple and you’re not really the romantic types… (didn’t you just get married??) Anyway, you’ve decided that you want to do something to truly WOW your guests. A talking point for the day that will have everyone gasping “ooh” and “ahh” as you pirouette around every square inch of the dance floor. Even though you can’t dance very well it’s ok because you’ve been taking dance lessons and your first dance has been choreographed. Pay special attention to the words “dance lessons” and “choreographed”. Here’s the thing. I’ve seen this many times and it can mean two things… the most spectacular amazing first dance ever or the kiss of death. Usually the latter. If you aren’t great dancers to begin with then I’m afraid no amount of dance lessons in the run up to your big day will fix this. Either way it still results in an entertaining few minutes for your guests. Favoured selections for the choreographed dance include “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing, “Sway” by Dean Martin and “The Way You Look Tonight” by Tony Bennett.

The Mash Up

You’ve decided that not only do you want to WOW your guests but you want to have them reeling at the edge of the dance floor too. Tada! Here’s a great idea. Let’s get half a dozen of the cheesiest audience participation tunes you can think of and mash them up into one 3 minute long selection and you “the couple” get to squeeze as many shapes as you can into one dance. Confidence in abundance is required for this one. You need to ooze personality and humour to pull this one off. Also, please be aware that you’re erasing every single ounce of romance and sentimentality from this precious moment. Proceed with caution!! Crowd-pleasing options for the mash up include “Apache” by Sugarhill Gang, “Macarena” by Los Del Rio, “YMCA” by The Village People and “The Cha Cha Slide” by DJ Casper.

Gonna Write A Classic?

Gonna write it in an attic? Fancy yourself as the next Adrian Gurvitz? Well one of our grooms did when he penned a love song for his bride which we performed as their first dance. No pressure guys honestly! This is a brave yet honourable move. Who doesn’t want a beautiful song written about them? Again, many of the same rules apply as for the choreographed dancing. If you’re not great or inexperienced at song writing then this option probably (definitely) isn’t for you. A “get out of jail free” option might be to commission a talented songwriter to write a personal love song just for you. We’ve also had last minute lyrics changes to popular songs to make them extra personal.

Totally Live or Original Recording?

Our last bit of advice when it comes to first dances. If you have a live band for your wedding and your chosen first dance suits the instrumentation and vocal abilities of the band then we highly recommend asking the band to perform your first dance live. It makes the moment extra special. Words of wisdom… if your band has an all male line up it’s probably best to avoid a Celine or Mariah style power ballad. PLAYLIST will learn your first dance choice even if it’s not already on our humongous song list. If however you’ve “rehearsed” your first dance you’re probably better sticking with the original recording as any minor alteration to the instrumentation, arrangement or tempo might throw you off completely. For “The Mash Up”, the skills of a competent DJ are required and again this is where we come in. PLAYLIST’s Professional DJ Service is exactly what you need when engineering the perfect mash up. We can assist you with song choices, assembly and send you a premixed version of your mash up to practice to.

And finally…

Have fun! Whether it’s romantic and sentimental, breathtaking and spectacular or simply cheesy and downright hilarious – don’t take it too seriously. You’re a married couple now and your first dance should be one of the happiest memories from your big day. Enjoy it. Look forward it. Savour every moment as you’ll only get to do it once 🙂