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How to choose your first dance song for your wedding.

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Photo courtesy of Tim Wood Photography

To dance or not to dance

When the wedding season is in full swing, there is still one thing that seems to get overlooked in the midst of all of the planning for the big day.

Choosing the song for the first dance is a different experience for every couple. For some couples, they have known for a long time.... "That's our song" simples! For others however, that just simply isn't the case. Maybe you don't have the same taste in music, maybe the song that means a lot to you just isn't appropriate for a first dance. Lets face it, House of Pain - Jump around is a great song! But doesn't really fit the theme of the "traditional first dance". Or maybe the thought of actually having to spend 3 minutes stumbling clumsily around the dance floor, stepping on each others toes, whilst maintaining the perfect smile for the perfect photo is just too much for some to bear.

There is an increasing trend of the bride and groom looking to our DJ's for inspiration on song choices.

So what advice can we offer?

The first dance is about you both being yourselves and having fun with it. It's also one of your best photo opportunities. If you work closely with your DJ or band, this is your chance to set the atmosphere for the evening. You are basically opening the dance floor for your guests.

Our DJ's will always try to use this as the ice breaker between your guests and the dance floor! With careful timing, (allowing enough time for photos/video) inviting your guests to join you is the perfect way to fill the dance floor. Add in a large round of applause at the end and then straight in to something up tempo but relevant to everyone from little Joey to great aunt pauline. (Celebration by Kool and the gang is my personal favourite) then voila... The party has begun!

Where to start when choosing a song

Obviously, there are the traditional methods to consider when choosing the first dance song.

  1. Identify songs that are meaningful to you as a couple. Even if you think the song isn't appropriate, do some research! You would be surprised how many songs have been remixed or re-edited with a nice acoustic version that would be more suited to the occasion.

  2. How about something that reminds you of a specific moment in time. Remember, You don't have to share that moment with everyone.

  3. Maybe you could consider a favourite band or artist. If you can agree on one that is.

  4. If you have chosen a specific theme for your wedding, then maybe it would make sense to select a song that would compliment your theme.

  5. Choose a song your band can play. If you have hired a live band and will not be using recorded music, it's important to verify the band can perform your top choices. Ask the band to play 2 to 5 of your favourite first dance songs. Evaluate which songs the band plays best. If you thought you wanted to use an Aerosmith song for your first dance, your jazz band's rendition may make you change your mind.

If all else fails

There's going to be a first dance of the evening, you can't fight that, but if you're not that in to the whole thing, or don't want everyone staring at you, it's perfectly fine to choose a song that will get the dance floor pumping quickly. People will expect you to dance on your own, but you can minimise the time alone on the dance floor with a party-starting number and by actively encouraging people to get up and join you.

If you have read all of the above and are still none the wiser, don't worry, you're not alone. Let's be honest, if it was really that simple I wouldn't have written this.

At the end of the day, you don't have to love your first dance song. If you decide to just pick a song for the soul purpose of using it for your first dance then that's just fine. That song will always mean something special to you afterwards anyway right?

Photo courtesy of James Neale Photography

Some Inspiration

We may not be able to pick your song for you but I guess we could always offer a helping hand.

Photo courtesy of Tim Wood Photography

Here is a short list of some our most requested songs:

  1. Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud

  2. Ed Sheeran - Perfect

  3. John Legend - All of Me

  4. Mary J Blige - The One

  5. Christina Perri - A Thousand Years

  6. Etta James - At Last

  7. Ellis Goulding - How Long Will I Love You

  8. Lonestar - Amazed

  9. Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up

  10. Ed Sheeran - Tenerife Sea

  11. Al Green - Let's Stay Together

  12. Elvis Prestley - Can't Help Falling in Love

  13. Adam Sandler - Grow Old With You

  14. Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

  15. Take That - Rule The World

  16. Shania Twain - From This Moment On

  17. Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

  18. Lifehouse - You and Me

  19. Ben E King - Stand By Me

  20. Aerosmith - I Don't Want To Miss A Thing

  21. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

  22. Sixpence and None The Richer - Kiss Me

  23. Shai - Baby I'm Yours

  24. Michael Buble - Everything

  25. One Direction - Little Things

  26. Bruno Mars/Billy Joel - Just The Way You Are

  27. Elbow - One Day Like This

  28. Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately

  29. Elton John - Your Song

  30. Bill Quateman - Only Love

  31. Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do

Photo courtesy of James Neale Photography

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