Over my years as a professional wedding planner, I’ve learned that choosing the first dance song is challenging for many couples. There are just so many great songs out there that it’s hard to narrow it down to only one! So what’s a couple to do?
These are some suggestions we give our couples who are having a hard time finding just the right tune for their first dance:
Find a song that’s meaningful to you.
If you have a song that’s “your song,” then consider using it as your first dance song! If you both love it, you can dance to it, and it’s lyrically appropriate, then you’ve probably found your song. Plus you get bonus points for all that sweet sentimentality.
Determine what kinds of music you both like.
If one of you loves Taylor Swift but the other one can’t stand her music, then a Swifty song isn’t going to be the best choice for your first dance, right? So you can start narrowing things down right away by limiting yourselves to artists and genres that you both like. If one of you doesn’t like it, then strike it from your list.
Find a song that fits your wedding’s style.
Not all couples have a theme wedding, but if you do happen to be emphasizing a particular style or era, then take that into consideration when choosing your first dance song. For example, a wedding based in old-school Hollywood glamour probably isn’t the best place for a country ballad; a 1940s swing standard might be a better choice.
Pick a tempo you can dance to.
This doesn’t have to mean choosing an uptempo song. What kind of dancing are you comfortable doing? If you and your partner like dancing to fast music, then pick something fast. If you’re more into the seventh grade sway, then something with a slower tempo is probably better for you.
Pay attention to the lyrics!
I was actually a guest at a wedding where the first dance song was the Dolly Parton classic, “I Will Always Love You.” Um… yes, the sentiment of the title and the chorus are super romantic, but the verses are about her leaving her lover because she realizes she’s not right for him. That was awkward. Please, please, read all of the lyrics before you settle on your song.
Can your band play it?
If you’re having a live band at your reception and you don’t see your song on their repertoire list, it’s worth asking them if they can learn it. If they can’t, then you’ll need to have a recording of it ready for the band to play through their sound system. Nothing wrong with that, but if you know it’ll bug you to switch from live music to recorded for the first dance, then find a different song.
I hope running through those suggestions will help you find just the right first dance song for your wedding. Still stuck? Ask your DJ, bandleader, or wedding planner for suggestions. That’s what we’re there for!
photo credit: David Aspinwall | Aspinwall Photographics
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