There are few things as romantic as the first dance at a wedding. It is the moment which guests, family members, friends, and the happy couple themselves tend to remember most fondly, after all of the pomp and ceremony has fallen away. The question is how do you go about picking the music for such a defining moment?
As the first dance means so much and holds so much significance, picking the right song can feel impossible. Do you go for something modern and recognisable, with beautiful lyrics and a delicate harmony? What if you and your love have a very different taste in music? Who should get the final say, if it comes to a decision between Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Buble?
Well, this guide to the seven top tips for choosing the first dance song at your wedding will help you get to grips with the decision.
Consider That First Moment
It is a bit of cliché to suggest that every couple has a tune which feels like ‘their song’ or that every bride to be remembers what was playing when they first met, so don’t worry if you can’t instantly pick a song which reminds you of that first meeting. Instead, think about all of your favourite memories and all of those times that you danced, sung, or rocked out together.
After all, there are no objective criteria for the ‘right’ first song – it really comes down to your emotional connection to a particular tune, so the best place to start is to consider what songs has significance to your relationship. Perhaps it’s the song that played when you first met? Shared your first dance together? Enjoyed your first kiss?
Agree to Compromise
It is very important that you both feel happy with the song choice for your first dance, so resist the urge to go full bridezilla and demand your favourite artist. If you do sometimes struggle to stay on the same page with music, why not think about a cover song? You would be surprised at the amount of unexpected cover versions out there, so it is not that hard to end up with a marriage of unusual styles. For example, fans of the Cure could compromise with a cover of Lovesong by Adele?
It’s rare that two people with identical musical tastes get married, but that doesn’t mean a perfect solution isn’t out there – it’s just a matter of considering your significant other’s opinions, and then trying to find him somewhere in the middle.
Always Read the Lyrics
Whilst the decision is, ultimately, yours and yours alone, it is worth remembering that songs can have many different meanings. The best example is I’ll Be Watching You, by the Police – it sounds like a love song, but frontman Sting has since revealed that it is about a stalker. It is worth taking a close look at the lyrics of your chosen song, just to make sure that you are not missing any creepy or inappropriate bits.
Check for the Beat
It is surprisingly common for newlyweds to hit the dance floor to their first dance song, only to quickly realise that the beat is totally wrong. It is difficult to tell for sure whether your tune will work unless you have already slow danced (or otherwise, if you are feeling bold) to it, so do not be afraid to grab your guy in the run up to the big day and take him for a practice waltz.
Unconventional is Okay
On the other hand, if a slushy slow beat song is the last thing that you want, there is no reason at all why you can’t pick something bolder and livelier. As long as it says something wonderful about your relationship, you both enjoy it immensely, and your guests have a great time too, there really is no ‘wrong’ when it comes to this decision. It is all about personality, so if Pearl Jam says more to you than Celine Dion, go for it.
Ask Your Friends
If you do find yourself struggling with the decision as the big day approaches, you could always sit your closest friends down for a chat and ask them what they think. These are the people who know you better than anybody, so they might have some stellar suggestions of their own. At the very least, it is a chance to get together, enjoy a little downtime, and have a chat over shopping, coffee, or cocktails.
Thinking about the Band
For couples who are planning to have a live band provide all of the music at their wedding, it is pretty much essential that the first dance song sits well with the musicians. If you have set your heart on a particular tune, discuss it with the band well before the big day, just to make sure that they can actually handle it. Plus, this is a great opportunity to tweak the song if the original is a little too fast or a little too slow.
It’s essential to keep an open line of contact with the band – not only regarding the first song, but all of their song list. Getting together to sort out any questions you might have is the only way to ensure that they play exactly what you want and your fist dance is as perfect as it can be. If a DJ will be your preferred choice, ensure you follow these steps to selecting the correct wedding DJ.
The first dance is the culmination of your wedding – the special moment when all the attention is on the newlyweds and they express their love for each other through dance. Therefore, the song that is played during the first dance becomes very important – it’s not only a tune that plays in the background, but a symbol of something that has great significance to both newlyweds.
Considering emotional connections with a particular song, looking for a compromise, and consulting with the people close to you are just a few of the essential factors every couple must consider before narrowing down their list of potential songs to the one that is just right.
Jeremy started playing violin at the age of 3 and has never stopped. He now also is an MC/DJ and regularly performs in his wedding band "Something Borrowed". He absolutely loves playing music with his fantastic team of dedicated musicians and creating the perfect musical experience for weddings.
KDV Dahil, (2013), Düğün Dansı [ONLINE]. Available at: http://hayatbu.com/romantik/dans/dugun-dansi.html.