Choosing a Song for the Wedding Dance

Choosing your song for the first dance seems like one of the easiest decisions to make in wedding planning. The music and the lyrics of the first dance will help define your first moments of marital bliss and will also trigger memories of your big day for the years to come.

Some couples have a special love song long before they were engaged. Some do not. Once the couple realizes it’s a song that will be memorialized by their wedding videos, and once they find that there are many good options out there, the pressure starts to mount. Others have different tastes, and they can’t stick to a unified decision.

If you’re struggling to choose a song for your first dance for your wedding, here are some handy tips:

Pick a song that is sentimental to both of you

Most couples want a song that relates, in one way or another, to their relationship. Maybe it was the song playing on the radio during your first kiss, the song that was playing when you were dancing at the prom together, or the song that you first sang together at a karaoke. Maybe it reminds you of an unforgettable vacation or your first date. No matter what the reason, picking a song with sentimental value will make your first dance extra special.

Choose a song with lyrics that somehow describes your relationship

If you don’t have that special song, there’s no need to worry. You can still choose something significant for your first dance. Think about how important moments had defined your life together – whether you have been friends before dating, had an unusual start to your relationship, or spent a long time struggling with a long-distance relationship. Whatever your story is, there is a song that speaks to it. If you’re trusted by your fiancé to pick the wedding dance song, you can choose an I-love-my-husband song to showcase your feelings for your beau.

Find a common musical interest or genre

Starting to choose can be overwhelming since there are thousands of wedding-worthy song options. You can narrow down your choices by deciding to focus on one genre. If you both love a certain genre – that’s good for you! But if you and your fiancé have different tastes, try to find common ground that will hopefully please everyone.

Decide if you want something classic or contemporary

Classic songs that are used for weddings time and time again may seem cliché, but they do have their merits. They are timeless and never go out of style. Alternatively, you may choose newly released contemporary songs as it can better suit your musical taste, but you may regret the choice in five years if the song loses its appeal. If you loved the song for the last five years, you would probably love it for five years more.  Also be sure to consider wedding dance lessons as well.

Consider your personalities

The song for your first dance must suit your style. Couples are unique, and a good wedding song reflects who you are as a couple. Here are some suggestions you can choose from:

For traditionalists

For those old-fashioned couples who are full of grace and good taste, the first dance is the ultimate opportunity to showcase your classic style. You can pick songs with timeless appeals, like “At Last” by Etta James, “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra,” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.

For hopeless romantics

Are PDA’s your thing? A passionate, sentimental couple who are poetic, intense, and emotional would like songs that evoke romantic feelings. You might like “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, “Say You Won’t Let Go” by James Arthur, or “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

For the wallflowers

If you’re a couple who does not like to call attention to yourselves, you can ease some of the pressure and sway to a familiar song that’s easy to dance to. If your guests know your personality, they won’t expect a choreographed waltz – a sweet and simple shuffle can be enough. You might like “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, or “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

For the hipsters

If you love the unexpected and out of the mainstream, you might choose a non-common song for your first dance. You may have thought of not having the first dance, but you chose to be game for the first dance formalities. Choose a song from artists you won’t hear on a Top 40 list like “We Found Each Other in the Dark” by City and Colour, “Without You” by Oh Wonder, or “Do You Realize” by The Flaming Lips.

Consider your theme

If you’re having a hard time choosing a version of a song to pick, your wedding theme can be your deciding factor. Consider the season, the styling of your wedding, and the location of the reception. If you’re in an old-fashioned event hall, you may choose a classic like “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. If you’re having the reception at a rustic or country-themed location, Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” can be a great pick.

Pick a song you can dance to

You don’t need to hire a choreographer or a dance instructor to teach you (although if you want to, you can), but you need to make sure that you will feel comfortable dancing to the song you chose. If your heart is set on a song with certain lyrics, but you don’t feel the rhythm is danceable for you, ask your band or DJ to prepare a customized rendition of that song for your wedding. If the music is originally upbeat with a fast tempo and you want to sweeten it up, you can ask your band or DJ to make it suitable for slow dancing.

Make sure your band can play that song

Speaking of bands – make sure you consider the type of band you hired when choosing a song. Having a live band at the wedding adds more sophistication, sparkle, and excitement to the reception. But the question is, will they be able to play the song that you chose? You can’t expect a jazz band to play a Taylor Swift pop song. They may be willing to learn a new song for your wedding day, but if not, consider blasting the tune from speakers instead, or choose another song that your band can play well. Most wedding bands know popular wedding songs anyway, so they might be willing to learn your music if needed. Just make sure that you and your partner are happy with the result.

Another alternative is to have a family member or a friend to play for you to make it even more special. If you have a musically talented person on your wedding guest list, they would be honored to be asked, and they can make the first dance more personal.

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Don’t be hesitate if you want to be unconventional

A sweet, old-fashioned slow dance is expected on a first dance at a wedding, but if this isn’t your style, then you can choose something a little more upbeat. It’s a great opportunity to express yourself and the uniqueness of your relationship with your new husband. You can add a little skit to your dance routine to entertain your guests or have a remixed version of a song where you can play a cheesy tune to waltz to at the beginning and then break into a surprising and unexpected upbeat song that will showcase your killer moves.  Also be sure to consider wedding videographers as well.

If you want to pick from the tried-and-tested, beautiful wedding songs to dance to, check out these picks: