How To Choose The Perfect First Dance Wedding Song

11 02 21

Ceremony & Canape Hour

Call us biased, but we believe music is such an important part of any big day. It helps creates an incredible atmosphere for you and your guests and sets the tone for all those special moments throughout your wedding. From walking down the aisle to your reception entrance as an *officially* married couple…and yup, you guessed it, your first dance together to set the stage for the party to come after.

There’s nothing wrong with a #classicweddinghit and a quick Google will reveal SO MANY (overwhelming) options – but if you want to stand out for a more creative choice, here are some key considerations for nailing your first dance wedding song.

Picking ‘The One’

Your first dance that is – you’ve already bagged the love of your life. Your taste and individuality play a big part in picking your first dance song. You don’t need to conform to any conventions here – if you’re not into slow, ballads but love R&B, you can absolutely make that work for this purpose (um Miguel ‘Adorn You’ anyone?)!

Maybe you don’t have an “our song” – totally cool, we’re sure you do have a song that has a special meaning to you both from a road-trip or holiday you took, a concert you both attended, or something that reminds you both of the good times of the past, present and those still to come.

First Dance Wedding Hey Jack

Theme It Up

If you’re having a beachy wedding, opting for songs from the coast – such as those from Byron Bay locals Angus & Julia Stone, or Hawaii native Jack Johnson’s ‘Better Together’, could work a treat. Vintage, rustic weddings can be complemented with a blast from the past, such as Fleetwood Mac or even a re-work of a Beatles classic first dance song – think Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, but replace with your names for a more personalised twist!

Disney fans can request a non-Disneyfied cover of ‘So This Is Love’ from Cinderella, The Lion Kings’ ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ or ‘Kiss the Girl’ from The Little Mermaid, for example! If you are both film buffs with a shared love of Harry Potter (for example), you can use an orchestral/instrumental rendition of a song from the film without it being cheesy.

We’ve Got You Covered

Literally! A live wedding band can do ah-mazing covers of the songs you know and love. Whatever your taste in music, acoustic wedding musicians will put their own flavour on these so they sound fresh and surprising (in a good way)! They can slow down fast, upbeat songs which make them totally first dance song worthy. Don’t ever feel limited – you can pick an older song and give it a ‘modern first dance’ spin or a pop hit performed by a jazz band will give it a totally new sound. If you have a wedding DJ and not a live band, you can search up romantic wedding-ready covers for your favourite songs on Spotify or Soundcloud and even practice your dance to them before the big day. Same goes in reverse – love a slow song but don’t want a 5-minute waltz around the floor? Find a sped-up version or ask your band to end it at a certain time with a pace that better suits your vision.

First Dance Wedding Hey Jack
First Dance Wedding Hey Jack

Take A Trip Back In Time

Expand your musical horizons and search beyond recent or well-known tunes. Listen to Spotify playlists from older decades and you might find a gem that adds a timelessness to your first dance. To get you started, we love 50’s classic Bobby Darin ‘Beyond the Sea’, 60’s Etta James magic ‘At Last’, 70’s Eric Clapton’s ‘Wonderful Tonight’ and for something more upbeat, 1980s All Night Long by Lionel Richie. Even the not so distant ’90s are full of worthy first dance wedding songs from the likes of Sade, Celine Dion, Lauryn Hill, Bryan Adams, Chris Isaak and more!

Keep It Practical

When opting for a live band on your wedding and choosing bespoke songs, it’s important to consider if the song is a good fit with the style of the band you love and book. R&B bands won’t be best suited to rock hits, a jazz ensemble isn’t ideal for dance tracks and rock bands might not be suited to an indie tune. You can discuss this with them in advance, as bands worth their weight in notes is able to learn a few requested songs in advance. Usually, their take is a creative, refreshing and unique approach!

Short N Sweet

If you and your partner both have different tastes or don’t love the idea of everyone staring at you until the D-floor is open for business to guests, meet in the middle and pick something short and sweet. Paul McCartney’s ‘Calico Skies’ is around 2 minutes long and includes the lyrics ‘’It was written that I would love you, from the moment I opened my eyes and the morning when I first saw you’’ – get the tissues ready ladies and gents.

If you have a live band lined up for your reception, you can easily ask them to shorten a longer song you love. This is a little trickier with a DJ, as they have to find a good exit time, but they can fade out slowly and softly pending the kind of song. Also, remember you can ask your DJ or MC to invite your guests to join you on the dancefloor after the first minute (or however long you feel comfortable – come up with a signal)!

Top Ten Inspo

Still need a little inspo picking your first dance song? Here are our top ten songs you may not have heard or considered:

  1. I Don’t Want To Wait – Paula Cole
  2. Anyone – Justin Bieber
  3. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Hayley Reinhart
  4. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  5. I Guess I’m In Love – Clinton Case
  6. Still Falling For You – Ellie Goulding
  7. All Of Me – John Legend
  8. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  9. Marry Me – Train
  10. You & I – One Direction
  11. Latch – Sam Smith
  12. At Last – Etta James
  13. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  14. All My Life – K-Ci & JoJo
  15. I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Karizma Duo
  16. Your Song – Elton John
  17. The Only Exception – Paramore
  18. If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
  19. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  20. Am I yours – Andy Grammer
  21. Off My Face – Justin Bieber
  22. Viva La Vida – Coldplay
  23. River – Leon Bridges
  24. Until I Found You – Stephen Sanchez, Em Baihold
  25. Falling Like The Stars – James Arthur
  26. Tenerife Sea – Ed Sheeran

At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with your first dance wedding song. As long as it makes you and your partner feel like you can be yourselves and have the time of your life at that moment. If you want to learn more about requesting a special song and picking the perfect music entertainment – be that one of Melbourne’s best acoustic soloists, duos, bands or a DJ, contact us!

See more wedding song inspiration – The Ultimate Upbeat Wedding Entrance Songs

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