I’m regularly asked for advice on first dances, and I completely understand why. I’m sure for some the thought of that magical first dance fills you with absolute terror. Or, perhaps you and your partner are both demons on the dance floor but are struggling with song choice. You’re faced with many questions… ‘Do we make it fun or serious?’. ‘What if nobody knows our song?’ ‘Do we choreograph a routine or just go with it?’.
I’ve seen some fabulous first dances in my time. It’s hard to say what makes them work but some just do’, and I guess this is what you are all looking for. Funnily enough though, my favourites have all been very different.
One couple looked so fantastically in love as they clutched to each other and hardly moved to ‘If You Knew’ by Jeff Buckley; it brought a tear to my eye.
Another started off with something obvious like ‘Unchained Melody’, then halfway through the groom ripped off the skirt of the bride’s wedding dress to reveal a killer mini-dress, and they broke into a very sexy routine to the Pussycat Dolls version of ‘Sway’. If that wasn’t enough, they topped it off by laughing and throwing each other around the dance floor to ‘Lucky’ by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat (which is a gorgeous song for a first dance… by then myself and the rest of the audience were absolutely gushing!).
However, my favourite was a couple who chose ‘All These Things I’ve done’ by Killers. I can’t find much lyrical meaning, but they obviously just loved the song (and each other) so much that it is always one that stuck in my head as the ‘ultimate first dance’. They had such a fantastic time dancing away to it with huge smiles on their faces; it has always stayed with me.
Things to Consider
I’d say that before choosing your first dance song it’s important to sit down between the two of you and have a good chat about a few things…
What Sort of Tempo Do You Want Your Dance to Be?
Do you want a fast song or a slow song? Funnily enough, different people are more comfortable with different things. I’ve spoken to a few people who wouldn’t consider doing a slow song, but would be quite comfortable ‘shakin it’ to something a little more funky… yet I’d probably be the opposite.
Is This a Serious Dance or Would You Rather Something a Little More Fun?
Your first dance should be a reflection of you both as a couple. If you’re a fun loving couple that are always having a giggle then perhaps you’d prefer to do something a little more ‘you’. If you’re not sure what I mean there are loads of examples on YouTube, but check this one out – it made me laugh a lot!
Will You Choreograph a Dance?
There are companies out there who will help you choreograph your first dance, and this is an opportunity to really wow your guests. However, if this isn’t a reflection of the two of you and your personalities don’t feel like you have to. I’ve seen some beautiful first dances that are off the cuff and perfect.
Is There a Song That Means a Lot to You?
If so, perhaps this will make your decision a little easier! If there isn’t, however…
First Dance Song Ideas
If you’re really stuck then perhaps have a chat to your band or DJ about their ideas. They might have a list of songs that they like to recommend. Here are a few songs that I usually suggest for a first dance…
Classic First Dance Songs/Slowies
- Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Franki Vali
- Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
- Songbird – Eva Cassidy/Fleetwood Mac
- The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
- Everything – Michael Buble
- Stand By Me – Ben E King
- Angels – Robbie Williams
- A Million Love Songs – Take That
- Amazed – Lonestar
- But I Do Love You – Leanne Rhymes
- Your Love is King – Sade
- Close to You – Carpenters
- Crazy for You – Madonna
- Don’t Know Much – Linda Rondstat and Aaron Neville
- Endless Love – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
- Eternal Flame – The Bangles
- (Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
- You’re Still the One – Shania Twain
- From This Moment On – Shania Twain
- Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison
Fun First Dance Songs
- You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White
- It’s All About You – McFly
- Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
- Night Fever – Bee Gees
- Lucky – Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat
- I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
- Better Together – Jack Johnson
- Can’t Get Enough – Bad Company
- Especially For You – Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan
- Greatest Day – Take That
- Rule the World – Take That
Commission a Songwriter to Write Your First Dance Song
I can’t think of anything more beautiful than having a song written especially for you and your wedding. This isn’t actually as costly as you think, and could be something you really can keep forever that is especially for the two of you.
So, I think the key when choosing your first dance song is to find something that works for you. A song you are comfortable with, you’ll enjoy dancing to and, of course, a song you and your guests will always remember.
Have fun trawling through your records and iTunes lists, and I hope you find that perfect tune.
Guest post by Sera Golding of MIB Music
First Dance: Tom Leishman of Picture My Love
First Dance Routine: Lara Hotz Photography