Choosing Your First Dance Song

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Although there are some first dance classics – who hasn’t heard Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” at least once at a wedding? For other couples, well, they have more individual choices – there’s been Muse’s version of “Feeling Good” and even Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name Of” (including the chorus in all its sweary glory…).

It can be a bit of a balancing act – the bride and groom might have completely different musical tastes, or they might be worried about alienating older guests. They might want a song that reflects one or both partner’s cultural background. It can be a nightmare.

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If you’re mired in indecision, here are a few helpful tips that might just lead you to that amazing first dance. Remember, it’s your day and you need to relax and have fun with your choices.

Start thinking

There are some tried-and-tested methods of choosing a first dance song:

  • the song that was playing when you first met;
  • a song that was popular at the time;
  • your favourite song by your favourite band;
  • a song that takes the couple back to an event – a holiday, a gig, or a festival, or
  • a song that fits in with the theme of the wedding – Latin, wartime or even punk.

Many couples opt for a good old slushy romantic song that eliminates every dry eye in the house. Remember, though, that whatever you choose ideally has to be long enough for you to start it off and for everyone else to join in halfway through.

Can your band play your song?

If your band has a particular genre – rock, jazz or indie – then you’re not going to have much luck when you ask them to play your favourite medieval courtly love ballad. They could learn it, but you’ll need to give them some notice. Similarly you’re not going to get far if you ask a rock band to play Dean Martin’s greatest hits. If you’re looking for wedding band hire in Manchester or another big city you’ll have much more flexibility as bands can bring in friends and associates to help out.

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Even if the band can’t learn your song in time, or bring in help, don’t despair. You could use an iPod instead for this one song, giving the musicians a well-deserved breather. It’s about how important the song is to you.


You don’t have to aim for perfection – have a shortlist of almost ideal songs to choose from, and think about your guests. Could you choose a song that means a lot to revered relatives?

You might not even have an “our song” – and you don’t need to choose one just for this purpose – just a functional song that says something to you will do just fine.

You don’t have to waltz, and you don’t have to dominate the dance floor for half of the song. You could choose an upbeat song and ask everyone to join in after the first few bars. Click here to read more about waltzes.

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