The Ultimate, No Bull**** Guide To Picking The First Dance Song For Your Wedding Day
Ah the first dance song. The ultimate tune that defines you as a couple, that shows the world (or your 152 guests) exactly how you feel about each other, that compels people to sob between hics, “You… two… are… so… beautiful!”
So no pressure then.
But you know what? Contrary to what you might think, picking the first dance song can actually be one of the easiest wedding decisions. Just follow our handy guide and you’ll be golden.
1. Choose your ‘category’
We reckon the first dance songs choices fall into five main categories, so once you decide where you want your song to fall, it’ll be easier to pick it. Geniuses, us.
- Cool and a bit off-centre (e.g The Vaccines ‘Always You’)
- Intentionally tongue-in-cheek cheesy because the thought of seriously smooching to a love song makes you want to puke (e.g Marvin Gaye ‘Let’s Get It On’)
- A classic love ballad that you feel quite literally nails how you feel about each other (e.g Al Green ‘Let’s Stay Together’)
- A not very ‘weddingy’ song that means something dear to you both, but will baffle your guests and potentially have Aunt Imelda reaching for the antacids (e.g Eurovision winners Lordi and their ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’)
- An upbeat, happy song specifically chosen so you can force the bridal party to cut in halfway (ye wimps!) and take the pressure off you (e.g Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’)
2. Decide ‘how’ you’re going to dance
Yep, heaps of people are going to get a good gawk at the pair of you as you dance for their pleasure for three whole minutes. Gahhh. Great if you were Ballina Junior Ballroom Champion 1998, not so good when the last time you danced was to the Siege of Ennis in primary school.
So before you pick your tune you'll need to decide:
- If you want to get lessons and do a ‘proper’ routine (think Kylie and Jason)
- If you want to take the piss with a spoof routine (always goes down well)
- If you're going to hope for the best with the tried and tested ‘shuffle with heads close together’ (definitely the easiest option and one we have no qualms endorsing)
3. Find out if your band can play your tune
If you’re having a band play your wedding, the likelihood is you’ll want them to kick off the party with a live performance of your choon. If that’s super important to you both, your first dance choice will likely inform the style of band you’ll pick, because they’ll need to be able to pull off the track.
If your song isn’t on the repertoire of the band you want, ask if they can learn it for you, but if they can’t, don’t rule them out. Sometimes playing a CD or Spotify can work even better because you get to hear the original performance of the tune. Like Bowie’s 'This Modern Love' – it’s inconceivable not to have the version by the man himself!
4. If all else fails, pick one of these beauties
Arctic Monkeys – 'I Wanna Be Yours'
Ash – 'Oh Yeah'
Alex Turner – 'Piledriver Waltz'
Elvis Presley – 'I Can’t Help Falling In Love'
Elvis Costello – 'She'
Beach Boys – 'God Only Knows'
Beach Boys – 'Wouldn’t It Be Nice'
David Bowie – 'Let’s Dance'
David Bowie – 'This Modern Love'
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 'Home'
Fleetwood Mac – 'Everywhere'
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – 'Falling Slowly'
George Harrison – 'My Sweet Lord'
Lou Reed – 'Perfect Day'
Lana Del Rey – 'Young and Beautiful'
Oasis – 'Songbird'
Oasis – 'Stop Crying Your Heart Out'
Pete Doherty – 'For Lovers'
Radiohead – 'Let Down'
Richard Hawley – 'Tonight The Streets Are Ours'
Roxy Music – 'If There Is Something'
Sade – 'By Your Side'
Sigur Ros – 'Hoppipolla'
Stevie Wonder – 'You And I'
Smashing Pumpkins – 'Today'
The Beatles – 'Something'
The Beatles – 'In My Life'
The Frames – 'Revelate'
The Cure – 'Friday I’m In Love'
The Coral – 'Dreaming Of You'
The Smiths – 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out'
The Stone Roses – 'Ten Storey Love Song'
The Stone Roses – 'Sally Cinnamon'
The Stone Roses – 'This Is The One'
The Vaccines – 'Always You'