How To Choose A Fantastic First Dance.
Updated: Jun 9
So, you sit down to pick a first dance song and…. blank
How slow should it be? What if, lyrically it doesn’t define us?
We don’t have a special song, how will we find one?
What if it’s too cheesy?
No doubt, these questions may have crossed your mind when trying to pick the perfect song?
Never fear, Lazy Marmalade are here!
Photo by Victoria Amrose Photography
Our song …
Lots of couples have ‘a song’. Usually, this is a song that has been present throughout most of their relationship. It may of been playing as they have shared a special moment or it throws them back to the first time they met.
But, this isn’t always the case. Some couples don’t decide until right before the wedding day or may not think ‘their song’ is appropriate for a first dance.
It’s often your first dance that turns that song into ‘your song’.
Anyway, if you’re struggling to decide, here’s a few handy tips to help make the decision a little easier.
*Spoiler alert – We won’t actually make the decision for you, were happy to help, but this one is all you …
You BOTH have to love it.
I hate to say it, but your choice will probably be one of the most overplayed songs throughout the rest of your lives…other than maybe BabyShark, of course.
So lads, that probably rules out ‘Rock and Roll Star” or “Gangsters Paradise”.
It’s massively important that you both love the song enough to be able to listen to it over and over again.
Those times, where you’re trying to get past an argument and need the romantic backdrop to your big apology? ... Yep, it’ll be playing on repeat to win ‘em ‘round and get you out of the doghouse.
So, listen to Spotify playlists together, put the radio on in the background or listen to soundtracks and songs from TV shows and films that you both love.
Before you know it you'll both be whistling the same melody and something will click.
Listen to the words
Lots of beautiful slow songs are actually quite sad lyrically and talk about breakups.
You probably don’t want your forever song to be a song about a breakup …
But, if you’re having a live performance for your first dance then speak to the band about how they could change the song slightly and brush over the sad parts.
For example, we once performed ‘I wasn’t expecting that’ as a first dance. This was the couples ‘song’ and they specifically asked us to alter it and make sure the final verse (the sad bit) wasn’t included.
We got rid of ‘that line’ and it went down beautifully. We still play that version to this day.
It’s all about the vibes
Although you want to have a romantic tone for your first dance, you may want to think about what sort of mood you want to start the night with ...
Do you want everyone to join you for a slow dance or do you want to get it over with and crack on with the party?
Photo By GK Photography
When I married my wife in 2015, our first dance was Northern Wind by City and Colour. Now, as a musician and a bit of an emo at heart, I took full control of the song choices (don’t worry, my wife also loves the song even though she also loves Spice Girls.)
Although it’s a beautiful song, it is particularly slow. So we opted to have the DJ follow it with another slow song to keep the momentum of the dancefloor going.
After that, we were then able to phase into some upbeat tunes having everyone’s heart strings well and truly pulled.
But, if you’re not really into deep and soppy vibes, you might just want to get all the formalities out of the way quickly so you and your friends can crack on and bust some moves.
When you book a live band it’s fairly easy for them to transition between certain songs …
If you want a pretty chilled song but don’t want to bring the mood down, ask them what they could blend into and gradually lift the mood back up.
Remember - It’s a first dance, not a first song.
No matter what your first dance is, unfortunately the majority of your guests won’t remember the specific song.
Throwing back to my wedding again … The main question we were asked by our friends afterwards was “what were you talking to each other about? ... You both looked so cute”
Not one person asked about the bloody masterpiece they had just listened to!!
Sorry, let’s get back to the point …
No matter how much focus you put on the song, the thing your family and friends WILL remember is the moment they witness. It’s the love that you both share and the atmosphere that dance and that song create, cheesy, ay!
At this stage, the song is just white noise to most, other than you and your partner.
Don’t overthink it.
If you’re still unsure, talk to your band or DJ and ask them for their thoughts.
That said, I’ll go back to point one. I may be biased, but music sticks with you forever so importantly, YOU need to choose a song you BOTH really love.
Photo By GK Photography
If in doubt, go with Ed Sheeran.
This bonus tip is fairly self-explanatory. If you’re really struggling, go with an Ed Sheeran song.
As a musician and songwriter, I can tell you. That guy can write one hell of a love song!
So there you have it. A quick guide to choosing a first dance. I hope that helps.
Finally, if you’re still really, really stuck, may I suggest this little banger called 'I'm A Camera' from 2010.
I won’t tell you who wrote it but it rhymes with Hazy Barnetmaid.