First dance songs set the backdrop for one of the most poignant, treasured, and iconic traditions of any wedding: the first dance between the newly married couple. Engaged couples in the throes of wedding preparation spend quite a bit of time in planning this segment in their reception. Choosing the perfect song remains a top priority because it has the power to set the mood of the entire event. More importantly, the chosen song will always be remembered through the years and decades by the couples, and maybe even by their entourage and guests.
We at the All Steps First Dance Studio realise how crucial it is to choose the first song that would accompany your first dance as newlyweds. We know that this will symbolise your union, represent your love, and become a part of your family history. We also realise that there are millions of options to choose from, which can be rather overwhelming. That’s why we are here to help engaged couples narrow down your song list and align it with the dance skills you have to ensure you can execute the steps with flair and style on your big day.
How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Song
Remember, planning should be a fun time for the would-be bride and groom. There’s no need to stress and agonise over the process because there are professionals like us who can help you decide and think of choreography that would impress your guests.
The first thing to do is think of what you want to achieve as a couple and what message you want to send out with this first dance. You have to consider your individual personalities and aim to satisfy both sides. Keeping your wedding theme in mind will also help narrow down your choices.
Do you want to emphasise on the romance factor and go the old school way of an intimate slow dance? Or perhaps you’d be more inclined to go with fun dance songs that have become popular these days. You can pick a combination of dance songs and have an all-out good time. Doing a dance medley means you can do a classic waltz, salsa, boogie, swing, or even the cha-cha.
Dancing your way to the hearts of your guests is possible with the help of formal dancing lessons from a school like us. Even if you fear that you have two left feet, we can help in making you feel confident and graceful on the dance floor. Nowadays, there are even families and friends that do it with the engaged couple because they want to have fun and entertain all the guests in attendance.
The Length of the First Wedding Dance
There is no number set in stone for this particular part of the wedding program. Traditionally, the first dance song lasted for the entire duration of the whole song—from the intro notes to the final chords. But really, the bride and groom have the authority to decide how long the First Dance should last.
If they both feel like they are terrible dancers, then they can keep it to a minute just for the sake of formality. But most couples, especially in these modern times, cook up something to make them stand out. This is where a dance school like us can really help out.
A medley of songs and dancing with others who are part of the entourage could make it last up to 8 minutes. Remember, though, that this is not a dance jam workout so be mindful not to exceed 10 minutes. During the first dance, keep in mind that phone cameras will be whipped out by wedding guests, making certain that there will be many videos of your first dance.
Your wedding is your time to shine. Calm your nerves and perform beautifully by taking lessons way ahead of time. Hearing your wedding song in the future should not stress you out and remind you of a tense filled moment. Instead, when you hear it, it should make you smile because of the happy memories.
What is a Good First Dance Song?
With a multitude of possible first dance songs out there, picking the right one isn’t easy. Choosing the song with the right “feels” to it may take some time. Of course, you also have to pick one that is easy to dance to (but our school has got you covered on this part) and one that showcases both your personalities.
Many of the popular first dance songs actually belong to the traditional older classics. Of course, Wedding Song (There is Love) by Paul Stookey tops the list. When I Fall In Love by the immortal balladeer Nat King Cole is also a good choice. The King of Rock, Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help But Falling in Love is part of the olden favourites. And of course, there is the classic Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, which we have all heard accompany many weddings and even movies.
On top of that, there are many modern songs that are also crowd-pleasers. Lovesong by the popular diva Adele is heart-stopping. The lyrics “Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am home again” are totally perfect for a newly married couple.
Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years is also a modern favourite that pinches the heart and makes everyone feel giddy. “One step closer…I have died everyday waiting for you…darling don’t be afraid I have loved you for a thousand years.” These sweet toe-curling words evoke so much emotion.
Marry Me by Train is a favourite first dance song because as the title clearly shows, the song is all about matrimony. This is another good song to play at the wedding reception. Marry Me, indeed, “I Do!”
Most Popular First Dance Songs
Spotify released the top 3 first dance songs of the year 2018. The first top two songs belong to the super-popular singer and songwriter, Ed Sheeran. The first spot is his song called Perfect. With lyrics starting with “I found the love for me…darling just dive in follow my lead…” make it a truly perfect wedding song.
The second spot goes his Thinking Out Loud song. This totally gives the right emotions that make you think this marriage will be long and lasting. With “Darling I will be loving you ‘til we’re 70” makes everyone think of forever. People indeed fall in love in mysterious ways.
The classic At Last by Etta James is number 3 on the list. Starting with the declaration…”At last, my love has come along, my lonely days are over, and life is like a song.” It is not a wonder why this oldie but goodie is still making waves to date.
The Best Song for a Slow Dance
A slow dance is the classic first wedding dance performed by your parents, by their parents, and, most likely, even their grandparents. This kind of dance is a favourite because it doesn’t include many fancy dance moves. All you need to do is hold hands, step closer, and sway to the slow tempo and melody of the music.
Slowing things down on the dance floor might be a good idea for setting a more romantic vibe. Setting the mood for all the right feels is hinged on the perfect slow dance ditty. The classic country tune Remember When by Alan Jackson focuses on the story of a couple falling in love and growing more in love as they grow old together. Tissues just might be necessary when listening to this song.
Leon Bridges’ Coming Home with its soulful and Motown-ish sound is a great classic choice. It actually balances out the best of an old traditional tune with a more modern style. This would be good played by a DJ, but even better when performed live on the spot by a jazz band.
Sway to the Most Popular Slow Dance Songs
Topping the Spotify list is the classic ballad called The Way You Look Tonight by Fred Astaire. “Someday, when I am awfully low, and the world the cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you, and the way you look tonight” so starts the song. And it very apt for indeed, the way your bride looks that night of your wedding is something that would be etched in your memory forever.
Another old song tops the charts with Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. This song was made popular in modern times by the movie, Ghost, with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. Speaking of a love that’s eternal is a good thing play for a wedding.
When a Man Loves a Woman is another oldie by Percy Sledge. It was made popular again in the 90s by the singer Michael Bolton. When a man genuinely loves a woman, indeed good things happen. Of course, nothing can be more true for a wedding that a groom deeply, madly in love with his bride.
Mother and Son Wedding Songs
When the groom takes his mum for a sweet and tender spin on the dance floor, everyone can’t help but feel sentimental. Finding the perfect song that captures the special bond between a mother and his son is vital. There may be a new woman in the man’s life, but his first girl and number one fan shall always be his mother.
These songs with the word mama on the title will surely be a good match: A Song for Mama by Boyz II Men, Mama Said by Lukas Graham, Thank you Mum by Good Charlotte, Mama by Spice Girls, Dear Mama by 2 Pac, Mother Like Mine by the Band Perry, and many more.
The Top Mother and Son Wedding Songs
No one should be able to overshadow mum at the wedding. It is important to play tribute to the woman who bore you into this world. She carried you for 9 months in her stomach and she carries you forever in her heart. The classic Nobody Loves Me But My Mother by the jazz musician BB King says this all. His beautifully done blues track will make everyone feel sentimental. We dare say everyone because all of us have mothers.
You also can’t go wrong with I’ll Always Love My Mama by the Intruders. With a pretty straightforward title and lyrics, it is pretty much obvious who this song is geared for. This deep soul oldie talks about everyone’s “favourite girl”. Be sure to give mum a tight squeeze as you dance with her and make her feel the love.
Mama Said by the Shireless speaks of the authority of mum when it comes to guiding children in their path of life. This golden oldie will once again stir the hearts of many. All that we are, we owe to our mothers.
Father and Daughter Dance Song
Daddy plays a very important part in a wedding. All eyes are also on him as he walks down the aisle to give his lovely daughter away to the new man in her life. Of course, this job is never easy. Father once again comes into the limelight when it’s time to take that father-daughter dance.
Here are some songs that encapsulate that daddy-daughter relationship: Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison, Have I told You Lately by Luther Vandross, Oh My Papa by Eddie Fisher, Dance with My Father by Luther Van Dross, and more.
Most Popular Father Daughter Dance Song
The most popular father-daughter dance song in the world is Bruce Springsteen’s When You Need Me. And indeed, dad shall always be there even if his daughter is already married. Nothing can be more touching than these words of affirmation.
Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely was a big hit in 1976 as a tribute to the birth of his daughter, Aisha. This song encapsulates a father’s pure love for his child. This song is the perfect accompaniment to a father who sees her daughter as the forever princess in his life.
Right By You sang and written by John Legend for his daughter Luna is truly heart-warming. It speaks of each father’s undying and unending support for his little darling. With words like, ”When you’re growing old and feeling out of touch, listen to this song and just take care. And know that I will be there, yeah, I will be there.” And indeed a father will always be there no matter what!
Good Songs for Couples
Of course, dancing for weddings shall be open to everyone once all the ceremonial things are done. Choosing the right wedding songs to dance the night away can bring about the feeling of camaraderie and togetherness. These beautiful loves songs will accompany you and your guests, making you think of past memories and new memories you’re about to make.
All of Me by John Legend always gives the giddy vibe. It screams romance and undying love. With words like “Cause all of me, loves all of you. Love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections.” Love is after all two imperfect people trying their hand at life while choosing never to give up on each other.
Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars is another hit that speaks of forging and strengthening bonds. It is successful in evoking feelings of nostalgia. The sweet lyrics: “When I see your face, there’s not a thing that I would change, because you’re amazing just the way you are!” Swoon. Everyone needs this kind of love in their life.
Whatever it is that you choose for your wedding, know that we at All Steps First Dance Studio are here to collaborate with you and make your dance preparations a breeze. Dancing should be all about letting loose, having fun, and being yourself. If you are feeling stressed out, take the necessary step to quash these feelings. Call us and we will gladly give you a helping hand so you can own the dance floor and make a good lasting impression.