You can check any list of the most popular first dance songs from this week, last year or ten years ago and the same songs will sprinkle the list, with a few current popular songs poking their way through to the top ten. The top ten almost always includes: Unchained Melody (Righteous Brothers), Can’t Falling I Love With You (Elvis Presley), Unforgettable (Nat King Cole), The Way You Look Tonight (Frank Sinatra) and rounding out the list, At Last (Etta James). There are a lot of other really popular songs but these are ALWAYS in the top five.
So what do you do if you don’t want the MOST popular song? What if you don’t choose a ballad or a classic or even a well-known song?What if you and your fiance have a song that made you connect but, it isn’t exactly what other people expect for the first dance? According to industry experts – you should go for it, as long as it is not offensive. The first dance will set the mood for the entire evening so it is an important choice. Here are some points to consider:
Think about what relates to your relationship. One of the first steps of choosing a first dance tune is to try to find a song that matches the way that you feel about each other or relates to a past moment in your lives together. It nay not be a ballad, and that’s okay. A song that makes you connect, a song that brought you together, a song you share with one another (spiritually) and no one else. It should reflect your taste and your own personal style.
Choose a danceable song. It’s important to remember that you’ll be cutting a rug to whatever song you choose. Even if you have the perfect lyric, a song with an off tempo can cause trouble. Choose a rhythm that fits your own rhythm as a couple, and make sure to practice a few times to see how you feel with the track. You may want to take dance lessons or you may be comfortable swaying to the music. Remember that most country music is 3/4 (waltz) tempo, this can be off-putting for some people. Songs that are too slow or change tempo can also be troublesome.
Make it memorable. When you have your potential first dance song list in mind, think about which of these melodies will stand out to you years down the road. Pick a song that stands the test of time. It doesn’t have to be an oldie but, it should be a goodie.
Talk to your DJ. Make sure you have discussed your first song with the DJ and he or she is aware of the significance. If there is some history that could be shared, that is even better! Don’t forget to let the DJ know if you want a particular version since many artists ‘cover’ classic songs. You may like the cover version better.
Listen & Feel. Make sure you are aware of all the lyrics. Some lyrics will surprise you and even though it sounds like a love song- it might actually be a breakup song…. or worse. I had been dating my (now) husband for about 6 months when he reminded me that we didn’t have a song (seriously). So we sat down and went through playlists, we spent hours listening to music that meant something to us, it took several days because every song was better than the one before – plus the fact that we had to weed out the ones that belonged to prior relationships. By accident we came across a song we both loved, one that really meant something to both of us, the lyrics were perfect and we literally started dancing when it came on. It’s only funny if you know my husband. “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything” by Barry White. I get a rush every time I hear it and that’s how your wedding song should feel.
Save the funny, irreverent and inappropriate songs for later in the evening, after everyone is half in the sack. Making “I like Big Butts” or “Like a Virgin” your wedding song may seem funny but, unless every one of your guests is in on the joke – you can expect some fairly odd expressions.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago