Tips For Picking A First Dance Song

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


The Importance of your Wedding DJ

Can you imagine what would happen if the DJ announced that the couple was about to have their first dance and the couple was nowhere to be found? Maybe they were in the bathroom or maybe they were outside of the ballroom for a few minutes talking to guests. Either way, they definitely could not be found and there was this  moment where there was dead silence and you cold almost hear crickets… AWKWARD!

Many couples don’t realize that  someone has to be in charge of the flow of things throughout the entire reception. Since it is  impossible  for them to stop every five minutes and organize the next step or to line everyone up for  announcements, toasts, dances and cake cutting – who will take charge and make sure things run smoothly? Actually it is the DJ. Surprised?

This is not the kind of thing you want to learn by trial and error since there is no trial and no room for error. You have one chance to make things right so you and your DJ need to be on the same page from the very beginning.

A good DJ will make sure things run smoothly throughout the entire evening but,  a great DJ is one that will go the extra mile and make it fun. and know how to get the guests on the dance floor.

Make sure you get to meet with the DJ who will be at your event.  This  is important since you will want to get a handle on their  their appearance and overall demeanor so that it is a good fit for your wedding. Of course there could be an emergency so ask about a backup DJ and meet with him or her as well.

Ask how long he has been working for this company or how long he has been working as a wedding DJ. You want to ensure that your DJ has been around long enough to understand wedding protocols, timing and the needs of  your wedding.

Ask about a playlist. If you specifically request ‘no chicken dance’ then you should be guaranteed there will be no chicken dance. Go over the playlist based on your music preferences and don’t be afraid to be specific. You may want to have a lot of Elvis, more Tony Bennet, or (God forbid) no disco. This is your wedding, make it clear up front what kinds of music you like and a good DJ will be thrilled that you are so thorough.

Make sure your DJ is willing to accommodate your individuality. If  he comes across as skeptical or unenthusiastic, look elsewhere.

Both the bride and the groom should meet with the DJ and agree this is the person they want representing them at their wedding. This is one of the few parts of the wedding planning that  I feel you MUST do as a couple.

Do not be talked into signing a contract before you are ready and don’t fall for high-pressure sales scare tactics. This is a red flag in any situation – not just hiring a DJ.

Do a little background check, ask for references and get everything in writing. This is one of the most important parts of your entire reception and you don’t want it ruined by a non-professional DJ who refers to Grandma Rose as a ‘hot chick’ …. or worse. Ask to ‘attend’ another one of their events to see how their style measures up. There you will see the DJ in action and be able to assess if he or she is the right choice for you.

Bridal Expo has the best DJ companies in Chicago exhibiting and performing at each and every one of our shows. Call 847-428-3320 and get  tickets to a show in your area so you can see for yourself what everyone is talking about.