Photo by Sam Stroud Photography
Isn’t it amazing how a song can trigger a memory so intensely that it almost feels like you are right back in that moment? Songs can help define so many experiences in our lives that, at times, they become sacred. Imagine now having to pick a song that will forever symbolize your first dance as Mr. and Mrs. For some this is an easy breezy decision, a song chosen long before there was even an engagement in the works and for others it can feel like you are entering a battlefield. After all, you are faced with choosing a song that will forever trigger memories of your big day for the rest of your life! The options are endless and the pressure is on.
Choosing the perfect music and lyrics that will define your first moments together in married bliss is a challenge, but a very important part of the wedding planning process. While we wish we could just pick a song for you, you and I both know that it has to be something significant that speaks to you as a couple. The least we can do is offer a few things to consider to help you out when choosing your perfect song.
Pick Something Sentimental to Your Coupledom
Finding a song that relates in one way or another to your relationship is a good first step. Perhaps there is a song that symbolizes your first vacation together, or your first kiss. A tune that reminds you of something significant in your journey together is a surefire way to make your first dance feel extra special.
Consider Your Love Story
Take time to consider the important moments in your life together then do some research and try to locate songs that tell your particular love story. We urge you and your partner to listen to music as often as possible; while you are cooking together, going on walks or just relaxing on the couch. The more songs you listen to, the better chance you have at finding the perfect tune!
Focus on a Genre
There are so many wedding worthy songs to choose from and it would be nearly impossible to listen to them all, so a great step in narrowing down your choices is choosing a specific genre that you both enjoy. This of course may be easier said than done; perhaps one loves jazz and the other country, maybe one of you likes soft rock while the other prefers to rock out to ballads of the 80’s hair bands! Welcome to the art of compromise…one of the many things that make up a thriving marriage. Finding a common ground in your music will pave the way for a future of many more compromises to come.
Traditional vs. Contemporary
Almost as important as the genre is the age of the song. Are you willing to go back in time to choose a song that has been around for decades and has the longevity that will add a lovely timelessness to your first dance? A classic song that is less unique but will never go out of style? Or are you looking for something that is more tailored to your personality as a couple, a song that is neither predictable nor overused? Deciding what you want in terms of traditional vs contemporary early on, is a great starting point.
Be Mindful of the Melody
If your plan is to have an untraditional, fast paced dance, then by all means go for it! Find an upbeat song with a fast tempo that will be sure to leave your guests in awe! However, if slow dancing is more your speed, be mindful of the rhythm and the tempo when choosing. In fact it wouldn’t hurt to try out a couple of the tunes in your living room, to see which best suits your first dance style.
Length of the Song
One of the biggest indicators of a great song is the length. While a newly married couple would love to spend an eternity in the arms of one another, a song that is too long may bore your guests. On the contrary, a song that is too short may not give your photographer the right amount of time to capture all of the perfect shots of this momentous event. Not to worry…we have found in our experience that the perfect length of time for a first dance song is approximately two and a half minutes. If your perfect song is much longer than that, simply work your DJ beforehand to have them fade out your song at the perfect moment for that final first dance bow!
Check with your Band
While this is not a concern for everyone, if you are planning on hiring a band to perform on your wedding day, it is imperative that you make sure they can perform your wedding song. After all of the work you put into picking the perfect tune, you want to make sure your band is going to be able to present it in a way that will keep you wanting to hear it again and again!
People tend to gravitate towards certain songs for their first dance. If you have already seen someone dance to it beautifully, it is easy to picture yourself in this moment as well. On the other hand, some couples really want to stand out and so they have to get really creative with their options. It can be difficult figuring out where to begin in this somewhat arduous journey, but we can promise you that we have never been to a wedding without a first dance song. So whether you like fast or slow, classic or unique, we think that if you take a moment to consider what is truly important and what defines you as a couple, you will be proud of your decision when you dance with the one you love on your wedding day.