Choosing a first dance song seems like it should be one of the easiest wedding-planning decisions. But once couples realize how many great options are out there, the pressure can start to mount overwhelmingly. After all, whichever song you pick will be the one that you define as “yours” for the rest of your lives together.
But don’t worry! We’ve compiled a few guidelines to ensure that your tune is worth replaying in 40 years.
Find A Common Musical Interest
Sometimes, opposites do attract, so it’s possible that you and your fiancé don’t share the same taste in music. Narrow down the selection by focusing on one genre you both do like.
Worried that the song you’re thinking of using isn’t typically associated with weddings? You’re not alone. Using the Internet is a great way to find more obscure songs and artist collaborations when the band or artist’s standard music isn’t a good fit
Look For Lyrics That Speak To Your Relationship Together
Finding a set of lyrics that tell your story is the difference between a sweet love song and your love song. Were you friends before you started dating? Did you spend a long time struggling with a long-distance relationship? Did you meet each other later in life with kids and a previous marriage already under your belt? Whatever your story is, there’s a song that speaks to it from both ends of the spectrum.
Pick a Beat You Can Dance To
You don’t need to hire a choreographer or ballroom dance instructor, but you do need to make sure you feel comfortable dancing to the song you chose. If you have your heart set on certain lyrics but wish the song had a different rhythm, ask your band if they can prepare a customized rendition of the song for your wedding.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Unconventional
We love a sweet old-fashioned slow dance, but if shuffling along to the likes of Celine Dion just isn’t your style, then choose something a little more upbeat. This is a great opportunity to express yourself and your relationship with the love of your life.
Deciding whether to go the traditional or funky route all depends on what you feel connected to as a couple. Above all, keep in mind that if you and your hubby have a personal connection to a particular song, your guests will feel the love that you radiate on the dance floor, even if it’s not a “typical” wedding tune.
Listen to your music libraries on shuffle
Play your favorite iTunes or Spotify playlists back and forth for each other on shuffle. Make sure to pause and note particularly dance-worthy tracks. Like the song but not sure whether it’ll fit the mood of the evening? Try giving your partner a spin in your living room. If the pace seems too fast or the lyrics don’t seem to fit, nix it.
Call a friend or family member
The people who know you best have probably seen, or at least heard about, your significant other since the beginning. If you trust their input — and musical tastes — consider asking them to suggest a song that reminds them of you and your partner. Even if you don’t wind up selecting one of their choices, it might be fun, and enlightening, to see what songs they come up with.
Use your venue as inspiration
Getting married in a century-old barn in the country? Consider an acoustic, country, or folksy track. For a more formal evening in a museum or historical building, consider a classic, such as Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World,” Ray Charles’s “Come Rain or Come Shine” or Marvin Gaye’s “You’re All I Need to Get By.” For an offbeat location, like an art gallery or brewery, consider “I Found You” by Alabama Shakes or “May I Have This Dance” by Francis and the Lights and Chance the Rapper.
Steal your favorite celebrity couple’s song choice
You look to stars for all sorts of inspiration, from what to wear to what to name your labradoodle, so why not take a cue from the rich and famous when picking a first-dance track?
Play your favorite movie soundtrack
No one captures romance quite like Hollywood, and luckily, some of film’s most memorable, heart-swooning moments are tied to music. Who could forget Adam Sandler serenading Drew Barrymore mid flight with “I Wanna Grow Old With You” in “The Wedding Singer”? Borrow their happily-ever-after musical moment for your own.
Consider a mash-up.
Looking to add a wow or surprise factor to the dance? Consider a fusion of songs, such as a simple, classic romantic ballad that segues into a happy, upbeat number that will encourage guests to make their way to the dance floor.
Pick something significant and sentimental
Take a trip down memory lane and come up with a list of songs that are meaningful to both of you and your relationship. Maybe it’s the song on the radio during your first date or the encore to an unforgettable concert you attended. Even if one song doesn’t emerge as the winner, a list will help you formulate an idea for what genre and lyrics you both gravitate toward.