10 Tips for Selecting the Right First Dance Song

bride and groom at small wedding receptionA first dance with your new spouse is a special wedding reception moment; one that should be accompanied by a very special song. We’ve assisted many Chicagoland couples with planning their wedding reception—and specifically their wedding first dance. Some couples have a definite idea of what “their” song is, and others are still trying to find the right song for the occasion. If you’re in the latter category, use these tips to select the right first dance song for the perfect wedding reception.

Think back to your early dating days.

Memorable moments can be the perfect inspiration—and the song doesn’t always have to be playing at the time. Sometimes the right song can describe that moment perfectly, either in sentiment or in perfect detail (almost like they were there…).

Ask your family and friends for ideas.

If you want to pay homage to someone special, such as parents or grandparents, ask that person or persons for the song that played during their first dance with their husband or wife. It’s also okay to ask for suggestions from friends and family; it can even be fun to do a general survey and get input from your friends (just remember that it’s your wedding day and your first dance).

Find inspiration in a fav.

How much fun would it be to dance to your absolute favorite song? The right first dance song doesn’t have always have to be slow; if you want a unique first dance that’s close to your heart, opt for your absolute fav song—just make sure it’s your spouse’s new favorite too.

Listen to songs.

The simplest advice for finding the right first dance song for your big day is to just listen. Mix up your favorite tunes and listen to a random mix, both on your own and as a couple.

Make the decision together.

When making the decision for your first dance together as newlyweds, find some commonality so you can make the selection as a couple. Look for some commonality, such as a favorite movie (and movie sound track), musical, or special past time.

Decide what era song is right for your wedding atmosphere.

It’s the age-old wedding first dance debate: modern versus vintage? The answer depends on the existing wedding day details. If planning a vintage wedding, find inspiration in the decade of the wedding. Make a new hobby of listening to the classics and finding the right song that fits your love story.

Have your friends “nominate” songs.

If you want a fun way to get your guests’ input, hold a contest on your wedding website or on the RSVP cards. It’s simple: come up with your top 3 choices for first dance songs and ask your guests to vote on it. Once the votes have been calculated, make a big deal about announcing the winning song at the wedding reception.

Choose the song based on the dance.

Have a favorite dance that shows all your best moves—or a few? Show off your fancy dance moves with a specially choreographed dance or medley. To up the ante, keep your dance lessons a secret from everyone—except your DJ. Get your DJ in on the fun, and let them make a big deal about your surprise.

Keep it short and sweet.

A wedding first dance is a special moment, but don’t let the moment be too long or boring for guests. When choosing the first dance song, choose a song that is not too long (ask your DJ if you are concerned about your first dance song length). You don’t want your guests to leave because it’s taking too long to get back on the dance floor.

Ask the pros for suggestions.

Hopefully, your DJ has been there, done that. (That should be one of the reasons you hired them!) If you’re still lost on the right first dance song, don’t hesitate to ask the seasoned pro for recommendations (and ways to make it over-the-top).

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