Choosing a Song for your First Dance

Venue, dress, catering… check, check, check.  Invitations sent out… check.  Now what’s left for your wedding preparations?  Plan your First Dance at your Wedding!  It’s really the only part in your whole wedding day where you and your fiance are up to your own.  No minister or official telling you what to say, no photographer telling you where to stand, no wedding planner telling what’s next.

Once you’ve come to grips with the idea of dancing with your fiance in front of your family and friends it’s time to get the ball rolling.  To start the process you and your fiance will need to decide on a song to dance to.

Ultimately, of course, your First Dance should be a song that is meaningful for you and your fiancé.  There certainly are songs that may be easier or harder to dance to, based on the tempo and rhythm of the music, but generally, you can pretty much dance to anything!  I’d say, if the song is special for you, then stick to it.   A good dance instructor can always tailor the steps and make it suitable for your ability level.

What if you don’t have a ‘special song’?

There are basically 2 major factors that you have to consider when choosing your song:

  1. Style of the music
  2. Length of the song

What’s the feeling that you want to get from your First Dance?  Do you want it to be a traditional-style, slow and romantic piece?  Or do you want it to be more upbeat, so that you can groove to it?  Or do you want to pull out a ‘surprise’ dance in the middle (which seems to be a popular trend these days)?

In our experience at JC Dance Co, anything goes!   I would say that the majority of couples still go with the slow and romantic pieces, but we have had some very different and very cool dances as well!  Just to give you some ideas…  We’ve done Tango, Rumba, Salsa, Cha cha, and even movie themes like Grease and Dirty Dancing.

It’s your dance, so do with it what you want.  First choose the feel, and then go from there.

Most of the time, I suggest the length of the song to be somewhere between 2 and 3 and a half minutes. Any longer than that, and it can get a bit too repetitive for you and your guests.  Have you ever been to one of those weddings where the bride and groom do the Grade 8 Shuffle for what seems like forever?  Please do us a favour and don’t bore your guests!

Generally, the more steps you know, the longer the song can be.  So if you’re willing to take some dance lessons and learn a few cool moves, then I’d say you can go closer to 3 minutes.  If you’re mostly shuffling about or just know a couple moves, then I’d say to keep it down closer to 2 min.

Either way, it doesn’t mean you have to pick a song that is a certain length; you can always cut or fade the music.  I usually prefer cutting the music somewhere in the middle, especially if the song has a proper ending to it.  Doing it that way requires an extra step, but it makes it a lot more professional sounding than a DJ fading out the music at the end.

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