When it comes to your first dance, you might think, “everyone else has a song, why don’t we have one yet?”  It’s ok if you haven’t figured out your first dance song, we can help you find it!

Your first dance is so personal! For some couples, your song is all about the lyrics and speaks to your relationship on a deep level. For others, your first song isn’t necessarily relevant lyrically, and it might not even be “romantic”, but it is a song that reminds you of a significant moment in your relationship.

So keep that in mind as you read through this post. We will make suggestions for songs that could work for you, but more importantly, we will give you tips to help you choose a song that is personal to you and your partner. 

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What if we don’t have a song?

“We just don’t know what song to choose!”

If you are having trouble selecting your first dance song, that’s ok! We will help you figure it out. 

Have a first dance date night. This can be as simple as ordering DoorDash from your favorite restaurant and spending the evening listening to music and choosing your song. 

Pick a genre. What type of music do you gravitate to? Country, old soul, top 30, R&B? This can help you narrow down the type of songs you listen to during your date. 

Listen to the lyrics, dance to them together, and really envision what the moment’s going to be like on that day. What song really speaks to you? When it comes on, you will know. 

And if you are worried that your song isn’t traditionally romantic or slow enough to be a first dance, look for an instrumental version of it! The Vitamin String Quartet has some great instrumental versions of songs, or you can simply search “Instrumental version of …..” on YouTube for a ton of options. 

choosing your first dance wedding song
Photo by Jin Wedding

What if our song is really long?

Don’t worry about the length of your song. It’s so easy for your DJ to find a good place to fade it out so it ends when you choose. You can plan it out with your DJ and decide ahead of time what that point will be, or simply give them a nod when you are ready to fade out the song. This works well for your parent dances too.

Some people want to dance to the whole song, while others don’t like being the center of attention and want their first dance to be fast. Whichever one you are, we always suggest dancing to at least two minutes of the song for the sake of the photographer or videographer. Two minutes is generally enough time for them to get the shots they are wanting. After that, the DJ can fade it out with a simple, “ladies and gentlemen, our newlyweds!”

You can read more on the spotlight dances here.

first dance wedding song
Photo by Polinach

Do we need to choreograph or practice our dance?

Lots of couples feel pressured to choreograph their first dance, but whether you do or not really depends on what type of couple you are.

Some couples love dancing together and envision their first dance as being a choreographed ballroom dance or waltz. Taking lessons and learning the dance is something that many couples really enjoy, and it just adds more to the experience of their wedding day. 

Other couples don’t want to choreograph a full dance, but they do want to go into it with confidence that they aren’t going to trip over their partner’s feet. If this is you, it can be good to practice your first dance a few times beforehand, and even take a couple of lessons if you want just to get the timing down. It can be as simple as learning a basic box step. Maybe you practice a dip or twirl to add in just for fun!

Then there are the couples who just want to slow dance like they did in high school, just holding their partner and swaying to the song. If this is more of your style, it can be really sweet. Being in the moment and forgetting the guests are even there; singing the song to each other or simply gazing into each other’s eyes. It’s not only a beautiful moment in your night, but if one of you has two left feet and is super nervous about the first dance, it takes away all of that pressure. 

First dance song suggestions

If a song speaks to you and your partner, don’t worry about it being cliche or overused. We have lots of couples who say they are worried about this, and here is our response: first, it’s your song, if it’s special to you, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Secondly, almost all songs have different cover options that you can use to make your first dance unique. Here are some examples of non-traditional songs that have plenty of beautiful cover options:

  • Shallow – A Star Is Born
  • Marry Me – Bruno Mars
  • A Thousand Years – Twilight
  • Until I Found You – Steven Sanchez
  • First Date – Blink 182 (not traditional, but Taylor Acorn has a cover that is really beautiful!)
  • A Million Dreams – The Greatest Showman
  • Conversations in the Dark or All of Me – John Legend
  • Lover – Taylor Swift

As we mentioned earlier, if there is a song you love and want to find a cover that will work for the tone of your wedding, head to YouTube. Search “acoustic cover” or “instrumental cover” and you should be able to find a version that you love.

bride and groom first dance wedding song
Photo by Abi Greer

Resources to help

Looking for help with a part of (or all of) your wedding day? We have lots of resources to help! 

To help choose your first dance, or any other songs, we have the Wedding Music Planner. It walks through every section of your wedding day and gives suggestions of songs, along with timing and sections of the song that could be perfect for you! 

For DIY help with the rest of your wedding day, download our wedding planning bundle with a budget tracker, vendor list, checklist, music planner, and more!

And if you plan better when you can talk things through with someone, we also offer virtual wedding planning services where we will meet one on one with you and your partner over Zoom!

You can book one Zoom call (maybe a music planning session!) or a whole series of meetings where we can walk you through the planning process from start to finish. 

If you take anything from this post let it be this: have a first dance date night. When you hear your song, you’ll know!

You don’t need to find the song that your guests or DJ will remember 10 years later…you need to find the song that you and your partner will remember in 10 years; the song that comes on randomly in 10 years when you’re cooking dinner or changing a diaper and all of those emotions and memories come flooding back in. The song that compels the two of you to dance in the kitchen and relive the memory of your first dance. 

With your song, as well as all of the other parts of your wedding, do what feels right to you. When your personality and your partner’s personality are allowed to shine through in your planning, an absolutely magical wedding day will be the result!

Happy planning!

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How to Choose Your First Dance Song



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