What Song Should We Have for Our First Dance?

20/11/2023

The first dance on your wedding day is a very special moment. Therefore it's only fitting that you'll want your chosen song to be perfect for the occasion. But how do you choose the right one?

There are many factors to consider, such as the lyrics, the mood of the song, and your own personal connection to it. But there's certainly no right or wrong answer. It's entirely up to you and your partner to decide on the perfect first dance song.

However, if you're struggling to narrow down your options, we've compiled a list of the most popular first dance songs to help get you started.

What Are Some of the Most Popular First Dance Songs?

While you should never choose a song just because it's popular, seeing what other couples are dancing to can be helpful. Here are some of the most popular first dance songs, based on recent polls of marrying couples:

  • "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri
  • "All of Me" by John Legend
  • "At Last" by Etta James
  • "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley
  • "Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett
  • "Everything" by Michael Bublé
  • "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone
  • "Forever" by Ben Harper
  • "From This Moment On" by Shania Twain
  • "Give Me Love" by Ed Sheeran
  • "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen"Here and Now" by Luther Vandross
  • "How Long Will I Love You?" by Ellie Goulding
  • "I Do (Cherish You)" by 98 Degrees
  • "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz
  • "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
  • "In My Life" by The Beatles
  • "L-O-V-E" by Nat King Cole
  • "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding
  • "Make You Feel My Love" by Adele
  • "Marry Me" by Train
  • "May I Have This Dance" by Francis and the Lights
  • "Mirrors" by Justin Timberlake
  • "My Best Friend" by Tim McGraw
  • "My Girl" by The Temptations
  • "No One" by Alicia Keys
  • "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica
  • "One Call Away" by Charlie Puth
  • "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran
  • "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder
  • "Smile" by Nat King Cole
  • "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith
  • "The Luckiest" by Ben Folds
  • "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran
  • "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers
  • "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and The Waves
  • "We Found Love" by Rihanna
  • "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong
  • "When I Fall in Love" by Nat King Cole
  • "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton
  • "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne
  • "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
  • "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt
  • "Your Song" by Elton John

As you can see, there are plenty of great options out there. But don't feel like you have to pick one of these songs. If a particular song has meaning to you and your partner, go with that. The most important thing is choosing a song you'll enjoy dancing to together.

In case you're interested, a recent poll conducted by Black Tux found that "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers was the most popular choice for first dances, followed by "All of Me" by John Legend and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith. But, again, don't feel like you have to pick a popular song.

How to Choose the Perfect First Dance Song

Now that you have a better idea of some of the most popular first dance songs, it's time to start narrowing down your options. Here are a few things to consider as you choose the perfect song for your first dance:

The Lyrics

Everyone at your reception will hear the lyrics of your first dance song, so you want to make sure they're appropriate. Avoid anything that's too sad, angry, or sexually explicit. Instead, think about looking for a song with romantic, heartfelt lyrics that express your love for each other.

Your Connection to the Song

A first dance is all about celebrating your love for each other, so you want to choose a song that has special meaning to you. Maybe it was the song playing when you had your first kiss or the song you danced to before you proposed. If you can't think of a song with personal significance, choose one that simply makes you feel happy and in love.

The Mood

You want your first dance to be romantic and intimate, so avoid any songs with a fast tempo or aggressive lyrics. Instead, look for something with a slow, dreamy feeling that will help you and your partner feel close to each other as you dance.

You Preferred Musical Genre

There's no point dancing to a slow, lovey-dovey song if you hate that kind of music. The same goes for any other genre — if you're not a fan, don't pick a song just because it's popular. Choose something you actually enjoy listening to so you can fully appreciate your first dance together.

Once you've considered all of these factors, you should be able to narrow down your options to at least a shortlist. If you're still having trouble choosing the perfect song, ask your friends and family for their recommendations. You can also consult your wedding planner or DJ for their professional opinion.

When is the First Dance at a Wedding?

In most instances, the first dance takes place right at the beginning of the dancing portion of the wedding reception, after the wedding meal. However, some choose to do it after the bride and groom have been introduced as a married couple and before dinner is served.

How Long Should a First Dance Be?

Your first dance doesn't need to be any longer than a couple of minutes. Any longer and you might start to feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. Plus, you want to leave plenty of time for your guests to hit the dance floor and enjoy the rest of the song with you. Just make sure you give enough time to your photographer or videographer to capture the moment.

How Should We Dance for Our First Dance?

The traditional way of dancing the first dance as a married couple is to hold each other close and move slowly, "swaying" around the dance floor. However, you can really do whatever feels comfortable for you.

If you're not into the traditional slow dance, you can add some personality to your first dance by doing something unique like a choreographed routine or even attempting more formal dances such as the Waltz or Foxtrot. The important thing is that you enjoy yourselves and have fun!

What if You Don't Want to Dance?

If the thought of dancing in front of all your guests fills you with dread, don't worry. There's no law saying you have to do it! You can simply choose a song that you love and have your first dance while everyone else is on the dance floor around you.

Alternatively, you can ask your DJ or band to play a song that everyone knows so everyone can join in and you don't feel like you're being stared at.

 

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