The first dance songs are big moments when our bands love to make you look great in the spotlight, but lots of work goes on behind the scenes. Here are some key topics we like to cover in consultation with our engaged couples.
Who’s On Your Wedding Dance Card?
Many couples will keep it simple with only their first dance. It’s also common to include a Mother/Son, Father/Daughter, Horah, Square Dance, or maybe even a flash mob! Of course the couple’s first dance is most important, but it’s helpful to know the full dance card when planning the wedding.
Many wedding pros and venues with a “wedding factory” mentality tend to clump all the first dances in a 15-minute block. We think it is more romantic and elegant to feature the couple’s first dance early in the evening and have any other special dances later-on.
Not only does this make your dance extra-special, but the other dances later in the evening are a nice way to refocus the room amidst the chatter of dinner and add form to the evening.
It is totally normal to be apprehensive about the first dance. If you’re feeling shaky on the steps, a live band is a huge support. One of the best things about first dance songs with a live band is that the band can create a graceful ending at any time. A DJ can do their best with a fade-out, but a band can cut the music short in a way that will feel totally natural.
While some are nervous, others relish the spotlight and can’t wait to show off their moves. For these couples a live band also offers many benefits. Just as they can cut it short, the band can extend the song. A band also compliments and reacts to your energy on the dance floor, and the excitement in the room. They can build and crescendo along with your steps to create a one of a kind rendition that will only be heard at your wedding!
Many couples are turning to dance instructors for help with their first dance. This is probably one of the only wedding planning activities that you can keep doing all throughout your marriage. Learning a new skill together also brings you closer to one another.
Check out our article with guest blogger: Simone Assboek. All About First Dance Instruction
We can suggest songs, but we always prefer that the couple chooses music that is meaningful to them. Here are a few fun combinations from real weddings we’ve played in the past few years:
Couple: “Whenever I See Your Smiling Face” -James Taylor
Mother/Son: “Higher and Higher” -Jackie Wilson
Father/Daughter: “I Loved Her First” -Heartland
Couple: “Annie’s Song” -John Denver
Mother/Son: “Day’s Like This” -Van Morrison
Father/Daughter: “The Times of Your Life” -Paul Anka
Couple: “Higher and Higher” Jackie Wilson
Entire Wedding Party and Family: Ceilidh Dance, Traditional Scottish Dancing, “Mair’s Wedding”
Couple: “Nothing Can Change This Love” -Sam Cooke
Mother/Son: “Rocking Down the Highway” -Doobie Brothers
Father/Daughter: “To Know You is To Love You” -BB King
*This was a Motown themed wedding, but the first dances were mostly Country!
Couple: “I Don’t Dance” -Lee Brice
Mother/Son: “My Wish” -Rascal Flatts
Father/Daughter: “I Hope You Dance” -Lee Ann Womack
Groom/Daughter: “Gracie Girl” -Ben Folds
We really enjoyed these unique choices and how they brought out the personalities of both the couple and their families. Here’s a spotify playlist with the songs above:
See You On the Dance-Floor!
The first dances are very special moments and we take an individual approach with each couple. We are happy to make suggestions, but we never make the couple choose from a set list of songs. Anytime we book a wedding it is understood that the first dance songs will be special requests. Learning new songs is part of what we love about being musicians.