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Let’s Dance!

Romantic and Unique First Dance Song Ideas

You’ve prepped and planned for your big day, walked down the aisle, said your vows and sealed it all with a kiss. Now it’s time for your first dance with your new spouse – a moment you’re both sure to remember for years to come. Choosing a song that perfectly embodies your relationship is key, but easier said than done! Read on for our top tips on how to choose a first dance song.  

What makes for a memorable first dance? How can I choose a unique first dance song? To answer these questions and more, we asked professional wedding DJs Jason Huggins, managing member of Stylus S.E., and Justin Mann, owner of Mobile DJ Direct, to share their expertise.

Costs and Budget for North Carolina Bands and DJs

Hiring a wedding DJ isn’t a requirement, but there’s no end to the advantages you’ll gain from a pro who knows how to read the crowd and keep the party going. However, it’s important to take note of the budget you’ll need, and that the cost of hiring a professional DJ also covers the cost of equipment. 

Check out our Wedding Budget Breakdown blog for a rundown on total wedding costs. Professional DJs in the Raleigh area start at about $2,000 and can go up to $6,000 with add-ons. Middle-tier DJs start around $1,000 and lower-tier DJs charge about $200 to $400 per hour. Live bands cost an average of $3,000 to $7,000.

How to Pick Your First Dance Song

The first dance marks the beginning of a celebration! It sets the tone for the evening and will likely be one of the only quiet moments you’ll share together with your new spouse. If you’re stumped when it comes to first dance song ideas, keep reading for songs that you might not have considered.

According to Justin Mann, most couples opt for a slow song that “gets the emotions going and the tears flowing.” 

Romantic First Dance Song Ideas: 

Nobody But You – Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani
Beyond – Leon Bridges
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
Lover – Taylor Swift
Favorite Day – Wonderful Smith
Best Part – Daniel Caesar, H.E.R.
Yours – Russell Dickerson 
Off My Face – Justin Bieber 
Conversations in the Dark –John Legend 
I Am Yours – Andy Grammer 
The Only One – Music Travel Love 
Biblical – Calum Scott 
Cover Me Up – Morgan Wallen 
Lover (First Dance Remix) – Taylor Swift 
The Luckiest – Ben Folds 
Another (Wedding Version) – Adam Doleac

But first dance songs don’t always have to be love songs! Your song should hold a special meaning to you and your beloved, but don’t think you have to pick a sappy love song or emotional ballad if that isn’t what you want to dance to. Instead, you might choose the song that was playing when you and your future spouse first met, or a song by your favorite artist. If you’re just not feeling the slow songs, don’t be afraid to choose something more upbeat.

Unique First Dance Song Ideas:

Ray LaMontagne – You Are The Best Thing
Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You – Lauryn Hill
Shut Up & Dance – WALK THE MOON
The Way You Look Tonight – Maroon 5
Is This Love – Bob Marley & The Wailers
Come and Get Your Love – Redbone
Ain’t Leavin Without You – Jaheim
Rising Water – James Vincent McMorrow 
Lisztomania – Phoenix 
Everywhere – Fleetwood Mac 
A Dream of You and Me – Future Islands 
Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks 
Be My Baby – The Ronettes 
Kiss Me – Sixpence None The Richer 
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams 
All I Want Is You – Barry Louis Polisar 
Grow Old With You – Adam Sandler
All Your’n – Tyler Childers 
Sugar Magnolia – Grateful Dead 
Blue Sky – Allman Brothers Band 
You & You Alone – Umphrey’s McGee 
Long Distance Love – Little Feat 
The Meaning – Fruition 
Away From the Mire – Billy Strings 
Bring Your Love To Me – The Avett Brothers

It might not be an entirely romantic song, but it’s critical to remember there is only one first dance in a wedding and there cannot be any regrets — just happy memories.

First Dance Ideas

Then comes the dance. Not everyone at a wedding will remember every detail years later, but friends and loved ones  will always remember watching your first dance.

 When a couple shares the first dance together, it’s not just an emotional moment, but it represents the beginning of their new life as a married couple, as well as an investment in their future. But, again, how you choose to dance (or not at all) is up to you, just like the rest of your day.

“Some couples just wing it, while other couples choose to do a choreographed dance. Most couples choose to dance to the entirety of the song while others choose to have the song fade out around the two-minute mark,” Justin says. 

Justin notes that at a recent wedding he worked at, the couple decided to scrap the first dance altogether and instead opted to play a “first game” on the TV in front of all their guests.

As for parents of the couple dances, couples often let their parents choose the song. “In general, we’re seeing songs that the parents associate with [the newlywed’s] childhood. Stuff like songs they used to sing together when they were little, or songs from their favorite movies, like from Disney,” Jason says.

Another idea that’s become a popular choice is to share a private last dance  after all your guests leave. After the whirlwind of your big day, it might feel as if the whole day has gone by in a flash. Taking the time to slow dance with your partner, share an embrace and reflect on your spectacular wedding day. 

“Regardless of what you decide to do, it’s a moment that will stay with you forever, and the pictures of your first dance will be some of your favorites in the photo album,” Jason Huggins says.

Justin adds, “there’s really no right or wrong way to do it.”

Choosing Your First Dance Song

Stumped when it comes to choosing your first dance song? Think about a song that is reflective of your relationship over time. The best song to share a first dance to is a melody that signifies the importance of your relationship and determines the mood for the rest of the evening. 

“People aren’t afraid to pick songs that are important to them rather than a song that ‘seems’ appropriate,” says Jason Huggins. “That means that if they pick something like Ed Sheeran or John Legend, it’s not because everyone else is picking [those songs], it’s because they have a personal story or relationship to the song that speaks to their love.”

Justin agrees. “Couples should pick anything their heart desires. The song selection can be one that ties in with the wedding theme or be totally off the wall. There really are no rules in today’s weddings!”

Consider This For Your First Dance

When it comes to picking a first dance, don’t feel like you have to do anything fancy or extravagant if that’s not your style. “It’s totally OK to sit there, hold each other, and just share the moment to celebrate how far you’ve come while you’re wrapped in each other’s arms. Sway side to side, smooch, or just talk about how uncomfortable your shoes are,” Jason advises. Remember that your first dance is a moment to share and reflect with one another, and celebrate being married! – By Teresa Fang

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