For many people, walking down the isle is the biggest day of their life. They spend months looking for the perfect dress or tuxedo for the traditional wedding ceremony. The whole occasion is usually very formal and organized. Even the couple’s first dance can be static and frankly, quite uninspired. Some waltz and act like they are at a regal ball while others like to have more fun using the time to be silly while shaking a leg. This post is about those who like to actually have fun when they dance. You’ll see songs and dances you know, but also ones that will surprise you. Either way, you’ll certainly get a kick out of these funny first wedding dances.
Evolution of Wedding Dance
Crazy in Love
Come Fly With Me – Skills!
Original Wedding Surprise – Viral YouTube Goodness
Chariots of Fire
Charleston – AMAZING!
Or, the Groomsmen can just dance by themselves
You’ll only have your first dance song once (at least per wedding), so you want to make it special. While there have been many brides and grooms who have decided to shake it up a bit, there is something to be said for a sweet and romantic traditional first dance.
There are, however, some things to remember when picking your song. Not the least important of which is the length of your song. Of course, it is your day, but you don’t really want to keep your guests from the buffet line for 7-9 minutes while you dance your first dance. A good length is anywhere from 2.5 to 4 minutes long. We’ve picked some songs here that fall into those time constraints, but have a nice sentiment and (in some cases) an opportunity to show off some good dance moves. Here we have your top 10 first dance songs for your wedding. Enjoy.
10. You Say It Best (When You Say Nothing At All) – Alison Krauss (3:55)
Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz wrote this song in the mid-eighties, and it first appeared as the A-side to Keith Whitley’s single release from his album Don’t Close Your Eyes (Lucky Dog was the B-side). The song really got exposure in 1994 when Alison Krauss and Union Station recorded at Keith Whitley tribute album. It’s been played at weddings all over the world, and remains one of the most popular first dance songs.
9. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley (2:57)
Written by seminal songwriters of their time for a little film called Blue Hawaii, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You is one of the most romantic releases by the King of Rock and Roll. If you’re looking to spice it up a little, try the UB40 version, released in 1993.
8. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters (3:06)
Despite it’s unlikely beginnings (it was originally in a bank commercial), this classic Carpenter’s tune is a mainstay of adult contemporary music, and is still in high demand at weddings all over the world. While not The Carpenter’s Grammy-winning tune (which was the sticky-sweet “Close To You”), “We’ve Only Just Begun” certainly helped The Carpenter’s win Best New Artist in 1971, and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. While Karen Carpenter died suddenly and tragically in 1982, her clear and beautiful voice stays current even today.
7. Shameless – Garth Brooks (3:32)
Billy Joel originally wrote the song and it appeared on his album Storm Front. While it didn’t exactly set the music world on fire, it certainly caught the attention of an up-and-coming Garth Brooks, who covered it on his album Ropin’ The Wind in 1991. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks and remains one of Brooks’ most romantic and most-requested songs. Plus, it’s easy to dance to.
6. In My Life – The Beatles (2:18)
Few songs have a sentiment that is 100% right on. This brief Beatles tune, which appeared on the 1963 album Rubber Soul. John wrote the lyrics, Paul wrote the melody, and what was born was a sweet little ditty that is perfect if you a) want a REALLY short first dance song that gets your point across or b) really hate dancing and just sort of want to sway but still look cool because you picked a Beatles song. It’s a win-win, really.
5. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (3:22)
There are oh-so-many versions of this song, but this is the version we like the most. The lyrics are just lovely (“with each word your tenderness grows/tearing my fear apart/and that laugh that wrinkles your nose/touches my foolish heart”), plus it’s got a nice little rhythm to it if you want to do something OTHER than just stand there and sway. Plus, it’s an all-about-the-bride song, which is never a bad thing.
4. Forever & Ever, Amen – Randy Travis (3:34)
For the country fans out there, this is lyrically perfect for a wedding, plus it’s got a little bit of a beat that you can dance to. Released in 1987, the song won a Grammy, and is one of Randy Travis’s best known tunes. Check out the sweet performance from a groom to his bride here, or take a listen to the original song (link to Randy Travis video) and tell us it’s not a near-perfect first dance song.
3. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr. (2:51)
Written by early bandleader Isham Jones and released in 1924, this song has been performed by a slew of artists in many different films. Remember Casablanca? Annie Hall? We guess an ionic movie deserves an iconic song. And so does your wedding. The lyrical sentiments are sentimental and appropriate, if not a little melancholy (It had to be you/wonderful you/I wondered around/And finally found/Somebody who/Could make me be true/Could make me feel blue/And even be glad/Just to be sad/Thinking of you”), and it’s a classic standard that is well-loved and remembered. What could be better?
2. Lucky – Jason Mraz with Colbie Callait (3:23)
Maybe you’d like something a little more current. This cute little ditty just screams WEDDING SONG with it’s lilting melody and it’s romantic lyrics (“Lucky I’m in love with my best friend”). Destined to be a well-loved and often-used song for first dances, it makes the list because of its potential, but it’s a good choice also because it hasn’t had a chance to be overdone. Plus, even if your older relatives don’t recognize it, they can’t deny how catchy and sweet it is.
1. At Last – Etta James (3:02)
Call us cliché, but we’ve seen some of the most romantic and beautiful first dances danced to this song. So many, in fact, that we’re showing a clip from a movie rather than a clip of a bride and groom dancing to it. There are too many to pick from. Although the Beyonce version is nice (and Presidential), the Etta James version is a classic – you literally can’t go wrong with it as your first dance.
- 10 Baby Boomer Songs That are Still Alive and Kicking (makethelist.net)
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You’ve already auditioned your brother’s rock band, and you know that Metallica covers are not what you had in mind for your wedding reception. You’ve decided to hire a DJ, but don’t know where to start. Just remember these simple rules and you’ll have a DJ that spins gold.
Interview before you book him or her
Don’t take it from your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister’s fiancé that Joe DJ is the best DJ around. Interview Joe DJ first to make sure it’s a good fit. Remember that this day is all about you, so if Joe DJ has his “wedding formula’ and refuses to deviate from that, he’s probably not the DJ for you. Not only will you want to get a feel for the DJ’s commitment to your reception, but you’ll also want to check out their operation. Here are a few things to remember: Read more
For most engaged couples, the wedding reception is a time to kick back, enjoy yourselves and celebrate with your family and friends. And nothing sets the stage for good times better than excellent music. This makes the selection of the right DJ critical, because they can make or break your reception.
After you hire your DJ, there are a few things regarding the DJ you should keep in mind as you move forward toward your big day and make plans for the musical portion of your evening.
1. Make your expectations of the DJ clear – If you want the DJ to be your emcee and announce the wedding party as well as play a more vocal role in the evening, you need to let your DJ know about this ahead of time. This also means providing him with a list of the wedding party as well as how to pronounce all the names. In addition, if there are any special dances or announcements he/she needs to make, let them know when all this needs to occur.
2. Plan your playlist ahead of time – Most DJs take pride in selecting the playlist based on your musical preferences, and this is perfectly fine. But if you have any special requests or must-play songs, you need to let the DJ know ahead of time. Some DJs use DJ event management software with which you can pick out particular songs from their music library, so if this is an option you should take advantage of it.
3. Map out the dance floor setup – This requires working with both your DJ and your venue to determine where the dance area will be set up and where the DJs equipment will be placed. DJs are very particular about their equipment and know exactly where speakers should be placed in order to get the best sound quality, so you should consider having them visit the venue to determine ahead of time the music logistics. Again, DJs with DJ event management software may have tools so you can collaborate in planning the setup with them.
4. Check in with your DJ a few days ahead of the event – You should do this with every vendor, but definitely confirm with your DJ a few days ahead about the time and place to make sure you are all on the same page. This can avoid any last-minute no-shows or lateness.
5. Put a friend in charge of assisting the DJ – Again, you should do this with all your big vendors, but the DJ has lots to set up and organize, so you should put a friend or family member in charge of checking with the DJ to make sure they are all set and if they need any help. Any good DJ should be fine, but it’s always best to have someone there in case of emergency (because you probably won’t have time to deal with it).
photo by by Corrie…
Okay, y’all. Let’s have a little talk about the first dance with your dad. Call it the Father/Daughter Dance, the Daddy/Daughter Dance, The Give The Bride Away Dance, whatever. There are songs that are just PERFECT for this particular part of the most special day of your life, and then there are songs that you should absolutely, no matter what, stay away from.
Obviously, if you have a special song that you used to dance to with your daddy – your little socked feet atop his shiny shoes – by all means pick that one. We’ll assume since it’s a song you danced to when you were a wee thing that it’s most likely family-appropriate. It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with dads, daughters, or dancing, but if it’s special to you and your Pops, that’s all that matters. If you’re stumped, go with a song about a good relationship between a dad and a daughter, like “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder or “Gracie” by Ben Folds Five.
Here is a short list I’ve compiled of songs you shouldn’t under any circumstances dance with your dad to at your wedding:
Father Figure by George Michael
I Want Your Sex by George Michael
Actually, stay away from almost every song by George Michael
White Wedding by Billy Idol
Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye
Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
Come to think of it, stay away from Marvin Gaye, too. His dad did shoot him to death, after all. Bad mojo.
Squeezebox by The Who
Gold Digger by Kanye West (who would undoubtedly jump out from behind the curtains and tell you that the girl who got married there before you danced with her dad better)
Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
Like a Virgin by Madonna
Justify My Love by Madonna
Brickhouse by The Commodores
You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate
Private Dancer by Tina Turner
Thank Heaven for Little Girls by Maurice Chevalier (trust me, it’s creepy)
Papa Can You Hear Me by Babs (from Yentil – sad song, don’t do it)
Tears In Heaven (about death, dig? don’t do it)
Push It by Salt n’ Pepa
If you can think of more no-no songs, post a comment below. If you want to fight for one of these tunes, do the same!