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Finding the Perfect First Dance Song

Every couple is different, which in turn makes the challenges and speed bumps during the wedding planning process vary between brides. A challenge I didn’t expect while planning my wedding was being stumped by the first song selection. Besides creating the guest list—which was a daunting task—I spent days scouring blogs and music sites trying to find the song that would act as the anthem of my marriage; the song that would cause tears to well up every time I heard the first few chords.
SIster Brother Dance at WeddingPhoto: Sarah Morrel Photography

My husband and I didn’t have a song that was “ours,” or even one that reminded us of our three years together, so picking one didn’t come easy. I couldn’t decide if a sultry voice like Etta James or someone a bit grittier like Elvis was what I wanted. Would a classic band like The Beatles fit into my wedding, or could we go modern with an artist like Adele? My husband would have been happy with Coldplay, while I was leaning more towards Frank Sinatra. Our different tastes in music didn’t help either. I listen to top 40’s radio stations, while my husband prefers classic rock. He has some country stars on his Spotify playlist, while I steer clear of the genre altogether.

If you find yourself struggling with pinning down the song that will start off your reception like we did, here are some tips from the pros.
Chapel Hill wedding venues
Photo: Southern Love Studios

Decide what kind of dance you want

Are you a traditionalist couple that will sway and do a few careful twirls during your first dance, or are you going to show off some dance moves: ballroom or an expertly choreographed routine? Whatever you decide, find music that will match what you are looking for.

Narrow down your genres

If you are finding it impossible to come to a decision by simply listing out the songs you each like individually, start from the top and try to narrow down the landscape to one or two genres. This will help you refine your searches.

Ask your DJ

A great DJ will be there to help you plan out an awesome wedding day playlist that suits you and your fiancé perfectly. If you have a question about a song or are stuck trying to decide, ask them for help. After all, they are the experts. (Contact SB&G preferred DJs and musicians here.)

Keep your ears open

You never know when inspiration will hit you. Flip your radio or Pandora to a different station for a day and tune in to the background music while you shop or wait in line to buy your morning coffee. If you hear a song that interests you, ask an employee of the store what it is or Google a few of the lines you hear.

Whatever song you choose, whether classic, funky, or modern, remember that your first dance song is a celebration of love between you and your husband and will be “your song” for the rest of your lives together.
Top of the Hill reception Chapel HillPhoto: Joe Payne Photography

Article contributed by Kirsten Barber

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