Skip to main content

Choosing Your First Dance Song

Pick the perfect song to have your first dance to with some help from us! Here are some handy tips, tricks, and tunes to keep in mind when choosing your first dance song.

A couple dances their first dance at their wedding

If you are looking for the perfect backing track to one of the most special moments on your wedding day, then stay tuned! Choosing what song you and your partner will have your first dance to is certainly an important decision. Excuse the pun, but it is a chance for you two to take the first step in your marriage together. 

Here are some top tips for picking the first dance song:

Tip #1: Pick something you both like

Choosing a song for the first dance is a good bit of practice for the marriage ahead: it will give you and your partner the chance to come together and make a decision that you are both happy with. Music is also a beautiful and connective force; something you can bond over and experience together. If you both have a shared love of music, then start there! Maybe you have a memory associated with a certain song. Or, maybe you went on a date to a concert and want to reignite that special feeling on the dance floor. It doesn’t necessarily need to be your favourite song, but you can’t go wrong with something sentimental that both of you love! 

Tip #2: Don’t forget the lyrics

Lyrics can truly make or break a good first-dance song! Even if the beat or melody of your favourite song is perfect for a first dance, the lyrics might not be. Lyrics that might be inappropriate for a wedding include those that talk about breakups, broken hearts, lost loves, grief, or the one that got away. You will also want to stay away from anything with curse words or derogatory terms, too. The best course of action is to stick with songs that only have positive connotations!

Tip #3: Test out a few contenders beforehand

After you have come up with a few options for your first dance song, why not come together with your partner and give them a listen? Make an evening of it: clear your schedules, put the phones on Do Not Disturb, order in some dinner and drinks, and crank up the volume. Listening to the songs together will give you a chance to experience them together, in full. You can even try out dancing to them in the comfort of your own home, and get a feel for how you move to the rhythm.

Tip #4: Pick something you can dance to

This leads us to the next tip! You’ll want to make sure that the song you pick works as a first dance song in terms of the tempo and beat. Remember, this is a joint effort, so it’s no good choosing a song where you are movin’ and groovin’ while your partner shuffles along like a spare part. If you don’t want a long, slow dance, look for a song that starts out slow and then builds up the pace. This will encourage your guests to join in once they’ve applauded and photographed your first few steps on the dance floor, giving you the best of both worlds.

Tip #5: Don’t listen to the rules

Our final tip for you is simple: do whatever is going to make you and your partner the happiest! At the end of the day, your wedding is about your relationship, and you won’t go wrong by sticking to your gut and choosing a song you both love, no matter the genre, lyrics, or melody. Remember that not all first dances have to be slow and romantic — if you’re the kind of couple that likes upbeat house music or full-on rock, you don’t have to compromise on your wedding day. But, if you want to amp up the cheese factor with a romantic song for the ages, do! As long as you both agree on the song, then go with it.

A DJ plays music using his turntable

Some Things To Take Into Account

  • Band or DJ?

If you’re hiring a band for your wedding reception, talk to them about the first dance to see if they will learn the song you have in mind. If you are hiring a DJ, let them know what you have picked and ask them to set the mood by announcing your first dance in a way that makes you feel comfortable! Plus, if you’re stuck for ideas, these experts should have some handy suggestions.

  • Just You Two or Everyone?

Would you like your first dance to be a moment just between you and your new spouse? Or, would you like everyone to share in the love? You might like the idea of starting off with just the two of you, and then inviting the rest of your loved ones onto the dance floor. Think about how you want it to go! You can do whatever feels right!

  • Dance Classes?

If the idea of heading out onto that dance floor without a plan freaks you out, consider taking some dance classes before the wedding. A professional will be able to guide you through the song, whether you want a completely choreographed dance or you just want some general pointers. Even if you end up just winging it on the day, it might comfort you to have had the experience. 

40 First Dance Songs

Here are just a few first dance song contenders that we think deserve a listen!

1. At Last - Etta James

2. I Only Have Eyes For You - The Flamingos

3. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley

4. Is This Love - Bob Marley & The Wailers

5. Something - The Beatles

6. Wild Horses - The Rolling Stones

7. She’s Always A Woman To Me - Billy Joel

8. A Thousand Years - Christina Perri

9. The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra

10. Your Song - Elton John

11. You’re All I Need To Get By - Aretha Franklin

12. It’ll All Work Out - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

13. Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

14. My Love Will Not Let You Down - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

15. Kiss Me - Sixpence None The Richer

16. Thank You - Led Zeppelin

17. Home - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

18. My Cherie Armour - Stevie Wonder

19. More Than a Woman - BeeGees

20. Harvest Moon - Neil Young

If you are looking for a first dance song that will not only connect you to your partner, but to your culture, then these Irish love songs are some rad (or should we say trad) options!

21. Heaven - Nial Horan

22. The Galway Girl - Steve Earle

23. Dreams - The Cranberries

24. Into The Mystic - Van Morrison

25. When You Say Nothing at All - Ronan Keating

26. A Rainy Night in Soho - The Pogues

27. From Eden - Hozier

28. The Blower’s Daughter - Damien Rice

29. I Fall Apart - Rory Gallagher

30. Wild Mountain Thyme- The Chieftans

31. After All - The Frank and Walters

32. She Moved Thro' The Fair - John McCormack

33. With Or Without You - U2

34. My Lovely Irish Rose Of Clare - Barnbrack

35. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

36. The Black Velvet Band - The Dubliners

37. Red Is The Rose - The High Kings

38. The Good Place - Robert Grace

39. Take My Hand - Picture This

40. Nothing Compares to You - Sinead O’Connor