How to Choose Your First Dance Song

Maybe you’ve had a favorite tune between the two of you since your very first date. On the flip side, maybe you’re clueless when it comes to picking a song to dance that first dance to. Whether you can’t wait to whip out those dancing shoes or whether you’re a little dance-shy, here are some tips to choosing that special song.


Unless you’ve agreed to surprise each other, the special first dance song should be chosen together. Dig into your shared memories to find an old song you like, or pore through each other’s iTunes libraries to find something you both enjoy. No matter how you find the song, make sure you both like it!

Mood and Tempo

Even if you find a song you both love, you’ll want to evaluate both mood and tempo. Is it a sappy, old 6-minute song? Or is it fast, loud, and jarring and better saved for later in the reception? Either way, remember is it your wedding and you call the shots. One important factor to consider…the mood and tempo of your first dance will not set the tone for the rest of the reception. Choose the song you really like and a good DJ company will make it work. The DJ can change both the tempo and pitch of a song to fit the mood.


Make sure the song is something you both can easily dance to! You don’t want to be tripping over each other in an attempt to keep up the pace, nor do you want to be glued to the same spot on the dance floor, waiting for the song to pick up! It’s up to you whether you want to rehearse or not, but either way, it’s recommended you at least practice a little to make sure the song is dance-able!

Listen to the Lyrics

You might have found the perfect song with the perfect feel and pace, but have you listened to the lyrics? All too often, a song with a lovey-dovey chorus can end up being a break up song if you listen to the verses! Avoid making a similar mistake by listening to – or even reading through – the lyrics.

Get Advice from your DJ

A great DJ will already know what works and what doesn’t for first dance songs. Run your suggestions by your DJ, or if you’re still totally clueless, ask for some ideas. Since they’ll be coordinating the rest of your music, too, they will be able to find something that works wonderfully for you newlyweds and sets the tone for the rest of the evening, as well. Be sure to check the Music By Design website for first dance suggestions. In addition, here are some great ceremony music tips.

Good luck and have fun dancing!

Ceremony Music Tips

Ceremony Music Tips

Ceremony Music Tips

Hiring Your DJ to Play During Your Ceremony Makes Sense and Saves Money. A string quartet will run you between $300 and $500 per hour. Your DJ will charge you between $100 and $300 to run your ceremony.

When it comes to planning your wedding, a lot of attention is paid to the reception part of the day, but there’s also quite a bit to be considered when it comes to the ceremony itself.  One key question you may be asking yourself is, “Who will be providing the music for the ceremony?”  If you are having your ceremony at the same site as your reception, chances are your DJ will gladly provide music of your choice for your ceremony for considerably less (or at no charge) than it would cost to hire a string quartet or other musicians.

Live music is beautiful, but when you are on a budget, prerecorded high-quality digital versions are just as effective.  Your DJ will also have the microphones needed for your officiant and any readings you may have during your ceremony.

In terms of the music, you have unlimited options.  Some couples prefer traditional music and others prefer more contemporary options that reflect their personal taste.

The following are some examples in Ceremony Music Tips:


Canon in D
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Ave Maria
The Four Seasons: Spring
Lohengrin: Bridal Chorus
Midsummer’s Night Dream: Wedding March


Storybook Love from the movie “The Princess Bride”
When I’m Sixty-Four: The Beatles
Over the Rainbow: Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole
All I Want Is You: U2
Lovers in Japan: Coldplay
Lucky: Jason Mraz
Into The Mystic: Van Morrison

For a great mix of traditional meets contemporary, look into the Vitamin String Quartet.  They perform classic string versions of music for hundreds of artists – from The Beatles to Guns ‘N’ Roses.

Also, be sure to check out Fred Benedetti for some great instrumental guitar selections.

To make your ceremony easier to envision, the following is a sample of a timeline including notes where a special song is typically played.

Ceremony Timeline

Guests arriving and seated by ushers (ushers distributing programs) Prelude music playing

Ceremony begins

1. Groom and officiant processional Select a Song
2. Grandparents then parents processional (Select a song – usually same song as number 1)
3. The parents will light the candles (if you decide on a unity candle)
4. Bridal party processional Select a Song
5. Bride’s processional Select a Song
6. Bride and groom give flowers to the parents (optional) Select a Song
7. Readings (this is not as popular these days)
8. Vows
9. Unity candle or sand ceremony Select a Song
10. Bride and groom recessional Select a Song