Not another bride and groom dancing to “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. Please. Anything but that! So, how do you pick those tricky songs for your special dances without being droll (coincidence that word is so close to drool which people do when they’re bored?) or chancing your parent dancing way off-rhythm? Take a waltz through our Dos and Don’ts guide below to get your search started.
DO Pick Something Subject Appropriate
Have you ever actually read the lyrics for “Brown-Eyed Girl”? We’re not hatin’, Van Morrison. It’s just a good example…promise. They’re borderline inappropriate for a wedding dance, especially with your father. Like if someone played Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light for their Daddy-Daughter or Mother-Son dance. Yes, the song may be a dream to sing at a karaoke club (trust us on this one) but definitely a hand-wringer for people to witness.
Just read the lyrics with a set of impartial-colored glasses and ask yourself, “is this going to gross anyone out?”
DON’T Wait Until Last Minute
Not that any reputable DJ would allow you to but don’t be that couple to wait until the wee hours of your wedding day to land on the same place for your special dance songs. Start early, keep the fisticuffs to a minimum and agree on something in a timely fashion.
DO Pick Something You Both Like
This is not communist Laos. You cannot pick the song for your first dance without talking to your future spouse about it. Just because ten-year-old you always swore on your favorite Polly Pocket playset in front of your best friends that you’d dance to “I Swear” by All-4-One at your wedding or you’d die until you’re dead doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t both have voices in this decision. Even if that song is the most romantic song ever.
DON’T Pick Something Fast…Unless…
Unless you’re willing to spend mucho time coordinating something that will literally blow your guests’ socks off (but please leave their feet intact…they need those for dancing). Something thrown together will appear haphazard, at best. We’re not saying you can’t pull it off but you’d better channel your inner Grace Kelly before you go this route.
Wondering whether it’s too fast? Practice. Turn it on, stand up and try to dance to it. If it feels awkward or you need a Gatorade afterwards, it’s likely too fast.
DO Be Inspired by What You Know
Start with your own CD, MP3 or, dare we say it, vinyl collection. Think back to songs that always make you think of your significant other or your family member. Draw your inspiration from songs that were always in your head, softly playing away in the background of your interactions with these people you love. Think about shows or movies you both enjoy. Who could be disappointed if you chose, “I See the Light” from Tangled or “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Sir Elton in The Lion King?
DON’T Be Afraid to Break the Rules
Please don’t ignore all the fantastic advice we’ve given you so far. That being said, if you really feel the need to shake your groove thing to “Welcome to the Jungle” by G ‘n R, then you should. If you and your dad just have to dance to the Chicken Dance, you should. If you absolutely have to have Van Morrison then you and your mom should dance to “Brown-Eyed Girl,” dang it. After all, it’s your wedding and it’s ultimately your happiness at stake. Just let us know in advance so we can avert our eyes…and cut off our ears.
On the milder side, if you love rock or swing or rap, don’t be afraid to look into those types of songs. Often times there are beautiful covers or instrumental versions of your favorites. Explore other avenues and if you’re stuck, don’t forget…
DO Seek the Advice of Your Entertainer
They may not have known you forever or even that long but they know their craft. If you’re totally stuck or you and your dad can’t decide between two songs, seek out your DJ’s advice. They’ve (hopefully) done this once or twice. Trust them.
Remember, your songs tend to set a tone for the rest of your wedding day. They should reflect you as a couple and celebrate your bonds and history with your family. So, stay away from Google, if you can. Use your spouse, a Disney movie, your DJ and your heart to find the perfect tune to swing and sway the night away to…or Macarena, if you must.