How to Select a First Dance Song

The first dance at a wedding is one of the most pivotal moments of the night, as the couple shares a special moment on the dance floor that marks the beginning of the festivities and also of their life together. Many couples already have a favourite tune picked out for the big day, but for others, making the right choice can be much more difficult.

Although some couples do already have their own “song”, they may not feel that it is appropriate for a wedding setting or to dance to. On the other hand, some couples may not even have a song at all! For these brides and grooms, here are a few tips on choosing the right first dance song for you.

First of all, even if you have a first dance song and you believe it is too unconventional for your wedding, you may want to think again. Although you may be concerned about what others might think about dancing together to that cheesy 80s pop song that you and your partner have always loved, it is your wedding and you should feel free to select a tune that is the most meaningful to you.

If you are hiring a solo wedding singer, ask if he or she can prepare a rendition of the piece, which might make it more entertaining and original for all the guests. Otherwise, ask your DJ to play your unconventional choice as the first dance song, and prepare to not only to surprise you guests, but also to enjoy celebrating your union with a piece that means something to both of you.

If you prefer to go for something a little more classic, then why not ask your solo wedding singer or DJ for some advice? As these professionals are likely to perform at a great number of weddings, they are often able to provide some great suggestions of tunes that will be the perfect way to spend your first dance as a married couple moving around the dance floor to.

If you are hiring a solo wedding singer, make sure that he or she has the song already in their repertoire, or is able to learn it in time for your big day; your singer of choice will often be able to give you a clear indicator of how much time they need for learning a song before they are ready to perform it.

You can also conduct an online search and see the suggestions of other people when it comes to great songs for the first dance; using the internet is also a great way to remind yourself of tunes that you and your partner have both loved, but may have forgotten about.

However you find your shortlist of potential weddings songs, be sure to choose a track that is meaningful for you as a couple. This can be difficult to do, so spend some time with your partner listening to the lyrics of each song, seeing if any of the words resonate with you. Lyrics are very important – perhaps more so than the tune – so pay attention here.

You and your partner can also narrow down your list of potential songs by choosing a genre of music that you both like. You may both see a rock ballad as being first dance material, or instead prefer an upbeat pop song that starts your evening – and your life together – on an uplifting note.

Whichever song you do end up choosing, make sure that your DJ or solo wedding singer is aware of your choice and can perform it for you. It is best to confirm this early on to avoid disappointment.

Choosing a first dance song does not have to be difficult, it just requires some researching of possible suitable tracks, listening to lyrics and selecting a couple of choice genres to help you make a decision. In all cases, be true to who you really are as a couple without catering to your guests’ expectations, and you are sure to find a song that suits you both.


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How to Find a Right Band for Your Wedding

Since you’ve already decided to hire a band instead of a DJ, the next logical step would be to find the best of the best, for you. Hiring a band is like entering a pact where both parties need to be clear as to what they want and can offer. So let’s get to business, and understand the process of hiring a wedding band, the right way.

Things to Consider While Hiring a Band

Although you’re free to choose the band and the music/songs they will play, it is important to consider the comfort of your guests. The entire act performed by the band should not just entertain, but engage the guests for an unforgettable evening.

Before Approaching a Band

1. ‘Research’ is your new best friend, and the people you approach will be your wedding planner, friends, family members, coworkers, entertainment agencies, and the reception venue. This will widen your search and help you find a band that you may not know of. Based on their suggestions, find the bands’ social networking pages and websites. You will get a lot of information here, and know what kind of music they play. And if all else fails, rely on the mighty Internet for an abundance of results.

2. Decide what musical requirements (jazz, disco, calypso, blues, etc.) would you like to hear, your budget (more on this later), and then approach a band. Will there be dancing or a quiet, intimate dinner with background music? The wedding theme has to match the music that’s played at the event.

3. What will be the size of the band? The answer to this question can be determined by the number of guests invited to the reception. If you’re having an intimate―just family and close friends―dinner, a big band will be a waste and inconvenience to all.

4. Apart from the guests, ask yourself, “Is the venue spacious enough for the band I have in mind?” If it’s an outdoor event, the stage can’t be too far from where the guests are seated. On the other hand, you don’t want to crowd the area too. Know this, a good band performing in a well-lighted and easy-to-maneuver room will make the night memorable.

Meeting with a Band

1. After you narrow down your choices, contact the band(s) via email, phone, or a message on their website/social page. A professional band will reply to your inquiry in 2—3 days. However, if they haven’t been able to reach you for any valid reasons (they were busy with another gig or couldn’t reach you when they called), do make a decision whether or not you wish to meet them in person.

2. Does the band have any prior experience of performing in front of an audience? Where have they played before? Do they have any written letters of recommendation from people who saw them perform? Can they provide any contact information from former clients for referral? You should have a clear understanding on all these questions (and perhaps a few more from your side) from the band. At the end of the day, it’s all about entertaining and being entertained.

3. If the band obliges, ask for a demo. The band may send you videos (or links) of their previous performances. But, since you are looking to hire a live band, a live performance is what they should be judged on. Plus, find out whether the band only ‘performs’ or ‘entertains and engages’ too. Performing songs is limited to the band playing music in the background while everyone, including the newlyweds, going about their business. On the other hand, entertaining and engaging guests means the band becomes an integral part of the event.

4. What will the total cost be? Does the band have any popular package? Do they take song requests? Are travel fees included or does that cost extra? Depending on the time of the event, how long will the band perform? Will this influence the cost of the band? Keeping your budget in mind, you need to know exactly how much the band is going to cost. Be realistic and know that weddings can be an expensive affair. Apart from the band, you have a lot of other things on the list. So search and find a band that will work within your budget, and not the other way round.

5. Paying good money for a band that’s worth it is never a bad deal. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t negotiate. If the band is exceeding your budget, and you’re determined to hire them, there will be some way you can break in the deal.

6. Get a signed contract with even the minutest details mentioned. This will include safety of the band and guests at the venue, date, time, and location of the performance, mode of payment, breaks during the performance, list of ‘must play’ songs, dress code, food, overtime fees, cancellation policy, etc. When all the details have been worked through, on the day of the event, none of the parties can revert from their promise.

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