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First Dance Song Suggestions

by Scott Free

Dancing at your wedding reception is a wonderful way to celebrate your special day with your friends and family. If music is the soundtrack of our lives, then picking the just the right song and music is some pretty important stuff! Some say the first dance sets the tone for the wedding. There are a few musical traditions relating to the "first dance" that are worth noting.

After the bride and groom are formally introduced to their guests as "Mr. and Mrs. (fill in your name!)," the couple shares their first dance, as their special wedding song is played. The lights may be dimmed to add to the romantic atmosphere, or should the couple choose a "raucous song," the lights may be turned up high and the spotlight turned on them.

The process of choosing a song for the first dance at your wedding is fairly simple. Begin by selecting the type of dance that you would like to do. The fox trot, swing, and waltz are popular choices, but slow dancing, rumba, or any dance you enjoy is fine. Next, you'll need to find a song that fits that type of dance. Many couples don't know how to dance together and, if that's the case, it needs to be addressed when deciding on the song. If you select a song, but are unsure what dance would be appropriate, you can bring a recording to a local dance teacher, or look it up on one of the many wedding song listings on-line. Check the song and first dance suggestions to follow.

The Satelites
The Satelites
The Satelites
The Satelites

That brings us to the question of whether couples should take dance lessons together before their first dance on their wedding day. If you have never done any partner dancing before, pre-wedding is the perfect time for you to start. The "payoff" is that you will have found an activity you can share and enjoy for the rest of your lives together. A word of warning . . . if you have decided to take dance lessons only because you feel that some sort of "performance" is expected of you, that's a bad reason to start dance lessons and certainly not conducive to success. As a couple, you will need to decide whether you have the inclination to learn how to dance and whether you have the time available to do so. Any local ballroom will have several teachers with experience in helping wedding couples (make sure that your teacher does), and if money and busy schedules are problems, there are several good instructional videos available that cater specifically to wedding couples.

After the bride and groomhave begun the first dance, and have danced for a while (about 1-2 minutes is enough time), the wedding party is usually asked to join the happy couple. This can be done by asking the parents - and then the rest of the wedding party, ushers and bridesmaids, onto the dance floor to join in the dancing. The order is totally flexible based on whatever suits your desires and/or relationship(s) scenario. Once the entire wedding party is on the dance floor, all the guests are invited to participate.

This process is a relatively simple one, made even easier when the couple discuss the particulars, well in advance, with whomever is supplying the music. The couple should make it clear exactly when they would like the guests to join in, so that it is not done too late or too early. A good MC, band leader or DJ, playing the right music and coming in on cue, can make this tradition run smoothly and create a lovely beginning to any reception.

Here are some First Dance song suggestions:


  • You Light Up My Life - Debbie Boone
  • Moon River - Andy Williams
  • Three Times a Lady - The Commodores
  • Open Arms - Journey
  • Take It To the Limit - The Eagles
  • True Love - Elton John
  • Could I Have This Dance - Anne Murray


  • Baby It's Cold Outside - Dean Martin
  • Cheek to Cheek - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  • I've Got You Under My Skin - Frank Sinatra
  • I've Got You Under My Skin - Frank Sinatra
  • Let's Call The Whole Thing Off - Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong
  • Moondance - Van Morrison
  • Night and Day - Dionne Warwick
  • Our Love is Here to Stay - Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
  • Something Stupid - Frank & Nancy Sinatra
  • There's a Rainbow Round My Shoulder - Brian Setzer Orchestra


  • Ain't That A Kick In The Head - Dean Martin
  • Jump Jive An' Wail - Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra
  • Fly me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
  • Let's Fall in Love - Louis Armstrong & Oscar Petersen
  • Baby, You've Got What it Takes - Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums
  • I Will Be There - Van Morrison

Your first dance will, no doubt, be a special memory-maker, and years from now you will reminisce whenever you hear your special song. There are virtually an unlimited number of songs from which you may make your selection - as diverse as your own personalities.

Here are some of The Satelites' favorites which our brides and grooms have chosen in the past.

  • All My Life – Linda Rondstadt/Aaron Neville
  • Always – Atlantic Starr
  • Always & Forever – Heatwave
  • Amazed – Lonestar
  • At Last – Etta James
  • Beautiful In My Eyes – Joshua Kadison
  • Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
  • Can't Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
  • Colour My World – Chicago
  • Endless Love – Diana Ross/Lionel Richie
  • Everything I Do – Bryan Adams
  • Forever And Ever – Randy Travis
  • From This Moment – Shania Twain/Bryan White
  • Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison (or) Rod Stewart
  • I Could Not Ask For More – Edwin McCain
  • I Cross My Heart – George Strait
  • I Don't Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
  • I Finally Found Someone – B. Streisand/B. Adams
  • I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
  • I Swear – All-4-One
  • I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  • If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful – W. Houston/J. Jackson
  • I'll Always Love You – Taylor Dane
  • I'll Be – Edwin McCain
  • In My Life – The Beatles
  • In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
  • It Had To Be You – Harry Connick, Jr.
  • Just You And I – Eddie Rabbit/Crystal Gayle
  • Love Of A Lifetime – Firehouse
  • On Bended Knee – Boyz II Men
  • Power Of Love – Celine Dion
  • Sea Of Love – Honeydrippers
  • Something – The Beatles
  • The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
  • True Companion – Marc Cohn
  • Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  • Unforgettable – Natalie and/or Nat King Cole
  • Valentine – Martina McBride
  • What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  • Wonderful Tonight – Eric Clapton
  • Your Love Amazes Me – John Berry
  • You're My Best Friend – Queen
  • You're The Inspiration – Chicago

Whatever song you choose as your First Dance, it will always be special to you... and if you have taken the time and effort to hone your dancing skills (or build new ones), it will be a worthwhile investment in your special day and for every time in your future together that music for dancing is played!

About the author...
Scott "Free" Saraniero is the co-founder of The Satelites.