When you think of a first dance at a wedding, you might imagine the couple dancing to a song that’s filled with meaning and memories from THAT special moment.  Like they do in the movies. But what if the song from THAT moment was a rap, filled with language a little too colourful for your wedding guests, or worse still, what if you’ve never had THAT moment, let alone a song to go with it?

Well, instead of falling into a pit of anxiety because you’ve had no movie moment song with your loved one, read this post.

Take the pressure off searching for memories and choose a song that will create memories.

first dance in oxford by philippa james photography


Before trying to find a song, I’d say have a think about the kind of dance you want to do.  I’ve seen shy shuffles where the couple can’t wait for their guests to join them on the dance floor, to full blown epic rehearsed routines with lifts and twirls.  So do some dance research and go from there!  Here are a few to get you started…

  • The Slow Dance – This is the most popular, it’s like it is at the school disco, it simple and needs no preparation.
  • The Slow Dance for 30secs – Some couples really don’t want this bit to last long, so they set the tone, and then encourage their guests to join them as soon as possible
  • The Choreographed Dance – Couples pay a professional to teach them to dance Salsa, or Classic Waltz etc
  • Film Inspired – Dances inspired by famous dance scenes in films such as Pulp Fiction, Greece, Dirty Dancing, Scent of a Woman, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose etc
  • Flash Mob – this starts with a slow dance and ends in a surprised choreographed dance with certain guests. I love this idea, although it takes a lot of preparation getting all the other dancers together (usually the bridal party if you have a large one)
  • Everyone Dance – this is where all the guests come onto the dance floor at the same time as the couple don’t want everyone looking at them for the traditional first dance.

The reason for a first dance is to start off the party, so have fun with it, no matter how you do it.

Bride and Groom about to have their first dance


If you are a classic romanticist then a good old soppy song will work well, and there will be plenty to choose from by searching Google or Spotify.  If you are looking for something a little different to the norm, then to get you started, I’ve created a list of songs that I think make ace wedding first dance song that aren’t cheesy (well, in my opinion that is)

  • Jose Gonzalez – Hearbeats
  • Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
  • Elvis Presley – Can’t Help Falling In Love
  • Slow Club – Apple + Pairs
  • The Lumineers – Flapper Girl
  • All I Want Is You – Barry Louis Polisar
  • Of Monsters and Men – Love Love Love
  • Sera Cahoone – Up to Me
  • Dire Straits – Romeo + Juliet
  • Wild Child – Pillow Talk
  • Louis Armstrong – La vie en Rose
  • Jose Gonzalez – Hearbeats
  • John Prine – Souvenirs
  • Shooter Jennings – Manifesto No1
  • Old Crow Medicine Show – Wagon Wheel
  • Jet – Are you gonna be my girl


Start collecting songs that you may wish to dance to.  When we got married loads of our mates loved coming up with ideas for music so I’d just add it all to a playlist and then nearer the day filter out what we liked and didn’t like. Your tastes may clash, and so creating a playlist is really helpful.

If you’d like to listen to the songs above, and some more, feel free to listen to my: FIRST DANCE INSPIRATION on Spotify.

first dance song inspiration by philippa james photography


Just remember to have fun with it. It’s perfectly fine for you not to LOVE your first dance song… it doesn’t have to be filled with meaning and its okay for it just to serve the purpose.  Your day, your way!

If you want more dance floor tips, you may want to have a peek at: HAVING A WEDDING DISCO? MY TOP TIPS ON CREATING A BUZZING DANCE FLOOR

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