May we have this dance?
One of the most common wedding traditions is the first dance of the newly married couple. For many couples, it’s one of the only moments they can “catch their breath” and take in the excitement from the day. Some couples prepare something choreographed or perform a ballroom style dance routine. I have even seen videos of couples that incorporate their pets into the first dance! But how did this tradition come to be?
If we want to get technical, first dances originated around the 17th century, and were not associated with weddings at all. When wealthy families would host a ball, the guests of honor (usually the hosts or guests with highest social standing) would be the first to dance. This dance signified the opening of the ball, and served as an invitation for all the guests to begin dancing.
^Photo by Making the Moment Photography
Fast forward to today, where the newlyweds (or guests of honor) kick off the festivities by dancing together. As varied as the types of dancing we see now (from swing dancing, foxtrot, or the ever famous “high school sway”), is the song couples choose. Some couples pick something meaningful to them, others want to set the tone for the evening and pick something upbeat and fun. Some go traditional with a romantic love song.
When we were researching interesting wedding facts, we came upon a list of the 10 most popular wedding songs.
The Way You Look Tonight, Frank Sinatra
Just the Way You Are, Billy Joel
Come Away with Me, Norah Jones
Unforgettable, Natalie Cole
Wonderful Tonight, Eric Clapton
From this Moment On, Shania Twain
This I Promise You, N’SYNC
Thank you for Loving Me, Bon Jovi
Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Aerosmith
All I Ask of You, various (Phantom of the Opera)
^Photo by Seedling Photography
I hadn’t heard any of them used for first dances recently, so I was curious: if we asked our followers to share their first dance songs, what responses would we get? And let me tell you, the list was AMAZING. About 25 people responded, and there was only 1 repeat song (At Last by Etta James). Everything from genre (country, classic rock, pop, you name it) to the release date was so unique. I also was reminded of some spectacular songs I haven’t listened to in ages, and I may or may not have created a Spotify playlist as a result!
Here you have it, the list of first dance songs some of our followers shared. If we knew the name of the couple and their wedding date, we included that too, for fun! I hope you are also reminded of some beautiful songs about love and family and happiness.
Let’s Stay Together, Al Green – Kathryn & Mike 10/5/2013
Someone Like You, Van Morrison – Meg & Matthew 6/2/2001
Crazy Love, Van Morrison – 5/25/2002
At Last, Etta James – Kim & Michael 9/2000
Then, Brad Paisley
Stand by Me, Shayne Ward – Andrea & Des 9/15/2006
Grow Old Along with Me, Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Book of Love, Peter Gabriel
Love is All Around, Wet Wet Wet – John & Kim, 6/24/1995
More, Frank Sinatra – Brittany & Jason 9/25/2015
Please Please Please Let me Get what I Want, The Smiths
Is This Love, Bob Marley
This Will be Our Year, The Zombies
Soul One, Blind Melon – Nicole & Scott 9/8/2007
Something, The Beatles (Across the Universe version) – Erin & Gary 9/10/2016
You and I, Avant and Keke Wyatt – Brittany & Jason 5/24/2014
Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
Fools Rush In, Ingrid Michaelson – Sheri and Kenny 5/26/2012
Life After You, Chris Daughtry – Danáe & Adam 7/29/2011
The Point of it All, Anthony Hamilton
Sparks, Coldplay – Shawna & Eric 1/16/2016
Make You Feel my Love, Adele – Michelle & Adam 5/31/2014
Can’t Take my Eyes off of You, Frankie Valle & the 4 Seasons – Stacie & Bob 5/17/2014
Evergreen, Barbara Streisand – Denise & Thaddeus 8/31/2008
Crash Into Me, Dave Matthews Band
Sampson, Regina Spektor – Michelle & Dave 11/14/2009
Nothing Else Matters, Metallica