Bride & Groom First Dance

From Sinatra to Beyoncé: Evolution of Wedding First Dance Song

It’s in every wedding daydream that the first dance is one of the biggest core memories you’ll make- you both meet on the dance floor, a crowd of your loved guests circles around you and the music begins to play…

Choosing the perfect song to celebrate the union between you and your best friend has to fit just right and represent something that means something to the both of you. The lyrics need to say everything so you two don’t have to. But do you ever wonder what songs have captured such a monumental moment to so many couples?

The History of First dances

The Classic Era: Crooners and Romance

In the mid-20th century, wedding first dance songs usually featured the velvety voices of iconic crooners like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Etta James. These timeless classics captured the passion of romance and spoke from the heart, making it all the more special. Songs like Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and Cole’s “Unforgettable” still resonate with couples today, reminding us of the beauty of a bygone era.

The Old Lovers: 1960s-1980s

It’s no surprise that the swinging sixties sparked a transformation in society, and of course, wedding first dance songs. The Beatles’ “Something” became a popular choice, blending rock ‘n’ roll with heartfelt lyrics. The 1970s and 1980s introduced diverse options, from Elton John’s “Your Song” to Lionel Richie’s “Endless Love.” These decades saw a shift toward more personalised selections that represented the unbreakable bond between the newlyweds.

The Contemporary Boom: 1990s-2009

The 90’s saw one of the biggest cultural shifts on the music scene- which of course was reflected on the wedding dance floor. Pop, R&B and alternative rock took the centre stage at many first dances, with Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Shania Twain’s “From This Moment On” becoming couple favourites. Then came the 2000s, introducing us to the indie wave. Iron & Wine’s “Such Great Heights” charmed us, and John Legend’s soulful “All of Me” became a staple.

The Modern Love Story: 2010- Present Day

Weddings nowadays have never been so musically diverse, incorporating all of the eras to make the ultimate playlist. The modern first dance songs feature the likes of Beyonce’s slower rendition of “Crazy in Love” and Adele’s “Make you feel My Love”. The emotional vulnerability sand depth of the lyrics makes them all the more relatable to modern romances, and thus incredibly more appealing.

How do I choose?

It’s fair to say that when you know you know- but here’s something to consider if you’re truly stuck on some options:

  • Reflect on Your Relationship: Look back at your journey together as a couple- how did you meet? What was the first feeling you felt? Taking a trip back in time can make you remember little snippets of lost memories, perhaps a song playing on the radio that one time you were in the car?
  • Consider Your Style: Most people assume that first dances should be slow and sentimental, but it doesn’t always have to be! If you think that you and your partner are too energetic for something that requires little movement, then go all out! It’s a song that reflects who you are, so don’t shy away.
  • Lyrics and Meaning: Pay attention to the lyrics of potential songs. Do they reflect the depth of your feelings for each other? Make sure the words express your emotions and values, as they will become the soundtrack to your first dance as a married couple.
  • Test the Song: Listen to your chosen song several times. Picture yourselves dancing to it. Does it feel right? Can you imagine swaying to it as if you’re the only two people in the room?

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula. The perfect wedding song is the one that resonates with you as a couple and encapsulates the love and joy you share. It’s a reflection of your journey, and whether it’s a timeless classic or a modern hit, the right song will make your first dance a truly unforgettable moment.

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