Choosing a First Dance.... or not!
Where do you even begin finding a song that will define you as a couple for all of eternity???
How do you find something that isn't obvious and cheesey? Or makes people want to puke in their hand bags????
Just kidding! None of that matters; first of all DON'T PANIC! Other than timings for the day this is the one topic I get asked about the most. So many couples get het up with choosing a song that they forget to pick a piece of music that means something to them and presents them in their best light (I will elaborate on that later), or at the other end of the scale is so personal and exclusive that it is slightly awkward for everyone else in the room.
Number 1. It doesn't have to be a slow song.
Number 2. It doesn't have to be lovey dovey.
Number 3. It doesn't have to be profound, it can just be fun!
Number 4. It CAN be all of the above...but only if you want it to.
The only people that it should matter to in the room is the couple itself. I couldn't tell you what any of the weddings I have attended as a guest had as their first dance, can you?
Now to elaborate on my earlier point and what I mean by "showing you in your best light." For example; if you and your partner have never done a Waltz before, trying to do it for the first time (even though you will probably have rehearsed it to death) in front of your nearest and dearest is not really the best time to try it out. There is nothing more cringey than watching the bride get frustrated, sorry ladies it's always you, shouting out the steps and trying to fake a smile because the groom has had a few drinks and forgotten what he was supposed to do. Similarly picking a song that is really obscure and just staring at each other is quite excluding for your guests, they really do want to share these moments with you so don't be afraid to let them in!
One couple we played for were both dancers and had made a medley and did a full on dance routine which was fab! But it only worked because they knew what they were doing and were used to "performing."
More and more couples are forgoing "The First Dance" in favour of just gathering everybody on the dance floor and kicking off the party with a song that means a lot to them or their group of friends. Make up your own rules!
Should you ask for it to be played live?
This is a tricky one. If you love the original and can't imagine hearing it any other way then I would always go with it being played via Mp3. Just because it is included in a bands fee it doesn't mean that you have to use that option, as the saying goes - Just because you can do something doesn't always mean that you should!
When we tackle a song there are several things we have to consider;
* Can we make the right instrumental sounds? And if we can't, what instrument will cover that part?
* Can one of us sing it? If not, is it possible to change the key? Or divide the vocal?
* Can we do the style justice?
If you pick a song that is full of brass or strings, it is going to sound quite different on guitar, bass and drums no matter how much we try. In that case we try and look for a cover version that has a similar line up to us to give the client an idea of how WE might sound playing it, but you can always do that too!
We have a request next year for a song that starts with a really synthesised digital sound that we just couldn't recreate BUT we can offer an alternative way of starting the song; dont be afraid to liase with your band or ask the questions. It should be a collaboration but the best people to know their limitations will be the musicians themselves. We will never agree to something that we don't think we could do and do well.
The dreaded list.....
I hate suggesting songs and so have tried to avoid making a "list" because it really is something that is personal to the couple and what works for one doesn't always work for another.
However below is a list of songs that we have learnt and performed for first dances over the last two years or so and you will see that is as varied as it is long!
Kiss From a Rose - Seal
It Must Be Love - Madness
Call Me Al - Paul Simon
All Of Me - John Legend
Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
How Long Will I Love You - Ellie Goulding
Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You - Frankie Vallie
Hear You Me - Jimmy Eat World
It Had To Be You - Louis Armstrong
Your Song - Ellie Goulding
Have I Told You Lately - Rod Stewart
Purple Rain - Prince
Millionaire - Scouting For Girls
Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran
Dig - Incubus
The One - Kodaline
Better Man - Paolo Nuttini
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Sweetest Devotion - Adele
Ho Hey - The Lumineers
Wonderwall - Oasis
Fly - Foo Fighters
Feel The Love - Rudimental
Baby I Love Your Way - Big Mountain
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
True Colours - Eva Cassidy
Best Friend - Queen
You Make My Dreams Come True - Hall and Oates
My Destiny - Lionel Richie
We Live - Skindred
Me And Mrs Jones - Michael Buble
Learn To Fly - Foo Fighters
Don't under estimate how much pressure a band put themselves under playing a first dance, and if they don't they aren't taking it seriously enough . It really is a nerve wracking moment for all involved!
And if all else fails...
I guess that the best advice I can give is to keep it simple and pick something that makes you both happy, that way on the day you won't be able to help but send out positive vibes when the moment arrives. Most importantly enjoy it OR just ignore everything I've said above and do what you like; ultimately it is your day to do with as you please and we will go along with that too :)
If you have any questions or want to pick our brains, feel free to get in touch and drop us a line via the contact box. Best of Luck!