For some it’s remembering the vows, while others dread the speeches, but for many newlyweds the first dance is the most feared moment of the big day. The first decision is what song you will choose, and this will dictate the style of your dance. The song should be personal to you both; perhaps the song playing when you first met or declared your love, or something that has become your tune over time. Be sure to check all the lyrics, in case some of them are inappropriate for a wedding. Elvis Presley’s “You Were Always On My Mind” is an easy mistake to make, for example, as is Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Here are our Top 5 suggestions:
1. I Do Cherish You – 98 Degrees
Popularised in the film Notting Hill, this boy band version of Mark Wills’s original country hit gives the happy couple the chance to perform a foxy Rumba. The fluid song allows you plenty of time to make elegant shapes and beautiful lines around each other, as you spell out the story of your love.
2. Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison or Rod Stewart
Whichever version you choose, the lyrics to this song eloquently echo the sentiment of “for better or for worse” in the wedding vows. As you remind each other of your love, you can either stick to a traditional slow dance or be brave and add a few sensual Rumba moves.
3. Tonight I Celebrate My Love – Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack
Another song that lends itself well to the Rumba, this beautiful duet enables the couple to recreate their love story. The tender dance tells the tale of your deep, everlasting love, while the lyrics reconfirm the vows you have just made.
4. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli or Andy Williams
This classic song offers a combination of dances as you move from the slow Rumba-style verses to the bouncy Swing or Foxtrot-based chorus, which will no doubt get the audience singing along. Whether you choose the original Frankie Valli version or the gentler style of crooner Andy Williams, your first dance will have a real wow factor.
5. It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr.
You can’t help but sway when you hear big band music like this, so why not sweep across the dance floor in a Foxtrot to this ultimate love song. With gorgeous long glides and sassy short quicksteps, the Foxtrot is a fun and flirty dance. While it is often considered the hardest style to master, we can teach you some basic steps to make you look like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Final top tips:
Start early. Don’t leave preparation to a few days before your wedding; start at least three to six months ahead. Keep it simple. At Arthur Murray we understand that you will want to wow your crowd, but that you also want to enjoy the moment and not fret about your feet. We will arm you with some basic steps and a simple routine that you can master really well, so that your first dance together is both sensual and sophisticated. Practise, practise, practise. And don’t forget to do some dress rehearsals to make sure you can dance in your new shoes and aren’t restricted by a cumbersome or tight-fitting outfit.
- Seven Tips for Latin Club Dancing
- Top 5 Father/Daughter Dance Songs