One of our favouritest people from one of our favouritest bands has very kindly popped in to offer his advice on the dreaded or much anticipated (usually depending on if you’re the bride or groom) first dance.
You can find more first dance song inspiration with our updated list of 100 alternative first dance songs!
Take it away Adam from The Warble Bandeoke Band:
“One of my favourite moments in the run up to playing an event with the Warble Bandeoke Band is one which happens around 3 weeks beforehand, otherwise known as the ‘Pre-Event Phone Call.’ This is the opportunity where you as a client can get in touch with the artist directly, have a quick chat about everything that is going on and give any last minute instructions etc. that may be needed to make sure that the big day is as big and day-like as possible. It’s always a fun chat as well as a valuable opportunity to get all the little details in order.
There is, however, one question guaranteed to strike fear into my (and, I’d imagine many other band members) heart…
‘We don’t really know what we want to do as a first dance… Do you have any suggestions?’
Now obviously I’m sure there are many couples with this already in the bag, the song that reminds them of each other, the first time their eyes met over a crowded room and forever more will be ‘their song.’ But what for the rest of us mere mortals? I decided to do some research to see what information I could find, and came up with my 5 top tips to first song choices:
1. What style do you want the song to be? Are you looking for a smoochy 2 minutes guaranteed to make the bridesmaids cry? Or does the idea of everyone watching you stand on each others toes make you come out in blotches? Cater your song choice around what makes you comfortable – if you want people to join you make the song a bit more upbeat, if it’s an all eyes on you sobbing moment then slow it down, get it a bit more intimate, have a moment to yourselves.
If you and your band are feeling brave why not ask them to work a song around your choices – make that heavy rock song into a soul shattering ballad or the 90’s pop song into a indie classic – more on that in point 4!
2. Once you have your shortlist the next thing to consider is length… Do you enjoy the limelight for a while? Or is this the last little fear before you can finally relax into an evening of partying and get off on that honeymoon? Don’t go for the epic 8 minute song if you’re only wanting all eyes on you for 20 seconds! As a slight aside to this you might want to have a quick listen to the lyrics of the songs you’re choosing and consider whether they work in context or not – ‘Blurred Lines’ for example, not a great first dance song all things considered. If you’re having your band play why not personalise a few lyrics and give them to the guys to make things even more intimate? I’m really giving away point 4 now…
3. Break out the spandex, body warmers and Fame outfits! Only way to know if it is going to be the first dance song is if you can dance to it. Get a bottle of wine out, close the curtains and have a bit of couple time working out whether the salsa break dance really is quite the right way to go about things in front of your Gran.
4. Recorded or live? The million dollar question! Now I expect you will be thinking I’m going to be waxing lyrical about how the live music is so much better than recorded. And you’d be right. It absolutely is! But just to play devils advocate for a moment…
Live will bring the experience much more alive for you, the musicians can speed up & slow down as you wish, change lyrics, change style of songs, shout at people watching to join in, etc. etc. – it makes for a special moment that can only be made by having everything in the zone at that one moment… BUT!
Unless you want to give your band a nervous breakdown you will need to give them plenty of warning so they can learn the song (does take a little while), and you may have to compromise on the instrumentation somewhat (the 40 piece orchestra accompaniment performing on the original might be busy that night). If you are picking the song because you love that broken sound of Bono’s vocal or the tone of the guitar in the Hendrix solo you might want to go for recordings – each band will put their own little fingerprint on the song so if you don’t want that then you’re totally within rights to say no.
We could also brag a bit and say if you book us you can get a friend who sings to come on stage and ‘bandeoke’ the first dance, or even if you want to go unconventional you could have your first song – a duet to each other rather than a dance. But that would just be showing off on our part!
5. Think outside the box! Did love blossom due to a mutual love of a particularly terrible TV program? How about the theme tune? (For example, we recently did the ‘Home and Away’ theme tune – went down an absolute storm!) If your hands first touched in a club while at university why not get some cheese on the go and make everyone laugh? If you met one wet afternoon in a lift why not 3 minutes of muzac to get everyone going? OK, the last one might be a step too far – but you get my drift… Look in places you might not consider for inspiration – you’ll be shocked how much music there is out there when you try to find it.
I Hope you’ve found this an interesting read and it has given you a few thoughts to have a look into – don’t forget that if you tell your Warbler that you’re struggling, we’re all more than happy to help out any way we can so don’t suffer in silence! Lastly don’t forget to give the band a little wink when its all done and dusted – I can guarantee the singer at least will be feeling almost as many nerves as you to get it right (and they always do ;)).
Thanks Adam, some great tips there for sure. In addition, and as a little extra help, you could also check out another recent blog we published that featured The Top Ten First Dance Songs as suggested by another fantastic wedding band.
Published by Warble Entertainment