Uber romantic, a bit scary and surreal. That’s just a few ways to describe how you might feel when you take to the dance floor for the first time at your wedding reception with your brand new husband.

You may have been dreaming of this moment for a long time, or you may have been dreading it. But for the next few minutes, the dance floor is yours. So, no pressure then.

first dance simonbiffenphotography

It’s a wedding tradition that you both open the dancefloor after your wedding breakfast has finished. You’ll probably take to the floor to the sound of applause from your friends and family who’ve been enjoying the day so far.

First off, we’d like to say that you don’t actually have to have a first dance. It’s entirely up to you. It’s your wedding day and you shouldn’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

That said, if you don’t have a first dance, it’s something you might regret for the rest of your married life. Just think of the atmosphere – everyone is wishing you well and even if you make a few mis-steps nobody will mind.

fun first dance routine lissaalexandraphotography

You could just start with a slow smoochy number that doesn’t require any complicated footwork – after all it’s the thought that counts here. Or if you’re a fan of Strictly Come Dancing you might like to take the opportunity to learn a routine. Maybe learn how to waltz in style. There’s nothing to say that your first dance has to be a slow number. There are plenty of teachers out there who specialise in couples learning to move to a first wedding dance and if you want to take a bit more time about it, there are even some weekend courses to take, plus you get to have a weekend together at the same time!

Once you’ve decided on the tune you’re going to dance to, particularly if it’s been featured on a programme like Strictly, check how the professional couples strut their stuff and see if you can pick up a few tips. Remember to smile, don’t look worried and stressed, and practise, practise, practise, in front of a mirror if you possibly can! Also remember to practise in the shoes you’re going to be wearing – you might want to think about this one because high stilettos could get caught in the hem of your wedding gown if you’re wearing something full and long.

So how do you choose what you’re going to start off dancing to? Like anything else on your wedding day, it’s a matter of personal choice. What we would say though is that you should discuss it fully with your other half – it’s not a unilateral decision, you both need to be entirely happy with what you’ve chosen.

10 popular first dance songs

Make you feel my love by Adele

This is fast becoming a modern wedding classic. It’s an easy slow dance, the words are beautiful and just about everybody will know the melody. A good choice if you’re shy about dancing, you can just have a slow smooch and enjoy being together, whispering quietly in one another’s ear.

Can’t take my eyes off you by Andy Williams

This is a wonderful song to learn a set dance piece to. It moves between slow verses and a faster chorus, so you can alter the tempo. We love it… it’s fun, not soppy and Andy Williams is right on trend just now.

How sweet it is by James Taylor

This is another timeless classic. Have a listen and see what you think. There’s a reason these songs are played over and over again.

Something by The Beatles

A beautiful slow dance – you start dancing to the first couple of verses and then everybody else won’t be able to resist joining in.

Greatest day by Take That

Gary Barlow writes some memorable songs and the words are perfect, don’t you think?

It had to be you by Harry Connick Jnr

How did you feel when you first saw the man who has become your husband. Was it love at first sight or did it take a bit longer? When was the moment ‘it had to be you’?

I’ve had the time of my life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

This is the one in Dirty Dancing when he lifts her up over his shoulders. Well, your groom doesn’t have to do that, but it’s a great song to dance some choreographed moves to.

If you’re struggling for more first dance ideas, why not head on over to our Music and Entertainment section for some more amazing ideas?


  1. I left the choice of song to my partner and he chose Can’t Take My Eyes of You by Andy Willams and i was thrilled as it is one of my favourite songs, which he didn’t know, and he was chuffed to bits when i told him. 🙂

  2. I dreaded my first dance and personally would have done away with it if it hadn’t been for my mum LOL! There are so many song people have used over and over as first dance I didn’t want to fall in to that cliched song choice…despite not wanting a first dance. We actually settled on Starship’s Nothings Gonna Stop Us as it wasn’t a mushy one, summed our relationship up perfectly and those that were already drunk could sing along LOL!

  3. We had JLS Love You More. We had some dance lessons which helped as we learnt a few steps which made it look like we knew what we were doing rather than just moving around in a circle! Most amazing day ever! So sad it’s over!

  4. We are having ‘You and Me’ by Lifehouse. We aren’t learning a routine as we move pretty well together anyway (although it is always me leading him!) I’ve asked the bridesmaids to get everyone to join us after the first chorus rather than everyone watching us dance.

  5. We are having “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley.
    We were struggling to come up with just one song that we love, and I was on the bus one day, listening to a recording of it that my Chris had done and almost burst into tears. Because not only is it a beautiful song that we both love, it was also the first song that Chris learnt FOR me. He had sung and played guitar to me before, but he actually found this song, loved the meaning, and learnt it for me. When I told him I’d thought of the perfect first dance song, and then explained why, he almost cried too. So, yeah. Our song means so much to us both, and we can’t wait for our wedding day so we can dance together. 🙂


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