Every year you’re almost guaranteed to have one new track that makes it as that year’s “Hot New First Dance Wedding Reception Song “. As Wedding DJs, we can spot them pretty quickly. I mean, that’s part of the job right?
Photo courtesy of GwyneMark Photography
Usually, it’s almost always after a Grammy performance, which takes place in February, just before the Spring wedding season begins. I can’t prove that theory scientifically but it sure feels like it’s been that way the past few years. In 2014, it was “All Of Me” by John Legend. Last year, it was, without a doubt, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”. Up until a few months ago, the top contender for 2016 had been “Die A Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett. This country tune had a lot of the same elements as Ed Sheeran’s track but turned out to have enough crossover appeal that it has been used by a ton of diverse brides and grooms and not relegated to just country music lovers. If you haven’t heard it, check it out below.
But then a song came along that has been slowly gaining momentum over the last month or so. I never saw it coming to be honest. It’s categorized as a “folk” genre track but definitely appeals to the masses. This artist has had a ton of tracks placed in television shows and films like The Loft, Revenge, The Originals, Sleepy Hollow, Reckless, and DaVinci’s Demons (just to name a few). This is her first single to have such mainstream success. Have we kept the suspense going long enough? Well, you’ll have to wait a while longer and get the title/artist through the video below. Let us know if you think this has what it takes to dethrone Thomas Rhett as 2016’s wedding song of the year. Enjoy!
Looking for the perfect wedding first dance song for your reception? Having moved through the first quarter of 2016, our DJs are starting to dial in the songs that are working and what’s coming down the pike. When it comes to the soundtrack to possibly the most romantic portion of the reception, the first dance, we’ve got you covered!
Dancing for the first time as husband and wife, it’s understood that picking the perfect song is of supreme importance. In the endless sea of song suggestions from websites and blogs, (like this one) paralysis from too many options is probably becoming more common than ever. One trend that seems to possibly remedy this malady is a moving away from traditional, mass produced songs. It seems that couples are moving towards the indie genre where they have a personal connection to these gems that are not your typical top 40. This trend makes predicting future trends even more difficult! Another trend as of late has been an influx of great country ballads. In an effort to ease the process, see below, a list of song suggestions that covers multiple styles with some of our thoughts listed under each one. Enjoy them!
Over and Over Again – Nathan Sykes feat. Ariana Grande
A beautiful ballad in the same vein as John Legend’s “All of Me” This song was made for a wedding!
You Are The Best Thing – Ray Lamontagne
This track sounds like a 60’s soul jam that keeps finding its way back to the reception; whether it be during dinner or in this case, the first dance. Don’t see this one going anywhere anytime soon.
Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
Indie track that’s been around for a minute but still is a popular choice for the off-the-beaten-path couple.
Bright – Echosmith
From 2015 and still carrying its own. This feel good track is still a great first dance option.
Yours – Russell Dickerson
This straight forward country tune aims for the heart and is a perfect country option.
Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
Another country song with a really chill feel that has been one of the most popular this year. Check it out here.
Always – Chuck Wicks
Romantic slow dance song that has the perfect lyrics for a first dance.
From The Ground Up – Dan + Shay
These guys have been tearing up the charts as of late. Another solid country option.
It was a sunny and great day for a wedding at Sandestin Hilton Beach Golf Resort and Spa for Johnny Bull and Danielle Elliott. The Hilton wedding team handled the coordination and catering. The bride’s bouquet and the arbor flowers were provided by It’s A Perfect Day. Photography was done by one of our favorites, Tay Gray Photography.
I was the Emcee and DJ Josh B mixed the tunes. The ceremony took place on the beach and we were in the Diamond Ballroom for the reception. The mother of the bride and the bride’s aunt took care of the design/décor and truly did a fantastic job! The décor colors consisted of blues, silvers, greens, and white. It was used throughout the room in the form of peacock feathers and other materials.
Something that was a little different for us with this particular event was the fact that Danielle, the bride, is hearing impaired. Not to worry, we were able to communicate through phone text throughout the planning process. The day of the event I worked with one of the bridesmaids who knew sign language. Danielle was so excited that nothing was going to get in the way on her day!
Danielle and Johnny set the party atmosphere right away by using “Crazy In Love” by Beyonce as their Grand Entrance song. From there, they went with the East Coast format where we go immediately from the Grand Entrance into the First Dance. They chose “Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. That was followed by the Father/Daughter dance to the song “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw. The Mother/Son Dance had a little twist in that the bride and her grandfather joined Johnny and his mother as they danced to Izzy K’s version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. DJ Josh B then played a cool medley for the Bridal Party Dance of “Cupid Shuffle”, “The Electric Slide”, “Apache”, and the “Wobble”.
We went into dinner so everyone could catch their breath and then transitioned into the toasts. Each speech was heartfelt and there were barely any dry eyes left in the room once they concluded. After the toasts, it was time to get our groove on. DJ Josh B got the crowd up on their feet and out onto the dance floor. We partied the night away and ended on a song Danielle and Johnny had pre-selected called “Stealing Cinderella” by Chuck Wicks.
The music was memorable, the dancing was hillarious (great job groomsmen!) and the bride and groom couldn’t have looked any happier. That is what we like to see DJ Josh B and I are so happy and honored that we were able to be a part of Danielle and Johnny’s day. We wish both of them many years of happiness!
Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a Grand Entrance. Sometimes, it’s a small house wedding and a Grand Entrance would feel out-of-place. Some brides and grooms want to be a part of the cocktail hour with their guests and the element of surprise with the entrance is not needed. There are yet other couples who just don’t want the spotlight on them hardly at all so they’d rather bypass the Grand Entrance.
That said, almost every couple has a First Dance. After the First Dance, the next 2 popular formality dances would be the Father/Daughter dance and the Mother/Son dance. Trying to figure out the right song to use for these can be tricky, especially if music isn’t your thing or dancing isn’t your forte. Here’s a few things to keep in mind with the formality dances:
WHY DO THE DANCES AT ALL?
The formalities are more about the pictures that are taken during them than they are about the sentiments of the dance itself. If you’re not looking for these dance photo opportunities, it’s completely OK and not against etiquette to do only one or none of these dances. Don’t feel pressured to do them. It is all about you and your significant other. In this day and age, everything is customized. No longer do couples have to feel the added pressure of doing all the formalities of past generations.
CONSIDER THE LENGTH OF THE TRACK …
More often than not, ballads can be unusually long. An average song length for most tracks is around 3 minutes. Ballads, however, can range anywhere from 4-6 minutes. That can seem like an eternity if you’re not a natural-born dancer. You may be thinking, “If we cut it short, does it hurt the photography?” Not at all. Professional photographers are snapping a to of shots in milliseconds. After 2 minutes, they more than likely have enough shots of the dance from every angle possible. So, unless the song has extreme meaning to both of you or you have choreography for the dance, consider picking a shorter song or have the DJ fade out the track after 2-3 minutes. Not to mention, the quicker the formalities conclude, the quicker you can get to the open dancing and get your guests involved and the party can really go up another notch!
MAKE SURE THE SONG HAS A BEAT …
This is so often overlooked. If dancing isn’t your strong suit, using a song that has a beat can be extremely helpful. This doesn’t mean the song has to have a rock type sound with huge drums. It just needs something where you can feel the pulse of the tempo.
ADD A LIVE ELEMENT …
This can give a creative twist to any of your formality dances. If you have a live musician for your cocktail hour, consider keeping him/her there to do the First Dance as soon as the grand entrance is over. It’s an extra 5 or so minutes after the cocktail hour but can give the song a more intimate or custom feel. Another option is to have a vocalist sing to a karaoke track. It used to be tough to find karaoke tracks. Now with all music going digital, you can find the karaoke or instrumental for virtually any song.
Traditionally, this dance was supposed to be a song that had deep meaning between the bride and groom. While that still can be the case, these days it’s happening less and less. If the song doesn’t instantly come to the both of you, here’s some thoughts.
FIND A SONG THAT IS TIMELESS …
One of the things my wife and I kept in mind while looking for our own First Dance song was that we wanted the song to still be relevant 50 years from now when we request it at a future wedding we attend or better yet, when we’re dancing at out our own 50th wedding anniversary surprise party! This does NOT mean you have to dance to the original version of a track necessarily (although there are some great ones). So many songs have great arrangements or covers done by current artists. With YouTube, you might even find an amazing version of your song by an amateur that you want to use. Check out some of these examples:
This is the latest trend in First Dances. This creates a memorable and creative way to handle a traditionally slow type of dance, not to mention that it brings energy and typically humor to the event immediately. If you’re not familiar with a “mashup”, this is where you take at least 2 tracks and mash them together into 1 song. You don’t have to necessarily create the custom track yourself. At B-Boy, we can create a custom edit for you (at no charge). Also, this is a great way to help make a “non dancer” look great because you can choreograph it! This is also something to be sure to get on video! Here’s some of the best we’ve seen.
Armanda & Joe:
Chad and Shawna (personal friends of ours):
THE SIGNATURE FIRST DANCE …
This is a custom and personal touch that we at B-Boy started in the Panhandle of Florida and have adopted in our other markets. This is where we meet with the bride and groom in person (preferably) or over the phone or virtually through the internet before the event and record them separately telling the story of how they first met or how they got engaged. We then take the “best of” from the interviews and splice it in various parts of the first dance as if they’re telling the story together. We surprise not only their guests but also the bride/groom with this gift. We give the bride/groom a keepsake of the custom song on a CD with the raw interviews. Crowds are either tearing up, laughing hysterically or both. Here’s a few of the ones we’ve done.
Graeme & Christen:
Paul & Kristin:
A lot of the same concepts from above apply here as well. Dances with parents can be awkward if you’re not a dancing family. Those are the couples that tend to need our help finding a song. In those instances, I encourage them to find something upbeat and fun. The dance steps don’t have to be perfect in faster songs. The other problem that couples run into is there aren’t many songs these days ritten about a father/daughter relationship. Not to worry…pick a song about the woman. There are a ton of tracks about that. A couple popular ideas from the past year are:
By far, this is the toughest dance to find a song for no matter if you are a dancer or not. If you thought songs written about a father/daughter relationship are scarce, try finding one about a mother/son (and harder yet is finding one that isn’t cheesy). Good luck. Most men don’t dance with their moms often anyway, making the song selection choice that much tougher. A generic song about “gratitude” is always a safe route. Another idea is to defer to your mom in the selection of the song. Typically, her role in the wedding is minimal so this will give her a feeling of importance and purpose. Regardless, keep it upbeat and pick a short song. A few of the more popular selections we’ve used in the last year are:
Hope these tips are helpful. Again, if you’re a client of ours, e-mail us and we’ll send you a more comprehensive list of song ideas. Good luck in your selections! Our next and last installment of the formality series will deal with the other misc. formalities that need custom songs selected.