The newlyweds taking to the dance floor first is still a much-loved part of the wedding day, although not always by the happy couple! Confident dancers might not give it a second thought but if you or your partner are a little shy about strutting your stuff in such a public way, you might not feel so keen. Then there’s the pressure of choosing from all the amazing first dance songs, too!

Rhian & Gavin

Never fear, below we’ve got everything you need to know to plan a great first dance, as well some brilliant first dance songs that you’ll really enjoy dancing to. So, read on, and let us help you decide if you’re going to get your groove on…

Should I have a first dance?

It’s your day and your rules, so if you really don’t fancy it that’s absolutely fine. But, before you make a final decision, remember it’s a very romantic moment that you really will treasure forever (as long as the nerves don’t get in the way.) You’ll also get some magical photos. 

Plus, a first dance can be a lot of fun, especially if you pick the right song. It does’t have to be slow and smoochy, if upbeat is more your thing. You can also prep your wedding party to join you on the dance floor during the first chorus, so you’re not dancing on your own for too long.

Evie-Mae & Theo

However, if you really don’t like dancing, feel the day is too packed already or just don’t have a song you would choose, it’s OK. A first dance is traditional but certainly not obligatory. Although, another option is to quietly duck out for a minute for a private first dance with just your new partner. Making it a super private and romantic moment just for the two of you.

When should we do it?

If you’re having a first dance, traditionally it happens after dinner and the cake cutting and signifies the start of the evening reception. Although, there is a modern trend to have the first dance at the beginning of the reception when you make your grand entrance. Some couples are now choosing to head straight to the dance floor to create a bit of a buzz. 

Charlotte & Ashley

Should we have lessons?

There’s no need to have lessons but if you’re nervous or your song is fairly slow and hard to dance to, then some lessons might help. You don’t have to go the full Dirty Dancing routine either (although some couples do!) A dance teacher can give you a few simple moves that might make you feel more comfortable in the spotlight. Remember your guests aren’t expecting to see Strictly style talent though. They just want to see you happy, relaxed and in love, the dancing doesn’t really matter!

Ara & Jack

Live band or DJ?

You can also obviously Bluetooth a song from your phone, but this is a special moment. So, if you can get your DJ or live band involved it will all look and sound a bit more professional. A live band or DJ may also be able to personalise a song for you, or create a mashup between two songs you love.

Kelly & Stijn

How do we choose a song?

Well, if you’re lucky enough to have that one special song then choose it, even if it’s not quite first dance material. If it means something to you and your partner, then that’s all that’s needed. Although, do pay attention to the lyrics. If it’s about heartbreak, divorce or worse then perhaps save it for the dance floor later!

Rebecca & Christian

If you don’t have a stand out song already, then consider the following - 

1. What mood do you want? 

Slow and romantic or upbeat and entertaining? 

Gillian & Luke

2. Do you want to showcase your culture? 

Some first dance songs are great a chance to share your culture or passion, whether it’s ceilidh dancing, great salsa style or breaking out your best Bollywood moves.

3. What’s in your music collection? 

Work through your collection listing possible first dance songs that you both love.

4. Do you want more than one song?

You don’t have to choose just one song. Ask your DJ to create a medley of favourites or start with something slow then surprise guests when it merges with something fast and funky that they can all join in with.

Kacey & Bradley

5. Can you dance to it? 

Consider the pace of the song and your ability to dance to it. And, if you’re thinking of breaking out some street dance moves, check you can do them in your dress!

6. Lastly, does your final choice make you both smile? 

This is all about having fun with your partner, so whatever you choose needs to resonate with you both.

The top 20 first dance songs 

To inspire you, this year’s 20 most popular first dance songs*, based on couples' Spotify playlists, were…

Colette & Craig

1. Perfect - Ed Sheeran

2. At Last - Etta James

3. All of Me - John Legend

4. Can't Help Falling in Love - Haley Reinhart

5. Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

6. Everything - Michael Bublé

7. Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur

8. You Are The Reason - Calum Scott

9. I Get to Love You - Ruelle

10. Beyond - Leon Bridges

11. The One - Kodaline

12. You Are the Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne

13. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) - Natalie Cole

14. Your Song - Elton John

15. Stand By Me - Ben E. King

16. Amazed - Lonestar

17. Marry Me - Train

18. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton

19. I Am Yours - Andy Grammer

20. Then - Brad Paisley

Danielle & Damy

Get creative

Alternatively, if your music tastes are a little more eclectic then be creative, there are no rules. 90s fans might love ‘Something Changed’ by Pulp or ‘Friday I’m in Love’ by the Cure. For something more rock and roll how about ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters or ‘I Belong To You’ by Muse? Or go a bit more upbeat with ‘It Must Be Love’ by Madness or ‘All You Need is Love’ by the Beatles.

Lauran & Steven

So, whether you choose to skip the first dance completely or go for something super romantic and traditional, make sure your wedding day is exactly how you and your partner want it to be. There’s no need to include anything that causes you stress or dance more than you’re comfortable with. And, whatever you do - especially if you’re braving the whole Dirty Dancing routine or creating a fantastic Abba mashup - we want to hear about it! Just click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.


Clara & Jack

Click here to find the perfect wedding dress to dance in, then try on your favourites at your nearest wed2b store. Here’s what to expect when you visit, too. Lastly, for more inspiration, check out our handy guides as well as our Instagram, Facebook or TikTok accounts.