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How to Not Have a Boring First Dance

Give your guests something to talk about during your first married spin.

Associate Digital Editor
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Photography by: Lindsay Madden Photography

Your first dance is your chance to make a first impression as a married couple. For some brides and grooms, that means making a major splash. While there's nothing wrong with gently swaying to a classic first dance song that's meaningful to you both, you probably don't want to put your guests to sleep (especially if you and your love are on the more adventurous side!). If you're looking to have a first married spin that's anything but boring, take the following advice from Shanon Cook, Trend Expert at Spotify. Her overarching tip? Make sure your music isn't cliché. From choosing a song that'll surprise the crowd to working in choreography, here's everything you need to know about nailing a first dance everyone will remember.

 

Related: 6 Tips for Choosing the Perfect First Dance Song

 

Choose a first dance song that strikes a chord.

Sometimes that means choosing a first dance song that's more about your relationship than the wow factor, says Cook. "I believe it's always better to choose a song that means something to you as a couple rather than to choose something unique for unique's sake," she explained. "Popular or classic songs can bring people together and your wedding guests will appreciate hearing a song they know. But it's your wedding, it's your first dance, it's your moment—so if you want to tear up the script, do it."

 

"If the song you're considering seems like an obvious choice, then it's likely not a particularly unique song and you'll want to keep searching," she continued. "Playlists are a great place to find cool, interesting tracks and Spotify has so many expertly curated ones to make your hunt easier. Check out With You, a mix of subtle romantic songs. Good Vibes also points you to some feel-good picks."

 

Avoid top-of-the-chart tunes.

That means that you might want to find something other than Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud," which is currently the most popular choice in first dance-themed playlists on Spotify. Etta James' "At Last" is also a go-to track, along with John Legend's "All Of Me"—while sentimental and sweet, these two are also first dance regulars, which means you might want to skip them. Your guests have likely heard them ten times over this wedding season.

 

Look to your relationship when choosing a music genre.

"Hone in on what makes you unique as a couple and that might provide a jumping off point," said Cook. "Were you both in punk rock bands when you were younger? Did you meet in a jazz club in New York City? Do you share an obsession with '90s hip-hop?" If you're looking to really rock the boat, any ultra-dramatic pop or rock song is going to get people's attention: "Think Bonnie Tyler's 'Total Eclipse of The Heart' or Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody,'" Cook explained.

 

Lead with choreography.

If you and your soon-to-be spouse have been taking dance lessons for the big day, let the style of choreography you've learned inform your first dance choice. Go for "any song you both feel comfortable keeping up with and inspires you to cut loose," advised Cook.
 

Have fun with it.

Cook's best piece of advice for any couple that wants their first dance to be anything but boring is simple—just have the time of your lives. "It's only going to be upbeat and engaging if it's obvious you're having an absolute blast," she explained. "No matter what song you end up going with, be in the moment together and don't worry about acting a bit silly."