We’re privileged once again to be able to bring you another fantastic post from our guest wedding music and entertainment expert Holly Jazz Kotzé! Holly has accompanied the first dance at countless weddings across the UK as well as helping a lot of the couples choose their perfect song, so if you’re struggling to choose then you’ve definitely come to the right place! We’re sure Holly will put your mind at ease and give you some great ideas, but if you still can’t decide then we’re here to help! Check out our debate from a few weeks back on the Choreographed Vs Freestyle first dance in our regular Friday Fight-Out, but not before you’ve heard from our wonderful guest expert! Take it away Holly!
THE FIRST DANCE
The first dance comes from traditional old balls where the guests of honour (usually Royalty if present) would start the dancing. It translates directly across to weddings – you – the bride and groom are the guests of honour, and if anybody of old fashioned stock is there, they will not dance until you have! The first dance is traditionally not supposed to be the bride and groom dancing the whole dance by themselves but simply starting it and then when into it, inviting everybody else to join them. It’s one of my favourite traditions of weddings, which let’s face it are filled with bizarre traditions like cutting the cake and throwing bouquets! Don’t ask too many questions about it, just embrace it!
So how do you decide what to do for YOUR first dance? Are you going to go for a good old slow dance or something more entertaining and even choreographed?! Choreographed dances are becoming more and more popular and certainly add a real light-hearted joy to the day but the idea of dancing in front of people – nevermind a choreographed routine can be completely daunting for some people! But if you have the guts and a bit of skill it could be really fun!
Take a look at what some of my friends did at their wedding to the theme tune from Morecambe and Wise which has a lovely blend of comedy and romance!
Quite often, I’m approached by panicked couples who worry that they don’t have an ‘our song’. If this is you, then just have a think about it – you may well have a song and just not realise it!
Think of all the nicest memories you share together – do any of them feature music in the background at all? Were you on holiday and saw some great street buskers who you stopped and watched together? What song do you remember them playing? Were you on holiday and saw a really cheesy terrible band on resort that you laughed at together but yet it was still a really happy memory? What was the song? Have you taken long drives or trips together where a song’s come on the radio that you both sang along to and whenever you hear that song you picture yourselves driving down that road, singing along and happy? What was the song? Did you meet each other or get together on a night out? Did you dance together in a club? Dancing away, looking at the other and thinking ‘hmmm actually I think this is gonna be something pretty special’ – does that club song bring you back to that moment?
And don’t worry if you don’t have any shared song memories! What about the sentiments of certain songs? Let’s look at some song sentiments:
At Last by Etta James – good sentiment for a wedding that’s been a long time coming!
Better Together by Jack Johnson – good sentiment if you’ve had to spend time apart and really appreciate how much better it is together!
When I’m 64 by the Beatles – what more is marriage if not saying ‘I will still love you when you’re 64 and hope you will do the same’! It’s a fun song and sums up the day perfectly!
My First, My Last, My Everything by Barry White – great sentiment for if you are first loves / childhood sweethearts and they really are your first, last and everything! Ahhh.
There are hundreds of song-sentiments I could go into but I’ll let you realise them for yourself.
There are of course just the good old romantic songs that will never go out of fashion and the more recent songs that have been floating around our charts and television soundtracks for the past few years or less such as Eva Cassidy’s beautiful version of ‘Songbird’ (originally and still brilliantly by Fleetwood Mac) and of course Adele’s version of the Bob Dylan song ‘Make You Feel My Love’. They may be popular choices but you can’t take away how naturally romantic and fitting they are for such an occasion. On a more upbeat note of the modern era there’s always the fun number ‘Marry You’ by Bruno Mars which is, of course, literally written for such a day!
Always consider having live or instrumental versions of these songs too – you don’t need to just stick to the CD recording. If it’s the song that counts and the sentiment then it’s even nicer to have a band or an instrumentalist (or a pianist vocalist…!!!) to perform them uniquely for you on your day.
I have recorded some versions of some songs I consider good for First Dances on my web page here and also list some more song ideas.
Whatever you decide – good luck and remember, if you’re nervous about dancing, you only need to do the first little bit before you invite everybody to join you on the dance floor! After this, you can relax and simply dance the night away, free from all the traditions and expectations! Woohoo!
To find out more about Holly and make a booking click this link!