First Dance Songs

this is what our summer looked like!

Mumbles and I just finished one heck of a wedding season. We will forevermore dub 2012 as “The Year of the Wedding” because we had seven — yes, seven! — weddings to attend in the span of five months, plus one that we couldn’t attend because it fell on the same day as another. Not to mention bridal showers, baby showers, graduations, and the whole moving to Virginia thing. Dr. T (Mumbles’s sister) and the Deputy were married earlier this year (see her “Love Birds” Bridal Shower), along with childhood friends, a former coworker/friend from college, a business partner, two sorority sisters (one who married one of Mumbles’s fraternity brothers and the other a rockstar, like I always knew she would), and a friend that Mumbles plays softball with married the sister of one of his fraternity brothers who used to date a former co-worker of mine (whew!). Our summer was jam-packed with love and marriage, and every ceremony was a happy flashback to our own wedding day, giving us time to reflect on our life together and how thankful we are for the growth and experiences we’ve shared since saying “I do.”

Our first dance as husband and wife
(photo by Brandon Kidd Photography)

Aside from watching the groom as he sees his bride walking down the aisle, my absolute favorite part of any wedding is hearing what the newlyweds selected as their first dance song. When choosing a song, you’re looking for something sweet yet significant, it needs to communicate your love and devotion to each other, spur a collective sigh from all your guests and it should probably shoot not to offend anyone. It’s a big deal. Picking just one song is made even harder if you don’t particularly have a song to call your own (go ahead, right now just take a moment to picture Dermot Mulroney softly singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in your ear…I’ll wait while you enjoy that.). You’re welcome. Back with me? Great.

I obsessed for hours on end, poring over options to ensure just the right music was playing at all the important moments of my big day, willfully guiding how I wanted to feel and how I wanted guests to feel. (Kinda like music in movies will tell you when to shut your eyes because something scary is going to happen. Yeah, like that but romantic and lovely and happy. Not scary.) From the processional (“Happy as the Sun” by Tyrone Wells), the song I walked down the aisle to (“Lullaby” by the Dixie Chicks), the recessional that celebrated our first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. (“This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole), our entrance into the reception to get the celebration started (“I Gotta Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas), and the cake cutting (“Sugar So Sweet” by Tyrone Wells)…all of these songs elicit nostalgia and happy memories for me. Gosh, even some of the songs I almost picked get me a little gushy when I hear them, sometimes announcing to Mumbles “this is the song we almost played while our moms were seated!” like he cares at all. I know I’m not alone in the whole nostalgia thing because I asked some friends if they would share their first dance songs and got a lot of responses that said things like “oh, I love our song!” or “how special” and a lot of exclamation points and smiley faces accompanied them so I know I was on to something.

So here they are, some of the first dance songs chosen by some of my favorite people (myself included):

  • Mumbles and I swayed and looked into each other’s eyes all dreamy like while Brad Paisley crooned “Then.”
  • Mumbles’ brother and his wife danced to “She’s Everything” by Brad Paisley (what can we say? that guy knows how to make a lady swoon!)
  • Dr. T (formerly Merrett) and the Deputy chose one of my almost selections: “Feels like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk (you’d recognize it if you’ve ever seen How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days).
  • Our good friends from college, Brent & Amanda (whom we affectionately refer to as “Cappy” and “Panda” — hey, we like nicknames around here) danced in the grass surrounded by their bridal party to “Pistol” by Dustin Kensrue. Dancing in the grass was so intimate and romantic, it just makes me sigh seeing the photo I took from that day. Just lovely.

  • Back when I officially became BFOTB (though I’ve recently been promoted to BFOTBM: Best Friend of the Baby Mama), my BFOTB (she’s still mine…I’ll longingly wish to forever be a bride!) and her hubby have great taste and chose “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. Good one, friend.
  • Kacee (of Kacee Geoffroy Hair + Makeup…maybe you know her? You should. She is simply fabulous and has done hair and makeup at half of these weddings I’m referring to — mine included! — and you should check out her blog for product recommendations, makeup & hair tips, and more) and her stud of a husband went classic country with Alan Jackson’s “Like Red on a Rose.”
  • Mumbles’s cousin Ryan & his wife Page took to the dance floor with “Never Love You Enough” by Brian McComas. Page is my favorite friend-turned-family-by-marriage and you’ll adore her just as much as I do if you read her blog, Page on Paper, which chronicles her adventures through moving from SoCal to SF and now to Arizona plus home and crafty goodness we all love. Also, I should note that it was my job during their ceremony to press the play button for Adele’s version of “To Make You Feel My Love” (Perfection! This song is good no matter who sings it!).
  • Our friends Ashley & Anthony chose a song that suits their beach-chic lifestyle: the “Better Together” remix by Jack Johnson & Paula Fuga. Makes me smile and relax every time I hear it!
  • Elissa & Bobby (Bobby performed our wedding ceremony!) also had a song that really suited them in “Me and You” by Kenny Chesney. Love it.
  • My gold friend Mel (we bonded over our Girl Scout adventures when we met in sorority because we’re dorky like that but come on, sorority life is pretty much an extension of Girl Scouts…matching outfits, volunteering, fun outings…anyhoo…she’s skinnybmel and I’m Stick Girl JAM…it works!) and her husband Kelcey are big music buffs (Kelcey is in the band The Local Natives. Word to the wise: buy everything they’ve ever done. You’ll love it. Promise.) so take note of their song “I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison which played during the #melceylove extravaganza that was the wedding they won from YEAH!weddings. True story.
  • I was a little flower girl when my sister Diane danced to “Just As Long As I Have You” by Don Williams…with puffy sleeves, big fabulous hair and all. (Sorry sister, couldn’t help it!)
  • Some of you may know my friend Matt from his site the Princeples of Dating. Matt and his new bride Nicole took their first spin on the dance floor to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz and also had a choreographed dance planned to “You” by Chris Young.

My friends on Facebook chimed in with great ones including some of my almosts and some I had fun looking up and listening to such as “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison (one of my all-time faves!), “Everything” by Michael Buble (super fun and sweet), “True Companion” by Marc Cohn, “Forever” by Ben Harper, the duet “Lucky” by Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, and “Stars Would Fall” by Monk and Neagle (had to look it up but I love it now!).

Sometimes I hear Joshua Radin’s “Lovely Tonight” and wish we would’ve chosen that one. I love it so much it almost makes me sad that I can’t hear it and think “this is our song!” but since Mumbles and I don’t officially have a song, this might just be one of those things where I can announce “this is our song!” whenever it comes on and he’ll be none the wiser. Or I’ll simply close my eyes and image Dermot Mulroney singing softly…okay…yeah, I’m back. Joshua Radin performed “Today” for Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi at their wedding reception because, you know, celebrities are lucky like that. Also a stellar song for your wedding day. (On a side note: my brother and Mumbles did sneakily call Tyrone Wells to try to arrange for him to surprise me at our wedding with a few songs, but alas, it didn’t work out.)

I don’t know of anyone shopping for a song right now, but my pick of the moment would be “Wanted” by Hunter Hayes…I melt a little every time I hear it.

What was your first dance song or what song would you choose today?



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