Wedding Bands and First Dances

Having a wedding band play your first dance live can add a spark to what is already a special moment in any wedding day. The CoverUps have a large repertoire of songs which may be used as first dances; in this section you’ll find some information about choosing a first dance.

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Choosing A First Dance

There are so many songs out there; so how do you choose the right one for the first dance? Well, in case you’re not completely sure – you as the bride and groom are the leading authority on what you should have! This part of the night marks the end of formal proceedings, and the moment when everyone can let their hair down. As such, there’s no convention, no rules; just pick the right song for you.

Over the years we’ve played a great number of first dances, though it’s not always the right thing for the band to play the first dance. So the first question to ask might be do we want the band to play the first dance live?

Having The First Dance Played By The Wedding Band

Choosing to have the first dance played by the wedding band is often a great way to introduce the band – and once the first dance is finished, the band are ready to start playing the rest of the set. A good place to start in deciding on a first dance played by the wedding band is to look through the band’s repertoire. They may have a song that you really love, and even if not, it will give you an idea of the kinds of songs they play well.

Discuss your first dance with the band. If you don’t have strong views on a particular song you’d love to have, they may have ideas beyond the scope of their usual repertoire. For example, first dances the CoverUps have played in the last few years include:

  • She’s the One: Robbie Williams
  • God Only Knows: The Beach Boys
  • The Wonder of You: Elvis
  • Heaven: Bryan Adams
  • Better Together: Jack Johnson
  • Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing: Aerosmith
  • Everything: Michael Buble
  • Chasing Cars: Snow Patrol

If you’re still struggling for inspiration, check out our ‘101 First Dances for Live Weddings Bands‘.

Not Having The First Dance Played By The Wedding Band

Reasons why the first dance might not be best played by the band include:

  • the lead vocalist is of a different gender from the original track
  • there is a particular version of the song you love
  • the track is in a genre outside of the band’s remit (eg. classical)
  • you are learning a choreographed dance and are reliant on cues from the recording

We love playing the first dance for couples – it’s always an emotional moment, and it’s great to be a part of it. Making that moment unique, in the way a live performance by a wedding band does, is a great feeling.

Things To Think About

The first dance is a moment that the whole group of everyone you’ve invited gather together. Evening guest will have arrived, and most of your day guests will last at least this long! As such, there are a few points we’ve noticed that you may wish to consider when choosing your first dance, and how you’d like it to go:

  • Do you want a dance routine, or a slow dance shuffle? Either is absolutely fine – no one will judge either way!
  • Will other guests, traditionally the parent of the bride and groom join you during this song, or in the next song?
  • Does the father of the bride wish to dance with the bride?
  • Does the song contain any swearing?
  • Is the meaning of the song appropriate/what you wish to convey?

On those last two points; firstly, most songs have a ‘clean’ version, or radio edit – it’s just worth making sure you have the right version! And when it comes to the meaning for any given song – the meaning can simply be what it means for you. Sting’s “I’ll be Watching You” is a classic example of a song that, while it’s original meaning was regarding a break up, many people love the song and feel it conveys the emotional intensity of their own relationship.

It’s Your First Dance

At the end of the day, the first dance is a moment for you as a couple. Whatever the song, if you like it – do it! There’s no right or wrong song to have, and the first dance can be as big or small a deal as you want.

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