The Story Behind Our First Dance Song

March 16, 2018

I came across Jen's post about her first dance song and it was such a great read that I wanted to share our first dance story. We struggled to pick a song and it was one of my favorite questions to ask friends and family what theirs had been in the hopes it would help us decide. Today I'm answering my own question and sharing our song + the lead up to our selection. Buckle up, folks!

So. The short story is that we couldn't decide on a song for the longest time. We had to lock it down a month before the wedding with the DJ/band and I think we ended up finally picking it a week before that. Believe it or not in the nine years we'd been together pre-wedding we didn't have *a song*. Sure there were songs that we liked and that reminded us of one another but nothing that gave us all of the feels. Much like Jen and her husband's "I Like The Way You Move," our version would have been "Downtown" by Macklemore. For whatever reason we got really into that song when I first moved out to California and listened to it every day for a month. It's still a favorite whenever we want to get pumped up or need (yes need) to dance. However, as you may have surmised it doesn't exactly lend itself to a romantic first dance as husband and wife. So alas, the quest continued.
Throughout our wedding planning process we would bring up songs we liked and either add them to a list of possibilities or rule them out. We even had a dedicated night when it was starting to get ridiculous that we hadn't picked a song where we researched and tried dancing to a bunch of options to see how they felt! The stakes felt so high to pick the song that would be yours and remind you of your wedding day for the rest of your life. So there was some trouble committing. We did have a few criteria that helped narrow things down:

We didn't want anything that was too current. We were leaning more towards classics and wanted it to be a song where we didn't know anyone else who'd chosen it. I really wanted a Frank Sinatra song because Mark and I both grew up with Frank regularly playing in our homes. However, most of his love songs were too fast or we'd been to weddings where that was the first dance. I absolutely love "The Way You Look Tonight" but wanted something a little bit different.
It had to be slow enough. Hear me out on this one. We knew that we didn't plan to take any lessons and our most impressive move would maybe me a twirl or two so we wanted something nice and leisurely. So many good love songs are upbeat and a lot of our favorites were ones that we ultimately felt would be best to have some sort of choreographed dance to. 
Our song couldn't be too long. While I know that you can ask your DJ to shorten your song (and we probably should have done so) I thought it would be obvious and not flow well so we didn't want anything that would drag on for too long. Our song was bout 3.5 minutes and it still felt like forever! We both don't like being the center of attention so we tried to and keep it short. I'm sure our guests weren't very entertained by our swaying either 😂
So, what did we choose? Ultimately we chose "Come Rain or Come Shine" by Ray Charles. It didn't even enter the list of possibilities until two months before the wedding but it just felt right. We didn't know anyone who'd chosen that song, it's nice and slow and the message is perfectly sappy (to even further the sap-factor it even ended up raining in the beginning of the day). I had also wanted to incorporate "This Will Be" by Natalie Cole somewhere into the day because it just brings me so much joy and who doesn't love The Parent Trap? We walked into our reception to "This Will Be" and it set the tone perfectly. It made me so happy and excited to get out there and celebrate with our people (as seen below lol).
We decided to do our first dance right when we entered the ballroom because like I mentioned before we don't like being the center of attention and we wanted to just get it out of the way so we could enjoy dinner!  

A few of the other songs we considered were Norah Jones' version of "Love Me Tender", "The Nearness of You" also by Norah Jones, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli, and "Unforgettable" by Nat King Cole. I mentioned this on Instagram but I recently discovered Anthony Hamilton and am obsessed with his song "Change Your World" which would have definitely been a contender had I known about it!

So are we the most indecisive people ever? I can't decide ;) 

I'd love to hear what was your first dance song and was it an easy choice?

xo Catherine 


  1. Hi Catherine! Loved this post -- what a great song choice! I also completely support and agree with your perspective on the importance of "This Will Be" thanks to "The Parent Trap," one of my favorite movies from back in the day. Glad my post inspired this! xoxo Jen (

    1. Haha so happy you agree! Thanks for taking the time to read, that means a lot! Love your blog!


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