Whether you’re slow-dancing to a ballad or showcasing six months of dance classes with some Beyoncé-style choreography, the age-old first dance is still a big part of most wedding receptions.

I’ve always considered bridal dance song choice to be a very personal thing. For my wedding, choosing a song that meant something to my wife and I was an important decision. Interestingly though, at The Bombastics we get many questions from couples about which song to use and what we think works well. So here are my tips on choosing a suitable song:

1. Will you want the band to play it live? If yes, you’ll need to stick to songs that mostly use instruments you’ve selected to perform on your day. We can always do more stripped-down versions if you book a smaller band, but it’s an important consideration. For instance, if you choose a song that predominantly features strings, it’s not going to sound the same if you’ve asked a four piece band to play it. If you’d prefer to use the original recording then this is one aspect you don’t need to worry about.

2. How long do you want to be dancing for? It might seem like an odd question but choosing a song that goes for over four minutes is a long time to dance together. And a really long time to choreograph a dance to. If you’re set on a song that goes past the four minute mark, consider bringing the bridal party or parents on after the first or second chorus. It’s great way to fill the song and makes it a family affair.

3. Is the song the right tempo? When choosing a song, don’t just listen to it, get up and try moving a little. If it’s too slow you’ll know straight away. If it’s fast you can decide whether that’s something you can practice towards or choose a slower song.

4. Is it a song you’re likely to hear again/want to hear again? It might seem like a funny thing to consider but one of the nicest things about choosing a song that you actually love is hearing it again at random times in your life. My wife and I were driving home late from work recently and our bridal dance song came over the radio. It was such a lovely feeling to be brought back to one of the happiest moments of our lives.

Check out our blog post on the top 5 most requested bridal dance songs for some inspiration and ideas.