Top 10 First Dance Songs

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Over 200 First Dances!

In our career as a Surrey wedding band, The Winklepickers have performed at over 200 weddings. This means over 200 first dances!

I have compiled a list of my top 10 below. These vary from the most beautiful to the most unique and fun to play!

Ed Sheeran - The King Of The First Dance?

Mr Sheeran has made huge waves since he burst onto the scene in 2011 with his debut album "+". This has been reflected in first dances. We have been asked to play the following two songs many times as couples share their first steps on the dancefloor. "Thinking Out Loud" takes the top spot but that may be only because it has been around longer than "Perfect".

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are
— Ed Sheeran - Thinking Out Loud
Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I’ll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own
— Ed Sheeran - Perfect

Other popular Ed Sheeran first dances include "Photograph" and "Tenerife Sea".

Van Morrison

Before Ed Sheeran, there was Van "The Man" Morrison. His best known hit "Brown Eyed Girl" is a wedding music staple and always fills the dancefloor. We have played it countless times as both the first dance and as the Father and Bride dance.

Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hide behind a rainbow’s wall
Slipping and a-sliding
All along the waterfall
With you, my brown-eyed girl
— Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl

We have also performed "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You", "Bright Side Of The Road" and "Into The Mystic".

The Classic Crooner

Nothing says "I Love You" quite like a smooth swing number fronted by some chocolatey vocals from the likes of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra or the modern equivalent, Michael Bublé. Here are two of our most requested jazz first dances.

L, is for the way you look at me
O, is for the only one I see
V, is very very, extraordinary
E, is even more than anyone that you adore

And love
Is all that I can give, to you
Love, is more than just a game, for two
Two, in love can make it
Take my heart, and please don’t break it
Love, was made for me and you
— Nat King Cole - L.O.V.E.
And in this crazy life,
and through these crazy times
It’s you, it’s you, you make me sing.
You’re every line, you’re every word, you’re everything
— Michael Bublé - Everything

"Fly Me To The Moon", "It Had To Be You" and "The Way You Look Tonight" are just a handful of the many other jazz classics which we have played as first dances.

From The Movies

Who doesn't remember the iconic closing sequence of the 2003 classic British film "Love Actually"? We have been asked to play "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys from the soundtrack on many occasions and it always starts the night off beautifully.

Equally, we have had a lot of requests for "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri which was written for the wedding scene in Twilight Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I’ll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I’d be without you

If you should ever leave me
Though life would still go on, believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would livin’ do me
God only knows what I’d be without you
— The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
And all along I believed, I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me,
I have loved you for a thousand years
I’ll love you for a thousand more
— Christina Perri - A Thousand Years

Slightly Different First Dances

Some of our favourite first dances, both to learn and to watch have been the more tongue-in-cheek numbers. Two which stick out for me are "Dance Wiv Me" by Dizzee Rascal (which came complete with a choreographed dance routine involving the Bride, the Groom, and most of the wedding party!) and "Ignition" by R. Kelly. Both definitely had the guests talking for years afterwards!

I got my left eye checking out your scenery
I got my right eye right where it needs to be
Don’t matter how I look at it
You look good to me
— Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me
Crystal poppin’ in the stretch Navigator
We got food everywhere
As if the party was catered
We got fellas to my left
Honeys on my right
We bring em both together we got dancin’ all night
— R. Kelly - Ignition

The Personal Touch

Most couples have a song which is personal to them. Whether it was playing at where they first met or came up in an early conversation. For that reason, we have learned and played a vast number of one off first dances which were unique to the couple. One Groom even wrote us a completely new set of lyrics to give his Bride an extra special surprise.

Another great memory is when we were asked to start the first dance with something slow such as the opening bars of “You Raise Me Up” before launching into a blistering version of the rock and roll classic “Johnny B. Goode”. The couple didn’t want to do a traditional first dance but wanted to surprise their guests. Needless to say, it worked!

As we are talking about the personal touch, I have included "First Day Of My Life" by Bright Eyes which The Winklepickers performed at my own wedding (with a deputy on double bass as I was obviously needed on the dancefloor!) It is an incredibly special song for myself and my wife Charlotte and I will remember the moment fondly forever.

Yours was the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
I don’t know where I am, I don’t know where I’ve been
But I know where I want to go
— Bright Eyes - First Day Of My Life

So There You Have It...

My top 10 first dances in no particular order:

1) Thinking Out Loud - Ed Sheeran

2) Perfect - Ed Sheeran

3) Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison

4) L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole

5) Everything - Michael Bublé

6) A Thousand Years - Christina Perri

7) God Only Knows - Beach Boys

8) Ignition - R Kelly

9) Dance With Me - Dizzy Rascal 

10) First Day Of My Life - Bright Eyes

It's Your First Dance!'s your first dance and it should be unique and memorable to you. This list is only for suggestions if you are struggling for inspiration. It is no means exhaustive! If anything, it just proves that whatever you want goes. And that we would be more than happy to learn a special first dance for you, or to play the original audio through our sound system to help create the perfect memory.

Have fun choosing!

Ben Arthey