The Secret to Making it Perfect
A perfect wedding dance consists of many factors. It's not just a band playing songs and a bunch of people dancing.
Let's take a look at all the components that are generally summed up in a wedding dance:
- Mother & Son Dance
- Father & Daughter Dance
- Bride and Groom first dance
- Dance party
As with every other part of your wedding, the song selections you make for your wedding dances are key to you enjoying yourself and to setting the perfect vibe for your wedding to be enjoyed by all your guests and fondly remembered for years to come.
Father Daughter Dance Songs
After dinner and before the main dance party has begun, many couples like to do a Father Daughter dance.
It's a fairly old tradition that is an opportunity for the father of the bride and the bride to have a sentimental moment together on the dance floor before the bride finds herself a new dance partner for line (the groom or other bride!).
It's not for everyone - especially if you're shy or if you don't get along with your dad, but it is a nice way to get all your guests over to the dance floor so they're ready to party once you finish.
The Father Daughter dance is also a great photo opportunity. When else will you get such great close-up shots with you and your dad?
Okay, so what about the songs?
This really depends on you and your taste. But think about your dad too. You two should discuss this together and choose a song that you both enjoy moving too. Maybe it's something classic from your childhood, or maybe the lyrics touch on a father and daughter theme.
Be yourself! If seriousness isn't you're thing (ie: you like being funny), then maybe you and your dad should work a hilarious dance routine like this epic Father Daughter Dance:
Here's a list of some great tunes you could consider if you're feeling stuck:
Mother Son Dance Songs
This is just like the Father Daughter dance, but with the roles switched around.
If you (the groom) are concerned about spending too much time on the dance floor alone with your mother, you can always combine this dance with the Father Daughter dance and do them both at the same time, to the same song.
This is a great photo opportunity again, and will probably help to ease the nervous tensions in you and your bride if either of you get shy in front of so many people.
Alternatively, you can just get crazy and do something totally funny and unexpected like this mother and son:
Here is a great list of tunes to get you started if you and your mother need a little help finding something that fits both of your styles:
Wedding First Dance Songs
Now that your Father Daughter and Mother Son dances are out of the way, it's time for the big moment everyone has been waiting for - the first dance with the happy couple!
Just like the previous dances, this is one of the best photo opps of the night, so make sure you have at least a minute or two of good slow dancing for your photographer to get some killer shots of you. Miss out on this moment and you'll wonder why you even bothered with a wedding when you look back on your photos!
If you've got a live band performing for your wedding, most will happily learn your first dance song, provided it's within reach of their capabilities. (The Phonix is more than happy to learn your first dance song!)
Just make sure you give the band enough time to learn it. 1-2 months is usually sufficient.
Again, you can mix this up and try planning out some impressive (and funny) choreography if you and your partner are keen to entertain. But there's nothing wrong with keeping it safe and moving slowly to a nice ballad together.
Over the 10+ years that the Phonix band has been performing at weddings, we have witnessed a ton of first dances. Although the majority tend to be to slower songs, the most memorable ones are always faster songs for some reason.
Maybe it's that faster tunes don't put you to sleep (and cause you to forget! haha), or maybe it's that couples that choose faster tempo tunes also tend to do some fun and unexpected choreography.
You can always solicit the help of a dance professional if you have two left feet.
Either way, make yours comfortable for you - or heck, skip it if you must.
But before you do that, consider how special it could be for your partner. Just check out how this groom totally wowed his bride by surprising her with some live entertainment she clearly wasn't expecting:
Alright, so how about some songs to get your started. This is probably the toughest song to choose for the night, but these suggestions are ones we have seen work many times. Tried and true, you might say.
And lastly, the wedding dance party itself...
Wedding Dance Songs
The party that comes after the first dance should be the most fun you've ever had! You're vows and picturesque ceremony may be something to remember, but the right dance floor songs and party vibe are what will make your wedding unforgettable!
Of course, since we're a live wedding band ourselves, we've got to make a little plug here for live music!
Nothing brings people to a dance floor and keeps them there like a live band playing all the best old-school music that everyone knows and loves!
If you're budget can't handle it, a DJ might do the trick, but check out what these people have to say about hiring a band verses a DJ:
The secret to making your wedding dance party perfect is to:
- Find the right list of songs that will resonate with your guests
- Find the right band that can execute captivating performances of those songs
The Phonix band specializes in Funk, Soul, R&B and Motown music, with a light dusting of pop hits. Your music preferences may differ, and that's fine, but we have carefully curated our list of music based on what we have experienced to be the most potent dance floor fillers.
Plus, we want to play music we actually enjoy so that we deliver authentic performances that translate to us having loads of fun performing, which in turn will get your guests amped up too!
If you've ever gone to see a band where the musicians look like they're asleep, it's because they're not really having fun. Too many event bands out there just learn the songs they think people want to hear and don't bother learning songs they'll also enjoy playing. It's a loose loose situation for you.
We put our entire music set list on Spotify for you to use if you want to listen to it and test it out before the big day.
As a side note, just note how many followers this playlist has! We haven't promoted it at all - but people just LOVE this music!
Feel free to follow that playlist yourself if you're looking for some soul-fulfilling music or maybe even your own wedding dance playlist!
If you're making your own wedding dance playlist, you may want to check out this in-depth post we have on Wedding Reception Music Playlist Ideas For Dance, Dinner & Cocktails.
How Will You Make Memories at Your Wedding?
Bear in mind that if you want to have a party at your wedding, it will last about 3-4 hours. This is the largest amount of time spent on any single activity during your entire wedding day.
Take a look at your wedding this way:
- Ceremony: 30-60 minutes
- Cocktail hour: 60 minutes
- Dinner/speeches: 60-90 minutes
- Desert/speeches: 30-60 minutes
- Dancing: 180-240 minutes!
The ceremony is short and sweet. Dinner is mostly speeches and people catching up with one another.
Let's face it - based on time alone, the dance party portion of your wedding is where the real memories are going to be made for your guests (and hopefully you too). If you had even the faintest idea that your iPod could handle that responsibility on it's own, get that idea out of your head now!
If you had even the faintest idea that your iPod could handle that responsibility on it's own, get that idea out of your head now!
Like we said earlier, the secret to a great wedding dance party isn't just finding the right songs to play, it's finding the right player to play them.
In our humble opinion, a live band is really the best way to do that. The interaction that each member of the band can have with your guests on the dance floor makes the experience truly interactive and fun for everyone.
Just think about it; when have you enjoyed partying with someone who had their face stuck in front of their laptop the whole time?
Most DJ's these days say glued to their laptop screens all night, and in our experience, there's nothing that kills a dance floor faster than that!
Unless your DJ is highly entertaining in their own right and super approachable, you'll probably just want to stick with a DJ for your canned music during dinner and when the band goes on breaks.
But don't take our word for it!
Go check out some live DJ's in your are and then go see some bands. Who makes you want to stay on the dance floor longer?
Did you enjoy this read?
We'd love to hear from you. Comment below if you've got song suggestions or funny videos you like.
If you're interested in having the Phonix band perform at your wedding, click the button to reserve your date with us today: