first dance

In the next series for wedding tips, I thought I would touch on the first dance, and finding music. Music can be the backdrop to life’s little moments; it can take you back to a place where you first met. Finding the perfect music as the backdrop for your wedding can be daunting, to say the least. With thousands of choices for Deejay’s and wedding bands, how do you decide if you want live music, or a DJ? And what about that first dance song?
Both options (live band/DJ) will end up costing you about the same amount. Some couples chose to have a string quartet at the ceremony, and then a DJ for the reception. While others who marry at a church just choose the organist to play. If you want live music, a good start would be to check out  a local school of music. You may be able to find students who would be willing to play for a fraction of the cost of an already professional group.  Is there a local band you like? Ask them if they would be willing to play at your wedding. 
You should meet with no more then three bands or DJ's face to face. More then that is overwhelming, and a waste of your time.  Do your research ahead of time, and narrow your choices down to your three favorites. Ask the DJ if they have a set list they play, or are they willing to play a set list that you choose. How do you assure they don’t play “The Electric Slide”? Ask if you can create a list of songs you absolutely do not want played, and then make a second list of your favorites.  Make sure you review these lists with your DJ or band, and emphasize how important it is that these requests are followed. If you do hire a band, ask if they have a system where they can play music while they take a break. You don’t want dead silence during their break time.
If you are looking to save money, many couples opt out of hiring a DJ or band and create their own playlist on an ipod, while this is a money-saver, remember that you will still need to rent the equipment to set up a sound system. You may also need to have someone at the helm, to monitor the play list.
As far as picking the first dance song, if you do not have a set song in mind, take some suggestions from your band leader or DJ. They may have a top twenty list that you can choose from.
After you have chosen your first dance song, the next thing on your list is to think about that first dance. A first dance can mean so many things, but your first wedding dance, is epic, because all eyes will be on you (and your husband). So how do you go about making sure that you can pull off the first dance with out fumbling? You can always wing it, with a basic, fifth grade inspired slow dance (sort of cute if you ask me). Or, If you are not the type to wing it, and you don’t want to trip over your gown, or worse, fall flat on your face, there are some strategies that can help you be more confidant, and maybe even wow your guests. Don’t worry I am not suggesting some all out routine, but you can for example, practice, or better yet, take a few classes beforehand.
Contact a ballroom dance school in the area, and ask about signing up for a few classes. Some even offer classes for groups of couples. Make sure you do this three to six months in advance. If you don’t want to sign up for classes, find an instructor or a local instructor who is willing to give you a few one –on-one lessons

If you want some ideas, feel free to checkout my playlist! 

Have a question ? Feel free to email me! Kate@kateuhryphoto.com


  1. Such a hard decision. I want a live band, but am so afraid I can't find a good one, and if I can't find a good one, I would rather have a DJ. I think live bands are more fun, but....can't decide! THanks for the tips! xoxo

  2. I love the ballroom dance idea, we are going to do that for sure! I am so uncoordinated, and I think it will be a fun experience for the two of us to get together every week, something stress free to do before the wedding with just the two of us!

  3. LOVE and adore that photo, I just had to say I loved having live music! Esp a local band....Folky and fun for an outdoor wedding!