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Music sets the stage for your wedding—and also reflects your individual personality. Here, Jason Jani, Founder of SCE Events in Wall Township, walks us through the process of choosing the perfect song for your first dance.
What should a couple keep in mind when choosing their first-dance song?
This is a song you will want to hear over and over again—for every milestone anniversary, special events and more—so you should strive to choose something that resonates and has sig- nificant meaning to you as a couple. Ultimately, every couple has a different style; and your first dance should reflect that style.
Fast or slow?
Going with a slower track doesn’t mean you are limited to traditional love songs. A more upbeat song might have an alternative or cover version that could work even better. An example is “Rather Be,” by Clean Bandit, which is a dance- pop and house crossover. I recently had a couple use a cover version by Jasmine Thompson—with a softer ethereal sound—and it really resonated with them and everyone in the room. If you’re particularly attached to a song that might not have the pace or cadence you’re looking for, explore different variations, such as a remix or acoustic performance. Spotify and YouTube are great resources for this kind of research.
Should the song be popular to your guests or meaningful to you as a couple?
Never choose a song to please the masses. Why? They won’t be playing it at your 25th anniversary—but you might. Your song choice should make more sense to you as a couple than anything else. Don’t just go with the biggest song of the year or the most famous love song of all time. Consider your couple style in relation to the tone, lyrics and overall feeling of the music. That way, in 10 years, when you’re driving down the Garden State Parkway and you hear it playing on the radio, you’ll be taken back to that exact moment in time, dancing with the one you love the most.
What are your top-three first-dance songs from the past year?
What if a couple can’t come to a decision?
I once had a couple who felt connected to the song “Then,” by Brad Paisley, but weren’t aware of other alter- natives. We wound up finding an “unplugged” version that they fell in love with, without the heavy drums and guitar. One of the jobs of a seasoned entertainment professional is to present these kinds of alternatives. That way the couple can evaluate all of their options and make the best decision.
A good deejay should be able to work with you, provide suggestions and even offer a sense of production in making sure this song fits the moment you have always envisioned. Whether that’s “deconstructing” the song or adding enhancements such as lighting and production technology (fog or snow), a seasoned entertainment professional can help to heighten the moment and the emotions in the room.
Any other insider tips?
Just because a song isn’t featured in a commercial or a viral TikTok doesn’t mean it’s not a great song. Explore YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and other platforms; be true to who you are as a couple, and have fun with your decision.