First Dance Songs That Sound Romantic (But Aren't!)

Each week, we feature wedding music recommendations from Scratch Weddings, the nation's leader with the best wedding DJs at affordable prices. This week's post comes from DJ Alkimist. Originally trained as a classical violist, Alkimist's firm grasp of music theory allows her to create seamless transitions between songs as diverse as a 60's pop hit and a house-inspired club remix. She loves to stretch her limits. "I will play exactly what a couple wants – if they want to get specific, that's great, but even if they just communicate the feel they are going for, I can create an entire playlist based on that vibe.” Alkimist's keen ear and effortless DJ style are quickly earning her the distinction of being one of DC's rising DJ stars.

first dance


Photo Credit: K and K Photography

Couples want everything to be perfect on their wedding day, especially their first dance. And I know that puzzling over which song to select for that special dance can take forever!

There are many great-sounding songs out there with sweet names and lovely melodies, and some even appear to be bona fide love songs—but they may have the wrong message. Sometimes they might actually be about breakups, abuse, and death. It’s important to pick a song that’s meaningful to you, and sometimes that isn’t a typical love song—and that’s totally OK. But as a general rule, picking a song that contradicts the message of your wedding day is confusing for guests. Remember, friends and family want to bask in the celebration and love right alongside the dancing couple!

So here are some songs to cross off your list when you brainstorm for that special moment (believe it or not, some of these have actually been requested by couples for their wedding). Plus, get some tips that will help you find the perfect song!

"Make You Feel My Love" - Adele
This song is about desperation, not necessarily true love.

"Don’t Stop Believing" - Journey 
Although this song makes for a fun sing-along at last call, it’s really the story of kids in a going-nowhere town.

"I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston
Whitney, we’ll always love you, too, but this was actually written as a breakup song.

"Better With The Lights Off"  - New Boyz Ft. Chris Brown
Think about the one... Guys, your bride looks better with the lights off?

"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - Death Cab For Cutie
This one’s bound to get the waterworks going, but definitely not from happiness. Your wedding is the start of your new life together, not a time to be thinking about souls lost in limbo.

 "Just The Two Of Us"  - Will Smith 
Warning: This song is not actually about a couple—it's about a father and son. This one will have you thinking more about Dr. Evil and Mini Me’s sweet duet in Austin Powers and less about you and your soul mate.

"Always On My Mind " - Elvis Presley 
This song is trying to be sweet by saying that, even though you were a bum in the actual relationship, you were always thinking about the other person…

"Beautiful Stranger " - Madonna 
I would hope that you two aren’t strangers anymore…

"Band Of Gold " - Freda Payne
Another one of those songs that actually sounds like it’ll be a nice ditty about marriage but is actually quite the opposite.

"When I’m 64" - Beatles
Though many interpret this song as a sweet song about a couple’s lasting love, there is much debate about whether it was written sarcastically and is actually about deep boredom in the later years of life.

But don’t let this list discourage you; it’s easier than you think to find that perfect song! Here are some closing tips to follow:

  • Pick a love song that’s actually about love or happiness.
  • Pick a song that’s special and important to the two of you. Maybe it’s a song that speaks to you more than any other song, a song that came on the radio during your first date, or a song that appears in a movie you saw together (as long as that movie’s not Kill Bill or Saw V).
  • Find a song that has good lyrics and a good melody. It can be easy to sacrifice one for the other, but just make sure that when you listen to the song, you like how it sounds just as much as the words (and vice versa).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a trusted music expert for some advice. I suggest a Scratch Weddings DJ!

Good luck and congratulations!


Featured: David Tutera on How to Keep Your Reception Fun. See more Q&As with David