10 worst first-dance songs

Listen closely before choosing, warns our groom-to-be columnist, comedian Alex Smith. Beneath their romantic exterior, some popular wedding song picks are packing serious cringe-factor

There are only really three situations in your life where a room full of people will gawp at you while you dance: a children’s ballet recital, a strip club, and your first dance at your wedding. Seeing as I’ve hung up my tutu and promised my fiancée that I’d stop shaking my thang for some dollah bills, I figure the last time it’s going to happen in my life is our first dance. So picking the right song is paramount. (If you’re wondering, my stripper song would be Usher’s Yeah because I can’t undress without Lil Jon shouting his affirmation “OOOOKAY!!”)


Having scoured the deepest depths of Google – heck even some of Yahoo! – I had started to realise that people pick terrible songs for their first dances. So being the kind of guy I am (a great one), I thought I would make a top 10 countdown of the worst offenders.


10. Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith

First of all Mr Tyler, you can’t possible be around for everything. Privacy and quality alone time are very important in a marriage. And then there’s this lyric: “and then I kiss your eyes and thank God we’re together, and I just want to stay with you in this moment forever…”

I will only say this once – DO NOT KISS PEOPLE’S EYES. You risk infection, blindness, eye goop, and most importantly being labelled the creepiest man who ever lived.

9. More Than Words by Extreme

“Saying I love you

Is not the words

I want to hear from you

It’s not that I want you

Not to say

But if you only knew

How easy

It would be to

Show me how you feel

More than words

Is all you have to do

To make it real

Then you wouldn’t

Have to say

That you love me

Cause I’d already know”

Now, in my lifetime I have met countless people (approx. 19) who believe this song to be beautiful and sweet, with a belief that it talks of some sort of connection that transcends human vocabulary, and instead just exists between two people who are in deep love. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but the above 66 words can very easily be shortened down to 4: Take off your clothes.

As much as it might pain you all to realise it, all that Extreme want you to do is hush your gums and get in their bed. I mean, there were hints. They even called their album “Pornograffiti”. These were not romantic men.

8. Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John

You are NOT a lion.

There’s very little more I can say on this one.

7.  Let’s Stay Together by Al Green

In my humble opinion, I feel the sentiment “let’s stay together” is one that should have been shared a little sooner. On average your first dance begins around six hours after you have signed a legal document committing yourselves to one another. If 360 minutes later, when dancing to this song one of you disagrees with this particular declaration, the marriage is not going well from the get go.

6. Easy Lover by Phil Collins

This song made number 32 on a list of the top 50 first dance songs I read once. HOW??? You don’t even need to hear the song; literally all you have to do is read the title to comprehend what it may be about. It’s not cryptic.


5. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Remember how you’re not a lion? Well you’re not a vampire either. It’s time to process this information and move on.

4. My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion

Unless one of you has a fatal aneurism at some point between the drinks reception and the canapés, this is not an appropriate song for a wedding. But if this is the song you want, go for it. Be warned though, you will be looking into your lover’s eyes thinking: “I wonder; if she were floating on a massive door, definitely big enough for two, would she let me on, or spout some rubbish about never letting go, only to immediately let go.” 

3. My Kind of Love by Emeli Sandé

“Cause when you’ve given up

When no matter what you do, it’s never good enough

When you never thought that it could ever get this tough

That’s when you feel my kind of love

And when you’re crying out

When you’ve fallen and can’t pick your happy off the ground

When the friends you thought you had haven’t stuck around

That’s when you feel my kind of love”

Well, frankly that’s not good enough, Emeli. You can’t just be showing up at the 11th hour to pick up the pieces – that’s not a love I’m interested in. Basically, what you’re saying is when the proverbial has absolutely covered the fan, you’ll pop your head in the door. How about you get off your backside, stop grooming your perfectly sculpted hair and come and help before things fall apart??

2. You’re Beautiful by James Blunt

If I had a penny for every time I’d fallen in love on the tube, I would have no less than 86 pence. But it is not a basis for a marriage. Also sweet lil’ Jim has only just returned from war at this point, his judgment is exceptionally warped by loneliness and atrocity. What I’m saying is, I don’t think James is ready, and if you’re picking this song perhaps you aren’t either. Also the girl has a boyfriend. 

I probably don’t need to deter people from this song, because if you’re getting legally married that means you were alive in 2004, and I’m sure your ears have only recently stopped bleeding from how much this was played.

1. Rule the World by Take That


You may have thought that picking a first dance song would be easy. Well, you were wrong. It is a very important 3.5 minutes – everyone looking at you, judging. Pick the right song, and gracefully swan around together. No choreography. I know you believe people will be gazing at you thinking, “Oh, they’re so talented, I’m so jealous of their love.” But really they’re all thinking, “Well, I may be single, but at least I didn’t have enough time in my life to choreograph a breakdown.”

Read all about Alex’s adventures at the registrar’s office in the July/August 2015 issue of You & Your Wedding, on sale from 31 March. Download the iPad edition here


Don’t miss Alex Smith’s Edinburgh show, 8-29 August, 17:15pm, at Whistelbinkies!