Most girls fantasize about about what wedding gown they will wear when they get married or what their 15-tier cake will look like. I’ve been pondering my first-dance song since I was 12.
I’ve gone through several during the years. In seventh through ninth grade, I was convinced I was going to share my first dance with my future husband to All For One’s “So In Love.” Remember that gem? Then, for a while it was “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker. I think the list might have even included “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John; “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo, a few Boyz II Men songs and maybe some Mariah Carey.
As I got older, my tastes and choices obviously changed (and migrated out of the Top 40, thank God) and for a long time, I wanted my first dance to be to “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds. If you’ve never heard it, I encourage you to give it a listen. It’s an absolutely beautiful song, and I still cry every time I hear it, but I wanted something that was new to me and Christian as a couple. I didn’t want something that was tied to any other memories, but one that still touched me as deeply as that song does.
For me, music affects the deepest part of your soul. It tells a story that you might not be able tell in any other way, or express feelings that you could never put into your own words. For me, music is life. Music is memories. I remember growing up with The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Meatloaf, ZZ Top, Def Leppard. Our stereo was and still is always on. A love of music was instilled from a young age.
I remember slumber parties and painting our toenails to Big Mountain’s “Baby I Love Your Way,” or making up dance routines to the Beach Boys. Trying to figure out who we were in high school while Oasis told us not look back in anger and while Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Green Day and Offspring ushered in an entire new genre of music for me. Or studying for an organic chemistry while Dashboard Confessional or Blink 182 played in the background.
For the rest of my life, I want to hear the song that Christian and I dance to and immediately think back on that moment, remembering how wonderful and special it was.
“Our song” is technically Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” but I’m not entirely sure that’s appropriate for our first dance. Even after looking at lists of top wedding songs, top love songs, top first-dance songs, they all seemed overused and I wanted something that meant something to me, to us.
Well, I found the perfect song. And it’s not because it has any ties to certain special events for us as a couple or great memories that we share.
I had just ordered the new Alabama Shakes album for Christian’s birthday and was listening to the digital edition when all of the sudden there it was. I just felt it. I knew it had to be our song. With tears welling up in my eyes, I said outloud, “Yes, this is everything I feel. And everything I can’t say.”
This isn’t sometimes
Yeah, it’s for always
If I’m gonna love you with all of my heart
And if there is no more time,
this always remains.
Even as the world spins itself apart…
Cuz I remember them days I waited so patiently
for God to bring someone who’s gonna be good to me
and then he blessed my soul
Well, I traveled a long way
and it took a long time to find you…
but I finally found you…
I remember all them lonely days
I traveled out on my own
Then you brought me everything
You made my house a home
But if its not the real deal then I don’t know it
Cuz it sure does feel, and I think it sure does show
Not only are the lyrics beautiful, but the music is soulful and a perfect amalgamation of Christian’s bluesy tastes and my rock tastes. And it’s not overly long so people won’t be staring at us in boredom for 10 minutes wondering when they’re going to get to eat.
How did you pick your song for your first dance?
Next week: Music can make your wedding reception rock. How to pick the right DJ and the right playlist to keep the party going.
I’ve been pinning veils and hairdos like crazy. Check it all out on our Pinterest board.
Super helpful post on writing thank-you notes by Smart’s resident etiquette expert.