Do you have a song that, every time you hear it, takes you back to a moment you’ve nearly forgotten about? You catch yourself in the grocery store daydreaming while staring at a can of beans or while waiting at a stoplight, and you’re suddenly snapped into reality when the person behind you honks their horn during the chorus. Well, the song that Eric and I have chosen for our first dance, and the song my dad and I will dance to, have done that to me for years. And it’s so exciting to know that for the rest of my life when I hear them after the wedding, I’ll immediately be thrown back into that moment.
Back in our college days, Eric studied history, and had the opportunity to take some pretty interesting classes. One of them in particular was jazz history. As a result, jazz became our new obsession, and it flooded our speakers whenever we were together. One album that stuck out to us was Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of American Music, a sampling of some of the best jazz artists and songs. After months of hearing it on repeat, we found ourselves gravitating to one particular song, and from then on, every time it came on, I instantly thought of Eric (mostly because he told me the song reminded him of me): Stopped dead on Kelly Drive during an afternoon stroll, left daydreaming while cooking dinner, and yes, even sitting in my car at a light and getting honked at. It always throws me into memories of Eric and I, and I can’t help but smile.
So even before we were engaged—when we just started falling in love—we knew this would be our wedding song. It’s “When I Fall In Love.” You’ve undoubtedly heard it in some form—by Celion Dion, Michael Buble, Boys II Men, Nat King Cole—but Miles Davis’ version is so elegant, so simple, and so us, it’s been engraved in my mind as our first-dance song since Eric shared his love for it with me years ago.
Now the song my dad and I will dance to, too, has been a long time coming. First, a little background: Growing up, I attended a private Catholic high school, so many of my friends lived 30-plus minutes from me. From my freshman year until I got my license my junior year, my dad was my chauffer. On Friday or Saturday nights, our rides home from Washington Township were spent blasting 70s disco remixes, and we sang and danced in the car the whole way home—mostly to stay awake, but also because we loved the music. I love funk and Motown—how could I not? With both parents growing up outside of Philadelphia, I was basically born with the disco-point finger. So, naturally, when it came time to think of a song, my dad and I were drawn to a classic Motown song, “My Girl,” by the Temptations. A pretty standard dad-and-daughter dance, but we’re sure to throw some twists and finger points in there somewhere.
Some people don’t care much about the song they dance to for their first dance together as a married couple—or maybe they can’t recall the lyrics to their dad-and-daughter dance weeks after their wedding. But I know I’m guaranteed to be stopped in my tracks, dreaming of our wedding day the second I hear the first beat of either of these songs for years to come.
What song are you dancing to for your first dance? Does it have any significance to your relationship?