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It isn’t easy to find a wedding first dance song that speaks to who you are as a couple and hasn’t been played a million times before.
Bri Swatek, owner of Spinning With Style in New York, recommends focusing on two things if you’re currently stuck on deciding.
“Focus on lyrics first. As a couple, you want to find a lyric that speaks to who you are together,” the DJ said. “Second, you want to find a sound and a tempo that’s easy to dance to ― especially if you plan to invite your friends and family to join you out on the dance floor.”
Need further inspiration? Below, Swatek and other wedding DJs offer their top recs for first dance songs that are romantic and unique.
1. Sade ― “By Your Side” (Neptunes Remix)
“The lyrics, the vibe. It just makes you feel like no matter what, you love each other and will stand by each other unconditionally.” ― DJ Crystal, a DJ at VIP DJ Entertainment in Los Angeles
2. Nelly Furtado — “Feel So Close”
“A Calvin Harris cover. It’s a pretty song and the original is a classic party banger so it maintains a lot of that fun.” ― DJ Jack Farmer, a DJ in Los Angeles
3. Alicia Myers ― “I Want To Thank You”
“This song really encapsulates what the struggle feels like to find true love and the pure gratitude felt once it’s finally found. It also has a funk and R&B element, which naturally leads into a first dance set for your guests.” ― Nicole Otero, a DJ at TCM DJ Events in New York City
4. Xavier Omar ― “Blind Man”
“The beat and lyrics ― about how his partner is so much more that her physical appearance ― is perfect for a wedding.” ― DJ Chuck D Supreme, a DJ in Los Angeles, California
5. Led Zeppelin ― “All My Love”
“It’s a classic rock song, which is a little different for a wedding.” ― DJ CeeLos, a DJ in Southern California
6. Corinne Bailey Rae ― “Is This Love”
“The cover of Bob Marley has a smoky and romantic feel, but she sings it with such a beautiful vulnerability in her voice. It’s perfect for a couple starting their new journey together.” ― Ross Anderson owner of Bela Sono Music in Fairfax, Virginia
7. Chris Stapleton ― “Tennessee Whiskey”
“The pace makes it really easy to slow dance to. It’s not for everyone but for some, it’s extremely relatable and feels tailor-made just for them.” ― DJ Isaac, a DJ at VIP DJ Entertainment in Los Angeles
8. Lykke Li ― “Unchained Melody”
“This is a fresh and unique take on possibly one of the most classic love songs of all time. It’s slow and somber but full of passion. This song is great for couples that are true romantics.” ― Joey Farese of Electric Entertainment DJs in Los Angeles
9. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ― “Home”
“I would have to say my favorite first dance song is ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe. I really like it because it’s more upbeat and has a very fun, loving tone.” ― Stephen Vaughn, a DJ at Backthird in Chicago
10. Matthew Koma ― “Years” (acoustic)
“I love when a couple picks a song that’s really meaningful to them, whether or not it sounds like a traditional first dance song. You can typically find an acoustic version if the normal version is too high-energy, like this acoustic version of the original.” ― Sean O’Hare, owner of PDX DJs in Portland, Oregon
11. Lana Del Rey ― “Lucky Ones”
“It’s a song that really isn’t on any lists, and the words are spot-on and very deep.” ― Allen Walker, owner of Big Daddy Walker Productions in Milford, Ohio
12. Pink Martini ― “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love”
“It’s a triple crown song: lovely, upbeat and romantic.” ― Bernard Moore, owner of Rockin’ It DJs in New York City
13. Prince ― “Adore”
“We pretty much love everything Prince. The lyrics are perfect and you get that added funk that only Prince can bring to a track.” ― DJ Rockwala, a DJ at 5 Boro Sounds in New York City
14. Ray LaMontagne ― “Let It Be Me”
“With its simple production, focusing on the acoustic guitar and vocals, Ray LaMontagne’s ‘Let It Be Me’ really speaks to the ‘for better or worse’ vows you make on your wedding day, and to your promise be there for one another, together through it all.” ― Bri Swatek, owner of Spinning With Style in New York
15. Van Morrison ― “Someone Like You”
“It’s a classic that’s not overplayed.” ― Dave Mancini, a DJ in Southern California
16. John Mayer ― “XO”
“A great Beyonce cover (though you can’t go wrong with the original). If you prefer a more ‘romantic,’ acoustic style for your first dance, John Mayer’s version still sounds beautiful. It’s a perfect fit for a first dance.” ― DJ Jack Farmer, a DJ in Los Angeles
17. Michael Jackson ― “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”
“I am a huge fan of upbeat and super fun first dances, so this one of my favorite songs to recommend. The lyrics are perfect for the occasion and the song is also great to dance to. Everyone in the room will be tapping their feet.” ― DJ Keelez, a DJ in Los Angeles
18. Felix Jaehn ft. Jasmine Thompson ― “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)”
“This gives a more sensual twist to this classic song, that radiates hard on a summer night. When you want to show your guests (and the world) that you love each other but are willing to dance the night away on a moment’s notice, this song is the perfect blend of that.” ― DJ Flobito, a DJ in Los Angeles
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Meet DJ Jack Farmer of Los Angeles and Orange County
Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Farmer.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jack. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
While trying to pay my way through school, I luckily stumbled onto an opportunity working in the warehouse of a DJ Management company. It wasn’t long before I started handling booking and while hearing about all these fun parties the DJs were going to, I decided I wanted to DJ as well! While there, I was given the opportunity to learn a lot and because of what I learned there, I was able to avoid a lot of mistakes I probably would have made if I just started out on my own.
While I appreciate my time learning from others, I am loving running my own business. I have passion for every aspect of it from the ‘mundane’ accounting, to meeting clients and talking about their upcoming events, and of course, the weddings, the parties, and once in a life time moments. I’m living the dream and hope I get to live it with you at your next event!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I believe every business owner deals with their own ‘unpleasant opportunities’ along the way. Most of them, I’ve found, tend to be more internal than anything else. Anxiety, fear, and feeling the need to measure up to other business owners is a part of the package, but really are there to help out. Anxiety is just our body’s way of motivating us to do something. Fear is just our body’s way of stopping us from being reckless. Trying to measure up is really just our body’s not allowing us to settle or rest on our laurels.
External struggles are obviously there as well. Time management, figuring out accounting, balancing sales meetings and current business. But for as tough as that can be, it’s never bothered me because I wouldn’t be in this situation if I wasn’t ready to handle it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DJ Jack Farmer – what should we know?
I’m a DJ, an MC, and special event host. Most of my work is at weddings but I’ve also had the privilege of working at some amazing events beyond weddings as well. My goal, regardless of the event, is to help create special moments, the moments when a dance floor erupts to the hottest new song or when a group of friends shout along to an old favorite. I love being able to host and not just read along to a script but to really fire up a group of people and make a special connection. Whether it’s making a couple feel like rock stars when they walk out during their grand entrance, or helping a fund raiser break records, or making a company award ceremony feel bigger than the Oscars.
It’s all about making special moments, and that’s what I do for you, at your event.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’m a huge fan of all DJs and MCs. Everything I am comes from watching and learning form a large number of others. It’s something that I still do to this day. Haha, whenever I see someone who hosts or DJs in any capacity I warn them I’ll pick their brain for hours if they don’t cut me off.
I love asking DJs what’s their top 5 all-time dance floor fillers are or asking MCs to tell me any of the little bits they do while MCing that work well. I can’t get enough of this stuff!
See the blog here: https://graceandgoldevents.com/blog/post/mancrushmonday-dj-jack-farmer/
In need of an amazing DJ and MC for your event? Look no further than DJ Jack Farmer!
So we can't lie, we've had an enormous crush on DJ Jack for a few years now, and we are not very good at hiding it! Not only is he easy on the eyes, he is fan-freaking-tabulous at what he does.
The gals of Grace & Gold love DJ Jack because he truly wants to collaborate with the planner, the client and our whole team on the big day. He goes above and beyond when it comes to client relations--he'll meet you for coffee/lunch/drinks to get to know you, your tastes and everything you want in your wedding entertainment. If he's at a new venue, he'll make a trip out there in advance to make sure he know where everything is, what he needs to bring, and every little detail so there are NO surprises on your big day. And when it comes to your event, he's the consummate professional while having the ability to get your dance floor packed.
From a planning perspective, DJ Jack is super helpful at keeping reception's events moving along, but never in a way that feels forced or rushed. This past fall, we were actually faced with a situation where we had only 60 minutes of time to get through some of the big moments of the night (dances, toasts, slideshow, etc). We didn't want to have to add photography coverage time, so we came together as a group and knocked everything out of the park. Our brides were happy with how it all came together, everything they wanted photographed was actually done, and we still had plenty of time to pack the dance floor. I know this couldn't have happened without my vendor dream team of DJ Jack, as well as my photography BFF's Randy & Ashley, and Sarah as my day-of assistant. DJ Jack was the natural leader at the microphone, moving the audience and attention as necessary, while keep everything exciting.
Here is a quick interview we did with Jack to help you get to know him better:
- Favorite part of the wedding: The grand entrance is by far my favorite part of the evening! It's fun, it's high energy, and it really sets the tone for the night. I especially love it when I'm able to connect with some guests and see their faces light up as they realize that it's going to be an amazing evening. Especially when we're able to take all that energy that comes with everyone cheering and clapping and transition it into a fun open dance party for a song or two. It breaks the ice, gets everyone's blood moving, and set's the tone for for will be an amazing night that no one will ever forget.
- Least favorite part of the wedding: Unloading all of the gear at the end of the night and counting all my cables to make sure I didn't lose anything! Often times when the music stops, it's assumed the DJ is done for the night, but really, even after everything is broken down, it's all driven back to a warehouse where every cable and adaptor and piece of gear needs to be accounted for (and sometimes cleaned if used at an outside venue) and some of it needs to be plugged in and charged for the next event. While it's certainly not the hardest thing in the world to do, it's alway just a little extra tedious after being at an amazing party all night.
- Favorite/least favorite song to play: The song title changes, but I think every DJ's favorite song to play is the one after everyone chants 'one more song, one more song!' It's the best feeling in the world to know that even after a long night of music and dancing, the people still want one more. It's the ultimate compliment and always one of the best and most fun moments of the night.
- How can couples help you do your job better? The biggest and simplest thing I can recommend is just to make sure that the DJ is as physically close to the dance floor as possible. Sometimes ballroom layouts can make this tricky, but the difference you will see in the dancing will be huge. There are many times as a DJ I'm asked to set up in the back of the room while the dance floor is on the other side and there is never going to be the same amount of connection between the DJ and the dancers that way, as there would be if the DJ was butted up right next to the dance floor. I would always compare it to other vendors in that you would never ask your officiant to be in the back of the room during the ceremony, or you would never tell your photographers to take all of your pictures from the back of the room, or you would never suggest that all the centerpieces go against the wall in the back of the room. Keep your DJ up close to the dance floor and you're going to have a great time dancing the night away!
- What do you love about your job? I love the connection I get to make with so many amazing people. The vendors are always fun and interesting people, the guests are always a fascinating bunch and I get to see them at their liveliest, and of course, the couples I get to meet are always the best. Getting a hug at the end of the night and a big 'thank you for making this the best party we'll ever be at' really does make this the best job in the world.
DJ Jack just recently opened his own company, and he's already killing it! Check out his website, his awesome reviews, and make sure you have him at your wedding!
Thanks for the interview Jack and thanks for supporting us over here at Grace & Gold!
See the whole interview on GoGetWed's Instgram page ehre: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRCY0OzFjTj/?taken-by=gogetwed