A First Dance Live vs CD

On this episode of The Wedding Band Show, I sat down with Ronnie Duignan to get his take on having your Wedding Band perform your first dance live versus playing your first dance on a CD / Mp3

As I always say every band is completely different but from experience, I’ve come to realize that even after a couple requests them to, some bands may not learn the first dance. This is rare as most bands have no issues learning the first dance but it is something to be aware of when booking a Wedding Band. If your band refuse to learn your first dance the only other option is to get them or your DJ to play the original version through the speaker system.

From A Wedding Bands Perspective

Ronnie explains that from a bands point of view it is always better to perform the first dance live and it’s a pity to pay money for great musicians and have them stand by as a CD is being played! In Late Nite Radio, Donnacha has an amazing vocal range so they can cover almost any first dance. As a Wedding Band, you might only learn the first dance song for one night but that doesn’t matter according to Ronnie and he just believes it’s a poor reflection on a band if they won’t learn the first dance.

From A Wedding Couples Perspective

From a wedding couples point of view, there may be a reason they want an original version played through a PA System and that’s understandable. They might have great memories of the original song and even though the band might be able to do their own live take on it, it just wouldn’t feel the same.

Another reason Ronnie likes to perform the first dance live with Late Nite Radio is that it’s one of the only times during the night where all the wedding guests can clearly hear how good the band sounds. Although the main focus is on the wedding couple, all the guests in the room are concentrating on the first dance including the band!

A Wedding Band Isn’t A Karaoke Machine

One thing to always remember is that a Wedding Band isn’t a karaoke machine and there’s a lot of work that goes into learning a first dance song. Most bands meet up at least once a month but even before that, each band member will have to figure out and learn their own individual parts.

On some occasions, a friend of the wedding couple may be singing the first dance which also means the band will need to meet up to rehearse with them.

A Father-Daughter Dance

Similar to a first dance, a Father-Daughter dance is a song which the band may need to learn or fall back on a CD / Mp3 option. Most bands will have the popular songs already in their set and here are 3 favourites,

Father And Daughter

(Paul Simon)

I Loved Her First (Heartland)

Your Wedding Day (Jimmy Buckley)

A Bridal Party Song

Usually, at the beginning of a wedding reception, the band invites all the wedding guests around the dance floor and then calls on the wedding couple for their first dance. Halfway through the song, the band asked the rest of the bridal party to join in, After the first dance, the wedding band can cut straight into a lively dance mix and all the guests start dancing!

It often comes up that a couple may want a second song for the bridal party but Ronnie is not in favour of this as it usually means guests start to drift back to their seats and you lose the big start to the dancing.

In Summary

  1. A Wedding Band performing the first dance song live is usually better.

  2. Most Wedding Bands will have no problem in learning the first dance but it’s not a bad idea to check before booking.

  3. Make sure to give your Wedding Band enough notice to learn the song.

  4. A Father-Daughter song is also better live.

  5. A second song for the bridal party is not recommended.


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