For many modern couples, it's out with tried-and-true wedding traditions and in with trends: doughnut walls instead of tiered cakes, Mason jars over champagne glasses, colorful gowns and pantsuits in lieu of bright white dresses.
One wedding ritual, however, has stood the test of time: the first dance.
It was the most popular wedding tradition of 2016, with nearly 90 percent of couples incorporating an inaugural spin into their festivities, according to a survey by Wedding Wire. But choosing a song for your first foray onto the dance floor as a married couple — finding a track that has the right tone, pace and lyrics to fit the setting and that appeals to a range of guests (from grandma to college pals) — can be daunting.
"For many couples, it's the thing they sweat the most," said DJ Heather Femia, who has been spinning for about 12 years.
It also doesn't help that there are seemingly endless options, thanks to music-streaming services such as Spotify. It can be fast or slow. Acoustic or electric. Current or classic.
"It is something you should pay attention to and not wait until the last moment," Femia said. "You don't want it to feel like you're counting down the minutes until it ends."
The song doesn't have to be timeless or perfect, or even mention the word love. In the end you both just need to love it. "It can be something really special, if you allow yourself the time to explore it, and enjoy it," Femia said.
So, whether it's Al Green or Green Day, here are ideas and suggestions on how, and where, to find first-dance inspiration.
• Pick something significant and sentimental: Come up with a list of songs that are meaningful to both of you and to your relationship. Even if one song doesn't emerge as the winner, a list will help you formulate an idea for what genre and lyrics you both gravitate toward.
• Listen to your music libraries on shuffle: Play your favorite playlists for each other. Make sure to pause and note particularly dance-worthy tracks. Like the song but not sure whether it'll fit the mood of the evening? Try giving your partner a spin in the living room. If the pace seems too fast or the lyrics don't seem to fit, nix it.
• Phone a friend: The people who know you best probably have seen, or at least heard about, your significant other since the beginning. If you trust their input — and musical tastes — consider asking them to suggest a song that reminds them of you and your partner. .
• Use your venue as inspiration: Getting married in a century-old barn in the country? Consider an acoustic, country or folksy track. For a more formal evening in a museum or historical building, consider a classic.
• Steal your favorite celebrity couple's song choice: You look to stars for all sorts of inspiration, from what to wear to what to name your dog, so why not take a cue from them when picking a first-dance track? Former perennial bachelor George Clooney and his now-wife, Amal Alamuddin, danced to Cole Porter's "Why Shouldn't I?," while Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux opted for the unconventional track "Chandelier" by Sia. Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel swayed to "A Song for You" by Donny Hathaway.
• Play your favorite movie soundtrack: No one captures romance quite like Hollywood, and luckily, some of film's most memorable, heart-swooning moments are tied to music. Borrow their happily-ever-after musical moment for your own.
• Enlist your DJ or band's help: Music is literally their business, so chances are they can help you set the right tone, mood and atmosphere. "I start off my sessions by asking couples, 'What's your generation? What's your genre?' And help them narrow it down from there," Femia said.
Still at a loss? There's always Google. There are hundreds of first-dance wedding lists and suggestions online, from genre-specific curated lists (acoustic, rock ballads) to perennial favorites. Comb through lists with your loved one and see what jumps out at you.