'At a Loss for Words': Dan + Shay's Song 'Speechless' Inspired by Seeing Their Wives at the End of the Aisle
Dan + Shay's latest song "Speechless" is inspired by seeing their wives at the end of the aisle on their respective wedding days
Speechless: it’s both the title of Day + Shay‘s new song and the way they felt seeing their wives Abby and Hannah come down the aisle on their wedding day.
“I had this title ‘Speechless’ in my phone — you’re at the altar waiting for your bride to walk down the aisle, then that moment happens and you have nothing to say,” Dan tells PEOPLE. “I remember being up there on our wedding day – May 13, just a little over a year ago – and she walked up and I was at a loss for words.”
Dan and Abby married on May 13, 2017 in Tennessee, while Shay and Hannah tied the knot a few months later on Oct. 20, 2017 in Arkansas. And not only do they stand together on stage in front of thousands of fans, but they also stood by each other’s sides at their respective weddings.
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“Shay had just gotten married also, so we both had that feeling fresh on our minds and we wrote about it,” Dan says. “Shay and I were both in each other’s weddings as groomsmen, and there were some fun moments in there of us tying each other’s ties.”
“It’s about not being able to find the words every single time, which is a special thing,” he adds. “When it came time to do the video and given the fact that we had both had weddings the year before, I was like, ‘Man, maybe this video is already done.’ I had the crazy idea of taking Shay and my wedding footage [and] parallel those stories to showcase the moments.”
Aside from the fact that their new song is sure to climb the country charts — much like their current hit, “Tequila,” which recently hit No. 5 — the personal meaning behind the lyrics holds a special place in their heart. In fact, every time Dan watches the video, he tells PEOPLE he feels “emotional” as ever.
“The first thing my wife and I did on our anniversary was watch that video and we were both speechless. We ended up watching our entire wedding video later in the day,” he says.
Dan and Abby just celebrated one year as a married couple. But instead of going big, they’d rather just go home.
“We kept it low key,” Dan says about their plans. “We travel so much, so we just wanted to celebrate at home in Nashville. When you travel for a living, the days you appreciate the most are the days you can just enjoy each other at home.”
And although being newlyweds didn’t take much getting used to for Dan and Abby — they had dated for three and a half years prior to being engaged — that’s not to say his ring finger didn’t feel the same.
“It’s been a little bit different playing guitar with a ring on my finger,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever taken the ring off since we got married.”
He jokes: “I could probably use a polish on it, but it’s got character.”
Because Abby and Hannah never stray far from their minds, Dan + Shay’s self-titled upcoming third album — out June 22— contains a “bunch of songs that were influenced by our marriages and our wives.”
“Our wives are so good at grounding us and keeping us appreciating the moment,” he says. “At the end of the day when someone hears this [album], this is what we want them to perceive Dan + Shay as and what we want to be remembered as.”
Dan + Shay built their band from the ground up. And grateful for every experience that crosses their path, the duo “feel on cloud nine” to play in the stadium for the first time during CMA Fest in June because it happens to be “a pretty cool full-circle moment.”
“I moved here in 2010 and I’ve been going to CMA Fest – it wasn’t even called CMA Fest back then – as a fan and buying tickets from a scalper out in the parking lot of the stadium,” says Dan. “Then, in 2014 we got to play one of the side stages for the very first time, which was still incredible, but it’s all been leading up to this moment. We’re dropping a new album, we’ve got a single that’s doing well – so we feel like we’ve worked hard and earned it. Now we get to play at the stadium and sing for 60,000 fans!
“It’s the coolest thing in the world and traces the steps back to where we’ve been, what we’ve been through and what we’ve worked for – all the way back to standing up in the nosebleed seats as a fan,” he tells PEOPLE. “Thinking about it gives me chills.”