The first dance is one of those wedding rites of passage that not every couple looks forward to. It can be nerve-wracking to stand alone as a couple on the dancefloor with everyone watching, as you’re supposed to float around like Fred and Ginger, especially if you’re not used to dancing. It’s also one of the final formalities of the evening before you can let your hair down and relax. But with a little planning and a few deep breaths, it can become something that is fun, rather than something to be feared.
As a wedding planner, I’ve watched dozens of couples take to the dancefloor on their big day and end up with huge smiles on their faces. Here’s some of my top tips to help you breeze through the first dance like a pro. To discuss your wedding in more detail, please get in touch.
Choosing Your Song
While you might love a 4 minute long version of a dance mix you both boogied to in a nightclub when you first met, for your wedding it’s important to pick a song that’s an appropriate length for the first dance and crucially one you can both dance too. Sit down as a couple and research some songs you both like, that have meaning for you and will fit the bill in terms of length and ‘dance-ability’.
Even if you don’t want to, it’s worth just having a quick twirl around the living room to get the feel of where your hands should be placed and to practice the important parts of leading and following. You don’t have to be Fred and Ginger, but a little practice makes perfect and will help with your nerves. Also consider taking a few dance lessons before the big day. There are many companies who cater specifically for wedding couples first dances.
Consider the Dress and Shoes
Remember on the day the bride will have her wedding dress and heels on, while the groom will be in his suit, so bear this in mind before taking to the dancefloor. The bride might want to change into dancing flats and the dance itself will have to cater to the dress, for example a tight fitting dress may not allow for a lot of dramatic movements, whereas a princess style dress is made for twirling.
Nerves are to be expected. Even though you will be surrounded by you family and friends, it is completely understandable to be nervous. But try and remember that everyone who is there, is someone you love and they are there to celebrate with you, not judge you. If you still have butterflies, try and take a deep breath before you begin and look into your new husband or wife’s eyes, smile and giggle!
In recent times, there’s been an explosion of first dances which have gone viral, some for the right reasons and others for the wrong reasons. We’ve watched as couples have started off dancing normally and then suddenly burst into a pre-choreographed routine that wows the guests. If you do plan to go this route, do be careful as we’ve all seen versions where it can go horribly wrong. That said if it’s something you are both up for, it can be huge fun. Of course if you are not the sort of couple who enjoy dancing in the spotlight, then don’t feel under pressure to pull off some crazy routine; there’s nothing wrong with a traditional style first dance.