Many wedding traditions invoke feelings of affection, sentiment, and adoration for the bride and groom, as well as their guests. Things that happen at just about every wedding you could attend that just pull on your heartstrings and make you swoon over the love you are privileged to witness. That’s what weddings are about after all…bringing together a host of people to witness the “to have and to hold,” “you may kiss your bride,” “they lived happily ever after,” plus a grand celebration.
One wedding tradition that always catches the eyes and hearts of onlookers is the first dance as man and wife. Oh, the groom sweeps in with his wife, both sporting a huge grin, and the announcement is made that they will now dance. Everyone looks on with wonder, waiting to see what happens next. How could anything possibly go wrong??
Oh, let us count the ways…
1.The couple didn’t practice
Hopefully at least one half of the couple is familiar with the tempo of the song they chose (we hope they chose it) so that someone can lead. If you don’t practice, or maybe you’ve never even danced with your new spouse (yes, we’ve seen it happen), how could you possibly be confident to be the complete center of attention for three to five very long minutes with no clue where to put your feet?
Even if you aren’t choreographing every move, it is always a good idea to practice a few times. Check out some YouTube videos, shuffle around your living room, make fun of yourselves. Maybe you want a dip or spin incorporated… how would your partner know this if you don’t practice and communicate that ahead of time? Your reception will go a lot more smoothly if you can both be familiar with the song and how your wedded dancing debut will go down (hopefully you leave your 6th grade school dance moves at home or in the 90s where they belong).
2. The couple should get a room
Okay, so maybe you and your partner have danced together… a lot. And perhaps you’re good at it (maybe too good?). That doesn’t mean that a reception hall, with a white dress, tux, and your closest family and friends all watching is the time to show off your Dirty Dancing moves. Keep it classy, will ya? We all thank you, and you may even thank yourself in 50 years when your grandchildren decide to watch your wedding video.
3.The DJ isn’t included
Now look, we’re not saying the DJ has to choose your song; that is a decision that should happen between you and your partner and hopefully you pick something that has meaning and value to your relationship. What we are saying is that your DJ needs to know what song you choose (and the version you hopefully practiced- there is such a thing as cover and acoustic versions, you know) ahead of time so that we can make this a very special and seamless moment in your reception. Wouldn’t it be tragic if there were a misunderstanding between Lucky, the romantic duet by Colbie Calliat and Jason Mraz, and Lucky by Britney Spears, circa cheesy and sparkly 2001?
The bottom line is your first dance deserves to be as perfect as possible. No matter what your vision is for it- whether you want a classic waltz, more flowy and natural, or a totally choreographed performance- you can achieve that with the right preparation, communication, and resources. If dancing isn’t really your thing, discuss this with your partner to see what kind of vision they have and if a compromise needs to be reached.
Above all, plan for a first dance that you can feel comfortable with, enjoy, and not mind being heavily videoed or photographed. So whether you’re dancing to the Postal Service or Etta James, make it memorable (in a good way).
The Blog & Podcast
Every month we sit down and discuss topics important to our company, namely DJing and the wedding industry.