How to Plan the First Dance on Your Wedding

wedding first dance

The first dance, something that is either highly romanticized with visions of floating around the room with your true love or something that is highly dreaded for the possible awkward dance moves in the spotlight. It doesn’t really matter if you are a professional dancer or not. There are a couple of things you can do to ensure that your wedding first dance will go perfectly. 

Everyone wants a flawless and fun first dance on their wedding day, and that is definitely possible with some planning, tips, and just enjoying the moment.

At this point, you’ve said your vows, and the speeches have been told. Now it’s time for the first dance. There is a whole range of different first dances that you can do from the four song extravaganza to no dance at all, and neither options are wrong because it is your wedding day and your choice. 

The tips and tricks below will help you plan the perfect first dance so you can continue enjoying your wedding night and let go of all the stress.

First, where did the first dance come from?

Before we get into how to perfect your first dance, let’s talk about where the wedding first dance even came from. The tradition goes back to 17th century Europe where formal balls were popular, and the guest of honor would customarily lead the first dance. For example, if a member of the royal family was present at the ball, they would always have the first dance.

The courtesy evolved to be considered good etiquette if the newlyweds at a wedding let their guests dance first by the 1920s, but these days the bride and groom usually share the first dance to a song that is special to the both of them.

Start with a brainstorm

Dances at weddings can be very different depending on what the couple prefers. First, take the time to brainstorm by yourselves. Think about what soundtrack represents your relationship the most or has an immediate tie to a memorable part of your relationship.

First dance wedding songs can become very repetitive and cliché. Try to also dig deep and ponder music that has a less glaringly obvious tie to the both of you but still plays a significant role. Examples of this include the first concert you went to together, a favorite road trip song, a song that could have been playing in the background during your first trip together, or a song that just perfectly describes the dynamic between the both of you. By making a list independently, you’ll have a lot more options to choose from and will be able to select a song that is meaningful to the both of you.

After the both of you have a set list of music, come together and talk about why you chose the songs that you chose. This is also a great bonding opportunity as you will both get to relive those memories and make your partner feel special. Don’t focus so much on the lyrics of a song unless it really encapsulates how you feel.

You can choose whatever music you think best represents you as a couple, regardless of whether it is considered a love song or not. Don’t be scared to go for fun and big songs. Your wedding first dance music doesn’t necessarily have to be slow, romantic love songs. Try not to constrain yourself and do what makes the most sense to you and your unique relationship!

Once your song is selected, you can begin brainstorming the actual dance part. Your first dance can truly be whatever you want. It is your wedding day after all. It’s all up to you, whether it is a lowkey slow dance, a highly stylized dance, or even involves more than just you and your partner. Think about what you and your partner feel comfortable doing and what your dance abilities are.

There are many ways to make the wedding first dance a lot less awkward once you establish how comfortable you are and what your dance abilities are. If you and your partner hate dancing alone and all the attention, ask your DJ to invite your wedding guests onto the dance floor after a minute and share the experience with your friends and family.

Practice makes perfect

Let’s be honest, wedding dances are kind of scary and nerve wracking. If you are looking to really nail down your first dance and ease those nerves, the only way to do that is by practicing. The only way to become truly proficient in a new skill is through practice! 

The more you practice your wedding dance choreography, the more muscle memory you will build, and you won’t have to think or try and remember the moves as much during the actual first dance. This will let you just enjoy the moment and remember how much you love one another, the real purpose of the wedding first dance!

Another tip that will help in practicing for your first dance is considering learning from a professional. If you are able to, think about hiring a wedding dance instructor or even taking an online dance course to just help you get more comfortable with moving your body and loosen up. 

The more you know how not to be stiff while you are dancing, the more fun you will have, and it will instantly give you an edge and the confidence you are looking for. A professional trainer or dance class can also give you some helpful tips on the proper slow dance position or how to add some flare to your dance.

To really get comfortable with the music and the choreography, consider playing your chosen song on repeat. You might think that this will ruin your song by hearing it over and over again, but this will actually benefit you in the long run. By playing your song on repeat, you will get accustomed to the beat and the length of the music, so you won’t be surprised on your wedding day.

Just breathe and relax

Easier said than done, but this is the best tip we can provide. All eyes will be on you and your partner, which can be extremely nerve wracking. Just try and take deep breaths before you begin and focus on your partner because that is what the dance and the day is for, to celebrate you both. Just be in the moment and let everything else wash away.

Comfy shoes are a must

Make sure to also wear suitable shoes to dance in because comfort is key when it comes to this wedding tradition. Set yourself up for success by selecting shoes that let you move around easily and if that means changing your shoes after the reception, go for it! Nobody likes walking, or dancing, in shoes that are uncomfortable, and you’ll only be miserable during your lovely dance if you wear shoes that hurt your feet.

The wedding dance

The wedding dance is an incredible tradition that lets you and your partner have a meaningful moment during the wild and fun night. Some of the biggest advice we can provide is don’t let the stress and nerves get to you and just focus on the point of the wedding first dance – showcasing the love you have for each other in front of your family and friends. It isn’t as scary as it seems. Just enjoy the moment.

With a little bit of planning, you can select a song that is meaningful and special to both of you. Once you complete a little bit of practice and put on your comfortable shoes, you’ll be all set to dance the night away with your forever love!

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