When it comes to planning your First Dance, it seems relatively straight forward. You pick a song, you dance in front of people, that's it… right? Well... there’s actually a little bit more to it. To make sure it all runs smoothly on the day here are a few things you should consider first.
1. Choosing The Right Song
If a song doesn’t jump out at you both straight away, giving it some real thought does take time. Don’t rush your decision. Firstly you need to consider, do you want your dance to be slow and romantic, or do you want something a little more fun and up-beat? Choose the style of the dance first and then appropriately timed music secondly. After all, you can’t gracefully waltz to something up-tempo. Remember you don’t HAVE to do anything because you feel that’s what is expected. Do what you want to do, it’s your wedding day!
2. Choreographed or Wing It?
There is no right or wrong answer here. Remember you only get to do this once - choose whatever you will enjoy the most. For some, preparation (even a little) helps you to relax enormously. As daunting as lessons can seem (particularly for the groom) at first, if you haven’t prepared until the day of your wedding, having all your family and friends watching you closely with no preparation can actually be far more daunting. Don't forget the First Dance is one of the most photographed moments of the day.
3. Choosing When Is The Best Time?
Generally there are two options; when you first enter the reception or after the main course. Be mindful of how this sets the tone or rather affects the flow of celebrations. For example, if you choose to do your First Dance when you enter, you may not want to choose a style that encourages people onto the dance floor prematurely. However, if you opt for a slow First Dance after main course make sure the transition to 'party' is as seamless as possible. Whichever time you choose make sure your bridal party, MC and DJ/Band are prepped should they need to kick it up a notch pronto.
4. Keep It Short & Simple
Ideally 2-3 minutes is more than enough. You don’t want to bore everyone, plus it can get awkward. Don’t get trapped into thinking you need to play the whole song. Keep it short and snappy, everyone wins!
5. Live Band
If you have the luxury of a band, communicate with them beforehand. Your special song played live can make a huge impact. Be sure to clarify with them what parts of the song you want played and what tempo so you're not thrown off on the day.
6. Dress and Shoes
This sounds simple enough, but your wedding dress, accessories (think veil, headpiece, heavy earrings etc.) and shoes can dramatically change how your First Dance pans out. Consider the weight, shape, size of your dress and how restrictive this will be on your moves. Also practice in your shoes before the big day! Can you do everything you plan on doing in them? Also quickly check how slippery the floor is. Tip – you can step in a little bit of water with the soles of your shoes, just before you go on to help you stick!
7. Size Of The Dance-floor
How much space do you have? Be mindful especially if you plan some choreography. Don’t forget that you need to fill the floor space, alternatively consider any restrictions if it’s on the smaller side.
8. Practice Makes Perfect!
If you both want to wing it, sometimes a two-minute conversation beforehand can really save you both. Sooo.. what are we planning on doing here? Cute slow sway? Can I spin you in that dress? Looking back on your photographs, you’ll kick yourself for that ‘oh my goodness, what are we doing' face. Yup. Sorry to say it.
If you do get lessons, as the saying goes – practice makes perfect! Listen to the music often and have a laugh when you both practice alone. One last practice as close as possible to (if not on the day) of your wedding, keeps it fresh in your mind; no need to worry but smile and enjoy!
9. Communicate With Your Photographer
If you want that million dollar photo – give your photographer a heads up. What photo are you desperate to have? Let them know the angle, position, when in the song etc. If they don’t know exactly what you want, chances are you won’t get it sadly!
10. Breathe and Enjoy!
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy! It’s your First Dance as husband and wife. It’s a precious moment, no matter what you decide to do. Take a few deep breaths and smile – you just married the love of your life!!
Our professional instructors at The Next Step Co. have you covered for all the above, so no need to stress. We ensure all of our couples are relaxed, confident and most importantly enjoy every single moment of their First Dance.