Wedding First Dance Etiquette 2016-10-06T12:05:30+00:00

Wedding First Dance Etiquette

The dancing is usually a much anticipated and enjoyable part of a wedding reception where people get a chance to let their hair down and enjoy themselves after the formalities. It is also a lovely way for the newly married couple to display their love for each other and surprise and entertain their guests with a beautiful choreographed dance routine. It’s also a chance for some beautiful photo opportunities.
There are various traditional wedding dance formalities you may wish to consider. The order of the dancing is something the bride and groom may like to pre-arrange with the wedding party or leave open.

The traditional order of Wedding Dance Partners

Traditionally, the bride and groom will be the first to dance and then the parent dances follow. The father of the bride will dance with his daughter and the groom asks his mother to join him in a dance.
The groom’s father then cuts in to dance with the bride and the groom dances with his new mother-in-law. Traditionally, this dance is symbolic of the groom’s family welcoming the bride into his family. In the case of extended families, it may be important to have the bridal couple dance with the step-parents also.
Following this, the parents dance with each other and then exchange dances with the other couple.
The partner swapping continues with the best man asking the bride to dance and the groom dancing with the maid or matron of honor. Finally, the entire wedding party, ushers and bridesmaids join in the festivities. Once the entire bridal party and their parents are on the dance floor, the other guests are invited to dance.

Contemporary Wedding Dance Partnering

The traditional order of dance partnering is quite complicated and may cause discomfort amongst your guests so remember these are the ‘old’ rules so can ignored completely. A more informal arrangement may be preferable for example, where there are divorced, remarried and other extended family arrangements present.
Probably the most common wedding dance arrangement these days, is for the bride and groom perform a full dance routine on the floor by themselves and then the full bridal party invited to join the couple on the dance floor. This dance may include partner swapping on a formal or informal basis. After a minute or so all guests are invited to join in the fun.

Fun alternatives

A spectacular alternative, also growing in popularity, is for the wedding party to perform a routine together after the bride and groom have performed their first dance. This may become expensive though if you are learning at a dance studio. Instead, you may consider learning from an instructional wedding dance DVD. A learn to dance DVD would also be a great gift to give each of your wedding party couples.
If you were to use an instructional DVD the entire wedding party could learn a routine at the same time in the comfort of their homes. Organise to come together at a local club dance night to practice your routine together before the big day. A painless way to learn to dance and a fun activity to do with your family and friends! An Australian made DVD like Learn Your Wedding Dance DVD will cost you $29.95 (discounts apply for bulk purchases).

When to perform your wedding dance

The first dance is usually performed after the main course is served and ideally, directly after the cutting of the cake. On a practical level, it often works well to have your MC or DJ announce the cutting of the cake and then clear the dance floor and announce your first dance. If you are performing a set routine for your wedding dance you will not want your guests joining you on the dance floor so an announcement should be made to this effect.

Something like the following:
“ Ladies and gentlemen I would now like to welcome the bride and groom to the dance floor to perform their first dance as a married couple. This dance is a special choreographed routine they have prepared for you so I would ask all guests to keep the dance floor clear until our couple have finished their routine. I would also suggest you get your cameras and tissues ready as I know they have planned a beautiful routine that is sure to capture your hearts.”
When it’s all said and done though, it’s your wedding day so you can always start your own tradition!

 

How will your first dance begin and end?

As the wedding couple you must decide before the ceremony which part of this traditional order you would like to follow, if any. This is only a guide and it is your choice how the dancing will evolve. It is important that you inform the individuals that you want to participate, and instruct them as to when they should join the dance, and with whom they should dance. Depending on how many people will eventually be dancing, you may even have to select an additional song or songs for everyone to dance to.
The first dance is usually performed after the main course is served and ideally, directly after the cutting of the cake. On a practical level, it often works well to have your MC or DJ announce the cutting of the cake and then clear the dance floor and announce your first dance. If you are performing a set routine for your wedding dance you will not want your guests joining you on the dance floor so an announcement should be made to this effect.

Something like the following:
“ Ladies and gentlemen I would now like to welcome the bride and groom to the dance floor to perform their first dance as a married couple. This dance is a special choreographed routine they have prepared for you so I would ask all guests to keep the dance floor clear until our couple have finished their routine. I would also suggest you to get your cameras and tissues ready as I know they have planned a beautiful routine that is sure to capture your hearts.”
When it’s all said and done though, it’s your wedding day so you can always start your own tradition!
There are three beautiful dance endings to learn on the Learn Your Wedding Dance DVD. Make learning your wedding dance easy and grab a copy of the DVD here.

How will You Prepare for Your First Dance

If you have never danced together before and neither of you know how to dance, you will need some form of instruction. This can be as formal as private wedding dance lessons at a dance studio or using a wedding dance DVD. Just don’t assume that you will magically figure it out on the big day without ever having done it before!

Wedding dance lessons in a dance studio can be a fun experience as you learn your routine together guided by a professional dance instructor. However, the cost to prepare for a full dance routine in a dance studio can be expensve and time consuming. On average, private lessons to prepare you for a full routine will set you back from $240 to as much as $1800. Lessons are usually an hour in length and the number you need will depend on how complicated your routine is and how bad a dancer you are!

A cheaper and more convenient alternative may be to use an instructional DVD such aws Learn Your Wedding Dance DVD. This instructional dance DVD is the only Australian made DVD whish was made specifically to teach engaged couples how to prepare for their wedding dance.

The Learn Your Wedding Dance DVD will cost you $29.95, which is less than the cost of one studio dance lesson. This DVD is interactional and features step-by-step instruction by a professional dance teacher, through three fully choreographed routines and all in the privacy of your home. Other features include dance survival tips, animations and demonstration dances. The dance routines presented on Learn Your Wedding Dance DVD include a rumba, a waltz and a slow rhythm dance. ORDER DVD HERE.
Jennifer
East Coast Entertainment