If you're planning a wedding, you have undoubtedly given some thought to your first dance. Whether the idea of it fills you with dread or you can't wait to kick off your wedding reception with a truly special dance, there are lots of things to consider.
Top Ten Questions About Your First Dance
Here are the top ten questions that happy couples often have about their first dance;
Q. Do we have to have the first dance?
The quick answer is no! However your guests might consider you a bit of a party-pooper if you don't. After the formality of the service and wedding breakfast, the first dance is regarded as the signal to your guests that the party is getting started!
It is also one of the first things that you will do together as a man and wife and symbolizes your families' joining together. That is why inviting close family to join you on the dance-floor is expected during the first dance.
Q. What song should we choose?
This depends on your musical tastes and whether you have a 'special song' that you think would be appropriate. If you do have a song that is close to your hearts, then the decision is easy.
If you can't decide on a song, then ask friends and family for ideas. The people who know you both best might come up with a perfect suggestion.
Q. Should we choreograph our first dance?
If you want the start of your reception to go with a bang and give your guests something to talk about for years to come, then a choreographed first dance could be the way to go.
Plenty of couples now choose to choreograph their first dance, either doing it themselves or with a dance teacher's help. So, if you fancy yourselves as Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, get planning!
Q. Do we need to take dance lessons?
If the idea of a choreographed first dance tickles your fancy, then taking some dance lessons to help you on your way is probably a good idea. The teacher can give you some help in putting your thoughts together and give you some helpful hints and tips to make you feel more confident on the day.
Even if you don't necessarily want to choreograph your dance, but the idea of dancing in front of other people fills you with dread, dance lessons could be a good way of making you feel more confident.
Q. What style of dance should we choose?
This depends on your skill level and how much time you want to put into preparing for your first dance. Ballroom dancing is now more popular than ever, so maybe you fancy trying a sexy Tango or a traditional Waltz? Or perhaps you want to go full Dirty Dancing? Although, keep in mind that the lift at the end should not be attempted after a few drinks!
The world is your oyster here but make sure you choose a style of dance that both you and your intended are comfortable with. Otherwise, it could be more stress than its worth!
Q. We want lessons. How many will we need?
How long is a piece of string? How many lessons you will need both depends on your skill level and how complicated you want your routine to be. If you are both excellent dancers already, then you probably won't need as many lessons.
If you are reasonably competent and want a fully choreographed routine, you could require 5 – 10 lessons. It's best if you have one per week so you can practice in between, so make sure you plan this far enough ahead, so you have enough time.
Q. What happens in a dance lesson?
During your first few lessons, your instructor will discuss with you how you envision your dance. They will also consider what you will be wearing, the dimensions of the dance floor, the length of your chosen song, how good a dancer you are already and even how to walk on to the dance floor in style!
During the subsequent lessons, you will get stuck into formulating and learning your routine. Make sure you bring your wedding shoes to your lessons so that you can get used to dancing in them ahead of the big day.
Q. How much do dance lessons cost?
The cost of dance lessons can vary depending on whether you pay as you go or buy a lesson package, whether you choose hour-long or half-hour long lessons and how established the dance school is.
You can expect to pay about $80-100 for one lesson, although some schools charge up to $175! Set aside a budget for your lessons and stick to it. You might want your first dance to be unique, but there is no point breaking the bank over it!
Q. What about everyone else? Do they need lessons too?
Depending on how traditional you want your wedding to be, you may opt for including a mother/son, father/daughter dance after your first dance. Depending on how much of a control freak you are, you may wish for them to have lessons too!
If you are planning on a group dance that includes close family and the bridal party, then group dance lessons might be a fun way for everyone to get together before the wedding.
Q. We want to do something different. Any ideas?
If a traditional first dance isn't your bag, or you have two left feet and simply can't bear the idea of dancing in front of other people, then why not opt for something a bit more 'out there'? You could get your bridesmaids and groomsmen (or the whole wedding party) in on the act and do a flash-mob?
Maybe you fancy re-creating a dance from Grease or Footloose and involve everybody. You could let your guests know ahead of time so that everyone can learn the routine...
Or how about trying a first something else? Skipping or hula-hooping, perhaps? Maybe you are both incredible singers and could perform a duet together instead?
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for making your first dance memorable for all the right reasons!