The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Dances: A Guide to Getting It Right!

The Dos and Don’ts of Wedding Dances: A Guide to Getting It Right!

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Make sure you get wedding dances at your wedding reception just right by reading this etiquette guide before you hit the dance floor.

Are you planning your wedding? Congrats!

Preparing for your upcoming nuptials is a special and exciting time. But we also realize there are so many little details to sort out in order to make your day picture perfect.

There are several traditions that have various rules and the etiquette surrounding wedding dances is one of them. You have a lot of options when it comes to the dancing at your wedding for both your spouse and yourself as well as your families and guests.

Check out our guide to so you’re sure to get the dances at your wedding reception just right.

Traditional Wedding Dances

When it comes to the first dance between you and your spouse, there are several styles you can choose from. Whichever you decide on should reflect you as a couple and be something you feel comfortable doing based on your level of skill.

Here are some of the most common wedding dances.

The Waltz

The Waltz is a classic choice. If you’re looking for something simple, elegant and timeless, this is the way to go. This dance follows a simple three beat rhythm of down, up, down as you glide across the floor.

The Foxtrot

This is a level up from the Waltz in terms of required skill but if you can do it well, it’s a beautiful dance to watch. It’s also a gliding and fluid dance like the Waltz and works best in a venue with a lot of space because the dance does travel quite a bit on the floor.

Swing Dance

This is a much more fun and energetic dance than the two above. It’s perfect for the couple who wants to use their first dance to get the party started and keep things upbeat. Swing dance was popular in the 1940s and is fast moving so be sure to wear the right shoes!

New Trends

While the traditional wedding dance progression can be lovely, it can also take up a lot of time. Couples who are eager to get the party going a little faster are opting to streamline the traditional dances.

For example, after the couple shares their first dance, you may see the bride dance with her father and the groom dance with his mother, followed by all the guests joining in.

Not only are couples opting to make the individual dances move faster, but they’re also having more fun when it comes to dancing. Some couples are performing rehearsed dances that go much farther than the waltz.

These dances are choreographed and have clearly been worked on for a while. It’s a fun surprise for guests who wouldn’t be expecting moves like that from you both.

Another fun surprise is for the bride and groom to break out into a fast-paced dance after pretending like their slow dance was the whole show. This usually has guests cracking up and raises the energy in the room to set the tone for the rest of the reception.

Another new trend is a choreographed dance with the whole wedding party. This is meant to surprise other guests and it is always a hit! You don’t need a bridal party full of dancers to pull this off.

It will take a day of rehearsal in a dance studio, which can also be a chance for each of your friends to bond with others and spend some time together before the big day.

First Dance Tips

Before you hit the floor for the first dance with your new spouse, there are some things to think about. For starters, select a song that has meaning for you as a couple. This could be “your” song or just something with lyrics that hit home and evoke the right kind of sentiment.

Don’t worry so much about the actual dancing. Chances are you’ve already slow danced together as a couple at other events. Feel confident dancing in that way and alleviate the pressure of performance when it comes to your first dance.

If either or both of you feel a lack of confidence with your moves, you can opt to take one or two dance classes before the big day. If you’re not comfortable as a dancer, try to avoid something heavily choreographed that you’ll have to be thinking about while dancing.

Nothing is worse than watching a new couple take the floor only to see them concentrating so hard on the steps or counting beats in their head that they aren’t present in the moment.

If you’re the bride, be sure you’ve selected a pair of shoes you can move in relatively well and be sure to have a bridesmaid or friend bustle your dress if it’s long or has a train so you don’t risk tripping on it.

Pick Your Playlist

You’ll want to let your DJ or band know what songs are approved to play and what songs they should avoid. Think about your guests as a whole when making these selections. You don’t want to alienate a group of friends or family members by playing songs they’ll never dance to.

Pick a few songs that will satisfy everyone. There are some classic crowd-pleasers no one can say no to. You can start the evening with more family-friendly hits and then as the night goes on play the music you and your friends love to dance to.

This gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy the party and participate during some portion.

Have Fun!

While it’s useful to know the information surrounding dance etiquette, it’s equally important to have fun when it comes to the wedding dances. Do what feels right for you and your spouse and the type of wedding you’re throwing.

Don’t feel pressure to perform or deliver. The most important thing is to let your guests have a meaningful moment to witness you both as a couple and then to party the night away and have a great time.

I’d love to capture your special day! Contact me for more information and be sure to check out the rest of my blog for more wedding tips.

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