First Dance: Dreamy or Dreaded?

The music starts, the groom gently takes his beautiful bride in his arms and they sweep gracefully around the floor before waltzing into a beautiful sunset happily ever after……

No? Not always.  When it comes to first dances at a wedding, we’ve all seen the good, the bad and the ugly.  Unless you are already dancers, or supremely confident in your groove, the thought of the first dance, in front of everyone you know, can reduce some couples to sheer sweaty, knee-trembling terror.  What a shame when you have worked so hard to create your perfect ceremony, found your perfect venue and bought the perfect dress, to then have something you are anxious about loitering towards the end of your day.

Believe it or not, wedding dance anxiety can be relatively easily fixed with just a little bit of help and pre-planning.  It also helps enormously if you can make the time to practice.  It doesn’t have to be much time, but a bit of technique and the time to learn to relax into one another can make all the difference. You may even find dancing together an unexpected delight and something that you can continue to do together long after the confetti has settled.  What a lovely legacy from your day.

Think about what type of dance you would like.  Do you want something traditional like a waltz or a foxtrot?  If you do, what music had you in mind?  Be aware that waltz music is ¾ time and is trickier to come by.  Also, if you have a band and you want them to play the track you hope to dance to, make sure that they can play it in strict time so you don’t get out of time to the music when you’ve practiced to a recording.  It helps to think about your venue; how big is the dance floor?  Do you have room to get your groove on in your chosen style?  Thinking it through in advance and having a run-through at your rehearsal can save you a world of pain on the day.

Would you prefer something less formal and a bit more fun?  What about a bit of swing dance? Lindy hop basics, blues or balboa?  Or a fun, perky jazz-hands, ragtime Charleston?  All of these are possibilities and you are more likely to enjoy a dance that suits your personality.  We’ve all seen some fabulous couples absolutely own the moment with surprise dances or flash mobs where their wedding party joins in.  While this is awesome if you can pull it off, the secret is being comfortable and relaxed.

Just remember that whatever you choose, you need to think about the kind of dress the bride plans to wear.  The last thing you need is an avoidable wardrobe malfunction.  If it is very tightly corseted, breathing will be restricted, so an energetic dance possibly won’t work for you.  Similarly, if there is a very full skirt, find something similar to practice in so the groom gets used to not treading on it.  If you have a train, make sure it loops up around your wrist.  And finally, think about your shoes.  If the bride is wearing an enormous pair of stilettos, think about maybe changing into smaller heels or a pair of pretty decorated flats.

Got it all? Ready? Splendid.  And relax…..

So let’s face the music and dance…….

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