“There’s a bunch of rules for setting wedding reception tables… what do I do first?”
Their first dance was amazing to watch. She was 6’1” and slender, in a long mermaid wedding gown. He was 5’9” in a sharp navy suit, his eyes sparkled, and never left her. Her head bowed towards his, and from where I stood in the crowd- she wore the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen.
Girls don’t usually marry shorter guys or younger guys- but these two people- it warmed my heart and filled my eyes to watch them. They seemed to have a silent language all their own, in their gazes and touch. And when they danced, I could see how truly in tune they were with one another.
He took her hand, and she touched his shoulder. They formed their dance frame and paused. The strains of a waltz that had begun ever so softly, lighted off with a violin solo that made me want to fly. I heard the rest of the instruments voice in, and the whole picture looked and felt full of harmony. As like a beach scene with gentle waves and deeper water, or a waterfall, with quiet pools below.
Should I have Dancing at my Wedding?
Everyone’s love story is incredible, most of the time we just don’t see it. You rarely see the “lovers’ language” that can make you want to hug and squeeze your significant other, or make your heart bleed for the day when you’ll have that special relationship. Dancing…it’s one of the lovers’ languages.
Dance incorporates body language, body leading, physical touch, eye contact, emotional and intellectual connection, a give and take of trust, and conversation on a whole new plain of interaction.
You are together to dance, but you are completely focused on one another. You have a given activity, you are working together, and you are learning each other by total immersion. Step on his/her toe- you’ll learn even more.
In the classic “Pride and Prejudice”, Elizabeth said it well; “To encourage affection? Dancing. Even if one’s partner is barely tolerable.”
Wedding Reception Dancing Suggestions:
Dancing brings people together, that’s why it’s so widely encouraged at weddings. At your reception, if your MC, and your bridesmaids have succeeded in getting your guests on their feet and partying- that’s a success!
Brides lay their own battle-plans when it comes to the reception. Tradition paves the way with the first dances, and these are the most special. But after the “first dance”, we want to see everybody on their feet! To the left, to the left…and take it back now ya’ll!
Here’s some different suggestions of dance types, and tips to help you in planning your reception, your “first dance” and persuading your guests to take the floor.
Organizing Traditional Wedding Dances and More:
- Choreograph your bride & groom dance
- Choreograph your daddy & daughter dance (if your dad is no longer with you, substitute whomever is walking you down the aisle)
Your first dances should be an equal balance of perfectly dreamy for the bride, and entertaining for the guests. A mixture of choreographed ballroom and contemporary dance add an extreme “wow factor” to the first dance.
- Learn a square dance to perform with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Your guests will be delighted.
- Virginia Reel, Heel & Toe, Big Mountain Circle and Barn Dance are good, and easy choices. As the names imply, this is folk dancing, but in a ballroom setting- most look very formal.
Ballroom dancing, and square dancing are very popular, with unique routines going viral. Dance lessons are also encouraged as a way of bringing your wedding party together. The smoother your wedding party flows, the better, because that’s the heart of your wedding ceremony. Those are the people supporting you behind the scenes.
- Invite all your couples to join you in a slow dance
- Call them out for the line dancing
Large groups of people need clear direction, get your MC on the mic, and invite the masses to join you for a special slow dance. Do the same for the Cupid Shuffle.
Not everyone will know how to dance, and some may be a little afraid of messing up. Slow dancing, and line dances where the steps are called out, will encourage these people to venture out of the floor. Have a good mix of fast and slow music, and dances. Ask your MC to announce what dance it is, so your guests aren’t left guessing, because even seasoned dancers will hesitate if they are unsure of which dance will be appropriate for the music.
When that time comes… it is your first dance… you’re across from the love of your life, and he can’t take his eyes off of his beautiful bride… just dance. Let go, and melt into the music and into the arms of your love. Let him kiss you, and lean in to kiss him. Take it slow, make it count, let the world shrink until nothing else exists. Nothing but you and him.