A special part of any wedding reception is the wedding first dance that the newlyweds share as man and wife. When compared to the other traditional formalities of the evening, the first dance is the one that can create a memory that will last forever. The origin of the first dance is said to come from eastern European immigrants in America – perhaps dating as far back as the 17th century – who danced at their weddings. As post World War 2 immigration slowed down and those immigrants grew into the middle class they brought the dance with them to the point of it becoming mainstream.
It was custom for the guests of honor or the hosts to have the first dance of the evening at a ball. Once the first dance had been completed, everyone was invited to shake their corsets and powdered wigs on the dance floor. As it is with so many wedding traditions, this social norm of old eventually migrated to wedding receptions.
Today, the bride and groom typically perform the first dance at a wedding reception, signifying the beginning of the party portion of the celebration before the guests are invited to dance the night away.
Traditionally, when people got married their first dance as husband and wife would be a waltz. However, today that is not necessarily the case. Recently, brides and grooms have mostly skipped this “bridal waltz” tradition and have elected to dance the Foxtrot, Merengue, Swing, or even slow dance together. Some wedding couples even decide to perform for their guests for their first dance, and they do a humorous or shocking choreographed routine.
As you plan your first dance, think about what music is especially meaningful to you. Was there music playing the first time you kissed, or when you got engaged? Are there lyrics that instantly make one of you think of the other? Is there a passage of music that always makes your heart swell? If your parents have a happy marriage, maybe you want to dance to the same music they did?
Still unsure? Consult your your wedding band or DeeJay. They most likely have suggestions in their repertoire that might work. You may want to Goggle “first dance songs for weddings” to get some ideas.
If you are unsure of where to start or how to choreograph a wedding first dance, there are plenty of dance studios that offer wedding dance lessons and first dance choreography.
If you’re not big on being the center of attention make the first dance be the only dance instead of father/daughter dance, mother/son dance and last dance.
BONUS Articles: Put on Your Dancing Shoes!
It’s Your 1st Dance as Wife and Husband – Make it Special
Interesting Choices for First Dance Songs
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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.
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