Wedding dance 101: the basics explained

Easy Weddings Wedding Dance 4

Even the briefest peek at YouTube throws up so many options for your wedding reception dance routine. Whether you opt for a traditional waltz or something really out there, rule number one is there are no rules! Here are some possible options.

The old-fashioned routine

Easy Weddings Wedding Dance 2

The bride and groom dance alone. The main point here is to rehearse. You’ve had plenty of warning. Some couples go to no end of trouble and literally put on a show. They have their ‘number’ choreographed and set out to wow their guests. Of course you don’t have to do that but learning the steps of whatever dance you intend to have is a really good idea. The world is watching, so do the right thing.

Then the parents will get involved. The father of the bride will dance with his daughter and the mother of the groom will dance with her son. Then the groom’s father will cut in on the bride’s father and dance with his new daughter-in-law.

Then the parents form couples so the mother of the bride and the father of the groom dance together as do the father of the bride and the mother of the groom.

Now what happens if there is a single parent or a step-parent? Well, as explained in rule number one, there are no rules so you adapt according to your situation.

Here’s 20 epic and romantic first dance songs.

The new-fashioned routine

beautiful bride and groom dancing the first dance

This is far more common today. The bride and groom dance alone and complete the full number. Then the bridal party join the bridal couple and several couples dance. The best man will dance with the first bridesmaid (Matron of Honour) and the groomsman will dance with the second bridesmaid and so on. During this second dance, couples may swap partners so it might mean the best man will dance with the bride, the groom with a bridesmaid and so on.

The third and final stage of this modern variation means everyone who wants to join in joins in.

The main advantage of the modern or new-fashioned routine is that it avoids any possible embarrassment if parents of the bride and/or groom have a new partner.

The ensemble routine

It’s your wedding and you make the rules. Do you fancy everyone performing the same routine? It could be anything from a simple barn dance to the hokey pokey (cokey) to a specific routine designed just for your wedding.

Now if you want the latter you’ll need to produce a DVD with instructions and have copies distributed to your guests well before your big day. It’s a big effort and more expense but it can have a fantastic effect. The best tip is KISS meaning Keep It Simple, Stupid.

This wedding sure did take the ensemble routine to the next level. A must watch!

Get your timetable right

When do you have these special dances? A good timing idea is to have the first dance after the main course – remember there might be an entrée before the main course – and immediately after the cutting of the cake. To avoid any confusion, have the MC announce that the bride and groom will now take to the dance floor. Keep your guests well-informed.

People dancing at a wedding reception on a wood dance floor outdoors. Shot from about the knee down.

Choice of music

This is vitally important. What type of dance do you wish to perform – a waltz, fox-trot, free expression? It’s a good idea to choose the style you can perform with style. Having chosen the type of music, choose the appropriate track/s. Then rehearse.

But there might be a problem. If you want Song X and rehearse to a recording, if on the day you dance to a live band and their arrangement, tempo, number of verses, etc is not the same; your bridal dance could be less than perfect. Either talk it over with the musos well beforehand or use recorded music – the same music you rehearsed to – just for your bridal dance.

If you enjoy this article, you’ll love this video. This is what happens when the groomsmen at a wedding happen to be professional dancers.

Find suppliers

Use Easy Weddings to connect with your dream wedding suppliers.
Browse the directory and start planning today!