Why have a first dance at your wedding reception?
The rituals we include in our weddings each bring so much personal and cultural meaning to the day. Add them all up, though, and you can feel like your wedding is becoming a bit jam-packed.
One way to make these moments even more valuable is to plan points throughout your wedding that allow you to pause, reflect, and let it all sink in.
The first dance – or ‘bridal waltz’ – is one of these moments.
At first glance it seems a little traditional, harking back to times of stately manors and string quartets. So why has the first dance lasted as such a common feature of weddings – be they traditional or modern?
Answer: your first dance can be a really special chance for you both to reflect.
It gives you just a little time to breathe and to focus on each other, and to let your day soak in.
First dances can be formal or super casual – choreographed or just a general boogie together that only you know the steps to!
The first dance is often referred to as a ‘bridal waltz’, but these days it’s rarely ever a true ‘waltz’ – which is a 3/4 rhythm with specific dance steps, like ‘one two three, two two three, three two three, four two three’. The timing of the song doesn’t really matter – the important part is that it means something special to you both.
Plenty of people have their reservations about dancing in public, and that’s fair enough. The important thing to remember is that every single person watching you will be a loved one. In this moment they want nothing but the best for you both. Think family fun, not Dancing with the Stars!
Having a band you can trust to keep watch is a huge comfort. You can signal to them anytime to invite your guests onto the dance floor to join you, or the band can wrap up the song whenever you’re ready.
One of the plusses of booking a live band for your wedding reception is having them learn a special song for your first dance. We love doing it – it’s an insight into how you tick, and it’s great fun arranging new songs for the band.
If you’re looking for some first dance song inspiration, check out some of our favourites!