How Do I Plan for my Wedding Dance?

Your wedding day should be perfect. From the attire to the ceremony, the food to the fun, the memories of your wedding and reception will last a lifetime. And when the moment comes for the all-important wedding dance, you want it to serve as the beautiful expression of the love you share and teamwork that you’ll carry with you into marriage.

Sound like a lofty goal? Don’t be intimidated, that is what we’re here for! To get you started, here are five key lessons to remember when creating your perfect wedding dance:

Your song should have meaning to you and your fiancée, but significance isn’t the only thing to consider. Make sure it has a beat meant to be danced to, so you can have an idea of what type of dance you’d like to perform. Popular dances are the Foxtrot, Swing and the Night Club Two-Step. Don’t worry, you dance instructor can help you decide on the perfect combination.

Next, you’ll want to consider the song length. You may love Justin Timberlake’s, “Mirrors,” but your guests will have glossy eyes by the time it reaches its 8 minute conclusion. Pick a song that the DJ can easily fade out, or cut you a version that lasts closer to 2-3 minutes.

Remember, you’re in the spotlight, so think about how you want your dance to begin and end. Will you enter the floor arm-in-arm with your new spouse? Would you rather meet in the middle? When the dance is over, will you end with a dip and a kiss? And don’t forget how your dance will segue into the next reception activity.

You’ve left plenty of time for your engagement parties, wedding showers, and guests to make arrangements to be there, so your wedding dance planning should follow suit. Even if you have some dancing experience, your newly-choreographed wedding dance will take time to master. Planning for several private lessons spread out over several weeks is your best bet. Keep in mind how busy you’ll be as your wedding date approaches so find time to practice your wedding dance sooner rather than later!

Also, make sure you practice in the shoes you’ll be wearing on your wedding day. Brides, practice while wearing the petticoat if you plan on wearing a full skirt. It can feel much different than typical dancing attire, and you’ll dance with greater confidence if you are comfortable in what you’re wearing.

Like any new skill, you’re going to need practice dancing between lessons. Keep in mind that you are learning and that weddings can be stressful. Instead of feeling pressure or getting frustrated, take a deep breath, give yourself some grace, and remember why you and your partner decided to share this dance. You’re in love! Have fun together, and think of it as learning to work as a team.

A well-choreographed dance is a team effort, and you’ll want to make sure your supporting cast is up to speed on what’s happening. Your DJ or band should know your entrance and exit plan so they can cue the music accordingly. Have extra copies of the music with you, and ask if you can do an equipment check or dress rehearsal prior to the wedding.

Photographers expect most couples to merely stand in the middle of the floor gently swaying during their dance, so if you’ve got something more elaborate planned, let them know so they can setup to take the perfect picture.

Finally, keep in mind that no matter what you choose to do, your dance will serve as a vibrant expression of the love you and your partner share. Your friends and family will be impressed with your effort and thrilled to see you start your life together this way. Bring passion, happiness and love to your dance and it will be the beautiful performance you desire!