image by Sweet Monday Photography
I was talking with some industry friends recently about the epic first dance and all the anticipation, trepidation, and hesitation that couples go through preparing for it. If you and your partner are shy or born with two left feet, the first dance is naturally going to work up your nerves. I don’t think I’ve met too many couples who haven’t been nervous about their first dance. I’ve even come across some who want to forgo the tradition all together because they are self-conscious about being in front of a crowd. I don’t recommend skipping your first dance. It’s not only a tradition that your guests expect and love to see, but it’s also something that you will regret not having done; don’t let little moments like these slip away because they are important memories that you’ll look back on in the years to come. The first dance is also an important transition from your entrance into dinner. I’ve been to weddings where the first dance was skipped and it is a bit awkward when couples enter the room for the first time as husband and wife and “take a seat” instead.
So, what do I recommend for overcoming your first dance stage fright? For starters – get over it! You are surrounded by your family and friends.. these people love and support you unconditionally. They don’t care if you can’t dance. As a matter of fact, since you are from the same gene pool, it’s pretty likely that they can’t dance either! The first dance is not about aesthetics or trying to impress… it is an intimate moment that you two share with your guests and it is a fun time to “catch up” on the day’s events as you wiz around the dance floor. It is a very emotional time and not something that comes along often…
If you’re finding it hard to take my first piece of advice, than consider these few tips.
Choose a song that not only has meaning, but has a rhythm that you can dance to. Spend the time researching the perfect song that has a rhythm you both can understand and move to.
Practice! Dance in the kitchen, dance in the living room. Dance, dance, dance! Practice dancing to your song. It’ll make it easier on the big day.
Consider taking a few dance lessons. I like dance lessons for two reasons – one, you get a few tips from a professional which will help boost your confidence. The second thing I love is it is some scheduled time that you two spend together on a Wednesday night. During the weeks leading up to your wedding you may not see each other as often as you like, and this is a perfect way to schedule in a pre wedding date night.
Have the DJ invite your wedding party onto the dance floor a minute or two into the song. With your wedding party joining you a minute or two into the song, you’ll be able to relax a bit and enjoy yourself. You’ll only be in the spotlight for a few moments which will appease Grandma and allow the photographer to get some really beautiful pictures.