‘Noooo!’ we hear you cry. ‘We don’t want to do an awkward three minute shuffle in front of all our family and friends.’
Trust us, we don’t want that either. No-one wants that. Your First Dance should be cool – and awkward ain’t cool.
Believe it or not, it is possible to do a First Dance at your wedding without feeling awkward or embarrassed.
We’ll get to the ‘how‘ in a minute.
First the ‘why‘.
Why you need to do a First Dance
If you want a packed dance floor then you need a First Dance.
The First Dance has a very important function – it signifies to your guests that the dance floor is open, you’re shifting gears and the reception is about to move into party-mode.
Don’t think for a minute that just dropping a banger straight after dinner is going to get everyone cutting shapes (or rugs).
Most people won’t go from zero to a hundred (especially after a big meal). Their default move will be to carry on chatting and drinking. It’s essential to interrupt that with a special moment that has some powerful context – a moment that pulls everyone together to share in something cool and get everyone on the same page.
Which is where your First Dance comes in.
First Dance Option 1
Your MC lets everyone know the party is about to get started, but “first we need everybody to please stand up out of their seats.” Now that everyone’s standing, your MC invites them to gather round the dance floor for the First Dance.
This is important. Stand first, then invite them to the dance floor. Announced the other way around is great only if you enjoy herding cats.
In a few words, your MC can let everyone know you’d love for them to join you halfway through the song. They’ll give a signal when people should jump in “but for now, please welcome to the floor for their First Dance together as husband and wife – Mr & Mrs Smith!“
Your First Dance is now a cool moment with your family and friends right there with you, ready to join you on that dance floor at a moment’s notice.
First Dance Option 2
No matter how loved and supported a circle of your family and friends might make you feel, there’s still no way you’re dancing in front of anybody.
This is still not an excuse to skip the First Dance.
In this case, your MC will follow the steps outlined above, but this time they announce that the new Mr & Mrs Smith would love for everyone (yes, everyone) to join them on the dance floor for their First Dance as husband and wife.
No-one will be watching you and you’ll have a ready-made packed dance floor, just like that. Bam!
Resist the urge to go full throttle here – most guests will need a little warming up. Talk to your DJ about a suitable progression of songs to help kick things off.
“Yeah… but nah. We just want it to be a big party, nothing formal. Our friends will dance – trust us.”
I’ve heard this a bunch of times and trust me when I say that I’ve not seen it play out the way you’d like to think it does. I mean, it might… but what if it doesn’t?
We’ll get there eventually, but you’ve only got a limited amount of time to dance at your wedding – why waste 30 plus awkward minutes while everyone figures it out.
I’ve died a thousand deaths inside every time someone has grabbed the mic and said something along the lines of “OK the formalities are all done, so… everyone just start dancing now.”
*Cue the chirping crickets*
People need a ‘why’. People need direction.
Give them a reason to get involved. Go in with a strong but simple plan and you’ll give your dance floor the best possible chance right from the start.
OK, they’re dancing. Now what?
Great question, but that’s a topic for another blog. Stay tuned!