Wedding first dances: your Top 3 questions answered

first dance

Whether you’re dreaming of – or dreading – your first dance as a married couple, here are answers to the first-dance questions we’re asked most.

Do we need to have a first dance at our wedding?

As with every aspect of your wedding, apart from the official ceremony, the first dance is not compulsory. In fact, you could have an entirely dance-free do if you so wish. Just know you’ll probably end up with a lot of disappointed guests!


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Wedding guests really do look forward to witnessing a couple’s first dance as newlyweds. It’s one of the big highlight of any wedding and it is also, likely, one of the few undisturbed moments you’ll get with your new partner throughout your big day.

If you want to have a first dance, but aren’t comfortable – or able – to pull off the full wafting, floating formal deal, you could just sway back and forth in each others arms to your favourite song for a while. Just arrange for the MC to encourage other couples to join in after a few minutes.

Otherwise you could choose to perform an ensemble routine, which means dancing en mass with your entire bridal party to a choreographed routine. This is good choice if you are particularly nervous about getting up and dancing in front of everybody.

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Should we take dance lessons before our wedding?

If you want to, yes. If not, then no!

That said, with a resurgence in the popularity of ballroom dancing, more couples than ever are choosing to take dance lessons prior to their wedding. There are many dance schools that specialise in pre-wedding lessons, and often provide packages designed to get you in shape for your first dance, with plenty of first dance tips and advice.

If you’re not comfortable having private one-on-one lessons, or don’t have the budget to do so, visit a local dance studio and attend group classes. Most teach you a basic routine over a few weeks, certainly enough to get through your first dance and wow your guests.

If you can afford private dance lessons and are so inclined, dance lessons are a brilliant way to pull off the wedding dance of your dreams.

If you have a particular song in mind for your first dance, a professional dance teacher will be able to give you ideas for the best type of dance to complement it and they’ll also teach you the choreography. They can suggest steps that naturally relate to the tempo and style of your track and they’ll be honest and experienced enough to tell you if ‘your song’ is suitable for a first dance or should perhaps be played at another moment during your wedding instead.

dance bride and groom

What style of dance should we choose?

You should choose any dance style you’re comfortable, be that a Viennese Waltz, the Macarena or a funky hip hop routine.

Yes, a bit of a slow dance or a basic waltz is traditional, but there’s no mandatory first dance that must be done, just as there’s no requirement that you even have a first dance!

If you’ve already chosen the song you wish to dance too, however, your style of dance will depend on its tempo.

On the other hand, if you know what type of dance you wish to do, a professional dance teacher will be able to tell you what you can dance to it – and teach you how to dance to it.

If you’re really confident, why stick to one style of dance? You and your new spouse could pull off a mash-up of different styles of music and different songs. That’s always fun, especially if you get the bridal party involved.

Whatever dance you choose, be mindful of your audience and consider any elderly friends and relatives if you are planning an overly raunchy rumba or an eye-popping Argentine Tango!

And, most importantly, remember to have fun. You don’t have to float around the dance floor like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers, you just need to be yourself – and be relaxed enough to be fully present for one of the most special moments of your life.

For a more in-depth look at first wedding first dances, this article explains the basics in greater detail.

So you’ve thought about your first dance, but have you chosen the music for your wedding reception? Find the best wedding band, DJ, or singer here.


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