18 | 04 | 2019
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by Phil Vera

The First Dance as husband and wife is perhaps the most romantic part of the wedding program. The First Dance should be memorable and emotionally touching because it isn’t just a dance. It is symbolic of the consummation of the wedding vows and represents the road of life ahead for the newlyweds as two individuals complementing and completing each other. As the Bride accepts her Groom’s offer to their First Dance she is really accepting his proposal to be a source of love, companionship and guidance for the rest of her life.

Traditionally, the First Wedding dance has been the Waltz but in recent times other forms of dances such as the  the foxtrot, merengue, swing and the generic "slow dance" have gained popularity as the dance of choice.

Every couple only gets one First Dance and it is important to make those few minutes last forever with proper planning. Sometimes the newlyweds treat the First Dance lightly and opting to play for laughs. There is nothing wrong with injecting humor into the First Dance. However, it could easily turn what could have been a cherished memory into a video that makes them cringe every time they view it.

Such First Dances are now posted on websites for people to see. If a couple has no problem with people laughing at their First Dance mishaps then by all means this is a perfectly legitimate choice. Those who want to avoid wedding day disasters should not  rely on chance but make the proper preparations.

Few people have the dancing skills of Michael Jackson or Beyonce to execute a memorable First Dance. Experts highly recommend taking dance lessons if both or one of the couple does not posses this ability. This can be as formal as private wedding dance lessons at a dance studio or using a wedding dance DVD. If friends of the couple are expecting a dance floor fiasco, the bride and the groom could take the lessons secretly and then surprise their guests with a graceful and flawless number.  

The First Dance is usually danced to a very romantic song that plays an important role in the newlywed’s love story. It could be a song that they danced to when they first met. It could be the tune playing on the radio when they first said “I love you.” But it could also be simply a recent and popular tune. Among the more popular contemporary choices for the First Dance music are songs made popular by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Michael Buble, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand.

It doesn’t have to be a slow song, though. It could have an up tempo beat and still be a beautiful and romantic First Dance. However, an up tempo dance could be difficult for the bride particularly if she is wearing a flowing gown. If the couple’s song is an up tempo number but they want a slow dance they can ask the wedding band  to rearrange the music or hire musicians to prerecord the rearranged material.

The important thing to remember in picking the music for the First Dance is that the newlyweds should feel comfortable dancing to it. Ideally, the song that they will perform their First Dance should be selected before taking dance lessons. This way the dance instructor can choreograph a wedding dance for the couple that matches the music that they have chosen.

Another way to enhance the First Wedding dance is by adding a slideshow of photos or video that tells the story of the bride and groom. From how they grew up (very apt for childhood sweethearts) or how they met to their wedding preparations. Some prefer to have other people join them in a choreographed dance number.

All these are good but newlyweds should not forget the essence of the First Dance. It is their first dance as husband and wife and hopefully it would be their last First Dance.

April 2019