Grooms, welcome to the longest five minutes of your life. Wedding first dances are usually looked forward to by the guests but sometimes slightly dreaded by the couple.
Of course it’s not compulsory to have a first dance at your wedding – you can just ask the DJ to play his tunes and then take to the floor whenever you like. But your guests might be a bit disappointed!
To choreograph, or not?
A surprising number of first dances these days are choreographed, either by the couple in their sitting room, or by a professional.
If you are nervous dancers this might be a good option. The faster the tempo of song you choose, the more important it is to have a few moves worked out in advance. The length of the bride’s dress is an important factor in how ambitious you are, and remember that you won’t be allowed a dress rehearsal because by tradition grooms shouldn’t see the dress before the day.
The slow shuffle
The alternative to choreography is, of course, is the slow shuffle. Place one arm around your fiancee’s waist, hold her hand with the other, and move slowly round the dance floor.
This works well with slow, romantic songs and is practically impossible to get wrong. You will be shuffling where thousands of others couples have shuffled before you.
Just remember not to tread on the bottom of her dress. It’s best to literally shuffle (don’t raise your feet off the ground too much).
Choosing the song
A good first dance song should reflect you as a couple. You might already have a song that means something to you. If not, try to choose a song with words that are meaningful to the occasion.
If you’re worried about feeling self-conscious, choose something short. A short track can be as little as three minutes, longer ones can be six to seven minutes. That’s a lot of extra shuffle time.
If you’re happy being the centre of attention, then go for it. If you’re nervous, you can arrange in advance for your best man, bridesmaids, parents and so on to join you on the dancefloor at a particular point in the first dance.