Wedding Dance Melbourne

Couple’s First Dance: Before or After Dinner?

Planning your wedding reception may have you thinking what the best time is to have the first dance. When in the evening, after supper perhaps, or sooner? Discuss possible first dance times with your wedding's music director. Think about the people that will be there, how animated they are, how the night is progressing, and what time you have to leave the place. We explore the possibilities here.

The First Dance at a wedding reception is sometimes a source of debate among the newlyweds, with some couples preferring to dance it before dinner while others like it after. All the benefits and drawbacks of each choice will be listed here. Either option is fine, but you should think about how it will function best within the context of your wedding as a whole.

The first dance is usually saved for after the sit-down dinner, however some couples choose to make a "grand entrance" (i.e., go straight to the dance floor) as soon as the reception begins.

The bride and groom then dance with their respective mothers, while the bride's father (or the person who gave her away) leads the bride in the next dance. For those who want to kick off the reception with a bang, the first dance should happen after the meal has been served. Following the mother and father of the bride, the groom dances with the mother of the bride, and then the groom's parents dance with each other. When the chief bridesmaid and her attendants are ready, the best man can join them for a dance. Complete or partial songs can be requested, and then everyone is invited to the dance floor.

But if you and your partner hate dancing, your master of ceremonies or DJ might start getting people up on the dance floor 30 seconds into your first dance. This will buy the photographer some time to snap a few great images without drawing attention to themselves.

The song chosen for the first dance should have sentimental importance to the bride and groom, but need not be a traditional love ballad. Couples who are at a loss for what to do can find a wide variety of ideas, from the traditional to the unique and modern, by searching the internet. You don't have to do the first dance the traditional way if you don't want to, and there are plenty of other options. Pick something that speaks to who you both are as a couple.

There is a lot riding on your first dance—the music, the choreography, the surprises—so when should you perform it? There are only two optimal times for the first dance on your wedding day, so at least that simplifies the process of creating the schedule for the big day.

After making a dramatic entry to the celebration, it is highly recommended that you and your new spouse do your first dance right away. Your guests will be more than happy to applaud when you walk in to a lively tune, and they will be even more enthusiastic to see you on the dance floor immediately afterwards. If you're both scared and would rather get it over with as soon as possible, or if you're planning on surprising your guests with a dance and want to include them right away in the festivities, scheduling the first event of the reception as the first dance is a terrific idea. (At this point, you may also choose to slice your wedding cake.) If everyone would rather finish all of the parent-child dances at once, they can be done after the first dance as well. After that, we can begin eating the appetisers.

Timeline planning for the ceremony and reception should begin when the date and location have been chosen, vendors have been hired, and invitations have been sent. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m., cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., and the reception begins at 6:30 p.m., but do you know when the other events that make up the party will take place? One of the night's most memorable and touching moments will be your first dance as husband and wife. There are a few choices available to you. We break down when exactly the dance floor will be open for business.

How do you kick off the first dance at your wedding?

Having the first dance tune ready to go before making the announcement will ensure a smooth start to the dance. Your guests will enjoy the first dance more if they are applauded twice: once at the start and once at the finish. The song should not begin until the groom's father is within dancing distance.

 

Exactly When Should We Have Your First Dance?

Early on in the Party

However, more and more couples are choosing to skip the "grand entrance" in favour of a more traditional "first dance" to kick off the reception. Having a spectacular entrance will generate excitement and anticipation among guests, which will carry over into the first dance and be a positive influence on the entire event.

First Dance Before Dinner

There's a wonderful flow to having the first dance before supper, especially if you're introducing the wedding party the old-fashioned way. This is the one and only moment you "should" have everyone's undivided attention aside from the ceremony. (Until a professional DJ/MC begins this section, you should wait to begin) Once everyone has been seated, the formal introductions can begin. The guests are presented soon before the bride and groom. The crowd gets hyped up, a new song is played, and the couple is introduced, most often in the middle of the dance floor. The first dance between the couple is a natural progression from here. Once again, the focus is solely on the pair. The First Dance begins as guests take their places. They settle down after the dance, and you give a welcoming address, offer a blessing or prayer, and then serve meals. After supper, the father-daughter and mother-son dances would be performed, providing a smooth transition into Open Dancing.

  • No amount of touching up can restore the lustre of freshly done hair, makeup, and other accoutrements, but brides, you may be assured that you'll look fabulous on your wedding day. You and your friend'might' also be drinking less.
  • It fits quite nicely with the progression of things.
  • Guests pay more attention at the beginning of the reception than they do after supper. It's the only other time of day when everyone is fully there and paying attention to us (seated, ready to eat, etc.).
  • This eliminates the problem for good. Having the first dance over with is a relief for many couples who are anxious about it.
  • At this point in the reception, everyone's attention is focused squarely on you. As the party continues, guests' attention drifts (toasts, family dances, drinking at the bar etc.)
  • No amount of touching up can restore the lustre of freshly done hair, makeup, and other accoutrements, but brides, you may be assured that you'll look fabulous on your wedding day. You and your friend'might' also be drinking less.

Right After Finishing Their Dinner

The first dance at a reception typically kicks off the dancing part of the evening. This is why the meal is served before the first dance. This way, you and your new spouse may take it easy over dinner and then get the party going again as soon as you hit the ballroom for your very first dance. This will also get your guests out on the dance floor and into the party spirit.

It's important to execute the first dance soon after the meal is served so that guests know the reception is transitioning from a dinner to a dance party. The mother-son and father-daughter dances, however, give a straightforward solution by establishing the evening's underlying rhythm. A fantastic approach to get everyone out on the main stage and in a festive spirit is with the parent dances.

Depending on when the ceremony begins and what you plan to serve for dinner, you may want to do so before the first dance. It might not be a good idea to schedule extra time in the beginning of the evening for dances if you intend to serve numerous courses at the meal. Keep in mind that unhappy visitors are hungry guests. Having the first dance after dinner may seem more appropriate, even if you're only having a light meal. You can touch up your cosmetics, change into a second dress (if you're having one), and take a deep breath before you're the centre of attention again.

The first dance is traditionally performed before supper is served, but this isn't always the case or the most logical choice. So, doing it subsequently is totally OK. It seems to have drifted more towards the latter in the 2000s and 2010s, but I think this is an older custom. (I still run into the odd couple who seem astonished and have never heard of doing it before dinner, which is OK, but not the norm.) The reception guests would be seated. After the customary bridesmaid introductions, guests would be seated for dinner, and the host would offer a blessing or a prayer. The dances would begin with the couple's First Dance, followed by the Family Dances, and then the rest of the dances would take place after the meal, speeches, toasts, and any other activities associated with the reception proper (assuming those are being done)

  • Maybe it's custom, maybe it's just what they want to do, but the pair wants to save all the dancing until after dinner. That works, too.
  • The dance floor is located in a separate location. This should be obvious to everyone.
  • No one will be introducing you to the dancefloor. Maybe the room isn't symmetrical and the dance floor is at the wrong end, or traffic is too chaotic.
  • Imagine you have a band or artist lined up to sing your song, but they can't make it until after dinner time.

melbourne reception venues ballroom

Following the Cake-Cutting

Take advantage of the excitement of cutting the cake by immediately moving into your first dance. Since most of the guests will already be clustered around you and your significant other, this will go smoothly. In addition, the tradition of cutting the cake after supper encourages guests to keep the party going on the dance floor. If shattering the wedding cake is your thing, be sure to clean your face before the big moment.

Sharing your first dance after cutting the cake is a great way to signal to your guests that it is time to start celebrating since many couples prefer not to interrupt the festivities to cut the cake. However, timing is everything, so be sure to plan the evening so that the cake is cut right after supper.

Either Way, Make a Game Plan

Either approach is valid, and a skilled DJ/MC will be able to smoothly incorporate it into the set, adapting to the mood of the audience as necessary. Just make sure that during your planning sessions with him or her, you give careful thought to all potential outcomes and discuss them in detail.

Your second opportunity to dance comes after the supper has ended. Each and every one of your listeners will be captivated (you may not get the same type of crowd if you do the first dance while salads are being served). Next (or after the parent/child dances, if you do those, too), it's a smooth transition to inviting everyone to join in on the fun on the dance floor.

Ideas to Make Sure Your Wedding Dance Floor Is Fully Utilized

You've probably heard this before, but the day you've spent the better part of a year (or more) organising will be over before you realise it, even if it's likely you've already started thinking about your next big life event. Here are some of our tried-and-true suggestions for making the most of your dance time.

Get all the formalities out of the way early on in the reception.

You can wait to perform the cake cutting and parent dances until after dinner, but you should present the bridal party, do your first dance, and declare all toasts and blessings as soon as guests are seated for dinner.

Don't give your visitors any more reasons to stay at your place after supper.

Couples often arrange activities that sound like fun in theory but end up being a distraction (cigar rolling stations, snack bars, outside lawn games, etc.). Bands and DJs thrive on what is known as a "captive crowd"; we think that providing an open bar and nonstop dance music after dinner would do the trick to make for an unforgettable event

Keep the bar and the dancing floor together if at all possible.

To continue along the same lines as the last suggestion, you should avoid giving your guests any opportunities to "leave" the dance floor. It's difficult to bring people back on the dance floor if the music is too far away if there's a bar in a different room where they may easily get distracted.

The ideal way to go from dinner to dancing is with a parent dance.

When the meal is over, announce the parent dances to get everyone's attention away from the tables and onto the dancing floor. Then, after everyone has had a chance to mingle, have the band or DJ call for one more slow dance, and you've got yourself an instant dance party. Getting everyone's attention may be difficult if there is nothing to serve as the transition.

A group photo is the quickest way to destroy the party atmosphere.

Before the dance starts, make sure the photographer has time to snap any group photographs you'd like of college buddies, relatives, etc. If the DJ or band leader has to make an announcement or stop the music for any reason, people will likely stop dancing and it may be difficult to encourage them to start up again.

Get up and dance!

There's little doubt that you'll be kept busy all day long on your wedding day. All night long, people will try to drag you away from the dance floor for photos, discussions, and congrats. Eventually, you'll just have to put your foot down and join the fun. Your friends will probably join you on the dance floor if you join them there.

Bride Groom Dance Melbourne Reception

One option is to surprise your significant other with a performance of a song you or they wrote. There's also the option of renting a trampoline and becoming the first to bounce on it. Athletic engaged couples may like to kick off the festivities with their prefered game (whether an electronic one, like Guitar Hero, or a recreational one, like rounders), inviting their guests to join in on the fun.

Conclusion  

The First Dance at a wedding reception is sometimes a source of debate among the newlyweds. Some couples prefer to dance it before dinner while others like it after. There are only two optimal times for the first dance on your wedding day. Pick something that speaks to who you both are as a couple. The song should not begin until the groom's father is within dancing distance.

After that, we can begin eating the appetisers. Having a spectacular entrance will generate excitement and anticipation among guests, which will carry over into the first dance. The First Dance begins as guests take their places, and you give a welcoming address, offer a blessing or prayer, and then serve meals. After supper, the father-daughter and mother-son dances provide a smooth transition into Open Dancing.

Finally, while the ceremony and reception should be about you and your spouse, it's also important to consider about your guests by incorporating them in the process of choosing the music for the reception. This includes the parents of the bride and groom, as well as the chief bridesmaid and groomsmen.

Content  Summary: 

  • Planning your wedding reception may have you thinking what the best time is to have the first dance.
  • When in the evening, after supper perhaps, or sooner?
  • Discuss possible first dance times with your wedding's music director.
  • Think about the people that will be there, how animated they are, how the night is progressing, and what time you have to leave the place.
  • We explore the possibilities here.
  • The First Dance at a wedding reception is sometimes a source of debate among the newlyweds, with some couples preferring to dance it before dinner while others like it after.
  • All the benefits and drawbacks of each choice will be listed here.
  • Either option is fine, but you should think about how it will function best within the context of your wedding as a whole.
  • The first dance is usually saved for after the sit-down dinner, however some couples choose to make a "grand entrance" (i.e., go straight to the dance floor) as soon as the reception begins.
  • The bride and groom then dance with their respective mothers, while the bride's father (or the person who gave her away) leads the bride in the next dance.
  • For those who want to kick off the reception with a bang, the first dance should happen after the meal has been served.
  • Following the mother and father of the bride, the groom dances with the mother of the bride, and then the groom's parents dance with each other.
  • When the chief bridesmaid and her attendants are ready, the best man can join them for a dance.
  • Complete or partial songs can be requested, and then everyone is invited to the dance floor.
  • But if you and your partner hate dancing, your master of ceremonies or DJ might start getting people up on the dance floor 30 seconds into your first dance.
  • This will buy the photographer some time to snap a few great images without drawing attention to themselves.
  • The song chosen for the first dance should have sentimental importance to the bride and groom, but need not be a traditional love ballad.
  • Couples who are at a loss for what to do can find a wide variety of ideas, from the traditional to the unique and modern, by searching the internet.
  • Pick something that speaks to who you both are as a couple.
  • There is a lot riding on your first dance—the music, the choreography, the surprises—so when should you perform it?
  • There are only two optimal times for the first dance on your wedding day, so at least that simplifies the process of creating the schedule for the big day.
  • After making a dramatic entry to the celebration, it is highly recommended that you and your new spouse do your first dance right away.
  • Your guests will be more than happy to applaud when you walk in to a lively tune, and they will be even more enthusiastic to see you on the dance floor immediately afterwards.
  • If you're both scared and would rather get it over with as soon as possible, or if you're planning on surprising your guests with a dance and want to include them right away in the festivities, scheduling the first event of the reception as the first dance is a terrific idea. 
  • At this point, you may also choose to slice your wedding cake.
  • If everyone would rather finish all of the parent-child dances at once, they can be done after the first dance as well.
  • After that, we can begin eating the appetisers.
  • Timeline planning for the ceremony and reception should begin when the date and location have been chosen, vendors have been hired, and invitations have been sent.
  • The ceremony begins at 5 p.m., cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., and the reception begins at 6:30 p.m., but do you know when the other events that make up the party will take place?
  • One of the night's most memorable and touching moments will be your first dance as husband and wife.
  • There are a few choices available to you.
  • We break down when exactly the dance floor will be open for business.
  • How do you kick off the first dance at your wedding?
  • Having the first dance tune ready to go before making the announcement will ensure a smooth start to the dance.
  • Your guests will enjoy the first dance more if they are applauded twice: once at the start and once at the finish.
  • The song should not begin until the groom's father is within dancing distance.
  • Early on in the Party However, more and more couples are choosing to skip the "grand entrance" in favour of a more traditional "first dance" to kick off the reception.
  • Having a spectacular entrance will generate excitement and anticipation among guests, which will carry over into the first dance and be a positive influence on the entire event.
  • There's a wonderful flow to having the first dance before supper, especially if you're introducing the wedding party the old-fashioned way.
  • This is the one and only moment you "should" have everyone's undivided attention aside from the ceremony. 
  • Until a professional DJ/MC begins this section, you should wait to begin) Once everyone has been seated, the formal introductions can begin.
  • The guests are presented soon before the bride and groom.
  • The crowd gets hyped up, a new song is played, and the couple is introduced, most often in the middle of the dance floor.
  • The first dance between the couple is a natural progression from here.
  • Once again, the focus is solely on the pair.
  • The First Dance begins as guests take their places.
  • They settle down after the dance, and you give a welcoming address, offer a blessing or prayer, and then serve meals.
  • After supper, the father-daughter and mother-son dances would be performed, providing a smooth transition into Open Dancing.
  • No amount of touching up can restore the lustre of freshly done hair, makeup, and other accoutrements, but brides, you may be assured that you'll look fabulous on your wedding day.
  • You and your friend 'might' also be drinking less.
  • It fits quite nicely with the progression of things.
  • Guests pay more attention at the beginning of the reception than they do after supper.
  • It's the only other time of day when everyone is fully there and paying attention to us (seated, ready to eat, etc.).
  • This eliminates the problem for good.
  • Having the first dance over with is a relief for many couples who are anxious about it.
  • At this point in the reception, everyone's attention is focused squarely on you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding First Dance

The bride and groom will dance first. This is the usual format. Then the parent dances with the couple – the father with the bride and the mother with the groom. The groom's father will then dance with the bride and the groom with the mother-in-law.

The study found that "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers was the most popular choice overall, with classic love songs by Etta James, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley earning a spot in the top 15. More contemporary songs from artists like John Legend, Ed Sheeran, and Adele also made the ranks.

The first dance was considered as the official opening of dancing by the newly married couple who were the guests of honor. The first dance between the bride and groom is the most awaited moment for the newly wed as well as the guests. It shows the love and unity between the new couple.

Sometimes, parent dances occur immediately after the first dance. Other times, these dances will take place toward the end of dinner, after the toasts, or after the cake cutting. For heterosexual couples, bride dances with her dad, and then the groom dances with his mom.

The simple answer here is no, you do not need a first dance at your wedding. Year after year, first dances are gradually becoming less common so choosing to skip this typically traditional part of a wedding day is not an odd occurrence in today's wedding world. First dances!
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