One of the best parts of a wedding is the dancing. Whether you like to be on the center of the dance floor all night long or prefer to be sitting at your table watching, dancing provides a great way to pass the time. Dancing can also send a message: the bride and groom’s first dance is a romantic display of their love for each other; grandparents taking to the floor together is a beautiful testament to their life-long devotion. And, of course, children love to show off their own fun moves!
There are many traditional wedding dances, but it’s up to you to decide what you which of these to include. You know best what you and your guests will enjoy at your reception, but you can always ask your DJ for advice.
Some of the most popular wedding dances are:
- Bride and groom’s first dance
- Bridal party dance
- This has, traditionally, been combined with the first dance: the bridal party will join the couple for the last half of the song, but more recently, it has become its own separate dance.
- Father/daughter dance
- Mother/son dance
- The parents’ dance
- This dance is incorporated only occasionally, but can be a sweet tribute to long-lasting love.
- Anniversary dance
- Invite all married couples to dance. After a short time, couples who have been married less than 24 hours are dismissed. Next, those married less than a year are dismissed. Then those less than five years, ten years, etc. This keeps going until there is one couple left dancing.
- Dollar Dance
- This dance was popularized by the Polish population. Guests will line up for a turn to dance with the bride. They will have anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute – depending on how many guests you have – to dance with the bride. The Maid of Honor should stand near the dance floor to collect a dollar from each guest.
- If you would prefer to not have your guests pay to dance with you, call it the “wish dance” and don’t collect any money.
There are ways to modernize this list of traditional dances. Many people have by now seen the videos of weddings with contemporary dances. Some of the most popular trends have the bride dance, instead of process, down the aisle for the ceremony or for the newlyweds to compose a medley of songs with a choreographed routine for their first dance.
Another option is to have the bridal party’s first dance to be a line dance. Have this dance be the last scheduled dance, and encourage your guests to join the bridal party for the second half of the song.
Yet another way to get more people on the dance floor is a snowball dance. Start with the bridal party and have them dance together for a minute or two. Then have each person pull another guest onto the dance floor with them. In just a few minutes, you’ll have everyone moving!
If you’re nervous about dancing, don’t be! Just relax and have a good time. Remember that DJs are more experienced than you are with this, so ask them what they recommend in the way of traditional dances. The most important thing is that you and your guests are having a good time.
Elizabeth is an undergraduate at Ohio Northern University with a double major in professional writing and creative writing and a minor in psychology. Liz writes for My Wedding Reception Ideas as well as creates multi-modal writing projects for Re:Media, an Ohio Northern University online publication.