More and more couples are turning to professional dance choreographers to help them plan a wedding first dance routine. It’s a personal choice – some couples prefer to romantically ‘go with the flow’, others find it a wonderfully bonding experience to learn a special dance routine for the day. If it’s something you’re considering, here are a few tips to help you plan a choreographed first dance routine for your wedding…

What dance style should we choose?

I’ve seen choreographed routines work brilliantly in various forms. However, I’d say the most ideal dance styles to think about are either something quite classic and traditional, or something completely the other end of the spectrum, like a disco or funk number.

Choreographed First Dance Routine

Think about who you are as a couple and what suits your personalities. If you’re a fun loving couple, I think you could go for something fun, like ‘You’re the First, the Last, My Everything‘ by Barry White (anyone who used to watch ‘Ally McBeal’ may remember the hilarious choreography they did in that song). Or perhaps you’re more of a traditional couple, and something beautiful like ‘The Way You Look Tonight‘ would be more fitting, with your choreography perhaps more ballroom based.

“Should we choreograph our first dance routine ourselves?”

This is completely up to you, and depends on how many left feet you have between you! I know it’s another cost and something you don’t necessarily need, but I know many brides and grooms who found it worthwhile to go to a pro dance tutor for help. Not only does it mean you perform a fabulous first dance that will wow your guests, but it’s a fantastic bonding experience to learn how to dance with your other half.

“We have a live band performing – is it a good idea to get them to play for our choreographed first dance?”

This is a nice idea, but in my experience if you’ve choreographed a routine it might be best to dance to the original instead. You’ll be used to dancing to the exact tempo, and hearing certain intricacies in the song which may not be there with a live band. Don’t forget they may only have four or five instruments so not every musical part will be recreated, only the main parts of the song.

Bride and Groom Performing Choreographed Dance Moves

While your band will probably do a fantastic version of the song, it might be safer to go with what you know so you can practice as much as you like to the version you’ll dance to at your wedding.

“We are not fantastic dancers… does this matter?”

Not at all. In fact, if your friends and family know you’re not great dancers I bet it will go down even better with them! The dance doesn’t have to be difficult, and most of the time it will be a series of steps which repeat for different sections. Keep it nice and simple and easy to remember for after the champagne has been flowing!

Couple's First Dance Routine at Wedding

“I’ve seen people do a ‘fake’ first dance, starting with something slow and then launching into something fun and choreographed… is that idea done too much now?”

No. I have seen this many times and it always goes down a storm. Plus, everyone does it in a different way anyway. I think it’s a nice idea as you get to do something slow and romantic before really getting the party started with something suitably silly!

“Is here anything else we should think about?”

It may sound silly, but you should also consider how large your dress is, how slippery the dance floor may be with your man’s posh new shoes, and all other factors that seem ridiculously over the top but are actually very important! The amount of times I’ve seen a bride trying to whiz around the dance floor but her dress is getting in the way is countless. It would be such a shame if you have spent lots of time practising a routine to then not be able to perform it properly.

So, best of luck with it! Choreographed first dance routines are not for everyone, but they certainly add a bit of sparkle to the start of a wedding reception.

Guest post by Sera Golding of MIB Music

Images from…

1: Matt Pereira Photography

2: Tom Leishman of Picture My Love

3: Voyteck Photography