5 Tips to Crush Your First Dance

It’s normal to worry about your first dance as newlyweds. Getting up in front of all your favorite people and dancing can be nerve wracking!

As a Denver wedding photographer, I have worked with a lot of couples and have been part of many weddings, and I wanted to share a couple of things that I have picked up through the years. These are the things that you should keep in mind before your first dance, so it can be special and memorable. 

Shorten Your Song a Little

I usually recommend shortening your first dance songs (especially for mother-son dances and/or father/daughter dances) or have your DJ fade each song out. If your first dance is over 3 minutes, then you’ll want to consider shortening the song to about 1.5 to 2 minutes. This is the perfect way to enjoy your first dance as newlyweds and for your guests to enjoy it too. 

If you would like to keep your full wedding song as it is, I love when couples invite their wedding guests to join them on the dance floor after about half of the song has played.

Check What You’re Wearing

Make sure your heels, flats, sneakers, or lace-up shoes are not slippery, are comfortable, and don’t fall off your feet. If you’re wearing a dress, try dancing in it beforehand, making sure you can sit comfortably, jump around a little to see if it’s comfortable to wear all day and night. Some wedding dresses are beyond gorgeous, but are not made to comfortably move and dance in. 

Think About Choreography

Deciding whether or not to choreograph your first dance depends on your style. I do recommend some light choreography because it usually gets some reactions from the audience (a spin or a dip during or after the dance usually gets the crowd cheering). As with everything I tell my couples on wedding day, the most important thing is that you have a good time and be in the moment. Choreography is great, but don’t let too much choreography get in the way of being able to connect with each other during the dance.

If you plan to take a few dance lessons, Elizabeth Marberry, Owner and Founder of Wedding Dance Coach in Denver, recommends starting about 3-4 months before your wedding day. “You want the movement to stay fresh in your mind and your body. You don’t want to learn the moves and then sit on it for a year.”

Communicate with your Photographer

If you do plan on doing any surprises or choreography during your first dance, be sure to communicate that to your photographer (even if it’s only a couple minutes before the dance starts). If you have anything planned for your first dance, your photographer can be ready to make sure they can be in the right position to capture that moment. 

Be in the Moment  

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your first dance as a married couple. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but by this point in the day most of the big moments will have been behind you. The first dance should be a time to relax, enjoy each other, and let your guests witness the love between you.