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Kelsey: I Won’t Dance, Don’t Ask Me


(Please?)

by Kelsey Hopson-Shiller, Writing Intern

Kelsey: I Wont Dance, Dont Ask Me | A Practical Wedding

When our wedding was still an abstract concept lurking happily in my mind, I always imagined the dancing. I could see so clearly the hugging, laughing huddle of my far scattered galpals and myself taking up the whole dance floor. I could see leaning over to kiss my new wife while all of our guests jumped and fist pumped to the Backstreet Boys, and I was very excited. Then, a month or so ago when our wedding was no longer abstract, but looming, Julie came into the house after work, beaming. “I found the perfect first dance song!” she exclaimed, running to pull it up on YouTube. I realized I had forgotten that there was another kind of dancing often featured at weddings. As the four, romance-filled minutes crept by, I could practically see Julie’s own hazy, happy vision of our wedding. It involved slow dancing as public spectacle, and I assumed she’d want me to be her partner in this vision. I started to sweat.

Dancing and I do not have an illustrious history. For instance, our eighth grade promotion included a semi-formal dance. When the big night arrived, my good friend, Jeanette, and I hatched a plan. Convinced that we were brimming with sophistication and allure as almost-high schoolers, we decided to ask a couple boys to dance at the next slow song. As soon as we heard the whistling intro to “My Heart Will Go On,” we split up and approached our respective quarry. Summoning all of my bravery, I walked up to my chosen fella and asked him to dance with me. I watched his face confidently for a second before he sputtered “Oh God. Um. No.” and retreated to the boys’ restroom, where I believe he spent the remainder of the event. Mostly, I remember feeling surprised, as opposed to devastated. This was helped by the fact that Jeanette enjoyed no success either, although with less spectacular results.

In high school, Jeanette’s boyfriend invited her to his senior prom, and mentioned that his best friend was still looking for a date. Jeanette knew that her relationship was on its last legs, and rather than spend the evening alone with her boyfriend, she informed me that I was going to be the boyfriend’s best friend’s date. I agreed, as I love my friend dearly. The evening spent with a short, silent date did nothing to endear slow dancing to me.

Jeanette and I decided to be each other’s dates to our own senior prom.

What no one tells you when you’re a teenager is that, once you’re out of high school, opportunities for slow dancing are few and far between. Since we’ve attended weddings as a couple, Julie and I have danced together, but there’s a huge difference between being one of many couples rotating slowly on the floor and being THE couple. I casually suggested to Jules that, like other wedding “traditions” we didn’t feel were a good fit for us, we could maybe skip our first dance. My fiancée looked stricken. “We won’t get this back,” she said, echoing the words I’ve used toward her with regards to a multi-day honeymoon, among other things. “This is our only first dance.” Because, she has acquiesced to everything that I’ve really wanted for our wedding (and, ever), and I like to make her happy, I agreed to try to make my peace with dancing.

My friend Alex, our Head Usher for our wedding, turned thirty recently, and demanded a celebration at his favorite place in Denver, a downtown nightclub that offered 80s night on Saturdays. I begrudgingly agreed to go. When I arrived at his designated booth and accepted my drink, I looked around, and it seemed every bit as bad as I thought it would be. A tiny dance floor, surrounded by red neon, and the promised 80s hits, which a handful of people were dancing vigorously to. I glowered threateningly at Alex when he asked me if I wanted to go dance. “I don’t dance.” I said, and I returned my attention to people watching.

What I had missed on my first glance was that the group on the floor was actually… awesome. Three or four were still embracing the Goth movement.  There was a tall girl practicing the same series of moves, regardless of the song, or the beat, over and over all by herself. And there was a group of women in mom jeans, t-shirts, and Reeboks rocking out. No one looked self-conscious. No one seemed to be paying any attention to their fellow dancers. Everyone was just doing their thing. So, after I finished my drink, I headed out to join Alex and a few of our friends on the dance floor. Because of the small crowd, I felt more exposed than I normally might. I couldn’t rely on the bob-and-bounce I usually bust out when I’ve been convinced to go to a club with friends. I had to actually try to dance. And I did. And no one laughed, and no one hid in the bathroom, and really no one paid any attention to me at all, other than Alex, but that was only because he wanted me to sing along to Depeche Mode with him.

I’m able to think about our first dance with something less than abject terror now, although I still wish we could do it without everyone watching. Thanks to Alex’s birthday, I’ve got a plan, and it involves a couple glasses of champagne, and remembering that it’s only four minutes to make my wife happy. So I’ll try dancing like the only people watching are wearing black lipstick and mom jeans. Jeanette won’t be there to see it, but I know she’d approve.

Kelsey Hopson-Shiller

Kelsey is a California native, residing in Denver. She married Julie, a Jewish girl from New Jersey, in September 2014. She works too many jobs, has too many pets, and really likes reading books in the sunshine, especially if there’s bourbon involved.

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  • emilyg25

    I was really, really not looking forward to our first dance and only did it because my mom and best friend said that was the only way to open the dance floor. I purposely chose a song that was pretty upbeat and only two minutes long. The funny thing is, I -loved- it. It felt like the scene in Cinderella where Prince Charming and Cinderella dance alone in the ballroom. I was completely unaware of anyone else (the only time in my life that has ever happened) and just stared into my brand-new husband’s eyes all googly like. It was like a dream.

    Perhaps if you just look at your new wife, you’ll be overcome by the newly married glow and everyone else will fade away.

    • Meg Keene

      And we totally had that moment, but NOT during our first dance, but during another dance when no one was watching. I actually think this is one of those reverse logic moments. We’re two theatre kids. There was no WAY we were not going to be aware of our crowd and performing during our first dance. In fact, a little girl cut in, and we were like Razzle Dazzle, let’s give you your Cute Moment crowd (to be fair, she’s baby theatre kid. She was giving them the show too.)

  • Alexa

    I totally understand you. The thought of standing up in front of everyone slow dancing made me super uncomfortable (I’m normally not shy about being the center of attention either). So I asked the DJ to shorten the first dance song to about 1 minute. Even then, though, I still couldn’t wait for it to end.

    One of my wedding do-overs would be to do the father-daughter dance at a random time during the reception, so as to make it more private and less of a spectacle.

  • Em(ily)

    Seriously APW, how do you do this?! My fiance and I, who have never danced together pretty much ever, were just mulling the “first dance” idea over today. We weren’t planning on having any dancing at our wedding really, then suddenly he suggests we might want to do a first dance! He is suggesting it since people will expect/enjoy it? I said I don’t want to do it, the idea makes me anxious. He made the point that everything is making me anxious lately (19 days out, hi), and if that were the criteria for not doing stuff, we wouldn’t be having a wedding at all by now. So now I’m not sure where we are with it, other than it’s kind of late in the game to be adding dancing to the (hypothetical) program.

    • Katherine

      I love your husband’s point that if anxiety “were the criteria for not doing stuff, we wouldn’t be having a wedding at all by now.” The real question is whether this type of situation (having a bunch of people watch you dance) would make you anxious if you weren’t deep in the throes of wedding planning. Obviously you can’t tell for sure, but you probably have a good guess. And then, you have to decide whether your desire to make other people happy (in this way) outweighs your desire to not have a first dance. Doing things for other people is fine, if it’s something that you actually want to do for them. (For example, I wore my aunt’s pearl necklace at my wedding because it seemed to mean a lot to her, and it didn’t particularly bother me.) Not doing things for other people because you really don’t want to is also fine.

  • Fiona

    YAY for making your wife happy. Good luck on the dance, Kelsey!

  • Jess1216

    We somehow managed to fool people into thinking we had a choreographed first dance…we did not. It was a lot of spinning and me trying to motion to the DJ to cut it short. Apparently that looked like a real dance. I’m with Alexa on the do-over — cut that thing short by at least a minute!

    • Daisy6564

      We also fooled many people into thinking that we had choreographed the dance! We chose a sort of upbeat song (“Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder) so I was nervous because the only kind of dancing I can do are comical running-man style moves or swaying to slow songs. Partner dancing has always been a challenge for me and us. In fact one of our biggest fights to date was at a salsa dancing class and we haven’t been back since.

      We talked about choreographing something but never really got around to it so I was pretty nervous, The first dance turned out to be one of my favorite moments of the wedding and actually yielded some of the best pictures. The hubs kept saying absolutely ridiculous things and making weird noises the whole way through so we both laughed the whole time. In all of the pictures from our first dance we look totally joyful (which we were).

      We did a bunch of spins like little kids do when they pretend to partner dance. Somehow we fooled our guests into thinking that we were good dancers. But that was really just a bonus because we had such a good time with each other that we stopped caring what the “audience” thought.

      • Jess1216

        Haha I think the spins are key. Also, I really really truly believe that the people watching you people who are MOST rooting for you in the whole world. If you look like you’re having fun, they’re having fun.

      • http://batman-news.com Sonora Webster

        I was coming down to say, everyone always says their favorite pictures are of the first dance, even if it is not one of their favorite moments!

  • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

    The thought of dancing at my wedding made me want to vom. (Seriously, I cannot think of slow dancing while people watch without cringing.) Ultimately, we skipped the slow solo dance and had the DJ invite everyone to the floor for the first dance, which was to a fun fast song. Way less pressure that way.

    I didn’t care about dancing and would have been fine to not have a DJ at all. But the biggest surprise at our wedding was that Eric and I danced THE ENTIRE TIME. Neither of us has EVER danced like this; I don’t know what came over us (the playlist surely helped) but we just went bananas on the dance floor (and were the ONLY ones dancing for much of it). So…who knows? You might surprise yourself!

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      that was EXACTLY what happened to me.

    • Brooke

      Yes, any other suggestions from already-married people who didn’t do a first dance about the best way to open a dance floor without one? I like Rachel’s suggestions, but I’d love to hear more options, too. :)

      • Nell

        One of our friends actually “assigned” a few outgoing friends to the task of making sure the dance floor wasn’t empty at the start of the night.

      • Grace from England

        I would like to second this question. I would like to dance, just not alone in front of people. My partner feels the same. We both fear spur of the moment peer pressure if we don’t plan a segue

        • Amy March

          Ask your bridal party to join you on the dance floor and ask the DJ to invite everyone else to join in?

      • KC

        A friend did a “snowball” song at their reception – you start out with a few people on the dance floor (potentially bridal party?), and then someone is assigned to yell “snowball” at intervals, at which point everyone splits off to the edge of the dance floor and asks someone (whether they know them or not) to join in. The crowd on the dance floor more or less mathematically doubles each “snowball” (the “more or less” because some people don’t join in and others join in without necessarily being specifically asked), which means it goes pretty fast. :-)

        This also might be a good way to do, for instance, a 20 second long first dance, then a 20 second long parent dance, then pull the bridal party onto the floor, then you’re all snowballing people in together.

        (I would note that I would count it key to either 1. alert everyone beforehand that this was what was going to happen, so they could be Far Enough Away to be out of range if they don’t want to dance, and/or 2. make sure it’s an “ask to dance”, not a “physically grab someone to dance” snowball method, ’cause some people just really really don’t want to dance, and that is okay, too.)

        • Franny

          Our friends DJ did this by starting with the bride/groom, then they split and danced with the bestman/moh, then the entire bridal party was asked to join before they started the snowball and working towards bringing everyone up to dance — it was very effective and so much fun.

      • Jess

        this doesnt quite answer your questions, but we started our first dance, then our parents joined in 1 minute later, then the rest of the crowd joined in. the key though was that everyone was standing around the dance floor. felt WAY less like a performance than if everyone was sitting at tables scattered across the room.

  • sara g

    Ugh, my fiance and I don’t dance either. At all. We aren’t having a DJ and don’t really want to spend a ton of time setting up a great dance playlist when we won’t even enjoy using it. I feel like if we have a first dance, people will expect free for all dancing. =/

    I think most of our guests know we aren’t big party people. But I know a lot of them would really enjoy dancing if it was an option. Not sure what to do.

    • Katherine

      We went without dancing at our wedding, because neither my husband or I wanted it. We stressed out a bit at first, because you’re “supposed” to have dancing at a wedding, but it ended up being totally fine.

      The guests are at your wedding to support you, not to dance. Will someone be pissed that there wasn’t dancing? Perhaps. But I’d honestly see that more as their problem, and not yours. Because most people can enjoy an evening without dancing (or without whatever else anyone is thinking of leaving out), even if they could also enjoy an evening with it.

    • Amy March

      Definitely if you have a first dance people will expect dancing. But they won’t if you don’t have a dance floor! If you’re in a space that has one see if they can arrange tables across it

    • Lawyerette510

      If you want a playlist because you want people to be able to dance, there’s a ready-to-go one somewhere here on APW, and if you’re on Spotify, I’d be happy to share mine. It worked well for our crowd (ages 2 to 75) and was a real hodgepodge of genres with some ebbs and flows of group dancing and slower songs. That said, if you don’t want dancing, don’t have dancing. It’s not required and people won’t miss it. Also, you don’t have to have a first dance if you don’t want it.

  • E

    I’m pretty sure nobody was really watching once they realized our first dance was “No Children” by the Mountain Goats. By the time they got over the non-traditional lyrics, the short song was over. We didn’t practice dancing beforehand, and we probably should have done that. Same with me and my dad- but our song was a shortened version of Let’s Go Crazy which also had a reasonable surprise factor.

    Practice a little, preferably in your wedding clothes and shoes (I should have hemmed my dress slightly shorter) and you’ll be fine. People just want to watch the happy couple. Or if they don’t, they’ll grab another drink/chat quietly at their table/whatever.

    • notquitecece

      man, I love this so much as a first-dance song.

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    I’m pretty flipping ridiculous out on the dance floor, but I love dancing, and weddings are one of the few chances you get to bust a move, so once I get out there, it’s hard to stop me from dancing. I’ve gotten compliments on my dancing and how good I (and fiance) look out on the dance floor (even though I know I’m ridiculous), and I think it’s because of something fiance put his finger on over the weekend- because I embrace my awkwardness and the ridiculousness, it comes across as awesome. I’m not super self-conscious about it and make it work for me. That said, the idea of spinning around slowly while everyone watches is definitely nerve-wracking, but I do love getting to see other people’s first dances. We might need to do some practicing and work in some turns or something so that I’m focused on that and my fiance instead of focusing on the all-eyes-on-me feeling.

  • Laura C

    Yeah, we’re not doing a first dance, or parent dances. Basically cutting all the things that involve mandatory staring at us, other than the ceremony obviously. But I’m worried about the regular dancing, too. I actually love to dance if I’m in a situation where I don’t feel self-conscious about being a not-great dancer, but I’m pretty sure that my wedding will be a situation pretty much defined by self-consciousness. Especially since drinking is often the key to me feeling excited about dancing, and I’d really rather not get too drunk under the circumstances. So glad to hear from all these other people who feel similarly!

    • Brooke

      Ah, this whole comment is lifted straight from my brain. I feel EXACTLY the same way!

  • Eh

    My husband and I don’t dance much. We had a first dance mostly because people expect it and we weren’t totally adverse to it. We also had a combined father/daughter and mother/son dance. We didn’t have a wedding party so instead of a wedding party dance our parents and siblings danced with us (this was actually one of my favourite moments – my brother and SIL were dancing with their kids). Then the floor opened up to everyone and I never saw the dance floor again. My FIL felt bad that he never danced with me and he has repeatedly apologized for it. I was pretty busy that night so it really didn’t bother me.

  • SarahG

    Love this! I am having a first dance dilemma myself. My partner and I would both rather bust out to Lady G’s Pokerface (has personal memories) and then have the DJ invite the crowd to join us halfway through. BUT… I’m worried that this might be alienating to the older folks. Our wedding will be mostly people in their 30s, but there will be our parents and some older neighbors there. The other option is “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” (another personal memory song) by Marvin Gaye, with again an invite to folks to join in. Much more oldster friendly, but less us. Thoughts? Have others done something loud and contemporary and how did older family react?

    • Amy March

      When it’s love if it isn’t rough it isn’t fun.

      I just don’t think it’s an appropriate feature song at all. And I’m 30 and it’s on repeat on my workout play list.

    • Lauren from NH

      I would say this is a know your audience moment. My mom can jam out to the most inappropriate songs on the radio with hardly a care or much awareness for what they are saying as long as the beat is good. *Forget* You and Sexy *Chick* are her jams lol. Also anything LMFAO, she loves the hamsters from the KIA commercials. If your well-loved oldsters don’t have a sense of humor or freespirited attitude in that department though, it might not be the way to go. Also I would tend to vote more by the feeling of the song (if they don’t already know the words, they probably won’t pick up on the risque bits), and Pokerface passes that test for me.

  • Mezza

    I was not enthused about the idea of a first dance either, but since we both knew exactly what song we would pick, we decided to have one anyway. I wanted to hide in a corner through most of it, but actually our friends said afterward that it was the least-awkward first dance they’d ever seen. Picking a non-traditional song that meant a lot to both of us really helped – it felt more like showing off the song than like making a spectacle of ourselves.

    We didn’t do the father-daughter dances, though – my wife’s father has limited mobility, and both my dad and I would rather die than display emotions in front of a crowd. We barely managed to walk down the aisle without freaking out, and that probably only happened because I sprung it on him that morning (don’t do this, unless you’re me and know it won’t happen any other way).

  • Lauren from NH

    I have a question related to dancing. Is it going to be weird and creepy if T is dancing like a maniac and I am doing my classic cocktail-party-like socializing and wandering? Not 100% but I think he will want to dance more than I will since some of my people aren’t huge dancers. How does it go with one super eager dancer and one reluctant dancer?

    • Nell

      I’ve been to lots of weddings where one half of the couple was holding down the fort on the dance floor and the other was hanging out with friends or family. As long as both people seemed happy, nobody commented at all.

      • joanna b.n.

        Yup, that was us for sure. And that way, all the guests who wanted to dance had company, and all the guests who didn’t had company too!

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      It’ll be just fine. I was the reluctant one, but ended up totally dancing the whole night (out of nowhere, seriously). I actually feel kind of bad (though I try to make the choice not to) that I didn’t spend any of that time mingling and making sure I talked to all of the guests…oops…I was just in the moment dancing so much to every song that we had picked and loved. But to answer your question, no it won’t be weird- my spouse and I didn’t even dance *that much* together- everyone was moving all around floating in different groups anyway.

    • Meg Keene

      Nobody EVER questions a eager dancer. —DANCER

    • april

      I think this is pretty typical, actually. With us, I was the one on the dance floor singing along (loudly) to every song that played and my husband was the one wandering about chatting.

      • Lauren from NH

        Hmm you make it sound like a team effort of socializing/entertaining based on our personal strengths, which I like…

  • Katriel

    I feel you. Neither my husband nor I do slow dancing at all, much less in public. We opted for a lawn-games reception (croquet, horseshoes, bocce ball, badminton, etc), and had a “first badminton match.” For the record, I won. And the photos of me playing badminton in my grandmothers 1953 wedding gown and hoop skirt are hilarious.

    • anon

      oh.my. gosh. that is a genius idea. neither my fiance nor I are dancers, definitely NOT in public too haha. still toying with ideas about what to replace the first dance with. I’m thinking a first “performance” since we’re both pretty rocking good guitarists and I can sing decently.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    Oh geez this was SO ME! We were both so nervous for our first dance- we had nothing planned…just….swaying..ha. And honestly, I was still self conscious and felt awkward when it happened- but at that point, we just didn’t care. No one cared – it’s not the dance that matters, it’s just the sentimental value of seeing you guys doing *something* together to a song with everyone standing in a (nerve-wracking !) circle-ish around you. We kind of laugh at it now…but seriously, it was one of the things I was really worried about. and I was SO WORRIED about dancing at the whole reception with a DJ and all that. I love going to see bands play…but that’s a different type of body movement and all….me and a dj and a dance floor? I was terrified. But honestly, it was possibly my favorite part of the reception! I was sad when we were told we only had fifteen minutes left- I wanted to dance all night. And it didn’t matter what I was doing- just having everyone so freaking happy and filled with love doing whatever to all the fun songs that came on…it was awesome. So good luck, and relax, and I promise it will be just fine! Ps – my wife is julie too :) (not the same one…)

  • Nell

    On the subject of father-daughter dances. . .

    That seems SUPER out of character for me and my dad. My folks are still together, as are my fiancee’s. Has anyone done a “hey, parents, come up and dance with each other” dance? Are there other ways to acknowledge our parents on the dance floor without me having to dance with my dad?

    • June

      At my sister’s wedding, the DJ played my parents’, and my brother-in-law’s parents’, and my grandparents’ songs throughout the night, and they were all super excited and got up and danced and everyone else enjoyed it. Those dances didn’t replace the father-daughter dance, but that might be something to think about doing instead?

    • Jess1216

      Instead of throwing the bouquet, we had the dj ask all couples get on the dance floor to a special song (“A Kiss to Build a Dream On). The dj announced that everyone who had been married less than a day had to leave the dance floor….then less than 5 years…then less than 10 years….etc. It ended up with my parents, godparents, old friends of the family and my husband’s grandparents (they won at 50+ years). It was a *great* way to celebrate these strong marriages surrounding us and to give them all a sweet moment. Also, yay, no bouquet toss.

    • Guest

      My dad doesn’t dance, so we’ll simply be skipping this one.

    • Jess

      we started dancing for our first dance, then about a minute in had the dj announce our parents in, so there were 3 couples on the floor, then a minute after that, the dj invited everyone to join. we had prompted a few friends to know that was coming so they got up right away and joined. none of it was awkward at all. :)

  • Bsquillo

    My husband and I did a short first dance, even though neither of us dance very often at all. But also, since we’re musicians, we got up and played with the band for a “first jam.” That was much more comfortable for us.

    And ironically, a lot of our guests (who weren’t a huge dancing crowd) started dancing when we got up to play. Your guests will make their own fun at your wedding, because they love you and they’re happy to be there!

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

    We were nervous about our first dance, but I loved it once we were out there. The only thing I wish I had done was waited until after the dance to switch to flats. Afterward, I wanted to hit the dance floor, but it was mostly me and a few other folks, so I ended up letting loose in the photo booth, which resulted in some hilarious pictures of me having a blast but looking mad (I have um.. resting crabby face).

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

    Early on in the planning we vetoed a first dance. I find them boring. But we did want to have a dance just for us. So buried in our playlist is “our” song and we plan on dancing to that at a certain point in the reception. We are doing the same thing with the parent dances. I love cutting a rug with my dad but not with others staring at us for 3 minutes.

  • april

    The trick for us was finding the right song. We wound up using a live recording of Nina Simone’s “If You Knew.” The song is so short (barely 2 minutes) and so beautiful, no one really noticed or cared how uncoreographed our dance was. Playing a song that was meaningufl to us made the moment feel meaningful too – even if we were just doing the awkward ‘hold each other and sway’ dance.

    • Violet

      Yes, this was us. Picked a song we loved, that meant something to us, and just did it. Swaying, goofy turns, laughing because my mom missed seeing the first goofy turn so we did another, etc. It was semi awkward, but we loved the song so it was worth it. Also, because during the vows there’s a little more pressure to “get it right” when everyone’s staring at you, the first dance felt kinda laid back compared to that.

  • http://colormegreenanew.blogspot.com/ Julia (Color Me Green)

    this is how i felt about having to do a father-daughter dance, but my dad wanted to do it, so i conceded. we combined it into the same dance as the mother-son dance to take away some of the attention. it was definitely awkward, but it was only three minutes of my life.

  • http://peckishadventurer.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Since I was little, I’ve wanted to recreate this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqsrVQfNYPc or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWW6QeeVzDc for my first dance. Be glad you aren’t marrying me!

    • notquitecece

      This just triggered an insane moment of “I wonder if I can talk FH into tap classes before the wedding?!” so good work.

      • http://peckishadventurer.blogspot.com/ Amanda

        My work here is done.

    • theemilyann

      for me, it was always this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax66QU8pvtA

      • http://peckishadventurer.blogspot.com/ Amanda

        I love this one too! If you can figure out a way to do that zip line, let me know!

  • RMC

    We didn’t have a first dance and it’s actually really uncommon at traditional Jewish weddings, since the first dance is usually the hora where everyone swarms the dance floor to surround the couple and dance like maniacs in large concentric circles. Just for those couples who want to avoid being the center of attention, you can point to that tradition of everyone getting on the dance floor immediately if need be!

  • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

    I’m really happy that you guys found a way to compromise on this one!

    That said, I want to take the chance to suggest you also look into what turned out to be one of my favorite wedding moments – a last dance. We had the DJ announce our “final song of the day” as Come On Eileen, ending with everyone dancing and singing like crazy. Then everyone was lead outside to prep for the exit as we danced alone to the real final song – a slow song that was very meaningful to us. Holding each other, swaying to the music and softly singing completely alone as we reflected on everything that had just happened (OUR WEDDING DAY) was one of my absolute favorite memories and, because we decided to include our photographer in it, resulted in some of my very favorite photos of the day. I barely remember our first dance (because yes, OMG people are staring at me) but that last dance was kind of everything.

  • cecc

    we put our arms around each other, swayed, looked at each other and laughed at how ridiculous it felt to have everyone we knew staring at us with tears in their eyes, snapping photos, while we danced. it was weird and it was great because everything was great because we had just gotten MARRIED!

  • Glen

    Our dance instructor pointed out that 1) there’s no rule that you have to dance to the whole song and 2) people really don’t want to watch you dance by yourselves for 4 minutes anyway. So we did a choreographed dance to the first minute and a half of Somebody by Depeche Mode. The choreography helped us ignore our nervousness by forcing us to focus on the moves. Added bonus: the pictures look great. ;-)

  • DavidJennifer

    Dancing on the wedding day is a kind of compulsory thing to do by the bride and the groom. But, I personally feel that it should be left on them if they want to follow it or not. I like dancing with my partner, but that is somewhat very personal to me and I would enjoy it only when just we both are there. I would certainly avoid dancing in crowd.

  • WinterBride2013

    Like many posters, we kept ours short – I LOVE to dance, while my husband, though talented, isn’t much for the spotlight – and had our band arrange Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, slow and jazzy. It was lovely. Our trick was we danced for about 90 seconds and then brought my parents out, and the two witnesses. Then everyone got in on it and it was all over!

  • http://www.nerds-in-love.net/ Stephanie

    Hi, terribly late but I wanted to chime in with what we did. I’m not much of a center of attention person, so after one verse of our first dance we had the DJ invite our bridal party to dance with us. I told my bridesmaids beforehand to dance with their own dates not their aisle-partners. It started as a distraction tactic but ended up my favorite part- sharing that moment with not just my new husband but our nearest and dearest.

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