Wedding Reception Forum

Timing for first dance

Are you going to have your first dance as soon as you walk in to the reception, or wait until after dinner and toasts so that the dance floor will be officially open without interruptions?

Usually I see the first dance done right after the entrance, but I like the idea of keeping the party going and just having the dance floor open after dinner until the end.


Just curious what others are doing.  Thanks!

Re: Timing for first dance

  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We did our first dance right after we were announced into the reception. 

  • ShallowSeasShallowSeas Indianapolis, IN member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    We also did our first dance right after we were announced into the reception.
    Anniversary
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  • Most weddings I've been to the first dance is after dinner. These have been a mix of times when the ceremony venue is the same as reception and times when it wasn't. But at one of the places where there was a venue change, the couple arrives without really being announced and then did an official announcement with the wedding party as we were all seated for dinner. Then first dance right after. 

    I personally want a big dance party and while I cannot force that on my guests, I'm hoping by having the first dance after dinner will encourage them to hit the dance floor. 

    Consider what you want as far as dancing, as well as the timing. If you need to fill reception time before dinner, the dances can help. But it sounds like you want lots of dancing so after dinner could be a good option.
  • wrigleyvillewrigleyville Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    We did it after dinner. In my circles, the B&G's first dance opens up the dance floor. People would be confused if the first dance occurred before dinner.

    doeydo
  • We did it after dinner. In my circles, the B&G's first dance opens up the dance floor. People would be confused if the first dance occurred before dinner.
    Ditto this. We cut our cake as soon as we were introduced at the reception, then sat down for dinner, did toasts during the salad course, and our first dance as everyone else was finishing up eating dinner. Once the dance floor was opened after the mother/son dance, it was full all night.

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  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In my circle, the first dance is right after the reception entrances. Everyone usually stands when the B&G come in, and then they go right into the first dance, usually followed by the toasts and then dinner time.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers


  • I usually see it done first so that everyone can dance between courses if they want.
  • I usually see it done first so that everyone can dance between courses if they want.
    This is what we do in our circle.
  • We did our first dance right after toasts, which were done near the end of dinner. 
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  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Another after dinner dancing bride here
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • I like it before dinner so that people feel comfortable dancing if they choose during dinner or between courses. 
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I like it before dinner so that people feel comfortable dancing if they choose during dinner or between courses. 
    Yup, this is the only way I've seen it done.  We had people dancing between courses.  Why wait to get the party started?
  • We had a jazz trio playing during the cocktail hour/dinner, which wasn't exactly conducive to dancing (although a few older couples did).  It was more of an ambiance thing and a nod toward DH's family's tastes (older music, but no dancing allowed).  After dinner, we did our first dance to officially open the dance floor and transition from the live music to a DJ.  It worked out really well, because DH's family got to enjoy the earlier part of the evening without being uncomfortable with the dancing, and my crowd got to jump into the fray as soon as the music got more modern.

  • I hate the dancing between courses. Is the service really that terrible? Are you really playing dance music during dinner? Why can't people have a nice dinner while talking to each other? Do you really want to eat-dance-eat-dance-eat-dance? I don't. Obviously just my opinion.

    We had a welcome toast instead of being introduced into the reception. People know who we are! And you're essentially "introduced" at the end of the ceremony anyway. 

    At the end of dinner we cut the cake, then had the first dance, then had a "family dance" (instead of father/daughter and mother/son dances), and then the dance floor was open. And we were done with all formalities.

    We played more low-key music during dinner, and then upped the energy for the dancing. 
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    MandyMost said:
    I hate the dancing between courses. Is the service really that terrible? Are you really playing dance music during dinner? Why can't people have a nice dinner while talking to each other? Do you really want to eat-dance-eat-dance-eat-dance? I don't. Obviously just my opinion.

    We had a welcome toast instead of being introduced into the reception. People know who we are! And you're essentially "introduced" at the end of the ceremony anyway. 

    At the end of dinner we cut the cake, then had the first dance, then had a "family dance" (instead of father/daughter and mother/son dances), and then the dance floor was open. And we were done with all formalities.

    We played more low-key music during dinner, and then upped the energy for the dancing. 
    I agree with the bolded.  When I want to eat I want to eat.  When I want to dance I want to dance.  I want to eat a nice meal and chat with my table mates and then get up and party the night away.  I hate when things are so broken up because, for me, it really kills the party mood.

    wrigleyville
  • We danced right after our entrance. I think DH's grandparents danced between courses when we had the DJ play their wedding song from 1946.
  • We also did it after dinner.

    I personally am not a fan of doing it right after the entrances. I hate holding up dinner to wait for the first dance/parents dance/godawful wedding party dance. 

    I've been to a few weddings where the cocktail hour food was paltry and I was starving. Just hurry up and give me my salad dangit. 
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  • We did our first dance after being introduced but also after a big group dance that involved everyone and got everyone excited to party the rest of the night with us. I think you need to consider what guests will be eating at cocktail hour, if anything and what time your dinner will be served. Our reception started early so we had time to do all of the formal dances (intro, group dance, first, father/daughter, mother/son) before serving our guests dinner and they were fine because again, it was not dinnertime yet and they had several h'ordeuvres right before. 
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    There's definitely no right or wrong way to do this, and can even depend a bit on your venue and general timeline for dinner as others have said.
    I've seen it both ways. 
    We were at our cocktail hour, then had the DJ have everyone sit for dinner, announced the bridal party, and we cut the cake-- which was then served for dessert.  As people were eating dessert we did our first dance, then FD dance, MS dance, and the dance floor was open. 
    ________________________________


  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I haven't seen too many "introductions" of the couple at receptions, but usually when I've seen them, they take place at the end of cocktail hour, just before the meal is served. The dancing starts later, usually between the main course and dessert. I prefer that-it gives everyone, including the couple, a chance to eat and visit with each other.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    We did our first dance after the introduction.    We had guests dancing between food courses, so I think it was a good time to do that.

    My SIL did the same thing and the same thing happened.  The dance floor was packed between food courses.  

    But there is no wrong way.  I think doing more than the first couple is overkill.   My circle tends to hold off the parent dances for dessert time.      I know anyone who does BP dances anymore.  Thank god, they were awful.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • We are doing ours right after we walk in. Due to our time constraints with our photographer and the large amount of people we are serving with a buffet, we wanted to get it done so we weren't feeling rushed to get dinner done.
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