Customs and Traditions

Anyone else not doing a traditional "first dance?"

I can't think of anything worse (for me) than having a room full of people watching me awkwardly dance, so we have decided not to do a traditional first dance. We will have some slow dances at our wedding, but they will be open to everyone. At first, I thought no one would really notice if we did it this way, but recently my mom asked me if we were doing a routine for our first dance (ugh, no), so now I am beginning to worry. My DJ suggested doing an anniversary dance where we start the dancing and then it is opened up to other couples. Obviously, this does not solve the problem. Everyone will still be watching me awkwardly dance with my husband, and there is a lot of divorce/recent breakups in my social circle and I would rather not bring attention to that. Did anyone scrap the first dance, and if so, did you replace it with something else? If so, how did it go?

Re: Anyone else not doing a traditional "first dance?"

  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    My brother and his wife started with a slow dance, but then 30 seconds in, the DJ switched out to something really fast and popular. The couple then gestured to everyone to join them. It was perfect as my brother didn't want to be in the spotlight.
  • The only issue with not doing any type of first dance is that people may not feel comfortable dancing since it is traditional for the couple to "open" the dance floor.  We had a first dance, but only danced alone for the first quarter of the song and then the band invited everyone else to join us.
    lc07
  • I can't think of anything worse (for me) than having a room full of people watching me awkwardly dance, so we have decided not to do a traditional first dance. We will have some slow dances at our wedding, but they will be open to everyone. At first, I thought no one would really notice if we did it this way, but recently my mom asked me if we were doing a routine for our first dance (ugh, no), so now I am beginning to worry. My DJ suggested doing an anniversary dance where we start the dancing and then it is opened up to other couples. Obviously, this does not solve the problem. Everyone will still be watching me awkwardly dance with my husband, and there is a lot of divorce/recent breakups in my social circle and I would rather not bring attention to that. Did anyone scrap the first dance, and if so, did you replace it with something else? If so, how did it go?
    Thank you for not doing The Anniversary dance. This is sooo uncomfortable for divorced/widowed people. I get to sit there on my lonely little chubby ass watching my friends and relatives beaming away- yaaaay us! We're included because we're special! You're not!
    Ack. So awkward. 
    I like BluebirdMB's approach. Invite everyone to join you as soon as you feel you've had enough.
    anniewalkerxKnottie24141372lc07
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    member



    I can't think of anything worse (for me) than having a room full of people watching me awkwardly dance, so we have decided not to do a traditional first dance. We will have some slow dances at our wedding, but they will be open to everyone. At first, I thought no one would really notice if we did it this way, but recently my mom asked me if we were doing a routine for our first dance (ugh, no), so now I am beginning to worry. My DJ suggested doing an anniversary dance where we start the dancing and then it is opened up to other couples. Obviously, this does not solve the problem. Everyone will still be watching me awkwardly dance with my husband, and there is a lot of divorce/recent breakups in my social circle and I would rather not bring attention to that. Did anyone scrap the first dance, and if so, did you replace it with something else? If so, how did it go?

    Thank you for not doing The Anniversary dance. This is sooo uncomfortable for divorced/widowed people. I get to sit there on my lonely little chubby ass watching my friends and relatives beaming away- yaaaay us! We're included because we're special! You're not!
    Ack. So awkward. 
    I like BluebirdMB's approach. Invite everyone to join you as soon as you feel you've had enough.


    The Anniversary Dance is uncomfortable for single people for the same reason
    Knottie24141372
  • Yes, I thought it would be awkward for everyone. We do have some guests who have been windowed somewhat recently, so I'd rather not rub it in their faces.
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina
    Moderator 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    mod
    I think skipping it is fine. H and I did a first dance and after about 1 minute it got awkward and then 1 minute later we walked off and told the DJ that was enough.

  • It's your wedding, if you don't want to do it, skip it. If you feel really obligated for some reason just dance for a minute and then have the DJ change the song and open up the floor to everyone else. Even the most shy people can handle being the focus of attention for 30 or 60 seconds. And I haven't seen the anniversary dance at any wedding I've been to. I think that's a really outdated tradition.
  • I can't think of anything worse (for me) than having a room full of people watching me awkwardly dance, so we have decided not to do a traditional first dance. We will have some slow dances at our wedding, but they will be open to everyone. At first, I thought no one would really notice if we did it this way, but recently my mom asked me if we were doing a routine for our first dance (ugh, no), so now I am beginning to worry. My DJ suggested doing an anniversary dance where we start the dancing and then it is opened up to other couples. Obviously, this does not solve the problem. Everyone will still be watching me awkwardly dance with my husband, and there is a lot of divorce/recent breakups in my social circle and I would rather not bring attention to that. Did anyone scrap the first dance, and if so, did you replace it with something else? If so, how did it go?
    Thank you for not doing The Anniversary dance. This is sooo uncomfortable for divorced/widowed people. I get to sit there on my lonely little chubby ass watching my friends and relatives beaming away- yaaaay us! We're included because we're special! You're not!
    Ack. So awkward. 
    I like BluebirdMB's approach. Invite everyone to join you as soon as you feel you've had enough.
    I SPECIFICALLY told our dueling piano guy under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was he to announce an anniversary dance, since my parents are divorced/remarried and MIL is widowed/remarried. I said "please just say Happy Anniversary to Jim and Diane, who were married here 25 years ago this weekend, and congratulations to Jerry and Maureen who have been married for 63 years." Nope, motherfucker did the anniversary dance. Blargh. 

    You can either just dance for a few seconds, or have the DJ announce after dinner that the dance floor is open, and then play a crowd-pleasing song to get people out there.

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  • Random amusing anniversary dance story... A friend of mine's husband was married for ten years prior to getting married to my friend for the last 15 years.  At a wedding they attended they danced for the anniversary dance and after 15 years was announced my friend went to sit down.  Her husband, however, stayed out on the dance floor busting a move by himself until they got to 25 years...because he'd been married for a total of 25 years. Weirdo.


  • mlg78 said:

    Random amusing anniversary dance story... A friend of mine's husband was married for ten years prior to getting married to my friend for the last 15 years.  At a wedding they attended they danced for the anniversary dance and after 15 years was announced my friend went to sit down.  Her husband, however, stayed out on the dance floor busting a move by himself until they got to 25 years...because he'd been married for a total of 25 years. Weirdo.

    WUT. That's fucking STRANGE.

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  • That is so so weird. I have some relatives who, I guess if you add it up, have been married 25+ years to different people.

    We have decided to just do an upbeat song after dinner that gets people dancing and then some slow songs throughout the night.
  • I'm dreading the first dance. .. I hate being in the spotlight, by my FI has no issue with it. I'm considering having our parents come out for the first dance just so I won't feel so awkward having everyone stare.
  • I would pick a very short song and do what was once described to me as "the white man's shuffle".  Just hold each other and sway to the music.  Everyone will think it is very sweet.
    Dancing is not required at wedding receptions.  If you really hate the idea. don't have dancing at all.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    edited February 2015
    We didn't have any dancing at our wedding.

    I'm not really one for the Spotlight either, and would have probably just jumped to father-daughter/mother-son dance. Or I may have had my WP all share in the first dance with us.
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    We did a first dance and I kinda hated it. I don't like all that attention but figured it would be a really nice moment alone with my husband. It wasn't. I didn't like all the people staring at me while Phil Collins crooned. I almost stopped in the middle of it but tried to be a good sport.

    If you feel awkward watching other people do the first dance, as I do, skip it. If anyone asks why, tell them you didn't want to.



    Anniversary
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  • We're doing contra dancing at the reception so rather than have a first dance we'll be leading the line that creates the opening circle dance. Much better that having everyone stare at me while FI twirls and attempts to dip me. :) 
  • Silverelf2015Silverelf2015
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    member
    edited March 2015
    We're not having a first dance, simply because we don't have "a song". And we don't want to pick something cheesy that everyone else has picked for the last few decades just for the sake of having a song to dance to. He and I don't share the same tastes in music, with very few exceptions, so we weren't destined to have "a song", and that's OK. 

    We will have music and a space for dancing for people who want to dance, but dancing will not be the only focal point. We're also going to have games, etc, so that dancing is only one option. Bear in mind though that ours will be a less-formal style reception. Still, I think it is fine not to have a first dance, or any of those other weird old dancing traditions (face it, nobody likes those hokey old line dances anymore! :p). Most guests roll their eyes and just sit there during that stuff yawning, anyway, so we're omitting most of it. 

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  • I was asking about this in the Ettiquette forum this morning.  I absolutely hate dancing and do not want to do it, and the lovely ladies over there pointed out that it's my wedding and I don't have to do anything I don't want to do.

    Unfortunately, I brought it up to my FH (we usually chat online while at work) and he wants to dance.  So now we get to have THAT argument.
  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member

    I was asking about this in the Ettiquette forum this morning.  I absolutely hate dancing and do not want to do it, and the lovely ladies over there pointed out that it's my wedding and I don't have to do anything I don't want to do.

    Unfortunately, I brought it up to my FH (we usually chat online while at work) and he wants to dance.  So now we get to have THAT argument.



    ... that doesn't have to do with hosting your guests properly. But as a first dance or not affects them 0%, yes to the bolded.

    Anniversary

    southernbelle0915ashley8918InLoveInQueenslc07
  • Oh man, I recently attended a wedding where they did the traditional dance plus the father daughter and mom and son. It was the most awkward 10 minutes I have ever witnessed! We are probably going to skip the whole thing! We will do the wedding party introductions as they walk in with music, and then our introduction. Then go around and greet our guests and go straight into the speeches. Whatever you plan, just stick to it, and people will not even notice! They are too busy either enjoying all the decorations and small details, music, or the appetizers going around. So don't sweat it!
  • No first dance for us... no, no, no. I dislike the idea and FI dislikes it even more. We're just going to start the music playing with something very popular and very danceable and I'm going to take over the microphone and tell everyone they're welcome out on the dance floor. I can actually list a whole bunch of other traditions we're scrapping: bridesmaids/groomsmen, cake cutting, formal toasts, bouquet-throwing, garter-tossing, father/daughter and mother/son dances, something old/new/borrowed/blue. I like having fewer things to worry about. All I want is to exchange vows and throw a great party. Some of the best weddings I've been to were ones where the couple just did what felt natural to them and there weren't awkward moments.
  • DaniP15 said:

    Oh man, I recently attended a wedding where they did the traditional dance plus the father daughter and mom and son. It was the most awkward 10 minutes I have ever witnessed! We are probably going to skip the whole thing! We will do the wedding party introductions as they walk in with music, and then our introduction. Then go around and greet our guests and go straight into the speeches. Whatever you plan, just stick to it, and people will not even notice! They are too busy either enjoying all the decorations and small details, music, or the appetizers going around. So don't sweat it!

    I'm curious, why was it "the most awkward 10 minutes...ever"? They're just dances.
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  • DaniP15 said:

    Oh man, I recently attended a wedding where they did the traditional dance plus the father daughter and mom and son. It was the most awkward 10 minutes I have ever witnessed! We are probably going to skip the whole thing! We will do the wedding party introductions as they walk in with music, and then our introduction. Then go around and greet our guests and go straight into the speeches. Whatever you plan, just stick to it, and people will not even notice! They are too busy either enjoying all the decorations and small details, music, or the appetizers going around. So don't sweat it!

    I'm curious, why was it "the most awkward 10 minutes...ever"? They're just dances.
    I wouldn't say watching spotlight dances is the most awkward 10 minutes ever... but I think it's awkward.  Everyone looks awkward and the whole room seems tense during long spotlight dances.  But mostly, it's boring.  
  • @BlueBirdMB - boring, sure. But the only time it's ever been awkward in my experience is when it's choreographed.
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  • Do a twist on the anniversay dance - invite all the married couples to share your first dance with you for the whole song :) 
  • @emmaaa - zombieee
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