First Dance: With or Without The Bridal Party?

This past Saturday I was DJ and MC for a wonderful young couple who planned an amazing outdoor wedding on really the first beautiful weather day of the season. All week we were dealing with rain and more rain and Saturday I woke up to blue skies and sunshine! It was such a relief.


They chose as The First Dance a version of the famous song Borderline by Madonna performed by the group The Flaming Lips.  Truthfully, I had not heard this version before they asked me if I was willing to play it.


“Of course, I am willing. It is your wedding.”


When I got home that night after we met to plan their wedding, I downloaded the song and was pleasantly surprised. It was slow, melodic and then faster and then slower and built tension throughout. They had said they were going to choreograph their First Dance and have some fun with it. Based on the fact that they are both extremely creative and alternative people, I knew it would be interesting at least, if not outrageous. It turns out they were both teaching English in South Korea the same year as me too!


What I did not see coming was the improvisational piece they added DURING their First Dance!

About two-thirds through the more than five-minute song they waved in the whole Bridal Party. Some came with excitement and others a little more apprehensively. In a matter of about 30 seconds they were all on the dance floor surrounding the couple with their arms waving over them like they were Greek Gods or Royalty. It was beautiful and touching for all of us. They followed that with a series of group dances for the next two minutes that were sometimes cohesive and other times playful but always had group energy. It was a testament to the love and friendship The Wedding Party members share how easily they were able to follow each other and not once lose sight of making the Bride and Groom center-stage. The rest of the guests and family all stood and cheered with beaming smiles just like mine on their faces throughout, even her Grandparents with their walkers. They could not have done it so well if they had planned it. We spoke later and they had not even thought of the ideas till they were in the middle of the song and The Bride mentioned to The Groom it would be fun to invite them all to join us.

Besides the fact that it was beautiful and fun, I appreciated the spontaneity and willingness to not get caught in the web of having to do the wedding the exact way it was pre-planned. It was alive and inspired and worked out great!


I have reflected on this and other weddings I have participated and find both a First Dance that is just The Bride and Groom and those that include The Wedding Party to be beautiful in different ways. I invite you as you are planning your reception to create your own ‘masterpiece’ regardless of your dancing skills or experience. It the love, inspiration and moment that make the dance special. Let it be yours!


About the Author
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  1. Terri

    Not only is inviting the wedding party to dance with the newlyweds a fun idea, it’s a great way to loosen up and take the pressure off the bride and groom. It could be very scary for a bride and groom to have all eyes on them doing the first dance; especially when its choreographed.

  2. Tom

    I help run a wedding venue in Birmingham AL, and we see lots of couples invite the wedding party onto the floor during the last part of the First Dance. But we make it special and keep the bride and groom in the spotlight by literally keeping them in the spot light!

    We have several spot lights that we allow the bride and groom to use for special parts of the wedding. They usually use one on the cake and the other on them as they dance. Occasionally they point out an elderly relative for special attention and others point out people having had a very long marriage.

    These lights are inexpensive, easy to operate and add a great touch to any wedding celebration!

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