You’ve got the dress, the venue, and now it’s time to plan the dance. But how do you plan the first dance without feeling like you’re just making it up as you go? We’ve got five tips for making your first dance as memorable as possible.

Make it personal

Create a dance for your guests to remember. You’ve only got a few minutes to get these things right, so you can’t spend the time it takes to write a song. But you can remember your guests by what you say and do, so start with a personal moment. Take the song and let your guests know what to do. Remember, most first dances are either a father-daughter dance or a mother-son dance. So start with these!

Choose a meaningful song

If you’re not in a hurry to make a decision, you might want to get a little help. Maybe that means giving it some thought before you begin researching music. Music expert Steve Mason of Lovin’ Living Music says that choosing a meaningful song for your first dance doesn’t have to mean you have to decide which song is your favourite. “Different dances and song choices mean different things to different people,” he says. “So while the song may not be right for you, there will probably be one that will be. And once you find it, it’s easy to choose one that fits the time and feel for your wedding.” Play it at a slower tempo It may feel easier to just pick one of the current top-40 dance songs out there, but Mason says it’s important to play the song in a slower, more meaningful tempo.

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Prepare the night before

Before you go to sleep, go ahead and prepare for the big dance the next day. Have a dance session and practice some moves. Make sure that the time is right, too. One thing to note is that timing is really important when planning the first dance. Try to time the dance with as many as possible of the songs you’re going to dance to. No one likes to be reminded that they’re the ones who missed the first dance of their dream wedding. Planning the rehearsal Another thing you need to take into account when planning the rehearsal is the timing. As we’ve mentioned earlier, no one wants to have their first dance ruined or them getting lost during the rehearsal. Make sure you’re in and out of the rehearsal with as little delay as possible.

Put on your favourite shoes

No one is going to care if your shoes are ugly (and they will likely match your gown, so what does that matter?). The important thing is they are comfortable, and as long as they are clean and matched, you’re in the clear. Don’t be cheap with the dresses Wedding dresses are expensive. You could wear a $500 dress and be happy about it, but it’s likely the bridesmaids will be in cheaper ones. While it would be a sacrifice to part with that extra cash, if it is ‘cost-effective’ then you should be happy to accept it. But if it’s a necessity, make sure it’s something you love. And make sure everyone you invite is on the same page. Put together an official dance playlist This tip is particularly useful if the first dance is going to be a private affair.

Make it a good story

There’s a reason couples document the planning stages of their wedding so well. That’s because these projects are opportunities to come up with a story and tell the story over and over again. Having an epic first dance plan is your chance to tell a great story. Your guests will love you for it. In our workshops, I tell the story of when my husband and I decided to have our first dance at our wedding. We were in a second floor ballroom that looked down over a forest preserve. I guess it was a lookout spot. It was a nice little alcove but you could look down on a beautiful big pond. I had an absolutely terrible backache and thought that maybe I would just step down onto the ground and take a nap.


Wedding planning is overwhelming. But once you start you’ll quickly be able to figure out what you need to get started and you’ll be well on your way to having the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. But if you’re just getting started, here are 5 things you can do right now to make your wedding day easier and your wedding day happier.