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What are the best wedding dance ideas?

Find information on what are the best wedding dance ideas.

Wedding dances can be a creative expression of the bride and groom.  [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Wedding dances can be a creative expression of the bride and groom.

Planning a wedding is an enormous, frustrating, exhilarating process. From choosing the bridesmaid dresses to deciding on table centerpieces at the reception, every little detail can seem a matter of life or death. But one important aspect of a wedding many fail to consider is dancing at the reception. Nothing is more awkward than an empty dance floor on a day of celebration. The best wedding dance ideas get everybody involved while keeping the bride and groom the focus of attention.

There are many great wedding dance ideas that can make a wedding unique. The best wedding dance ideas will depend on the bride and groom's personalities and the kind of wedding they envision, but below are some popular classics to get started.

The First Dance Sequence

Most people know about the first dance ritual, in which the bridge and groom kick off the evening's dancing with a slow dance to a romantic tune. But you can vary this classic by turning the first dance into a sequence. The first dance sequence begins as a traditional first dance with the bride and groom taking the dance floor alone. But after a brief time, the bride's father cuts in on the groom and takes the dance with his daughter, while the groom approaches the bride's mother for a dance.

From there, different people continue to cut in. First the groom's father cuts in to take the dance with his new daughter-in-law, while the bride's father cuts in on the groom to take the dance with his wife. The groom then asks his mother for a dance, and after a few minutes the maid of honor cuts in to dance with the groom, while the best man cuts in to dance with the bride. The order of the sequence can be different; the point is for everybody to dance with each other.

At this point, the parents of the groom and bride switch partners, and the wedding party is invited to the floor. Moments later, all the guests are invited up, and the first dance of the night will be in high gear.

The Dollar Dance

The Dollar Dance is a wedding reception staple with a long history. Some people set it up as part of the first dance, but it can also be a fun alternative to having a receiving line, or it can be inserted in a wedding program as a dance on its own.

The concept is simple. When the chosen song comes on, the bride and her maid of honor and the groom and his best man proceed to the dance floor. Guests line up to dance with either the bride or groom. A dance lasts half a minute of so, and afterwards, the maid of honor and best man collect money from the guests in line and put them into the bride's satin bag or pin the bills to the bride's dress.

For some, this ritual might seem a little gauche. If that's the case, couples can always come up with their own variation to suit their particular tastes. For example, take the dollar out of the dance by having the bride and groom take the floor and then telling the guests that, if they so wish, they can cut in for 15-second dances with either the bride or groom. No financial transactions occur in this case, but it could be a good bit of teasing fun to have friends and family cut in and dance with the newlyweds.

The Snowball Dance

One of the best antidotes to a quiet dance floor is creating a "snowball" effect. Choose a song (upbeat is best) and arrange for the wedding party to get up and dance when it begins. As the song progresses, each member of the wedding party will approach the still-seated guests and bring them back to the dance floor until everybody is on the floor dancing.

Sometimes, it's the DJ or MC who initiates the "snowball" by calling couples from each table to join the wedding party on the dance floor until everybody is dancing. The DJ can even call up people close to the bride and groom and have them dance together. This might generate a special moment for everyone involved and add a little sentiment to the fun. Either way, as with all wedding rituals, the important aspect is that it is meaningful and fun.

The Elimination Dance

Another great way to get everyone interested and involved is to play elimination on the dance floor. For example, the DJ can call out all the married couples in the room to dance. This alone may get a fair number of people involved, including the bride and groom. Next, the DJ "eliminates" couples from the floor.

First, the DJ will ask those married for fewer than 12 hours to sit down -- eliminating the bride and groom, of course -- then he or she will ask those married for less than a year to sit down, then those married for less than five years, and so on until everyone except one couple is seated. This couple may get one whole song to themselves, or receive a special flower bouquet from the bride and groom. Either way, it'll be a chance to acknowledge and celebrate this special marriage.

These are just a few wedding dance ideas. The best part about these dances is that couples can customize them to suit their wedding and personalities.

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