Back when Mr. Rucksack and I first talked about the things we most wanted in our wedding, we decided that one of the most important things was for it to feel like a great big party. We really wanted to keep the event casual, and we relied big time on our DJ to set the mood. We were so lucky that Matt completely understood us when we explained what we were looking for. Among many things, that included no big bridal party entrance and the shortest possible first dance.
Drinking champagne and getting bustled! (Photo by BM Veronica)
Asked if we wanted Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” played in its entirety, we simultaneously responded “No! Cut it as soon as we start to look awkward!” There’s nothing I hate more than watching non-dancers sway around awkwardly throughout a five-minute song when it’s clear that they’re completely miserable out there. No way was that going to be us.
We originally planned to use “Something” by George Harrison as our first dance, but changed our minds just days before the wedding as we practiced our awkward sway in the living room. If you’re not planning on taking dance lessons, then I highly recommend at least practicing your dance one night with a bottle of wine. If it feels awkward in your living room, it’s going to feel 10 times more awkward on a dance floor with 100-plus people staring at you. After nixing “Something,” we played through our entire love songs playlist until we found something that didn’t make us super uncomfortable. “Let’s Stay Together” was the perfect upbeat song that allowed us to be both silly and romantic.
After a couple of verses, I made a quick speech and invited everyone up to the dance floor with us. I pretty much winged it, but this was the gist of it:
“At this time we’d like to invite the most important women in our lives up to dance with us: our moms. We’d also love to have you join us, so please bring your child or parent to the dance floor at this time. If you don’t have a parent with you, grab someone special to dance with. You have to do what I say because I’m the bride. And also because it will be very special and sweet.”
MIL Rucksack and I spent a long night poring over music until we found the perfect choice: “All My Loving” by The Beatles.
I’m so happy both moms were on board with this idea. It not only solved the dilemma of the missing father-daughter dance, but it also took away from some of the awkwardness of having all eyes on us. (One big spotlight dance was enough for me!)
As my mom and I were dancing, she excitedly pointed out how many people had joined us. It was such a great twist on a tradition, and I was so thrilled to be surrounded by our loved ones.
The energy was so high and happy and full of love. It was definitely one of my favorite moments of the day.
And this is where I have to thank you, hive, for the amazing suggestions for our parent dances! I couldn’t be happier with the memories.
Have you thought about including a nontraditional first dance or parent dance into your reception?
(All photos by Abigail Scott unless otherwise noted)
- I have ALL the feelings
- I admit that wedding planning kind of sucks
- We run a million errands
- We practice how it’s gonna go down
- We have a big fat Italian rehearsal dinner
- A little rain won’t get me down!
- The girls get pretty
- The guys do whatever guys do
- I hang out in the hotel bathroom and make a bunch of bouquets
- I get my bride on!
- We exchange kisses and gifts during our first look
- I’m a runaway bride
- The bridal party processes and the ring bearer gets distracted
- I take my final steps as a single lady (and get stuck on a rose bush along the way!)
- We kick off the ceremony with some sweet words from The Princess Bride
- We share our love story and get our hands blessed
- We do!
- We miss cocktail hour for the sake of family photos