When we met with our DJ the week before the wedding to finalize the schedule for the evening, he suggested that we transition into our first dance right after our entrance. I, in my very limited experience, had never heard of this before, so I was rather hesitant, but we decided to trust the professional, and now that it’s all said and done, can I just say that he was right on the money! Going straight into our first dance made the evening flow so much more smoothly. For starters, all of our guests were already standing for our entrance, and our best friends were gathered around the dance floor, so it was a really seamless transition. Plus, since we had such a high-energy entrance, the momentum just kept building and building. It also allowed us to “open” the dance floor right away, which was a great thing, because our guests tore it up in between courses! If you’re on the fence about getting the first dance out of the way as soon as possible, I say do it. It worked for us!
I didn’t share our music selections with the hive before now, but mostly because we didn’t make a final decision until a few days before the wedding. For most of the time we were dating, our song has been “Collide” by Howie Day, so we always assumed it would be our first dance. However, once we got engaged, we felt like maybe the tempo was too slow. We were feeling pretty self-conscious about being the center of attention for three and a half minutes and didn’t really want to do the awkward high-school sway. We spent months looking for alternatives, among them many ballads by my two favorite artists, Juan Luis Guerra and Gavin Degraw. Eventually, we settled on “Where You Are” by Gavin Degraw because it had a very waltzy tempo and lovely lyrics.
We even considered taking a few dance lessons to spruce things up, but as it turns out, dance lessons are expensive, yo! We decided to skip the lessons but practice dancing at home a few times. Well, we never got around to it, so the week before the wedding, we figured we ought to practice at least once in our living room, and “Where You Are” just felt wrong, like we were trying to be something we weren’t. In the end, we said “to hell with it” and chose our song for our first dance and don’t regret it one bit. Sometimes, we get so focused on putting on a show that we forget what weddings are really about: the couple and the love they share. Well, if our relationship was made into a movie, “Collide” would be the soundtrack, and it wouldn’t have felt right having our first dance as husband and wife to anything else.
As soon as we finished our entrance, I handed my bouquet to MOH Long Legs and the DJ started playing our song.
Oddly enough, we were so focused on each other that we didn’t even notice the cameras, or the 150 people that were staring at us.
We swayed a bit, but also threw in quite a few turns and twirls for flair.
I love how this picture captures the movement of my dress.
At the time, we felt like we had pulled off some really fancy moves. A few guests even asked if we had practiced the dance before the wedding!
Of course, once we watched the video, we realized that we weren’t quite up to So You Think You Can Dance standards. Big, poufy ball gowns don’t really lend themselves to fancy footwork, and neither of us has any dance training beyond the awkward high-school sway, so I still declare it a success, even if we dipped on the wrong doo-doo-doo. 😉 I really love our video because we look so happy and in love, even if our dance moves weren’t quite as advanced as we would have liked. Now, it’s the little mistakes (like Mr. W stepping on my dress) that make us smile when we watch the video. It’s not perfect, but that’s us. If you want to see it all in action, take a look below! You can see the chandelier moment at 0:28, and me trying really hard not to lose it. I also love how our some of our bridal party is singing along—they’re adorable.
What song are you choosing for your first dance? Are you choreographing something, or winging it like us?
Next up: Speeches and dinner!
All photos courtesy of the amazing Bachmann Photography unless otherwise specified
Miss a recap?
- We get it started with our wedding trailer
- We had a really intense wedding week
- We handle some last minute drama and get our nails did
- We practice getting married
- We eat all the French food
- We stuff our faces with chocolate
- The girls get pretty, oh so pretty
- The men suit up
- I put on my wedding dress
- I put on my veil and my entourage loses their sh*t
- I show you all my somethings
- We ride a vintage limo to the church
- The bridal party walks the walk
- We have a tearful “first look” on our walk down the aisle
- The ceremony begins with some lovely readings
- We exchange our vows and rings and have a blessing of the hands
- We finish mass, have a rose ceremony and sign the marriage register
- We take some pictures with our families
- We take a few bridal party pictures
- We take some pictures, just the two of us
- We skip cocktail hour, and spend some time with our friends
- We have a really fun first entrance