As my wedding recaps draw to a close, have you noticed anything missing? Dancing, maybe? Well believe it or not, Mr. Turtle and I chose not to have dancing at our reception. No, we didn’t have any deep religious or philosophical reason behind this decision. Mr. Turtle specifically does not like to dance, so naturally, dancing hasn’t held any real significance in our relationship. And I figured, why make him do something he doesn’t like to do on what’s supposed to be the “best day of our lives?”
Also, the deeper I got into planning our wedding, the less I envisioned dancing fitting into the our reception vibe. I wanted the evening to feel more elegant dinner party in the garden than crazy dance party. But the closer our wedding day became, the more I started to wonder if I’d regret not having a traditional “first dance.” So Mr. Turtle and I made a sort of last minute decision to end the evening with our first dance as husband and wife.
Obviously I’m not wearing my wedding dress in that picture. Maybe I should explain!
A few weeks before the wedding, I realized that I didn’t want to leave our reception in my wedding dress/wear it walking into our hotel that night. I wasn’t sure what to wear, and honestly didn’t feel like buying yet another dress, after I’d already purchased outfits for so many other wedding events. Well, as Mr. Turtle’s family was in the process of helping his great-grandmother move, they stumbled across Mr. Turtle’s grandmother’s high school prom dress! Just for fun, I decided to try it on and it fit like a glove! So as soon as it occurred to me that this could be my getaway dress, I felt like the whole thing was just meant to be!
Left: Me trying on the dress for the first time; Right: Me wearing the dress at our wedding with Mr. Turtle’s Grammy, the original wearer of the dress back in the 1950s! Soooo special, right? 🙂
So back to our dance—here’s how our little surprise unfolded: After the bouquet and garter toss, I quickly changed into my getaway dress and then rejoined the reception. I grabbed a microphone and stood up on a chair so everyone could see me. (Yes, I stood on a Chivari chair. *gasp*) By this point, many of our guests had left, and the only ones remaining were our very close family and friends, who were all well aware about our decision to not dance. I proceeded to make an announcement that we were so thankful for everyone’s attendance and support, and before we called it a night, we had one surprise left: a dance in the gazebo! Right on cue, our DOC started the oldie but goodie song we chose only moments before: Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.”
After about a minute of all eyes on us, we invited anyone who wanted to join us in the gazebo to do so for the rest of the song.
As unplanned as our dance was, I’ll treasure these brief few moments in my heart forever. This definitely was not the most traditional way to go about a “first dance,” but somehow, for us, it just fit! Perfectly!
Brides-to-be: in what ways are you throwing out tradition, in favor of something that feels more right for you? Married bees: did you have any unplanned moments at your wedding that looking back, you can’t imagine the day without?
In case you missed out on any of my earlier recap posts:
- So Happy Together: The Rehearsal
- So Happy Together: The Rehearsal Dinner
- So Happy Together: The Wedding Morning & Bridal Details
- So Happy Together: The Girls Get Ready
- So Happy Together: The BFF Shots
- So Happy Together: Bridesmaid Portraits
- So Happy Together: Groomsman Portraits
- So Happy Together: And Here Comes the Bride!
- So Happy Together: Now Pronounced Husband and Wife
- So Happy Together: Cocktail Hour & Family Pictures
- So Happy Together: Wedding Party Portraits
- So Happy Together: Just the Two of Us
- So Happy Together: Everyone Wants Candy
- So Happy Together: The Photobooth Experience
- So Happy Together: Reception Details
- So Happy Together: Wedding Party Entrance & Time to Eat!
- So Happy Together: Toasts
- So Happy Together: Cutting the Cake