Stallion and I decided that once the party started up, it should continue with minimal interruptions. That meant that we’d be banging out all the standard wedding traditions early in the evening, one right after another, and once they were done, we’d be out of the spotlight and everyone could go about their business.
First up: spotlight dances. From the moment we’d booked the B Street Band to play our wedding, we knew what our first dance/awkward middle school sway would be.
All photos courtesy of Aleksey Photography
A Cape May wedding, a New Jersey native (and an honorary New Jerseyan, even if he doesn’t think it’s much of an honor)—“Jersey Girl” was the perfect song for us. Between you and me, we had also strongly considered “If I Should Fall Behind,” but the more Stallion listened to it, the more he thought it was “funeral-y.” So “Jersey Girl” it was.
I got no time for the corner boys
Down in the street making all that noise
Or the girls out on the avenue
‘Cause tonight I want to be with you
Tonight I’m gonna take that ride
Across the river to the Jersey side
Take my baby to the carnival
And I’ll take her on all the rides
Down the shore everything’s all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
You know all my dreams come true
When I’m walking down the street with you
You know she thrills me with all her charms
When I’m wrapped up in my baby’s arms
My little girl gives me everything
I know that some day, she’ll wear my ring
So don’t bother me man, I ain’t got no time
I’m on my way to see that girl of mine
‘Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you’re in love with a Jersey girl
After the wedding, my mom commented on how happy we looked during our first dance and wanted to know what we’d been talking about during it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything cute or romantic—mostly, Stallion was asking if we were in rhythm and I was telling him that no, we weren’t. But, as always, my mom was right; we were very, very happy in that moment.
Following our first dance, Stallion took a seat while I stayed on the dance floor to share a dance with my father.
Both Stallion and I are fortunate in that we have great relationships with our parents, so it was important to us to include spotlight dances with them in the reception. We asked our parents to choose the songs for their dances; we wanted the song to mean as much to them as it would to us.
My dad’s choice was a little out of left field—it was “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by the Platters.
Lyrically speaking, it’s not the most conventional song for a father-daughter dance (it’s actually a breakup song), but that’s not the reason my dad chose it. When I was a baby, my dad would dance with me to this song around our living room. It meant a lot to him that we dance to it one more time.
He attempted to coach me through a basic waltz box step , but I’m pretty sure his efforts were fruitless.
They said someday you’ll find
All who love are blind
When your heart’s on fire
You must realize
Smoke gets in your eyes
Following our dance, it was Stallion’s turn to dance with his mom, who chose “When You Need Me” by (of course!) Bruce Springsteen.
When you need, me call my name
‘Cause without you, my life just isn’t the same
‘Cause when this world kicked me around
You picked me up off the ground
So if you need me, I’ll be there
I love Stallion’s mom’s face here—you can totally tell she thinks the world of her son. Great minds think alike!
For those of you who are keeping score, while neither of us cried during our first dance, both my dad and Stallion’s mom cried during their spotlight dances. I’m assuming this means that we did something right…right?
I’m so glad we took the time to dance with our parents, even though our slow dance skills start and end at the middle school sway. I guess we inherited our dancing abilities (or lack thereof) from somewhere!
Did you include spotlight dances at your reception? What songs did you choose?
Missed one? Catch up on the fun!
- I humblebrag about how awesome our wedding day was.
- We rehearse and dine.
- A minor marriage license snafu means there might not be a wedding after all.
- The girls get glam.
- The guys escape to the beach.
- We have our first look.
- We take a trolley tour of Cape May.
- The processional begins.
- I walk down the aisle with my parents by my side.
- We make it official.
- Our receiving line was a great idea.
- We skip cocktail hour, but our guests sure enjoyed it.
- We make a grand(ish) entrance.