Five Ways to Make Your Wedding First Dance Your Own

Does the thought of spending four minutes swaying awkwardly back and forth, in a room where everyone’s watching you remind you a little too much of a junior-high school dance? Or maybe you and your partner are shy, or uncoordinated, or just don’t like being the center of attention. For some people, a slow, soft first dance to a special song is something that they are excited for, and would never consider excluding. For others, it’s a dreaded tradition – and if that’s you, we’re here to help.

Here are five ways to make your first dance a pleasure for you, and for your guests: 

Shorten your song. 
Who says you have to dance to the entire song, all the way through? You can dance to half your song - and therefore, be in the limelight for half the time - and then have the DJ fade the song and invite the crowd to applaud you. Trust me, no one in the audience will feel like they've missed out- a minute and a half is plenty of time for your parents to get a few photos. 

Fade into the next dance.
If your first dance is going to be followed by a father/daughter or mother/son dance, why not get the DJ to invite your parents onto the dance floor halfway through the song, and they can 'cut in' and start their dance with you at that point. The DJ can either keep the same song going, or fade it into a special song for you and your parents when they arrive on the dance floor. If being alone on the dance floor with all eyes on you makes you nervous, you could ask your bridal party to join you after your song has been playing for a minute or two. 

Make it a two-step! 
Are we in Alberta, or are we in Alberta? If you can do a two-step without hesitation, maybe that's the kind of first dance that's going to be the most comfortable, and the most 'you.' Here are some of our favourite romantic two-step songs, old and new:

- Somebody Like You - Keith Urban
- Livin' on Love - Alan Jackson

Pick something upbeat. 
If you're already nervous about being in the spotlight, swaying ever-so-slowly back and forth can feel pretty awkward. One way to combat this is to choose a song that its a little more upbeat - it's easier to forget that everyone is watching you when you're able to just have a good time with your new spouse. Need ideas? We've got a few:

- You’re My Best Friend - Queen
- Home – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
- By & By – Brett Dennen
- Mario Kart Love Song – Sam Hart
- So Happy Together - The Turtles
- Better Together - Jack Johnson

Go Ballroom. 
Okay, i'm sure some of you are thinking that this is a terrible idea - I'm already nervous about my first dance, and now you're telling me to try to memorize dance steps!? It may seem counterintuitive, but some people find that focusing on counting 'one-two-cha-cha-cha' takes their mind off the reality that they are the center of attention. Here are a few non-traditional songs for ballroom dances:

- Foxtrot - L.O.V.E. - Nat King Cole
- Swing - Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen
- Waltz - At Last - Etta James