The First Dance - Everything You Need To Know

Weddings come with many traditions, customs and symbols - while some may become less common and time goes by, others become strongly rooted in wedding ceremonies. One of those traditions that remains is the first dance.

What is the first dance?

The first dance is a long standing tradition of the bride and groom starting off their wedding nights festivities with their very first dance together as a married couple. Traditionally, the bride and groom are the people ‘of highest honour’ at a wedding (naturally) so the couple starts the dancing part of a wedding off together before others ultimately join in. This usually happens after the cutting of the cake and speeches or toasts, although it’s really up to the couple for when they want to have their first dance together.

The most common of these dances tends to be a waltz. The waltz is a tradition that grew from the first dance at formal affairs or formal balls back in the 15th century. Originally, the waltz was thee dance for weddings and the first dance was often known as ‘the bridal waltz’. It became known as the bridal waltz in Europe after Queen Victoria used it at her wedding to Prince Albert.

As dancing has evolved over the many years humans have been doing it outside of weddings, it’s becoming common to see a varying wide range of dances being incorporated into weddings such as hip hop dancing, the sway, the slow dance, the rumba, foxtrot, mambo or salsa dance or even a flash mob among others. Other brides may not even choose to have a first dance or choose something completely different depending on their theme, culture or other personal reasons.

bride and groom dancing at wedding ceremony

(pictured: #euphorierealbride Sandie + husband Dean at their wedding reception)

What was the point of the first dance?

Once again, going back to traditions, the first dance was intended to showcase the harmony of the bride and groom together as an expression of their undying love for each other and to show the beginning of a love life together. A bride and groom being synchronised in life in general is an expectation of a marriage and showing that with dance was a big deal.

What if my partner or myself cant dance well?

Don’t fear - we’re not all professional dancers - there is a big industry of dance professionals that will give lessons to a bride and groom prior to the wedding so that you can get it down perfectly!

What if I find it hard to dance in my wedding gown?

We’ve had a lot of brides run into this problem and luckily, you can always sneak away for a quick outfit change mid show. It’s also often a good idea to design a wedding gown with detachable aspects or just generally able to work well for your first dance if it’s something important to you and your partner on the day!


We’ve had a few questions lately about the first dance and we hope this has helped anyone that may have any questions in future. If there’s anything you think we may have missed, let us know in the comments down below and we’ll be sure to add it in!

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