When Is the First Dance at a Wedding?


The sound of wedding bells and the joyous cheers of the crowd are only some of the things that make the wedding a momentous occasion. From the red carpet entourage to the elegant centerpieces, the biggest and the smallest details are all working together to turn your ordinary day into a fairytale. But after the much-awaited ‘I do’s’, you will surely agree that your first dance as newly-weds is one of the most exciting parts of your program. The question is, ideally, when is the first dance at a wedding?

When Is the First Dance?

If you are already creating a timetable for your programs, you may already be asking yourself, when is the first dance at a wedding? Basically, the wedding dance could be done before, during or after dinner, and the decision is always yours to make. After all, it is your wedding. To help you make the best decision, below are some of the pros and cons you need to weigh.

Before Dinner

Hitting the dance floor before dinner is customary, especially for people who love big introductions. This is a great way for you to boost up the energy of the crowd since you are getting the night started with your sweet and energetic dance moves. But of course, there are still some factors you need to consider when scheduling your first dance before sharing a sumptuous dinner as a couple.

The Pros:

  •  Firstly, getting the attention of the crowd is easy once you begin your program with your first dance. After your grand entourage, a first dance could retain the crowd’s enthusiasm since you are starting the night with spiking energy levels.

  • You won’t have problems with the sequencing of events since doing the first dance before dinner is traditionally incorporated into wedding plans.

  • You won’t need to think about your dance steps all throughout the night. You can easily get that anxiety off your chest since you won’t have to worry about getting the dance moves wrong as you eat your first dinner as husband and wife.

  • You can add entertainment as your guests are waiting for the buffet table to be ready.

The Cons:

Since a couple’s first dance greatly influences the mood of the audience, scheduling it before dinner might not help the newly-weds in terms of shifting the mood of the audience after dinner. But if you do choose to do the first dance before dinner, you can always set up a mother-father dance after dinner to signal the start of the party.

During Dinner

While most newly-weds prefer having their first dance before or after dinner, some couples steer away from traditional programs and conduct their dance during dinner. It may not be as customary as the other two alternatives, but this is also a great option, especially if you already sneaked your way to the buffet before your grand entourage.

The Pros

  • Since providing entertainment to your guests is crucial, having your first dance during dinner may leave boredom at bay.

  • If your program is fully loaded, you can squeeze in your first dance at this point of the program so it wouldn’t affect other activities in your list.

  • It offers you flexibility since you don’t have to rush to the end of the dance. You can take your time and enjoy your first dance with greater intimacy.

The Cons

  • Having your first dance while the guests are having dinner won’t enable you to highlight this very important aspect of the program since the crowd is still pre-occupied.

  • It won’t give you the chance to share your first meal as husband and wife with your guests.

  • Other guests might not be able to witness your first dance since getting food at buffet tables is traditionally done by turns.

After Dinner

Nowadays, a lot of couples incorporate their first dance after dinner since it offers numerous advantages. If you are the type who loves spontaneity, getting in the groove by the end of the program is a great way to pump up your guests’ adrenaline level. So if you are considering an after-dinner first dance, below are some of the pros and cons you need to weigh:

The Pros

  • Dancing after dinner is a great way to signal guests to start hitting the dance floor. This will allow spontaneity since you don’t have to ask the crowd to go back to their seats since you are already done with the rest of the program.

  • It is the perfect time to dance the night away because most of your guests are all pumped up by the festive dinner… and yes, glasses of wine.

  • It enables you to interact with your crowd more since you are not just dancing for them, but you are also dancing with them.

  • It shakes off your nerves since most activities in your program have already concluded.

  • It allows more enjoyment since it helps you refuel from other parts of the program that can be really exhausting.

  • It ends your reception ceremony with a bang.

The Cons

If you are the type who gets easily agitated by performing in front of other people, having your first dance after dinner may prolong your anxiety.

So when is the first dance at a wedding? Well, since you have already weighed the pros and cons, I’ll leave the answer in your hands. Just remember, it is crucial for you to consider dynamics when choosing the sequence of events in your program. Before making final decisions, always weigh factors like the type of crowd you invited and the other activities in your list. By doing so, you can make the best possible choices for you and your better half.