Your first dance is a fun but important part of your wedding day. It’s a time to show off a bit if you can dance, or just spend a few minutes with your new husband or wife, and you can get some great photos from this part of your day.
Here are a few of our tips for your first dance:
- Don’t be nervous! No-one’s there to judge or laugh at you, your friends and family are there to support you. Even if you can’t dance you can still do a “rock back and forward” or “side to side shuffle” first dance. These photos can be better than a rehearsed routine, because instead of thinking about where to put your feet you’re looking at your partner, laughing, whispering, there’s a lot more emotion there that gets captured in the photos.
- Don’t rush it! It takes time to get good photos, especially to get close-ups, wide shots showing your guests, different angles and perspectives, etc. If you spend 30 seconds on the dance floor then rush off you’ll get a few photos, but if you dance the whole song out you’ll get many more photos, more variety, and better dance photos.
- Tell your photographer what your first dance is going to be, so they can prepare. The lighting setup for a waltz that takes you spinning around the edges of the dance floor is quite different from the lighting if you’re doing a simple side to side shuffle in the middle of the floor. It also helps the photographer decide the best place to be at the start of the dance. Lighting setup can take 5-10 minutes so give your photographer some warning as well!
- If you’re doing a rehearsed routine, practice, practice, practice! The more familiar and comfortable you are with the routine the less stressed or worried you’ll be, the more time you’ll spend looking at your partner, and the better the photos will be.
- Second tip for researched routines: consider doing a slow dance as well. You’ll get quite different photos, with far more emotion and . It doesn’t have to be right after your first dance, just make sure your photographer doesn’t pack up or leave before you do your slow dance.
- Try not to talk through your whole dance. People with their mouths open look a bit funny in photos.
- If you think you need dance lessons to prepare for your first dance, start early! We’ve started lessons about seven months before our wedding and I wish we’d started earlier, maybe a year or even a little more, just to give us more time to learn different dances, steps, and routines.
If you’re in Wellington take a look at Supreme Dance for Wellington dancing lessons. They have beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes, with private lessons available. We’ve found them really really friendly and helpful, and we’re really enjoying it. Classes are on The Terrace and in Tawa in the evenings.
Good luck, and happy dancing!