Organising a first dance is about creating the right atmosphere and choosing a song thats personal, most people embrace this formality but believe it or not some people actually dread the thought of having to do a first dance. I work with over a hundred clients a year, you could consider incorporating some of the following tips into your first dance.
1. Select your song carefully …sometimes people choose a 5 minute plus song, those 5 minutes can feel like a very long time especially if you don’t like the though of being the centre of attention.
2. Advise me to play a small amount of the song then invite couples onto the floor to join you, this will make you feel a lot more comfortable
3. Cut out long and unnecessary intros or outros to shorten the song, sometimes its best to start certain songs with the words
4. Use a the intro to build suspense then walk to the floor (ideally from outside the room) rather than being on the floor with everyone surrounding you. It just works better and looks better on video too
5. Don’t have a first dance …we can just start the party giving you the option to have a first dance later on in the evening when the party is in full swing
6. Cut the cake during the afternoon or before the first dance, do not do this after the first dance as this disrupts the flow into the evening
7. Hire a DJ and a band. I have worked very successfully with bands over the years and theres nothing better than having both budget permitting. Bands can also play cool first dance versions
FIRST DANCE AMBIENCE
Whats great about this part of the day is that when the guests leave the room for the room turnaround we can add some really special touches like uplighting and/or a starlit dancefloor that transforms the mood so when the bride, groom and guests return theres a completely different feel to the environment.
Uplighting ties the whole room together with the disco and colours can be themed to the bride and grooms colour scheme, alternatvely a new colour theme for the evening can be created. A lot of venues supply a standard dance floor but we do offer the opportunity to upgrade to a starlit version which can help you achieve some amazing photos.
Also having the disco staged in a different room can be a really good idea too as its somewhere completely different that none of the wedding party has seen during the day, click here to see the perfect example of this
CHOOSE YOUR VENUE CAREFULLY
During the summer its harder because of daylight hours are longer so if creating a great first dance atmosphere is important to you then its best to choose a venue that has the facility to shut out the light and allows the use of haze/dry ice which creates ambience and allows the beams of slow moving lights to be seen as they move slowly through the air.
I would also say its very important to keep the bar and buffet in the same room as the disco, if everything is in different rooms then guests will be everywhere rather than partying all together in the same place at the same time.
Marquees are also very different to buildings and sound limiters should be avoided if possible, for more information see our separate blogs detailed below
ALCOHOL / FREE BAR:
You don’t necessarily have to pick up the tab for the entire evening but just putting something behind the bar at the start of the evening will influence guests to enjoy themselves then pay for their own drinks later on.
IS THE ENTERTAINMENT THE MOST IMPORTANT PART FOR YOU ?
I work at 100 plus weddings a year with clients who see the evening as the most anticipated part of the day, some may say I’m biased but I can only go by experience …the evening needs to end on a high and everything needs to be just right – the atmosphere, good quality sound, visually attractive DJ set up and a good DJ who has the music library, flexibility and common sense to flow the music in the right direction of the clients perfered tastes.
I always hear these things mentioned by clients in my testimonials and about how the guests raved about it being the best wedding they’ve been to …thats what gives me my job satisfaction, its not about me its about the people on the night having the best time ever.
FIRST DANCE SONGS
Theres honestly thousands of songs you could choose from, as I’ve mentioned I think it should be personal like a song that reflects your relationship, or maybe it was something that sticks with you from when you first met or the circumstances at the time …so many possibilities but only one song ! Sometimes clients have even asked me to choose something for them so I’m always happy to make suggestions once I know the clients favourites artist/s and preferred genres of music.
There’s a lot of predictable first dance songs like Lonestar’s “Amazed” and Beyonce’s “At Last”, so I’ve tried to steer towards ten slightly different ones that have been chosen from 2014 which I remember working really well.
Your Lovely To Me – Lucky Jim
L.O.V.E – Al Green
All My Life – KC & JoJo
Crazy Love – Van Morrison
You – Take That
The Luckiest – Ben Folds
Got To Get You In To My Life – The Beatles
She – Elvis Costello
Cannonball – Damien Rice
Us Against The World – Coldplay
I would say in 2014 John Legend has become the most popular contributing artist for this formality
THE MOST UNIQUE FIRST DANCE EVER
The most unique first dance I’ve been involved in was actually only a couple of months ago as part of our SoundProof Package which we provided for Claire & Vince’s wedding at The Gallivant Hotel in Camber Sands, Sussex.
I was asked to pre mix a 3 part first dance starting with M Beats “Sweet Love” which soon moved into “Candy” by Cameo so around 30 pre arranged guests could join Claire & Vince to perform the Electric Slide Dance Routine, after a couple of minutes this was mixed into “Incredible” the massive jungle track by M Beat ft General Levy.
I ended up performing the mix live, it was phenomenal to watch and the routine was brilliant, it got the evening off to an unbelievable start which never ended right through to the end, a great experience that I will never forget. The video shows the “Incredible” part of the first dance, Claire and Vince were amazing clients and the guests were awesome …a memorable day of music and photography which i’ll never forget.