First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?

Online Users: 0 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 25

HamiltonBride Posts : 140 Registered: 7/30/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 3:50 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I'm struggling with this too.  Figuring out some sort of timeline has stalled ordering the invites.  So I'm going to bogart your thread a wee bit.

What if you're not doing any father/daughter dance or mother/son dance? Also, we are not having the wedding party 'announced', however, the bagpiper has suggested that after the receiving line that he could pipe us into the ballroom.

Neither of us is much for the spotlight so we really want our parents and the rest of the bridal party to join us on the dance floor fairly quickly. So, I suppose my question is this, would it be strange to have 8 couples dance one song and then all just sit down to eat? Wouldn't it be better to wait until after dinner to kick off the dancing for all of our guests? 

Reply

weddinworries Posts : 124 Registered: 5/28/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 26, 2008 6:19 PM Go to message in response to: HamiltonBride

We also went into our first dance immediately after our grand entrance.  The energy is really high at that moment and our DJ and coordinator said that going into your first dance helps to keep the energy up and set the tone for a fun wedding. 

Our timeline was roughly as follows, and I wouldn't have changed  a thing (and trust me, I would have changed many other things about my wedding).  I sweated over this timeline for weeks.

5:30-6:30 cocktail hour with hors deourves

6:45--grand entrance, straight into first dance

7--welcome speech by FOB

Appetizer, Salad and main course served

Dessert served with champagne

4 toasts

Parent Dances followed by open dancing

9:55 p.m. Anniversary Dance thing

10 p.m. Cake Cutting and thank-you speeches by bride and groom

More Dancing until 11:30

 

Reply
Guest
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 7:05 AM Go to message in response to: DestoB

I just talked to my dj about this. We are going to do the first dance at the end of cocktail hour. THe dj explained that sionce people are seated for the cocktail hour, it will be easier for the dances. He suggested that we do parent dances after di9nner to get the crowd started again. Good luck!

Such is my love, to thee I so belong
That for thy right myself will bear all wrong.

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 7:34 AM Go to message in response to: Guest

Ok - well, now I'm TOTALLY at a loss. Everything EVERYBODY said makes sense! Can I just do TWO first dances, and have one before dinner and one after? :)

AOTB, I do like your idea of getting all the guests involved in the photos. Our ceremony is at another location, and I'd kind of like to keep people there as long as possible, just because I don't want to start the reception too early. I think I posted this earlier...that our invitations said that the reception starts at four, though the venue will be ready as early as 3 (according to my meagers attempts at doing 'wedding math,' the first guests might get there as early as 3:15, if they leave immediately after the ceremony and don't make any stops on the way there. But I like the idea of involving everyone in the photos, and will talk to my photographer about that. It may create some crowd management issues, but a group of 80 isn't all that large. I'm not sure what to do if it rains, though. I'm not sure what we would do if it rains, though. (Our 'rain plan' for photos is to do some in the church and some outdoors with big black umbrellas, which I think will be cute and artsy-looking...but I wouldn't want 80 people hanging out in the church while we do photos. That just seems a little disrespectful)

Hmm, I'll have to think more on the dance issue. 


DaisypathWedding Ticker

Reply

weddinworries Posts : 124 Registered: 5/28/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 2:26 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

It's nice to get one group shot of all your guests, but I wouldn't advise subjecting all your guests to a one-hour photo shoot.  Frankly, the post-ceremony photos are probably the worst part of the wedding.  The families and bridal party are usually anxious to get them over with so they can start partying. 

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 3:24 PM Go to message in response to: weddinworries

Hey everyone - I just signed us up for a dance lesson. Yep - just one lesson. I don't think we have time for more, but I found a local place that specializes in wedding dances and has a 'one lesson guarantee,' so hopefully it won't be a waste of money. Anyway - they gave me TONS of information when I signed up, and I thought you'd all be interested in what they had to say.

Reasons to do First Dance before Dinner:

  • Maximizes the climactic moment of introducing the wedding couple for the first time.
  • Kick off to the reception –sets an exciting tone and creates conversation icebreaker for dinner guests.
  • It is proper etiquette for wedding couple to dance before guests thereby officially opening the dance floor for general dancing
  • Reduce nervousness by accomplishing it at the onset.
  • Allows for the free flow of alcohol during the meal.
  • Eliminates the risk of food soilage to the tuxedo or gown before the first dance.
  • Allows food to digest after dinner without being obligated to dance on a full stomach.
  • Does not create an unnatural interruption or lull because it takes advantage of a natural lull in the energy of the party where guests are already gathered and standing during cocktail hour.
  • The wedding couple already has the full attention of the guests.
  • Guests are quiet, attentive and gathered for the speeches that may follow.
  • General dancing is not held up by the other obligations of the wedding couple during and after dinner which may include extended ceremonies or greeting guests and circulating among the dinner tables.

Some of their reasons are kind of stupid, IMO, but others make sense. What do you all think of that?


DaisypathWedding Ticker

Reply


NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 3:51 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I think that sounds about good. Almost all those reasons were mentioned by our coordinator at our site as well as our DJ. They both suggested getting all the special dances done as soon as possible b/c people are paying the most attention

And to be honest, at some of the weddings we went to last year, they didnt do it this way, and I was outside smoking or half way in the bag and I dont remember the first dance....And im sure its pretty common.

I was nervous enough AFTER the dances just from talking to everyone and being stared at so it was hard enough to eat, I couldnt imagine NOT having done the dance and trying to eat!


Formerly Ama102707

Reply

MrsBranch Posts : 97 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 4:57 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

We did ours before dinner.  We finished pics while guests were at cocktail hour, then danced immediately after being introduced at the reception.  I felt this opened up the floor for people to dance instead of waiting for us to eat and visit and all that.

Reply


KatharineC Posts : 940 Registered: 2/6/08
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 27, 2008 5:12 PM Go to message in response to: MrsBranch

This dancing before dinner is beginning to sound better and better. I'm another one who wasn't sure. Also, often the photographer needs to leave, or you've only booked him/her for a set number of hours, so it's best to get the "moments" out of the way first, then you can party on all evening without worrying "When are we doing the cake cutting?" "Is the photographer still going to be here?" and so on.
 

When is my wedding

On October 31st 2008 I marry my One True Love!

Reply


ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 28, 2008 7:35 AM Go to message in response to: KatharineC

Our photographer will be there until the end, so that's not an issue for us...but it is a good point to consider, if you've booked a set number of hours. However, I personally think it's better to book the photographer for an additional hour or so than to try to plan all the 'moments' around the photographer's schedules. I've been in weddings where they've done that, and it is a little stressful and interrupts the natural flow of the evening. If at all possible, PLEASE consider cutting something else so that you can afford to book the photographer for a few more hours. It's SO MUCH BETTER to not be at the mercy of a 5-hour photography package or whatever.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Reply


KatharineC Posts : 940 Registered: 2/6/08
Re: First dance - better to do it before or after dinner?
Posted: Mar 28, 2008 12:30 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

Good advice! The photographer I am probably going to book has a set hour package, but you can also add time on with payment per hour above that. I just need to find out if we need to tell him upfront how many extra hours we will need, or if we can do it as the evening progresses "Ooh, can't you stay another hour? Have some more money!" Heheh. I can understand if he won't work that way, but I think it would be much easier!

Unfortunately we are already cutting other costs in order to afford even the cheaper packages of the type of photographer we want (I made the mistake of booking a cheaper guy I'm not happy with, and I am cancelling him just as soon as I have a new guy signed on!) So there's not much more we can cut for extra hours, but I'm doing my best...


 

When is my wedding

On October 31st 2008 I marry my One True Love!

Reply
RSS

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine