If the idea of dancing in public gives you the heebie-jeebies, let alone before a large crowd at your own wedding, don't despair. All it takes for your first dance to be a success is a little planning and practice. Read on and soon you'll be gliding around the dance floor with the panache of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers!

It's been said that partner dancing mirrors a relationship. You're together, then apart. You're drawn to each other, test one another and then are finally joined in the end. Daunting though it may sound, you're usually expected to dance together as a couple at your wedding in what is called 'the first dance'. That's when the newlyweds come together before their wedding guests in their very first dance as husband and wife, and it's perhaps the next most special wedding ritual after saying 'I do'.

The first dance isn't something to dread, but rather look forward to in the lead-up to your wedding. First, there's the fun of picking the music and style of dance, and then, if you imagine doing something more adventurous than just a slow clutch-and –sway, there's the possibility of taking some dance lessons. Besides the stress-relief they will give you from all that wedding planning, lessons are also a great chance to meet a new group of people and make some mutual friends.

Here's how you can make the first dance as meaningful as possible for the two of you, as well as turn it into something you can really enjoy in the weeks before your wedding, and on the day itself.

Finding 'our' song

One of the first things you'll need to do in preparation for your first dance is choose a piece of wedding music. You may not think it now, but the piece of music you select will have special significance to you for the rest of your lives. Hearing it played will always make you remember the day you were wed, so that's why it's important to choose a piece that means something to you both, or says something about the way you feel about each other.
You may already have a favourite piece of music you want to dance to, or the theme of your wedding may influence your choice of genre. For instance, if you have a 1920s theme, you could choose a piece you can dance the Charleston to. Or, you might choose a romantic love song with lyrics that express something of your feelings.

The order of the dance

  1. Bride and groom in their first dance
  2. Bride and her father; groom and his mother
  3. Bride and father-in-law; groom and mother-in-law
  4. Bride and bestman; groom and chief bridesmaid
  5. Everyone else