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15 Classic First Dance Songs + First Dance Tips

first dance, classic first dance songs, wedding reception, choreography, couples dance, newlyweds, dancefloor
Photo: Ama by Aisha

Your first dance as a newlywed couple in front of your loved ones is a classic tradition. It can be a mesmerizing moment, but for some couples, the first dance can also be daunting. That’s completely understandable, as you’ll be in the spotlight, with all your loved ones looking on. But with these tips and song suggestions, you’ll be able to shake those first dance jitters and enjoy a deeply romantic moment with your spouse.

Practice Is Your Friend

When it comes to this tradition, rehearsing is a must. Even if it’s just a couple of practice sessions, rehearsing will prepare you for when it’s time to dance, and all eyes are on you and your partner. Make sure to practice in the actual shoes you will be wearing, to get comfortable and avoid missteps. Also, if you’re wearing a dress that could make dancing difficult, practice a couple of times while wearing it, to learn how to avoid snags or stumbles.

first dance, classic first dance songs, wedding reception, choreography, couples dance, newlyweds, dancefloor
Photo: Khanh Nguyen Photography

Keep It Simple

It’s fine to have a choreographed number, as long as you keep in mind not just your dancing abilities, but those of your partner. Your first dance shouldn’t be frustrating or terrifying for either one of you, and should be a fun way for you to connect as newlyweds. Avoid overly complicated steps and stick with something you’ll both be able to do with ease.

Let Loose

In a perfect world, your first dance will be seamless and maybe even YouTube-worthy. However, this is the real world and mistakes are a real possibility. When a mistake happens, embrace it and maybe incorporate it into your routine. A stumble can be turned into a romantic dip, while forgotten steps can become a fun freestyle. What matters is that you remain focused on each other and that you be present in the moment. Doing this will guarantee a first dance you’ll cherish.

first dance, classic first dance songs, wedding reception, choreography, couples dance, newlyweds, dancefloor
Photo: Adam Nyholt, Photographer

The Song

Lastly, choose a song that is meaningful to both of you. From meaningful lyrics to a shared love for an artist, the song you dance to should reflect your personalities and be enjoyable. With that mind, don’t feel relegated only to soft, slow songs. Below are both new favorites and enduring classics we love for creating first-dance memories to last a lifetime.

  1. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  2. Your Song – Elton John
  3. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  4. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  5. At Last – Etta James
  6. All Of Me – John Legend
  7. Everything – Michael Bublé
  8. Never Too Much – Luther Vandross
  9. Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  10. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Lauryn Hill
  11. Someone Like You – Van Morrison
  12. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Marvin Gaye
  13. Speechless – Dan + Shay
  14. Love On Top – Beyoncé
  15. Nothing Can Change This Love – Sam Cooke

Maid Of Honor Duties: What Is And Isn’t Expected

Maid of Honor and Bride
Photo: The Cotton Collective

Being named a bride’s maid of honor is not only an amazing privilege, but also a huge responsibility. As her maid of honor, the bride is trusting you to help her with navigating the stressful process of planning the wedding. It is your job to unload some, but not all, of the tasks from the bride. Here are a few of the major duties you’ll be expected to help out with. Click here to read the rest of this post »

Do’s & Don’ts for the Rehearsal Dinner Speech or Wedding Toast

Maid of honor giving rehearsal dinner speech
Photo: J Cogliandro Photography

As the maid of honor or best man, one of your tasks is to give a toast or speech to the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner, and/or at the wedding reception. If you’re not used to speaking in front of crowds, it may be a bit nerve-wracking, especially given the formality of the setting…and the emotionally charged expectations of the crowd of loved ones (no biggie, right?). But don’t worry, darling. Click here to read the rest of this post »

Guest Post: Invitation Expertise from Katie Hackedorn of Katie & Co.

Invitation Expertise from Katie Hackedorn of Katie & Co.

Photos: Katie & Co.

Planning a spring wedding? It’s just about time to start spreading the word. To help guide you through the etiquette, scheduling and infinite style possibilities for your save-the-dates, wedding invitations and other wedding correspondence, we’ve invited renowned Houston invitation designer Katie Hackedorn of Katie & Co. to share her expert advice!

Save-the-Date or Not? Not all weddings require a save-the-date, however more brides are sending them now than ever. That’s because there are now so many creative options for printing, including the advent of digital photography—which makes it possible to use that perfectly adorable pic or from your engagement shoot or other romantic photo on your save-the-date. So even if you’re not planning a destination wedding, or a wedding on a holiday weekend or during a time of year when people may be traveling—traditionally the types of weddings for which save-the-dates were must-sends—you can set the tone and build excitement for your big day when it’s still about six months away.

Dinners & Brunches. Rehearsal dinner and brunch invitations should be sent separately from wedding invitations, as these events are not always hosted by the same people who are hosting the wedding. Often the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents, so the invitation should reflect that. It may have a more masculine feel than the wedding invitation and it may be much less formal. Invitation design is also influenced by the location of the dinner. Same thing goes for the brunch, which is generally a less formal affair and somewhat lighthearted and casual, plus it occurs at a totally different time of day, which affects the look of the invitation.

Looking for creative rehearsal dinner invitation ideas? We once did a beautifully engraved dinner invitation with the groom’s family crest embossed at the top. This signified the importance of family and was a lovely complement to the bride’s family’s wedding invitation. I know that some people feel that separate mailings are wasteful, but really, your wedding invitation deserves to stand on its own and be special, and not overstuffed with other items.

Wedding Invitation Schedule & Etiquette. Wedding invitations should be mailed six to eight weeks before the wedding. The mailing should include the invitation, possibly a reception card and a response set. You can also include a directions or accommodations insert.

I prefer simple straightforward wording, but every bride is different, and often there are circumstances that need to be reflected in the wording. The most reasonable way to indicate whom the invitation is meant for is to address the envelopes accordingly. Not writing “and family” or the children’s names SHOULD be enough. However, there are always those who don’t take note of whom the invitation was actually addressed to and decide to bring whomever they want. You should take note of and address these situations as soon you receive a response card that may have additional names written on it. A polite phone call by the wedding planner or a friend of the bride, saying, “While we would love to have your entire family, we are just unable to accommodate more than…” followed by names of the exact people the invitation was addressed to, should suffice. I don’t think most people realize the cost each uninvited guest adds to the budget until they have been on the planning end of their own event.

And remember, registry information is something that should NOT be included on or sent with the invitation; instead it may be communicated, by parents of the bride and groom or members of the wedding party, to those guests who call or email to inquire about it.

Looking to tap further into Katie’s invitation expertise? Love the look of Katie’s stunning work, pictured right here in this lil’ ol’ blog post? Call her at 713.802.1345 or visit Katie & Co. online!

Runner Rules: The When, Where and Wow of Wedding Aisle Runners

rose-petals-aisle
Perfectoutdoorweddings.com

No matter where you plan to say, “I do,” an aisle runner makes the ceremony site look complete. Traditionally, ceremony ushers roll out the runner (which is secured near the altar) from altar to aisle entrance to signal the start of the processional. And if you’re a traditional bride getting married in a traditional church ceremony, this may be the path you choose.

La Bella Storia - Trey W
The Original Runner Co.

But don’t think you need to stick to conventional customs when it comes to runners. With so many brides tying the knot in unconventional settings—in hotel lobbies, on lawns, in museums, on rooftops, etc.—practicality often trumps tradition in the area of runner setup.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

For outdoor ceremonies, especially those on grass or sand, you might choose to create a “runner” out of rose petals, or paper or fabric confetti—any scattered material, really, that allows you to walk safely and comfortably without snagging a heel and risking a ripped runner, or worse, a stumble or fall.

If you prefer a more traditional look, you can secure your fabric runner to wood flooring, creating a kind of runner boardwalk that allows bride, groom and wedding party to proceed (and recede) without incident. You won’t be able to do the traditional pre-processional rollout, but you will get the benefits of special-occasion grandeur and everyday safety in equal measure.

The Original Runner Co.
The Original Runner Co.

If you are investing in a custom runner—we especially love ones by The Original Runner Co., which makes non-slip fabric runners in a variety of extraordinary designs from romantic and classic to ultra-hip—you probably want to get the most for your money. It’s perfectly acceptable to have the runner fully rolled out prior to guest arrival, so that guests may enjoy its elegance from the moment they arrive. Just make sure the center aisle is roped off or otherwise blocked (with a floral arrangement or other removable pretty thing) so that arriving guests don’t use the aisle for locating their seats, and risk marring its pristine loveliness with footprints before the processional.

And remember, your aisle runner need not follow the straight and narrow—plenty of local florists and decorators can create winding, zig-zagging, swirling or otherwise non-linear aisle adornment. As for color, you’re not bound to tradition there, either. Yes, once upon a time, when evil spirits were thought to lurk beneath the earth’s surface, a white aisle was laid out to keep these baddies at bay and protect the bride’s purity. But this is 2010, and these days any color goes: tangerine, tourmaline, evergreen…pick your palette, and off you go, on your way to happily ever after.