More and more marriers are foregoing the traditional first dance to kick off their wedding reception. Curating that concept of a “first dance” is so often a reflection of the personalities and relationship of the spouses-to-be. Having more than one cookie-cutter first dance option to choose from can be liberating, especially for LGBTQ+ marriers already pushing the envelope of cultural norms and putting delightful spins on classic traditions.

Private first dance

A solo first dance is not only a great photo opportunity but also a designated chance to have a quiet moment after saying your “I dos.” While your guests enjoy cocktail hour, marriers can take a beat to enjoy their first dance as newlyweds. Some couples play their favorite song on a record player in the space where they got ready for the ceremony, while others get a first look at their reception space and have the DJ or band play them into the next chapter of their lives.

All guests first dance

Not a fan of the spotlight? No problem! Invite everyone to the dance floor for one big dance party to kick off your celebration. This can be a great way of kickstarting the energy on the dance floor, setting the tone for the rest of the reception. If you have guests who are unable to get out on the dance floor for one reason or another, set up a few chairs on the outskirts of the designated dancing area so everyone can be involved and comfortable at the same time.

Chosen family dances

A scaled-down version of a first dance with all guests is a chosen family dance. Similar to the traditional parent-child dances that have historically been a wedding standard, this intentional act of dancing with your chosen family is a great way to merge outdated customs with individually tailored moments of connection.

There are infinite variations on how to compose this type of dance. One starting point would be to designate one song each for the marriers and their chosen family to dance together, and then a third one for the couple to dance together. Another option to that would be playing one song, with each newlywed dancing with each of their people for a verse or two and then coming together to dance as spouses for the final part of the song.

First song

Replacing your first dance with a first song is a bold choice for karaoke lovers and musicians out there! You could even incorporate your musically inclined guests or ask everyone to sing the chorus with you. Whether you choose something campy or sincere, grabbing the microphones and singing your heart out is a memorable start to your wedding celebration.

No first dance

First dances are not for everyone, and that’s OK. Your wedding day is precisely that: yours. Do what makes you and your partner feel comfortable and happy. If that means no dance, ditch it! There are plenty of other special moments to be relished.

Looking for another alternative to a traditional first dance? Check out our 2023 wedding trend spotlight to see if a private last dance might be right for you!

Featured photo by Forest and Fog Collective