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Popular Bridal Customs for Your Wedding Dance

Bridal Tradition

There is no greater festivity than a wedding to use music and dance for celebration, so it makes sense that these art forms have always been prominent in marriage ceremonies. Whether your wedding day is traditional or contemporary, the dances at the party afterwards will be as memorable to guests as the formal nuptials, in capturing the mood of the whole affair.

First Dance

It’s traditional for the first dance of the evening to be between the bride and groom, but taking to the floor in the spotlight as man and wife can be daunting. At Arthur Murray, we’re here to help: from choosing the song and style of dance to suit you, to the choreography, where we can create a routine as simple or as complex as you like. Taking wedding dance classes will give you more confidence on your feet together and ensure you start your married life as you mean to go on – perfectly in sync.

Mash up

If you can’t decide on just one song, or if you’d like the music to have special impact on your guests, we can choreograph your bridal dance to a unique compilation. You could start with a traditional love song and then break out into disco, followed by a salsa beat. Ending your mash up with a popular number as a signal to get the crowd dancing with you is a popular way to bring guests to their feet, joining the newlyweds and getting the party started.

Flashmob impact

If you don’t want the spotlight on yourselves for the whole first dance, enlist the help of your wedding party and select guests and organise a flashmob to surprise your family and friends. Flashmobs started as a seemingly spontaneous gathering of people in a public space to perform a bizarre or pointless act, but have taken over as organised dance routines that are increasingly popular at weddings. Footage of an elaborate wedding flashmob showing off the skills of your ‘secret dancers’ and your delighted guests’ reactions creates a unique memory of the day you’ll enjoy watching for years to come.

Father-daughter and mother-son dance

Once the bride has danced with her husband, she can also choose to honor the previous man-of-her-life with a touching father-daughter dance. It is a good idea to have a few lessons to learn some key steps to help dad lead his daughter around the dance floor on the big day. A modern twist on this idea is for the groom to dance with his mother, and in some instances the happy couple swap and dance with their in-laws, too.

Throwing the bouquet and garter

The irresistible tradition of tossing the bridal bouquet has remained popular as a wedding reception highlight and is often staged for the dance floor. The bride traditionally throws her bouquet behind her, to a group of single ladies. Whoever catches the flowers is said to be the next to marry. Similarly, the groom removes the bride’s garter and pitches it to the single gentlemen present, to find the next groom-to-be.

The ‘money dance’

The money dance started as a tradition in Europe during the early 1900s as a way to give the happy couple a little money to set up a new home; nowadays, it is seen as fun way to give the newlyweds some honeymoon spending money. Male guests are invited to pay a nominal amount to briefly dance with the bride – but just be aware that this can be a time-consuming tradition if you have a large guest party.

Anniversary dance

This modern tradition is a great way to get your guests of all ages up and on the dance floor. All couples are invited to dance and, throughout the song, the DJ calls out increasing numbers to represent years of marriage. At the call of one year, the newlyweds must leave the dance floor, and as the DJ works through two, five, ten years and more, the number of couples remaining dwindles. It is a lovely way to involve and honor the older generations present, who may otherwise hold back from participating on the dance floor.

Last dance

For the last dance at your reception, you can choose to play slow love song, as a marker for the end of the evening – perhaps a selection that was a runner-up for your first dance but didn’t make the cut? Or maybe choose a lively upbeat track for the young-at-heart who will continue partying after you leave? A medley of favorite songs – or a sneaky last-minute flashmob from the bridal party – as the newlyweds bid their farewells are other ways to let music and dance finish your wedding-day story with style.

Be confident in the spotlight

 Arthur Murray helps newlyweds make sure their wedding dances go off without a hitch. We offer a free bridal dance class so you can test the benefits of getting expert choreography tips for when all eyes are on you. Register for a complementary lesson on our home page or call one of our three Sydney studios for details.