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How to Coordinate Traditional Wedding Dances. How to plan your first dance. Wedding Dances. How to plan a reception. Wedding Reception Dances. Wedding Dances are such a beautiful part of the reception. Everyone loves to watch the newlyweds twirl around for the first time as husband and wife as well as watch their parents celebrate with their own traditional dances.

There are truly only three traditional dances that are usually included with the wedding reception (until you get into more religious receptions and even some cultural traditions) You can do all of them or none of them, or you can make them all your own personal style!

How to Coordinate Traditional Wedding Dances

First things first, you’ll need to decide which dances you’re going to do from the list below:

  • First Dance {Bride & Groom}
  • Father & Daughter Dance
  • Mother & Son Dance
  • Wedding Party Dance
  • Anniversary Dance
  • Crowd Dances/Crowd Games {YMCA, Cupid Shuffle, Trivia etc}
  • Money Dance
  • Additional, cultural and/or religious dances

You can visit Project Block 14’s Pinterest Board for ideas!

The First Dance

Traditionally, after speeches are made, the couple gives their Reciprocation toast and then makes their way to the dancefloor. There are literally hundreds of different songs you can choose for this dance including slow songs, hip-hop, choreographed songs or even a fancy tango! Whichever style you choose, the two of you essentially “break open” the dancefloor to start the party.

The Father-Daughter Dance

Depending on your relationship with your parents you may be very emotional here or go a little overboard. I think that this dance is truly meant to honor your relationships with your parents. This may be a very sentimental moment with a baby picture slideshow in the background, or it might be upbeat and choreographed. Here is one example of an alternative dance for the Father & Daughter number… My dad and I don’t really have that ‘slow dance, sentimental’ relationship… so we did THIS instead. You can too! I’ve also had Brides do a dance with their moms!

The Mother-Son Dance

Not surprisingly, most sons want to avoid this one, but it is really, very important to the moms! Now that I myself have two sons I will be highly encouraging this at their weddings! Grooms, go dance with that momma and make sure she knows she isn’t being replaced! Moms might {I say might because I’ve had some pretty emotional FOBs} be a little more sensitive to the meaning of this number than the dads are. Give her her time in the spotlight for raising up such an astounding gentleman.

Double Dance Number

It is entirely acceptable for you to do these dances at the same time, so the same song if you’re all 4 uncomfortable in the spotlight or don’t want a whole 2-minute song to your selves. You can also have Mother & Son come in at 1 minute into the Father-Daughter Dance.

Time to Start the Party!

Once the three main traditional wedding dances are complete it is time to start the party! There are a few ways to do this. You can pick one, or do them all! You can also do none of them and let your DJ start the party with a song he/she chooses. But, because I like to coordinate everything, here are some options:

Wedding Party Dance

This is a dance where you invite all of the wedding party to break open the dance floor. They can dance to either a fast song or a slow song with either their aisle partner or their own significant others. By adding this to your structure you’re including the wedding party as well as giving your guests more time to warm up for dancing.

Anniversary Dance {one of my favorites}

I love doing this one right after the Mother-Son Dance because it keeps parents and the newlyweds on the dancefloor one more round. Plus, it’s really fun and has a trophy! For this dance, you invite out all married couples for a dance. You then have an Emcee announce for all couples who have been married less than a DAY, to remove themselves… That’s YOU TWO! {This gives you a fantastic window in the timeline to go out for sunset pictures!} The DJ then announces for couples who have been married less than a year, 5 years, 10 years… and so on until you’re left with the longest married couple still on the floor. The sap in me loves this because it gives them a spotlight and public tribute to their success as a couple. If you’re not tossing your bouquet you can award it to them as a trophy!

Crowd Dances

You know what these are… Your DJ just needs to know which ones you want and which you definitely don’t want… like the Chicken Dance… just don’t, please…. This option happens when you skip the Wedding Party or Anniversary Dance, or I suppose third if you do them all! There are so many more dances that the crowd can do than just the Cupid Shuffle, so I’ll sen you to the Project 14 Pinterest Board for that research.

Evening Wedding Dances

At some point, the dancing will slow down as your reception parties on. Guests will begin to slow down from the initial celebrations and dancefloor excitement to grab a drink or get some air. Openings like this are the perfect opportunity to put a scheduled/traditional dance into your timeline like the Money Dance or others. I think that these dances are best done when the flow feels right and they’re not forced. Let your guests and your DJ run the show and overall party atmosphere!


Post Image Credit(s) ~Kelsea Joann Photography



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Hi there! I’m Kandice, Owner of Green-Eyed Girl Productions and engineer of The Project Block System. Thank you so much for stopping in on this blog post! For more Wedding Inspirations, How-To Articles, Vendor Advice and DIY Projects, join our Inspired Coordination Newsletter by subscribing below. You’ll get informational posts just like this in your inbox on Fridays.

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