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What is the order of dances at a wedding?

Weddings are special events that bring families, friends, and loved ones together to celebrate the union of two people. One of the most memorable moments of a wedding is the opportunity to dance and have fun with loved ones. But what is the order of dances at a wedding? Which dances come first and who dances with whom?

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the traditional order of dances at a wedding.

The First Dance

The first dance is typically reserved for the newlyweds. This is the moment where the newlyweds take center stage and dance together as a symbol of their new life together. This dance is romantic and should be chosen carefully. Couples may choose to dance to a song that holds special meaning to them or one that is just fun and enjoyable to dance to. This dance usually happens immediately after the wedding ceremony or after dinner during the reception.

Father-Daughter Dance

After the newlyweds have completed their first dance, it is time for the father-daughter dance. This is a special moment for the bride and her father. They are given the opportunity to share a dance that is sentimental and emotional. This dance holds a lot of meaning as it symbolizes the bride’s transition from her father’s care to her husband’s.

Mother-Son Dance

After the father-daughter dance, it’s time for the mother-son dance. This dance is similar to the father-daughter dance and is a special moment for the groom and his mother. It is a heartfelt way for the groom to show his appreciation and love for his mother.

Parent Dances

After the special dances with their parents, the couple will dance with the opposite parent. The bride will dance with the groom’s father, while the groom will dance with the bride’s mother. This might be a new dance for some families but is slowly becoming common in weddings.

Bridal Party Dance

The wedding bridal party is made up of friends of the couple who are closest to the bride and groom. It’s an opportunity to recognize and appreciate their friends for being a vital part of their lives. In this dance, the bride and groom dance with their respective bridal party members.

Open Dancing

After all the special dances have taken place, it is time for open dancing. This is the time when the DJ or band plays a series of songs to get guests on the dance floor and keep them there. The order of dances may vary depending on the couple’s preferences, and which dances to include at the wedding.


Now that you know the traditional order of dances at a wedding, you can start planning your wedding dance floor. Remember, the wedding dance should be memorable and fun for everyone, so choose the right songs, and always consider your guests when putting together a playlist. With this guide, you can be sure that the dances at your wedding will be one of the most cherished memories you’ll look back on for years to come.


Does bride and groom dance first or last?

Traditionally, the bride and groom’s first dance is a special moment that marks the start of the wedding reception. It is a significant gesture where the newlyweds take center stage for the first time as a married couple and share an intimate moment with their guests.

Typically, the first dance takes place immediately following the bride and groom’s grand entrance into the reception. Once the couple arrives, they are usually announced, and they make their way to the dance floor, where they perform their first dance. This dance is often viewed as a symbol of the couple’s commitment to each other and represents the start of their new life together.

However, the order of events during the wedding reception can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as cultural traditions or personal preferences of the couple. Some couples may choose to hold off on their first dance until later in the evening when guests are more relaxed and ready to dance themselves. In this case, the bride and groom may open the dance floor for their guests to join them and celebrate their special day.

In some cultures, the first dance is seen as a way to honor family members or close friends, with the bride and groom inviting their parents or other relatives to join the dance. This is a touching way to pay homage to those who played a significant role in the couple’s love story and can make for a memorable moment during the reception.

The bride and groom’s first dance is a beautiful and sentimental tradition that serves as a symbolic opening to the wedding reception. While it generally takes place at the beginning of the reception, the couple may choose to alter the order of events to better suit their preferences or cultural traditions. Whatever the case may be, the first dance is a significant moment and one that the bride and groom will remember for years to come.

Is the first dance before or after dinner?

The timing of the first dance at a wedding reception can vary depending on the couple’s preferences and the overall flow of the event. Traditionally, the first dance is performed by the newlyweds as a way to kick off the celebration and to symbolize their commitment to one another.

While there is no set rule about when the first dance should take place, most couples opt to save this special moment until after the sit-down dinner has finished. This is because dinner typically takes up a significant portion of the evening, and the first dance serves as a way to transition from the meal to the dancing portion of the reception.

Of course, some couples may prefer to do the first dance at a different time. For example, some couples choose to head straight to the dance floor at the start of the reception, which is quite often referred to as the grand entrance. This allows them to get the dancing started early and sets the tone for a fun and lively celebration.

The decision about when to do the first dance is up to the couple and should be based on their individual preferences and the overall timeline of the evening. Whether it takes place before or after dinner, the first dance is a cherished tradition that symbolizes the beginning of a couple’s new life together, and should be a moment that is enjoyed and celebrated by all in attendance.

When did mother-son dances start?

Mother-son dances are a common element in modern wedding receptions and are a poignant way for the groom to share a moment with his mom. While father-daughter dances have been customary for decades, the origin of the mother-son dance is less clear. However, many agree that dancing with a parent at a wedding reception originated with the father-daughter dance after World War II.

Before WWII, the tradition of a father-daughter dance at weddings was not prevalent. But during the post-war boom in America, many young members of the military were getting married. It was not uncommon for a bride to have lost her father in the war, so the father-daughter dance became a way to honor him and pay tribute to his sacrifice. As wedding receptions became more formal, the father-daughter dance became a standard element of the traditional wedding reception.

It wasn’t until later years that the practice of mother-son dances started to take hold. Some speculate that as more mothers began to play a larger role in their children’s lives, the mother-son dance naturally emerged as a way to celebrate that bond. However, others argue that the mother-son dance gained popularity due to its inclusion in Hollywood films and television shows.

Regardless of the origin of the mother-son dance, it has become a touching moment during modern wedding receptions. It is often considered one of the most emotional highlights of the day as the groom shares a special dance with the woman who raised him and has been a constant source of love and support throughout his life. Today, mother-son dances are an essential component of many wedding receptions and have become a cherished tradition for many families.