wedding dance activities
Wedding Planning Wedding Traditions & Ceremonies

Wedding Dance Activities

Wedding Dance Activities

Within the last century, traditional dances have fallen to the verge and dancing has become more of a free-for-all. Modern weddings include the newlyweds’ first dance as a married couple and parent dances. Choreographed dances are also becoming more popular.

Here are some of the popular traditional wedding dances:

First Dance

wedding dance activities

The first dance is typically done either immediately after the couple has made their grand entrance into the reception, or immediately after the first course of the meal is served. The song they choose to dance to can be upbeat or a ballad, but the music should hold some meaning to them. It might be the song they first danced to together or simply their theme song.

Family Dance


bride’s father and bride’s dance and groom’s mother and groom’s dance are traditional. They can be done at the same time or consecutively, depending on how comfortable the participants are in the spotlight. If one of the parents is deceased, the groom or bride can dance with another family member; for example, a bride with a deceased father might decide to dance with her brother or new father-in-law instead. Alternately, they can forgo the dances entirely.

Money Dance

wedding dance activities
© Mark Sebastian via Flickr

Although not entirely traditional, a number of dances appear often at wedding receptions. An example is the dollar dance, also known as the money dance. In exchange for a few dollars, every guest gets the opportunity to privately congratulate the happy couple while also contributing to the newlyweds’ future. However, this dance is quite controversial, so talk to your betrothed before planning it.

Final Dance

End the night with a fun, cheerful song for the last dance. It’s often the youngsters – and young-at-heart – who remain on the dance floor at the end of a wedding, so choose something upbeat to let the evening end with a burst of energy.

Dance Floor Activities

wedding dance activities

Dancing is an essential component at most wedding receptions. We look forward to the couple’s “first dance” and the bride’s special dance with her father. It’s also a place to get loose and funky if you’re a guest or a member of the wedding party.

But what if the wedding planners decided to add some fun and surprise to the dance floor by adding fun activities there? This doesn’t mean a rousing version of the “Bunny Hop”, which, while maybe essential, is hardly unique.

There are, however, many fun games and activities a couple can add to your dance floor activities that are sure to be a hit.

Try a fun game of the “chicken dance“.

wedding dance activities

Ok, so that doesn’t sound too original. But if most of your guests are just sitting at their tables, watching a few brave couples dancing, or just finishing their meals, you might want to get everyone up and having fun. Try this game.

The DJ announces a number. Everyone looks under his or her chair, where there is a number. Depending on the number of guests at the wedding, there might be only numbers “1” and “2” or more, up to 5.

So, say the DJ announces number “4”. Each person checks under their chair to see what their number is. These numbers can be written simply on a piece of masking tape and affixed to the underside of the chairs when the reception is being set up. Each “4” in this scenario will head to the dance floor to do the chicken dance with the other “4s”. Not only does this get people out of their chairs and on to the dance floor, but they also get to know other wedding reception guests they might not otherwise know.

One dance floor activity that’s gaining popularity is to bring in a dance teacher for the wedding reception.

As a kind of pre-dance activity, the teacher will quickly walk people through their paces on the dance floor, perhaps teaching a bit of the waltz or, for something completely different, a little bit of the tango, before the music officially begins and dancing commences.

Having a dance teacher do a bit of teaching not only livens up the reception right from the start, but it gets people out on the dance floor who might otherwise be too self-conscious normally to get out there and let it all hang out. And practically speaking, it will likely make the wedding guests feel more confident in their skills before the “official” dancing begins.

Another fun activity to get everyone on the dance floor, including even the most reticent, is something you can refer to as the “snowball” dance.

This is a good way to jumpstart the dancing at the beginning of the evening.

wedding dance activities

Here’s how the “snowball” dance works. The wedding party, bride and groom included, will head to the dance floor for a fun dance. The music for this dance should be fast, something with a disco beat or a fast song that most people have at least a passing familiarity with. After a bit of wedding party dancing, the music stops. The female members of the wedding party move into the crowd and bring back one male each. The male members of the wedding party do the same, but they bring in female guests. The dancing then begins again. This is repeated until all the guests are dancing. It’s truly a snowball effect!


Fun Wedding Music Activities

Music is as much a component of a good wedding as food and drink. You can have a wedding without music, but it’s likely it will seem a little quiet and dull. So, whether you have a full live band, a string quartet, a DJ spinning tunes or recorded music from a boom box, it should be included.

But music’s not just for dancing.

There is a myriad of activities you can plan around the music that will add an element of fun to your wedding.

One popular idea is to play musical chairs.

Sure, this is a fun kid’s game and you don’t want to insult your guests in any way, but you can have some fun with this version of musical chairs. The chairs can be just about anything, from chairs lined up from the food tables to the floor, if you think your guests might be open to sitting on the floor (and then having to get up and down again). One fun option is to use the men as the chairs – they kneel on the floor, with one knee on the floor and the other bent. The women sit lightly on the men’s’ knees as they are playing musical chairs. When either the man or woman falls down, that couple is out, until one couple is left.

Some brides and grooms like to play musical chairs in order to give away the table centerpiece. The centerpiece was something that many guests like to take home. Instead of assigning a number and awarding the centerpiece to the person in possession of that number, you have each table play musical chairs until the person left standing is the one that gets to take home the centerpiece.

How about a rousing game of “name that tune”?

This is a game that’s best for a smaller, intimate wedding where everyone knows the bride and groom well. Prior to the wedding, whoever is planning the wedding should get a list of favorite songs of both the bride and groom. Create a CD of those songs, and then create a game of “name that tune”. Guests can be divided into teams and then be played just a small snippet of each song.

After guests hear that first snippet, they can then “bid” on how quickly they can name the tune. So, one group might say they can name the tune in 10 seconds. While the other group might say 5 seconds. Once one group has bowed out, the other group will then have to “name that tune”. This is a fun game that gets everyone involved and which the bride and groom are particularly delighted by.

Depending on the style of the wedding, there are many fun games you can play to get the bride and groom out on the dance floor. Now, if this is a very large and very elegant wedding, this option might not work since there is certain decorum to maintain. But for a casual, fun, family-centered wedding some of these games can be fun.

If guests want to “call out” the wedding couple onto the dance floor, they can be asked to get out on the dance floor themselves first and hula hoop or perform their own version of a breakdance.

Much in the way guests sometimes have to “perform” to get the couple to kiss. This is another way to get the guests involved and have fun in order to create fun wedding memories for the bride and groom.

If there’s one thing that’s essential at weddings (other than the happy couple and the vows), it’s dancing. While most of the fun that happens on the dance floor is for the guests, there are a few dances that are meant for certain important people in the bride’s and groom’s lives.

Be sure to know all of them and never miss them.



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