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Jenny
Frequent user September 2022 Ontario

First dance - before or after food?

Jenny, on April 17, 2022 at 10:12 Posted in Wedding reception 1 23
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So I’m working on my wedding timeline and my mom and I are disagreeing on this so I’d love some additional input - I want the first dance before the food (with father/daughter and mother/son dances afterwards) so that it spotlights us and I won’t feel bloated during my first dance, my mom says that no one does it that way and people want to get right to eating and won’t enjoy watching us dance since it will delay dinner. Are you doing your first dance before or after dinner? If you are already married, do you have any regrets about when you had your first dance?

23 Comments

Latest activity by Danielle, on May 13, 2022 at 05:12
  • Danielle
    Frequent user April 2022 Ontario
    Danielle ·
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    Newly married April 29th - We headed to the dance floor straight from our entrance and did our first dance. My wedding coordinator actually recommended it before I ate and felt full - It also worked out so that we still had beautiful, natural light for photos (I’m not a big fan of flash photography)! I’m really happy we did it that way - It was perfect timing.
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  • Rebecca
    Curious June 2022 Quebec
    Rebecca ·
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    We are doing ours right after our entrances, and a speech. We are doing our 1st dance and then father/daughter dance. followed by supper
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  • Andrew
    Newbie September 2022 Ontario
    Andrew ·
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    You are totally right. When we planned my friends wedding they came right in and did the first dance and the cake cutting. It flows well. The elderly relatives love to see that stuff, and will often already be eyeing the door by the time dessert rolls around, so they appreciate it when it's earlier in the event too.

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  • KELLY
    Featured October 2023 Ontario
    KELLY ·
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    We are planning a "special dance" so we will transition right from our grand entrance into our first dance-I agree it makes with others that feel it makes the most sense.

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  • Kara
    Frequent user June 2022 Ontario
    Kara ·
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    We’re doing ours after
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  • Brooke
    Curious October 2022 Ontario
    Brooke ·
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    Hi Jenny,

    A wedding that my fiance and I went to a couple months back, the Bride and Groom did a transition right from their grand entrance into their first dance song, and that is what we're going to do as well. Seeing that from a guests' perspective, it definitely made sense because dinner opens the table for your guests to converse with one another, meanwhile, if you do your dance beforehand, it allows for all the attention to be on you Smiley smile

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  • Stephanie
    Frequent user August 2024 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    That's a really good point, never thought about it like that. I want it after our entrance anyways, but thanks for sharing that
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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    I can almost guarantee you that if you have your dance while guests are seated and there's something on the table for them to eat or drink, almost no one will pay any attention to you. They'll likely be stuffing their mouths or chatting with one another. That might be fine if you're the shy type and don't want the attention but personally, I would find it incredibly awkward to be dancing in the middle of the floor while everyone is ignoring you. And the pictures/video will be weird if you see people eating/talking in the background while you dance. But that's just me though.

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  • Candace
    Newbie November 2023 Alberta
    Candace ·
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    We kind of have to do dinner before the dance because we are doing the ceremony at around 4 or 4:30 as my dad has to eat fairly early. I guess we could try to squeeze our first dance in as we weren't planning a long ceremony but I hired a harpist for it and the first hour of the reception and that would make it awkward for her I think. I thought it would make it a little easier if we did the ceremony, let her take a break and everyone eats and then did the dances. We are doing the traditional father/daughter, mother/son dances and breaking out to everyone else. I really think it would flow better too if we didn't break that up.

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  • Jenny
    Frequent user September 2022 Ontario
    Jenny ·
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    I was totally going to skip the garter toss too but my fiancé said he wants to do it 😂 I’m feeling a lot more confident with my decision to do the dance before eating now that I’ve got all the feedback from here.
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  • Malyssa
    Featured October 2022 Alberta
    Malyssa ·
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    Still trying to figure this one out myself - we are having a bit of a later day in general, and I know I hate when I need to wait to eat but were still trying to decide if we have a dance at all lol

    BUT - I have seen it done both ways.

    The time I saw it done PRIOR to dinner, it kinda worked perfectly with their venue - their dance floor was in a separate space than where we ate, but we had to walk through the dancefloor to get to the dining area, so we waited there - bride and groom entered, did their dance and then we went and ate. I dont think they did any family dances so also worked out for them.

    When it was done after - it was done a while after the dinner - so I can't say how the bride felt but I feel like it was a decent amount of time for her food to settle. We kinda did all the speeches and stuff first then they danced.

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  • Brittany
    Frequent user August 2023 Alberta
    Brittany ·
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    I am doing the first dance before dinner! I personally find it flows better. Especially for our venue.

    Our venue coordinator suggested we do before dinner when we do our grand entrance. When she told us and I had the chance to think about it, to me it seems a lot better of a timeline. She also said that every wedding she has done, most of them follow what she says and they ended up loving the idea.

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  • K
    Newbie October 2022 Ontario
    Kayla ·
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    We will be having ours before the first course. We have a cocktail hour where hors d'oeuvres will be served so guests will be fine. The dance is less than 5 minutes. When I attend a wedding, I have a little snack before I leave my house, and I keep a small granola bar in my purse just in case. If you want the attention on you and your partner, go for the dance before the food. Who cares if "that's not how it's done", I am forgoing the whole garter thing because I think it's super creepy. Just because something was done for a long time does not make it the correct way.

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  • Hailey
    Featured June 2022 British Columbia
    Hailey ·
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    We were originally aiming to do it after dinner for ours!
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  • Stephanie
    Frequent user August 2024 Ontario
    Stephanie ·
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    I agree with this
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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    Sounds like a good plan
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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    We are going to pick a party song that all the bridal party will dance to, to start the party after dinner and formalities!
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  • Rayanne
    Featured June 2022 Ontario
    Rayanne ·
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    I'm torn now. I had thought after dinner to start the party. We aren't doing any mother/father dances so it's just ours. We have to make a decision soon though.
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  • Amanda
    Featured August 2022 British Columbia
    Amanda ·
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    We are having our first dance after dinner
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  • Carmel
    Featured December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
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    We also did it with our entrance after cocktail hour. If you have food between the ceremony and reception, people want a food break!! Also it's like 5 minutes so no one will starve haha. This seems to be the most common timing for the first dance.
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  • Melissa
    Newbie April 2022 Ontario
    Melissa ·
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    We are doing our first dance before dinner just after the grand entrance. Then parents dances after dinner. We are having cocktail hour after the ceremony so that will give people a chance to get something small to eat.
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  • N
    Curious June 2023 Ontario
    Nelly+Raquel ·
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    We’re having a cocktail hour and we are doing our first dance before dinner. All other dances will be done afterwards
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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    We are doing ours before dinner! Guests will have food during cocktail hour (at our wedding) so waiting another 10-15 mins while we have our first dance shouldn't be a big deal. Our plan is basically walk in the reception and go right into our first dance then start dinner service! I saw multiple wedding planners reccomend this on Pintrest and I like the flow of it.
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