The first dance at a wedding is something that both guests and the couple look forward to. Usually occurring in the evening, once the reception guests have arrived, the first dance is considered by some to be the catalyst to start the party! If you’re anything like my partner and I, you will have spent a little time brushing up on your moves prior to your wedding in an attempt to impress your guests, and naturally may have some questions about the first dance, like how to announce it.
So, how do you announce the first dance at a wedding? Typically, the first dance will be announced to guests over the microphone or PA system by either the DJ, the Toastmaster, or a designated member of the bridal party or groomsmen. This announcement usually takes place immediately before the first dance, with a slight pause to allow guests to gather around the edge of the dance floor.
It is generally expected that the bride(s) and/or groom(s) will be applauded onto the dancefloor and applauded once more upon completion of their first dance.
As with any wedding formality or tradition, how the first dance is announced should be down to the preferences or requirements of the happy couple.
The announcement of the first dance is a long-standing wedding tradition.
It is likely that your wedding coordinator or vendors will anticipate this to be part of your wedding day, so they may have prepared the announcement to happen at the agreed-upon time rather than waiting for you or your partner to instigate.
When planning our own wedding, my partner and I agreed that we would like to have as little to organize ourselves as possible on the actual day, so we can enjoy the party!
For us, it was important for our first dance to be announced, as we had been brushing up on our dance moves and wanted some photos taken to celebrate this special moment.
We decided to ask the DJ to announce our first dance over the speaker system, asking guests to gather on the dancefloor before the first dance began.
However, there are lots of options for how to announce your first dance; choosing the one that suits you as a couple best is key.
Different Ways To Announce The First Dance
There are lots of different ways the first dance can be announced. Typically couples will ask the DJ, musician, wedding coordinator, Toastmaster, or designated member of the bridal party or groomsmen to announce the first dance to the guests. This may be done over the microphone or PA system or simply via raising their voice above the noise of the crowd, depending on the size and facilities of your venue.
If you are asking the DJ to announce your first dance, it is important that you have the conversation with them beforehand.
This way, they can be made aware of timings, song choices, and anything else they need to know to allow your first dance to run smoothly.
As a matter of fact, be it the DJ, a musician, or a band playing your first dance song for you, it is important that they know when the first dance is being announced and who by, so they can prepare accordingly.
It is also a good idea to let them know when you would like other couples to be invited to join you on the dancefloor – if this is something you would like – or if you want your first dance to just be your partner and yourself.
If your wedding coordinator is announcing your first dance, it is likely that they will organize the necessary arrangements surrounding your first dance.
We would always recommend having a conversation with them prior to your wedding day to ensure that everything – including your first dance – runs as smoothly as possible.
An increasingly common trend is asking the best man or maid of honor to announce the first dance.
If you are planning on this, perhaps see if the DJ or venue has a PA system or microphone that they can use – to ensure their voice isn’t lost amongst the crowd of guests.
At weddings we have been to, the Best Man has made an announcement as part of his speech about the timing of the first dance so that guests are prepared.
We would also recommend having a wedding day timeline displayed for your guests so that, rather than relying solely on an announcement, guests will be aware that the first dance is happening around, say, 7 pm, and can begin to make their way to the dancefloor.
When Should The First Dance Be Announced At A Wedding?
According to tradition, the first dance at a wedding should be announced immediately prior to the dance beginning, perhaps giving guests a minute or two to gather around the edge of the dancefloor, awaiting the bride(s) and groom(s) to begin.
By announcing the first dance just minutes before it is about to begin, it ensures that guests have time to gather and watch the beautiful, meaningful tradition.
Usually, couples will choose to schedule timings for their first dance, perhaps after they have cut the cake, and as these are two of the main parts of the evening wedding celebration, it is likely that guests will want to be a part of these two special moments.
It is very common for couples to have displayed at their wedding an outline or timeline of the key moments of their wedding day – the first dance being one of them.
Guests will be aware that a first dance is going to happen at this time and, it is likely that upon announcing the first dance, they make their way to the dancefloor.
The first dance only needs to be announced a few minutes before it actually begins.
Does The First Dance Need To Be Announced?
Unless you want to hold your first dance relatively privately, it is a good idea to announce your first dance so that your guests can be a part of the moment with you. That being said, there is no obligation to announce your first dance at your wedding.
We have attended weddings in the past where the couple were quite reserved and wanted to keep their celebrations as low-key as possible.
The music started, and they just began a slow dance together before the DJ asked other couples to join them on the dancefloor for the remainder of the song.
Whilst that was lovely, and exactly what the couple wanted, it did mean that some of their guests did miss out on the privilege of being part of the special moment that is the first dance because they were doing other things as they weren’t aware it was happening.
So, whilst there is no obligation to announce your first dance, it is often a good idea to announce it just before, to allow your guests enough time to make their way to the dancefloor to celebrate with you.
Choosing the perfect song to accompany your first dance is also something to consider; it will set the tone for the rest of the night! (we have some articles that may be of interest linked here if you’re looking for inspiration!)
One of the main benefits of announcing your first dance is that guests will be able to fill the dancefloor and kickstart the party right after your first dance song has finished.
What a way to begin married life!
Have other questions related to the first dance? Then you may want to check out my other articles:
- When Is The First Dance At A Wedding? [What Time Exactly?]
- Does The Bride Dance With Her Father First?
- What To Do Instead Of First Dance [First Dance Alternatives]
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.