How To Dance At A Wedding Reception: Complete Guide

It’s easy to learn how to dance at a wedding reception when you know the tips and techniques for every kind of wedding dance. The reception typically has the first dance, parent dance, and guests’ dance.

We will go through each type so you’ll look your best dancing at a wedding. And if you’re curious about the partnerships, please refer to who dances with who at a wedding

how to dance at a wedding reception


How To Dance At A Wedding Reception: Tips For All Wedding Dances


How to dance wedding first dance

The most traditional wedding dance is the first one, which the newlyweds do. There is no specific wedding dance etiquette for the couple’s first dance as it can be as romantic and slow or fast and lively as they want. 

However, it’s more common for the wedding first dance to be done at the couple’s favorite love song. Here is how you can practice with your partner to avoid feeling nervous:

  • Decide on a song for your first dance; it can be as short as you want, but ideally, it should be at least 3 to 3 minutes
  • Familiarize yourself with the beat of the song and pick a rhythm; practice with your partner in front of a mirror
  • Be natural with your movement, and don’t feel pressured to make complicated dance moves
  • If one of you is the better dancer, assign them as the leader and allow them to direct you while slow dancing
  • Try classic romantic dance moves like the waltz box, under arm-twist, and finish with the dip
  • Keep your free hands clasped while moving

Read who dances first at a wedding to know more about the wedding first dance. 


How to dance with daughter at a wedding?

Another classic wedding dance is the father-daughter dance or the bride dancing with her father. This is the first parent dancing at a wedding or you can check when is the father-daughter dance at a wedding

  • Choose a song that represents your relationship with your daughter best; make sure that you’re also comfortable dancing to the rhythm of this song
  • You can practice a choreography three months before the wedding if you want to perform for the guests
  • Find tutorials online for dance steps to use; waltz, rumba, and even two-step are popular for the father-daughter dance
  • Practice in front of the mirror while wearing your wedding shoes


How to dance with mom at a wedding?

Besides the bride and her dad, the groom and his mom also typically dance at the wedding reception. It usually comes after the father-daughter dance. 

  • Discuss with your mom regarding the music and duration of the mother-son dance
  • Practice with the shoes you’ll wear at the wedding 
  • Create a routine with three acts or dance according to the rhythm of the song, whichever you’ll feel the most confidence in; some dance moves that a mom and son can do are simple turns and sways
  • Avoid looking at the crowd if it makes you nervous
  • Have a good time 


How do guests dance at a wedding?

The final dance at the wedding reception is usually upbeat. Guests are dancing on the dance floor and having fun with everyone. 

You can try steps like swinging your hops, rocking your hips, lifting your foot, or doing an upward groove for this dance. You can also dance with the guests you’re closed with and follow their movements. 

You can imagine yourself at a party or simply follow the song’s rhythm that the DJ plays. But, ultimately, have fun and do not overthink dancing at the reception. 


What Is The Order Of Dancing At A Wedding Reception?

  1. First dance
  2. Parent dance
  3. Wedding party dance
  4. Party dance

Note the type of wedding because some cultures may have other dances in the wedding venue. 


Do I Have To Dance At My Wedding?

There are no rules regarding being obligated to dance at your wedding. However, some couples might not like being the center of attention, so they’ll do another thing instead of the first dance. 

Some brides or grooms might also have a different relationship with their parents, so they omit the parent dances at the reception. And of course, you can always celebrate being newlyweds instead of dancing using other ways. 

And if you’re having only the reception, read how to do a reception-only wedding


What can I do instead of the wedding dance?

  • Sing with your partner
  • Have a lengthy toast
  • Invite the wedding party to the dance floor
  • Hire other performances to serenade you or perform for the guests


Does Everyone Dance At A Wedding?

Not everyone is obligated to dance at a wedding, especially if you’re uncomfortable, shy, or simply don’t like going on the dance floor. You can also talk to the couple if you’re part of the wedding party since some receptions expect a performance from the bridesmaids and groomsmen. 



Was this guide helpful? To recap how to dance at a wedding reception, you should familiarize yourself with the song and practice a rhythm. 

Consider practicing in front of a mirror using tutorials online of basic moves such as waltz. Ultimately, have fun and don’t feel pressure to be perfect. 

Leave a Comment