Free as blue bonnets in the summer…

 

 

If the bride and groom are both from Texas, you might expect the first dance to be a two-step. What you might not expect though, is for it to also be sweet and romantic. Count this a win for lace and cowboy boots!

 

The very first lesson.

 

First dance Texas style!

(And a little snippet of Stephen and his mom)

 

Did you enjoy your lessons?

 

 

You are the best thing…

… that ever happened to me.

 

 

 

Some couples are just cute, and this one definitely is. Just look at them! And being laid-back and willing to laugh at themselves also made them fun and easy to teach. It was an honor to be there to see it all come together on that beautiful fall evening.

 

The bloopers reel!

 

The big moment!

 

 

Take My Hand…

 

 

 

I wondered for awhile how this couple kept improving as quickly as they did. It was obvious that they were practicing, but I couldn’t imagine how since he was frequently on the road as a long-haul trucker. So, I finally asked, and the answer is just the sweetest thing. He would actually park next to other rigs at truck stops and practice his part in the space between them. Meanwhile, she was here doing her part while balancing two jobs and a toddler. Talk about dedication! And as you’ll see, all that hard work totally paid off with a beautiful (and kinda sexy) first dance.

 

So much work on every little detail!

 

Surprising everyone with a beautiful first dance!

 

 

 

 

 

And I get to kiss you baby just because I can …

How do you maintain a relationship long distance? Well this couple could probably give us all some pointers, because while they were planning their wedding, he was living here in Memphis and she was nearly 250 miles away in medical school. And they even managed to fit in dance lessons so they could have a first dance as gorgeous as they are.  Score another one for the power of love!

Taking the time to learn together.

 

Worth it!

 

Just thinkin’ bout…

 

 

This couple is plenty adventurous (They snowboarded into their wedding!), but one of the first things Janelle said to us was, “We both hate dancing in public.” Well I guess we created a monster (two actually), because by the time the wedding rolled around they had learned not only their first dance choreography, but also some push-pull, merengue, and salsa. They were actually looking forward to dancing at the reception!

 

Learning how to not hate dancing!

  

And he still sweeps her off of her feet!

 

All I Want is For You to Be Happy….

As a former gymnast (She even has a move named after her!), this bride was up for anything. Good thing her handsome groom was willing to work as hard as she was, because this upbeat first dance really is packed with goodies.

 

Plenty of concentration here.

 

Gorgeous!

Fresh as a Ocean Breeze

This couple just proves the old saying “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” You see, while they were taking lessons one of them was living in Memphis and the other in St. Louis. Talk about dedication! Completing this routine took a lot of planning, but it was all worth it when they had their gorgeous and romantic first dance on the beach at sunset.

Teamwork gets it done.
Tropical perfection!

 

Wedding Dance Snags to Watch Out For


The first dance is one of the highlights of the reception, so you’ll want to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. Let’s look at a few common (and easily preventable) problems that you might encounter.

Too Long Song

Let’s start with your song. Hopefully you’ve picked out something that you both love and that is meaningful to you. That doesn’t mean you have to use the whole thing! People get bored quickly and you’d be surprised how long 3 or 4 minutes can feel when everyone’s eyes are on you. Have your song professionally edited (not that expensive) down to 1 ½ to 2 minutes and everyone will be happier.

 

 
Gorgeous, but can she do the wobble?

 Dress Stress

You deserve to look like a princess on your wedding day, but remember that all those layers, lace, sequins, pearls, and whatever else will feel very different from what you usually wear. Even bustled, wedding dresses sometimes cause unexpected problems. Long before the big day you should put on the dress and try moving around in all directions. Walk forwards, backwards (often difficult), and sideways. Try spinning around. And if your gown is strapless, make sure you can raise your arms over your head comfortably. Having a boob pop out when your dad twirls you around is next level embarrassing.

If you do find any problems with movement, your dressmaker may be able to help. If not, just make sure you clue in your fiancé, father, and choreographer (if you have one) ahead of time about your concerns

Shoe Boo

Just as with the dress, practice dancing in your wedding shoes. This is especially true if you’ll be wearing 4-inch stilettos when you normally sport tennis shoes. And if you plan to wear different shoes for the ceremony and reception, be sure to tell your dressmaker to account for any difference in height. Whatever height heel you decide on, use a nail file to smooth any rough spots so they won’t catch on the fabric of your dress. And if your shoes don’t have straps, consider using clear elastic straps over your instep when you’re dancing so that your shoes stay on securely.

 

Professional Confessional

Good communication with the professionals involved in your wedding is essential to avoid disappointing results. Speak to everyone ahead of time so they know exactly what you want.

First speak to your contact at the venue about the size and layout of the floor. How will people be arranged around it? Where will you be walking on from? What type of surface (carpet, tile, wood) will you be dancing on? Also ask if you can practice on it ahead of time. You’ll feel more relaxed if you can.

If you’ve had your song edited, make sure your DJ has a copy. If not, you may want to ask him or her to fade it out after a certain amount of time. He or she also needs to know when to start the music (i.e. as you’re announce, while you’re walking on, when you’re in position, or on your cue).

The photographer and videographer will approach your dance a little differently depending on what you’re doing, so tell them what to expect. If you’re doing a standard stand-and-sway (no judgement) they’ll stay close and focus on your faces and maybe take some shots of your feet. If you have something more elaborate planned they’ll want to move back a bit to be sure to fit it all in. Clue them in on any “spectacular” moves like lifts or dips so they know where to position themselves for the best shots.

Rehearsal Dispersal (okay, it’s a stretch)

The last (and maybe the most important) thing is to practice together ahead of time as often as you can. You’ll feel a lot less stressed if you can dance with each other comfortably and know what to expect. And besides, it’s fun!

Breezy Boho First Dance

 

Since they’ve already been working together for years running an iconic downtown restaurant (eat at The Arcade ya’ll), this couple truly knows the value of teamwork. Add in hard work, crazy hours, and gallons of coffee and you get a beautiful first dance. Oh, and the bare feet? If it wasn’t already romantic enough, the wedding was in a tent on the beach.

 

 

Hard work and lots of coffee!

 

Casual elegance at it’s best.

A Modern Fairy Tale

 

When the bride is a professional wedding photographer, you know her standards are going to be high. But this gorgeous couple even exceeded their own expectations. From the moment he presents her with the flower to the final dip, this Viennese waltz is pure romance. And if that weren’t enough, Elizabeth secretly recorded herself singing their song (she has a beautiful voice). You can see the emotional moment toward the end when he realizes that it’s her. So beautiful.

 

Having fun and working hard.

 

The story unfolds.