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Dance Etiquette: Who Will You Share A Dance With At Your Reception?

There seems to be some confusion on who dances with who at the wedding reception. Who and when one dances with whom and so on and so forth.  Who dances first? Who dances next? Is this really a thing that you have to plan out? Sometimes with some formal events we need to be mindful these things. It’s time to clear up the confusion on who is in line first to last!

Bride and Groom

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The bride and groom share their first dance together first.The first dance wasn’t always for weddings, during the era of Kings and Queens when balls we a form of entertainment, the highest ranking member on the social ladder was usually the guest of honor. In this case this is the bride and groom. The purpose of the first dance was to set the mood of the evening and get everyone in the mood to cut a rug.


Father/Daughter Dance

Followed by the bride and the groom is the father/daughter dance. The purpose of this dance is form of “thank you” to dad. A thank you for all the sacrifices he made, for showing you how you should be treated by a man, and for continuing to show you love though your entire life even when you were difficult to love.

Bride’s Parents

After the father/daughter dance, the brides parent’s share a dance with each other.

Mother/Son Dance

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After the father/daughter dance, the new up and coming thing (a new tradition to the dance line), is the mother/son dance. This dance is also a form of  a “thank you”. This is a thank you for all the lessons you were taught, all the things that mom taught you, and for teaching you how to treat women (good thing, cuz you’re marrying an amazing lady!).

Groom’s Parents

Once the mother/son dance is completed, then the grooms parents take the floor.

While the grooms parents share their dance, the brides parent’s can join along with the bride and groom. This gives other the opportunity to cut in and dance with the bride and the groom.

Depending on time, if you have step-parent’s you may not be able to dance with everyone with the dance floor to yourselves. Be mindful of your time if you have a schedule to stick to!

Optional To Add To The Line-up

The Grandparents

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If your grandparents are well and able and you wish to share a dance with them, be sure to include them in the line up after you’ve danced with your parents. Make them aware that you wish to include them. You may even get the opportunity to dance with them if they ask to cut in.

The Groomsmen and The Bridesmaids

In certain reception ceremonies, maybe ones that are more formal, each groomsman would have the opportunity to dance with the bride and each bridesmaid would have the opportunity to dance with the groom!


So now that you’ve got the dance line up out of the way, who will you dance with at your wedding? Be sure to specify to your DJ who you wish to dance with and when and to which song. Each dance may not take more than a few minutes, but depending on the amount of time it takes to get through those dances, you have to remember the other traditions you may want to include. Don’t forget your comfy shoes!


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