A motion-blur exposure of the bride and groom dancing creates swirls of purple, pink, and amber lights for a high-energy feeling.

Fun Wedding Reception Dances and Photo Tips

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Just Dance!

Among all of the many cherished traditions you see at weddings, the one that truly gets everyone up on their feet is dancing. Here are just a few of the fun wedding reception dances you may see in Colorado that keep the celebration alive and the dance floor buzzing.

The Classic First Dance

A bride hugs her groom tightly during their first dance at their reception.

Newlyweds often share an intimate first dance to symbolize their love and commitment. From timeless waltz classics to contemporary hits, couples often choose a song that reflects their unique journey or has special meaning during their time dating each other. Whether choreographed or not, the first dance serves as an emotional high point during the reception that touches everyone’s hearts.

Father-Daughter Dance

The bride hugs her father following the beautiful toast he just gave as the sun sets in the background.

The father-daughter dance, a time-honored tradition in weddings, holds immense sentimental value. This poignant and bittersweet moment when a bride dances with her father, marks the transition of his daughter from his little girl to a married woman. The father-daughter dance captures this deep emotional bond and unconditional love between a father and his daughter. The song selection for this dance varies from traditional classics to contemporary melodies, each carrying a special meaning to the bride and her father.

Mother-Son Dance

The groom hugs his mom and his bride following the mother and son dance.

The mother-son dance symbolizes the special bond between a groom and his mother. As the music begins to play, the groom and his mother take to the dance floor, surrounded by family and friends. This dance signifies a poignant moment, where the groom expresses gratitude, love, and appreciation for his mother’s continuous support throughout his life. One recent wedding that I photographed incorporated the mother of the groom reaching out to the bride at the end of the dance for a beautiful inclusive moment.

La Marcha

A recently married couple dance with each other at the end of the traditional La Marcha.

La Marcha begins with a long chain of couples of two, as they dance around the room in a circle, symbolizing life in motion. Soon after, the couples separate, with the men moving to one side and the women on the other. A single line then forms, snaking its way through the room, mirroring the twists and turns that life presents. At some point during the dance, the couples join hands overhead, forming a bridge that signifies the building of connections in life. Each couple then moves through the tunnel in turn and comes out at the other side, putting their hands up to extend the bridge. After all of the couples and the wedding couple move through this tunnel, the dance concludes with everyone encircling the bride and groom, demonstrating their unwavering love and support for the newlywed couple.

Longest-Married Dance

An older couple holds up a one hundred dollar bill that they won during the dance celebrating the couple with the longest marriage anniversary.

The longest-married dance celebrates the enduring love and commitment of couples who have been married for a significant number of years or who have reached a remarkable milestone in their marriage, such as 50 or 60 years.

During the longest married dance, all of the couples at the wedding take to the dance floor. The DJ will ask that couples leave the dance floor as he calls out lengths of time, such as one or two years, and so forth. These couples will then sit down. The last married couple still dancing at the end wins.

The DJ typically will ask this couple to give the newlyweds sage advice that they’ve learned throughout their many years of marriage. Often, a monetary prize is given by the wedding couple to the longest-married couple as a token of appreciation and recognition.

The Hora

The traditional Jewish Hora highlights many Jewish wedding celebrations. This lively dance involves guests linking hands and forming a circle. As the energy builds, honorees of the event are lifted on chairs high into the air for an exhilarating and memorable experience.

The Money Dance

A young girl gives the groom cash for the traditional money dance at a wedding reception.

Be sure to stop and get cash before your next wedding and have your billfold ready during the dancing part of the reception. For the money dance, guests “pay” to dance with the couple by pinning dollars on their attire. It’s a great way to get some one-on-one time with the newlyweds and extend best wishes to the happy couple by helping contribute to their nest egg.

Dancing Photo Gallery

Photo Tips

  • Think about your lighting and match it to your style aesthetic. The better and more interesting the lighting, the better and more interesting your photos will be.
  • Hire a great DJ to keep your group excited about being on the dance floor throughout the evening. Guests that have fun and are in the moment help create better, more energetic photos.
  • Let your photographer know for the first dance if your partner will dip you and where that will happen in the song so they can position themselves to capture the moment.
  • If you have a small group of people, be sure to ask your photographer about doing a blurred style, like the featured image of this post, to make the dancing photos more interesting.
  • Strobes, disco balls, and other special effects enhance the dancefloor experience. These will be captured in your photos so expect your skin to be purple, pink, and maybe even spotted with bursts of light. These are part of the fun of dance photos and are generally not removable in post-editing.
  • Glow sticks look great in photos for color and for getting people involved in dancing. However, they are tricky in photographs as their long length may block out people’s faces. Expect a lower yield of photos when using glow sticks.

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