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12 Secrets for a Spectacular Surprise Wedding Dance

The bridge and groom aren’t the only ones who can have a wedding dance – sometimes friends and family get together to surprise them with a dance of their own. It’s a way of celebrating the happy couple’s union, and saying thank you for all the planning that went into what is after all, a huge party for everybody.

While this sounds like a great fun idea on the surface, it can be a recipe for disaster if not planned out thoroughly. After dredging the web, here’s the best advice I found on making the surprise wedding dance truly remarkable – while not upstaging the happy couple, of course 🙂

  1. Confirm in advance there is enough room. That wedding dance floor might look roomy, but how will it be with 150-200 guests there? Running over the groom’s grandparents is not the sort of “wedding surprise” anyone wants.
    • Pro tip: Plan for a time when the guests are seated, instead of milling around on the floor.
  1. Choose an upbeat song. Something popular and energetic can really turn heads and accentuate the “wow!” factor of the wedding dance. Need some ideas? I’ve included a bunch at the bottom of this article!
  2. Dance a Popular Routine. If you don’t want to be original, why not borrow from music videos like Thriller, or movies like Grease or Footloose?
  3. Keep it appropriate. Unless this is “Crazy Freddy’s Wedding Shindig”, keep the lyrics clean, the moves classy, and the costumes leaving plenty to the imagination.
  4. Get a choreographer. While looking at videos on YouTube can give you the bare essentials, it’s about 1000x easier to put together a complete routine with someone who knows more than the basics.
    • Pro Tip: Discretely check in with any friends and family members who are dance-inclined. There’s a good chance they’ll help out for a discount, or even for free!
  1. Practice, practice, practice. Do I need to say more? The more effort you put into it, the more amazing that wedding dance will look.
  2. Practice in your dress shoes. This might seem like a small thing, but shoes can have a big impact on your balance and grip on the floor. Get to know yours better.
  3. For that matter, practice in your full wedding outfit. If your outfit is going to get caught on yourself or someone else, best to find it out BEFORE the wedding dance. Trust me on this one.
  4. Follow the KISS Method.  In other words, Keep It Simple, Silly! The more people you have joining you for the dance, the harder is for everyone to nail the same moves at the same time.
    • Pro tip: Use a repeating line dance pattern, and encourage the other guests to join you!
  1. Confirm the details. The day before, send out the final what, when and where to your wedding dance participants, so everyone’s on the same page.
  2. Timing is important. In other words, don’t interrupt other parts of the wedding schedule – the couple’s first dance, for example (the bride will kill you), or the best man’s opening speech (the groom will kill you).
  3. Go with the flow. Make the wedding dance where the guests are – or have a darn-good excuse for why they should come to where you are.

Upbeat Song Ideas:
Can’t Stop the Feeling! by Justin Timberlake
White Wedding by Billy Idol
I Got a Feeling by Black-eyed Peas
Can You Do This by Aloe Blacc
Candy by Robbie Williams
Get Lucky by Daft Punk
Happy by Pharrell Williams
Replay by Iyaz
Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada
Feel so Close by Calvin Harris
Me, U and The Music by Lemar
Only Girl (In the World) by Rihanna
This Is What You Came For (feat. Rihanna) by Calvin Harris

Sources:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/10-ways-to-wow-guests-with-surprise-wedding-dances_us_594a6e14e4b0710bea889ad1
https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-forums/surprise-wedding-dance/e93d2af9dad39081.html
http://www.dancedivas.ie/info/news/wedding-dance
http://www.musicmixing.net/surprise-wedding-first-dance-ideas-tips/
https://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Surprise_Wedding_Dance

About the Author
Ian Crewe has been dancing ballroom for over 18 years, and has a Licentiate in American smooth and rhythm. His passion for dance eventually led him to blogging and the World Wide Web. Ian currently teaches at the Joy of Dance Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada.

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