First Dance Tips From Boston’s Best Wedding Professionals

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Your wedding reception is more than just a celebration! It’s a time for you and your significant other to share your first meal and have your first dance as a married couple. Two important moments that will live in your mind and photo album forever…

Photography Credit: Fat Orange Cat Studio

Your first dance is more than just a lap around the dance floor. So, it’s important to plan accordingly. That’s why we reached out to some of the best wedding professionals in Boston for their advice on a flawless first dance.


When selecting your music, James DiNanno of Meritage Entertainment recommends you listen carefully to the lyrics. He warns that just because a song sounds beautiful instrumentally doesn’t mean it’s going to make sense lyrically. So take your time and find the perfect match.

When his couples are having a difficult time generating ideas, James shares this Spotify page that he created with a variety of first dance options.

Bo Winiker of Winiker Music recommends you choose a song that is timeless. He suggests tunes like “I’m Glad There Is You” and “A Kiss To Build A Dream On” as selections that will stand the test of time. However, he and his band are willing to learn any song that’s special to the happy couple.

Needless to say, your musical options are endless. That’s why we recommend you choose at least two songs. Bring a couple of options to your dance class and let your instructor help you choose the song that’ll make you shine.

Once you select a song, it’s important that your DJ / band has the correct version. One song can come in a variety of tempos and lengths.

James recommends you choose an edit that’s 3 minutes long at the most. Any longer and you’ll begin to feel uncomfortable while your guests get antsy. If your song is longer than 3 minutes then James recommends you find a good time to fade out. Otherwise, you can work with a DJ like Meritage Entertainment who specializes in custom edits and professional mixes that can eliminate a bridge or final verse.


As you know, timing is everything. So it’s important to schedule your first dance at the right time during the reception.

Ted Daniels of the Boston Harbor Hotel suggests that you start your first dance with your introductions.  After the bride and groom have been welcomed into the room, Ted recommends that the DJ/band go right into the first dance without skipping a beat.

Photography Credit: Bartek & Magda Fine Art Wedding Photography

We agree, the best time to perform is at the start of your reception. Not only is it a great way to get the party started but it allows you to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening without being nervous for the dance that’s to come.

That being said, you may choose to perform after dinner is served.  In that case, Kasie Blanchette of EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design says your wedding planner or venue coordinator should give you a five-minute warning before the DJ/band calls you to the floor. She recommends you use that time to mentally prepare and freshen up.

Michelle DeVoe of Demiche Beaute agrees that taking a moment to reapply your lip color is important. After all, the first dance is a major photographic moment and you’ll want to look picture perfect!


The best way to capture great photos of your first dance is by sharing your choreography plan with your photographer and videographer. Take a moment during your formal photos to quickly run through your first dance. Show your photo/video team when you plan to turn and dip.

Photography Credit: Bartek & Magda Fine Art Wedding Photography

Jamie Podworski of JPod Films says that it’s especially helpful to mention where the front of your performance will be facing. Dance floors are often positioned in the middle of the ballroom making it difficult for videographers like Jamie to know which side will have the best view.

That being said, Jamie believes the most important advice that he can give any couple is to smile. Theresa Johnson Herlihy of Johnson Photography, Inc. agrees that the best photos come from a couple who is relaxed and having fun. However, she shared one other tip that we really loved…

Theresa says that if you’re planning a dip during your first dance then be sure to hold it and seal it with a kiss!

Now that’s what we call a perfect first dance!