The first dance, also known as the Bridal Waltz, is when you dance with your spouse for the very first time as a wedded couple. It can have emotional significance as well as being an opportunity for incredible wedding day memory.
However, getting the best wedding photos of your bridal waltz doesn’t just happen organically. Quite often, your excited guests will be surrounding the dance floor making it difficult for your wedding photographer to get the perfect shot. Similarly, there may be venue staff in the background.
If your wedding photos are important to you, here are 3 tips on how you can get
The Best First Dance Photos on your Wedding Day
1. Fake It (No, Seriously!)
Some of the best wedding photos are candid moments because nothing beats a real moment.
But what’s to say that a staged moment isn’t real?
Perhaps you can consider staging a few photos of your first dance before your guests enter the reception. You can even fit in a quick last-minute practice too!
There’s also a practical reason as well.
Sandra of Emerald Bridal explains, “If you have a long train, it only makes sense to bustle the dress up for your first dance. However, this means that your wedding photos will not show the full glory of your wedding gown.”
Similarly, many brides opt to change to an evening gown that has better maneuverability for partying. By staging the bridal waltz beforehand, you can still have incredible photos in your wedding dress and change into your evening gown when the time comes. It’s a win-win situation.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to fake a few shots of your bridal waltz beforehand to get the full dramatic effect.
“I always encourage my couples to sneak into their wedding reception before their guests do.” says Sydney wedding stylist Lilac of Upside Down Events.
“Quite often, the couple will not get to see the finished space in all its glory and only see it when their guests have already taken their seats.”
“As a wedding stylist, of course I want to show off my team’s hard work but most of all, I want my clients to experience the full magic of their wedding vision, in private.”
“Therefore, I usually try to find out who their wedding photographer is, give them a friendly call before the wedding, and see if they can take a few photos of the couple, in their stunning reception venue, before everyone else comes in.”
Doing this will require some coordination so it is best that you inform your wedding planner and/or venue manager so that they may make the necessary arrangements.
2. Hire The Right Wedding Photographer
It should go without saying that you should do your homework before you hire a photographer for your wedding.
These days, it is super easy to review a photographer’s portfolio – Instagram is a visual social media platform that many wedding photographers use to showcase their work.
First dance photos take place in typically darker settings. This is because venue staff tend to dim the lights down for the bridal waltz. Therefore, you should review a photographer’s portfolio carefully, especially taking note of how their work looks like in darker environments. This will give you a better idea of what you can expect from your wedding.
3. Have Fun!
The bridal waltz is the first formal dance that most couples will do together. There are steps to memorize and having everyone turning their attention to you can be unnerving.
The more conscious you are of this, the higher the chance that you will be stiff and uncomfortable. As a result, you will be stiff and uncomfortable and your wedding photos will show this.
“Nobody will know that you did a misstep.” Jack of Jack Chauvel Photography says. “As your wedding photographer, I’m probably the person paying the most attention and even I won’t know if you have missed a step or sequence from your choreography.”
“What matters most is how you feel in the moment and the best photos have always come from the awkward laughs and joy that comes from sharing your first dance with each other.”
This definitely sounds like good advice!
So whether you miss a step or step on each other’s toes during your first dance, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy every single moment because the way you feel in those moments are truly once-in-a-lifetime.