The Origin of the First Dance

When it comes to traditions and superstitions, there are many surrounding the wedding ceremony. Standing the test of time, they have been passed down for literal centuries and are a fun way to make the big day even more special!

Something old, something new, something barrowed, something blue…

From the new couple cutting the cake together to throwing the bouquet, and being showered with rice, there are tons of wedding traditions we all love to participate in.

Perhaps one of the most beloved wedding traditions, is the first dance. Dating back to the 17th century, the first dance originally had nothing to do with tying the knot but was instead held during the balls of wealthy families. Everyone would get all dressed up in their best and show up to show off. It was customary to recognize the guests of honor, so the hosts and their chosen guests would come together in the first dance of the evening. Once the dance was over, everyone would shake hands, and of course– dance the night away.

Exactly when and how this tradition became customary for weddings is unknown, but our best guess is some time in the late 19th century. Dancing has long been a way to celebrate milestones and all sorts of occasions…because well—it’s fun!

In the here and now– the bride and groom usually have the dancefloor all to themselves during their dance. This is a fairly new practice though. In a 1922 Etiquette guide it was recommended that the bride and groom not join in the dancing until their guests had begun, and the first dance was not considered a performance, but simply symbolic to the couple personally. In fact, the first dance was more about the guests, than the newlyweds.

As many traditions do though, the practice of the first dance has changed and shifted throughout the years to become what we know today…

Which is a great way for the guests of honor—a.k.a. the bride and groom– to share a moment together, while also entertaining their guests, and creating a memory that will last a lifetime.

Contact Fritzler Wedding Films to get your First Dance and more captured!