For many people, walking down the isle is the biggest day of their life. They spend months looking for the perfect dress or tuxedo for the traditional wedding ceremony. The whole occasion is usually very formal and organized. Even the couple’s first dance can be static and frankly, quite uninspired. Some waltz and act like they are at a regal ball while others like to have more fun using the time to be silly while shaking a leg. This post is about those who like to actually have fun when they dance. You’ll see songs and dances you know, but also ones that will surprise you. Either way, you’ll certainly get a kick out of these funny first wedding dances.
Evolution of Wedding Dance
Crazy in Love
Come Fly With Me – Skills!
Original Wedding Surprise – Viral YouTube Goodness
Chariots of Fire
Charleston – AMAZING!
Or, the Groomsmen can just dance by themselves
You’ll only have your first dance song once (at least per wedding), so you want to make it special. While there have been many brides and grooms who have decided to shake it up a bit, there is something to be said for a sweet and romantic traditional first dance.
There are, however, some things to remember when picking your song. Not the least important of which is the length of your song. Of course, it is your day, but you don’t really want to keep your guests from the buffet line for 7-9 minutes while you dance your first dance. A good length is anywhere from 2.5 to 4 minutes long. We’ve picked some songs here that fall into those time constraints, but have a nice sentiment and (in some cases) an opportunity to show off some good dance moves. Here we have your top 10 first dance songs for your wedding. Enjoy.
10. You Say It Best (When You Say Nothing At All) – Alison Krauss (3:55)
Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz wrote this song in the mid-eighties, and it first appeared as the A-side to Keith Whitley’s single release from his album Don’t Close Your Eyes (Lucky Dog was the B-side). The song really got exposure in 1994 when Alison Krauss and Union Station recorded at Keith Whitley tribute album. It’s been played at weddings all over the world, and remains one of the most popular first dance songs.
9. Can’t Help Falling In Love With You – Elvis Presley (2:57)
Written by seminal songwriters of their time for a little film called Blue Hawaii, Can’t Help Falling In Love With You is one of the most romantic releases by the King of Rock and Roll. If you’re looking to spice it up a little, try the UB40 version, released in 1993.
8. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters (3:06)
Despite it’s unlikely beginnings (it was originally in a bank commercial), this classic Carpenter’s tune is a mainstay of adult contemporary music, and is still in high demand at weddings all over the world. While not The Carpenter’s Grammy-winning tune (which was the sticky-sweet “Close To You”), “We’ve Only Just Begun” certainly helped The Carpenter’s win Best New Artist in 1971, and the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. While Karen Carpenter died suddenly and tragically in 1982, her clear and beautiful voice stays current even today.
7. Shameless – Garth Brooks (3:32)
Billy Joel originally wrote the song and it appeared on his album Storm Front. While it didn’t exactly set the music world on fire, it certainly caught the attention of an up-and-coming Garth Brooks, who covered it on his album Ropin’ The Wind in 1991. The song reached #1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks and remains one of Brooks’ most romantic and most-requested songs. Plus, it’s easy to dance to.
6. In My Life – The Beatles (2:18)
Few songs have a sentiment that is 100% right on. This brief Beatles tune, which appeared on the 1963 album Rubber Soul. John wrote the lyrics, Paul wrote the melody, and what was born was a sweet little ditty that is perfect if you a) want a REALLY short first dance song that gets your point across or b) really hate dancing and just sort of want to sway but still look cool because you picked a Beatles song. It’s a win-win, really.
5. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra (3:22)
There are oh-so-many versions of this song, but this is the version we like the most. The lyrics are just lovely (“with each word your tenderness grows/tearing my fear apart/and that laugh that wrinkles your nose/touches my foolish heart”), plus it’s got a nice little rhythm to it if you want to do something OTHER than just stand there and sway. Plus, it’s an all-about-the-bride song, which is never a bad thing.
4. Forever & Ever, Amen – Randy Travis (3:34)
For the country fans out there, this is lyrically perfect for a wedding, plus it’s got a little bit of a beat that you can dance to. Released in 1987, the song won a Grammy, and is one of Randy Travis’s best known tunes. Check out the sweet performance from a groom to his bride here, or take a listen to the original song (link to Randy Travis video) and tell us it’s not a near-perfect first dance song.
3. It Had To Be You – Harry Connick Jr. (2:51)
Written by early bandleader Isham Jones and released in 1924, this song has been performed by a slew of artists in many different films. Remember Casablanca? Annie Hall? We guess an ionic movie deserves an iconic song. And so does your wedding. The lyrical sentiments are sentimental and appropriate, if not a little melancholy (It had to be you/wonderful you/I wondered around/And finally found/Somebody who/Could make me be true/Could make me feel blue/And even be glad/Just to be sad/Thinking of you”), and it’s a classic standard that is well-loved and remembered. What could be better?
2. Lucky – Jason Mraz with Colbie Callait (3:23)
Maybe you’d like something a little more current. This cute little ditty just screams WEDDING SONG with it’s lilting melody and it’s romantic lyrics (“Lucky I’m in love with my best friend”). Destined to be a well-loved and often-used song for first dances, it makes the list because of its potential, but it’s a good choice also because it hasn’t had a chance to be overdone. Plus, even if your older relatives don’t recognize it, they can’t deny how catchy and sweet it is.
1. At Last – Etta James (3:02)
Call us cliché, but we’ve seen some of the most romantic and beautiful first dances danced to this song. So many, in fact, that we’re showing a clip from a movie rather than a clip of a bride and groom dancing to it. There are too many to pick from. Although the Beyonce version is nice (and Presidential), the Etta James version is a classic – you literally can’t go wrong with it as your first dance.
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Planning your own wedding can be stressful, especially if you want your wedding ceremony and reception to be an experience your guests will never forget.
Because even the most unique weddings can seem redundant after awhile, one of the best ways to add a little spice to your ceremony and/or reception is to incorporate your cultural heritage into the design of the wedding.
Whether your heritage is Chinese, Indian, Greek, Irish, African-American or even American, there are numerous ways you could incorporate your own culture into the style of your wedding. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to plan a cultural wedding:
The wedding music
Finding a specific band and/or songs to play at your wedding is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your cultural heritage into your wedding. If you are of Irish descent, for instance, you could find a Celtic group to perform at your reception, or if you are African-American you could look into some R&B performers or even traditional African drummers to perform on your special day.
If you’re lucky enough to find the right performer, you could hire them o perform a song in the language of your culture, or even dress up in a traditional outfit and dance out a routine as well.
Sometimes it’s as easy as a Google search in finding the right band to perform at your wedding, but if are struggling to find the right band and/or musician online you could always do some research into the various musicians and bands that are known for performing a certain genre or style of music, and then download their music off iTunes.
Incorporating your cultural heritage into the design of your bridesmaids dresses can be a little tricky, especially if you are on a strict budget. Not only that, some cultures (like the American Indian culture for example) believe that white is a color of mourning, so be sure to do the proper research beforehand before picking the colors for your bridesmaid dresses.
Sometimes it can be as easy and choosing a specific color for your dresses that will match the flag of your country, (for instance blue and red if you are English, or red if you are Chinese). You could also try shopping around for different designs, like a plaid design if you are of Scottish descent, or even traditional Geisha dresses if you are of Japanese descent.
Food and alcohol
When it comes to incorporating your cultural heritage into the food that will be eaten at your wedding, the world is your oyster…literally.
All you have to do is do some background research into the most common and favourable dishes that are typically eaten in a specific country, and you could also look into alcohol and/or beverages as well.
If you are of Asian descent you could serve some Saki or even rice wine at your reception, or if you are of French descent you could have some classy red and white wine to leave out for your guests.
When choosing the flower arrangements for your wedding or even the bouquet for the bride, try to research the various traditional flowers and plants that are prominent in your country of heritage.
If you are planning a traditional Indian wedding, try to pick flowers like the water or gloriosa lily, orchids, and musk rose. For traditional French weddings look for lilies or yellow and purple irises.
Superstitions and customs
If you truly want to pull off a cultural wedding, it is extremely important to look into the various superstitions and customs for each heritage and culture.
For instance, if you are planning a Russian wedding it is custom for the male guests to bring flowers, but not to give yellow flowers as they are considered to be bad luck. For a traditional Swedish wedding, the bride must wear three bands on her wedding finger, and for Spanish weddings the bride must carry twelve coins given to her by the groom in a small bag as a symbol of the groom’s passion and support.
For a traditional Korean wedding, apparently it is superstition to incorporate ducks and geese into the ceremony as they represent faithfulness, and in a traditional Greek wedding the bride must carry sugar on her wedding day to “ensure she has a sweet life.” Also, in Eastern European ceremonies, it is custom for the bride and groom to circle the altar three times to represent their “first steps together as husband and wife.”
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s written on online graphic arts programs along with a piece on English degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, playing piano, and working with origami.
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This is going to be a snark-free post – just so you know. If you want the customary snark, toddle on over to the weird laws site because we’ve been plenty snarky on that one lately.
Last year I was honored to attend an unconventional kind of wedding. In fact, my hubs was part of the wedding party. The wedding took place on Halloween, and I decided that since the happy couple’s one year anniversary approacheth, that that I would not only tell you about the happy day, I’d let the bride do it. Megan was nice enough to answer some questions for me and send me some photos, so enjoy!
1. What made you choose Halloween as your wedding date?
I absolutely adore Halloween! It has always been my favorite holiday. The dressing up, the scary decorations, the fall weather and of course, fall foods, like sweet potatoes! My daughters are the same way and dressing up is just plain fun! You can be all the things that aren’t “real” the other 364 days of the year. And everyone knows Jamie loves anything dark and gory! Add to that our family’s love of anything macabre and you get the perfect day for our wedding. Not to mention it is an easy date for the groom to remember! The movie “The Corpse Bride” sealed the deal, it was the inspiration for the whole thing.
2. Who did you choose to officiate your ceremony, and how did you know him/her?
Leighton Paquette preformed the ceremony. My aunt introduced him to us. The amazing thing was, I really only got to talk to him a couple of times. Maybe the longest conversation was an hour. And yet he nailed it. Jamie and I aren’t your typical couple. We’re square pegs trying to fit into a world of round holes. And Leighton got that. It wasn’t your typical stuffy or religious ceremony, it was ours and it was perfect. He said let him know if you have any questions for him. However,he wasn’t licensed to make it legal so another friend of the family who is filled out our marriage license.
LOL we got to dress up and be yet ourselves and for once no one gave us strange looks for it. I’ve always felt like Halloween is an opportunity for those of us who are a little…..out there, to be truly free of society’s expectations for one night.
4. What did you choose as your attire for the wedding and why?
I wanted to go with something fairy like but without dealing with wings. My mother, Debbie deTreville, is a wonderful seamstress, and she and my step-father, Jason Allen, designed a beautiful dress just by listening to me babble about a few I had seen that I liked. I wanted fairy-tale without the poofy Cinderella dress. It was a beautiful royal purple with iridescent wing like pieces attached at the upper arms and wrists. They both worked incredibly hard until the wee hours of the morning to get everything completed on time. They also did almost all of the decorations and all of the flowers. Jason (Jae) also carved several exquisite pumpkins to grace the tables.
5. What did the groom choose as his attire for the wedding and why?
Jamie wore a black suit and red shirt and black top hat with a skull topped cane. He chose that mainly because I wouldn’t let him wear jeans and the “tuxedo t-shit”. However, he looked wonderful in it. He picked it all out himself and I have to say, his taste was fabulous.
6. What were your instructions to your wedding party as to how they should dress?
We told them to wear whatever costume they wanted only to keep in mind there would be children in attendance. As lond as no one dressed like a bride or groom we were fine with it. We ended up with 2 Greek goddesses, a Renaissance princess, and a disco diva as bridesmaids, and a bodyguard, a convict, a pirate and Einstein as groomsman. Our oldest Samantha was a perfect little fairy flower-girl and the younger one, Jessica, was a spooky skeleton fairy ring bearer, which was all their idea and matched their personalities. My grandfather gave me away as Grandpa Munster aka Dracula. It was all so perfect!
7. What were your requests/suggestions to your wedding guests as to how they should dress?
We asked everyone to either choose a costume or to wear something afternoon wedding appropriate. We did however, ask that everyone be respectful of the children who would be in attendance and not wear anything too scary or risky. As it turned out, everyone who turned up was in costume except a couple grandparents who wore church clothes, and with the rest of the costumes floating around, they looked like it was a purposeful Halloween choice.
8. What type of music did you choose for the reception?
A very eclectic mix spun out by my dad, Kevin Carter who also helped my Aunt Kerstan with photos. we tried to stick with classic rock and roll and a few Halloween themed songs. Since it was a pretty neutral ground for me and Jamie.
9. What was your first dance song and why?
“Always with me Always with you” by Joe Satriani.
Jamie introduced that song to me early in our relationship and it just became our song. He even used to play parts from it for me on the guitar.
10. After one year of wedded bliss, how do you plan to celebrate your anniversary?
Maybe with a night out just the two of us….that’s a rare enough occurrence. Trick-or-Treating with the kids will top off our weekend.
Thank you, Megan, for telling us about your special day, and for letting our readers know that it’s fine to be yourself and do what YOU want to do on your wedding day.
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Cubic Zirconia (CZ) was developed by the Russian space program for use in laser guidance equipment as a cost-effective alternative to using rubies which were needed in early lasers. CZ is virtually identical to diamond in terms of its optical properties, and this lends the use of CZ to producing jewelry – it looks, shine and sparkles in almost identical fashion to diamond.
So why should you use a cubic zirconia stone in place of a diamond?
The obvious advantage over diamond is cost; diamond is one of the most valuable substances known to man and it costs roughly one thousand times more than a crystal of zirconium of the same weight.
Cost is not the only advantage over diamond which CZ possesses, just the most obvious one.
Diamond is a naturally occurring crystal which is formed by natural processes deep within the earth’s crust. CZ on the other hand is man-made, using a precisely controlled manufacturing process which allows for excellent quality control over how the crystal is formed.
All diamonds carry imperfections created by trapped gas or foreign matter, so upon close inspection you will see bubbles or imperfections within the stone. There may also be irregularities in the uniformity of the crystal structure itself. None of these imperfections present themselves with CZ, because the process is so stringently controlled – what you get with a zirconium stone is a flawless crystal.
Diamonds usually come with a clear to yellow hue; it is very rare to find a perfectly colorless stone because of the natural environment within which they are formed. Zirconium can be completely clear or have whatever color is desired, so you the jewelry buyer have a wider choice to select a stone from.
In colorless form, CZ is indistinguishable from diamond to the naked eye.
Diamond is a very rigid and extremely strong form of carbon atoms, laid out in a rigid pattern; in fact, it is the hardest naturally-occurring material known to man. This hardness and crystalline rigidity makes it difficult to cut a diamond, however zirconium lends itself to being worked by a gemstone cutter. The result is that zirconium can be worked into a wider variety of shapes and forms than diamond, which again means greater choice for you.
How brilliantly a stone reflects and refracts light which passes through it determines the sparkle it possess – this is known as “fire”. Zirconium refracts and reflects light better than diamond (remember the Russians developed it precisely for this purpose with their space program). Zirconium may be lighter than diamond, and less hard, but its crystalline structure ensures it is able to generate more fire.
While diamonds are naturally occurring, there is nothing natural about how they are extracted from the earth. Diamonds are mined requiring the use of huge amounts of energy and significant environmental damage is caused directly by mining. There are also large amounts of toxic waste produced in separating diamonds from the tons of earth which are excavated and must be disposed of.
Zirconium requires only a fraction of the energy which diamond excavation uses and waste products are minimal in comparison, making CZ the green alternative to diamond.
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Summer weddings are popular for a number of reasons: the brilliant sunshine, the ready abundance of flowers and plants, and the overall sense of energy and vibrant life that comes with the season. These sunny celebrations of love and eternity do present a seemingly inescapable fact of nature: the heat. Not to be dissuaded; however, countless couples choose to tie the knot outdoors during the summer.
Fear not! Surviving the sweltering temperatures is easily accomplished for both the guests and the bride and groom. Here are a few simple tips for keeping your cool:
- If you’re invited to a summer fete, choose a light-colored outfit (avoiding white, of course). The light colors will help reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler than dark colors. Also, if you wear a dress, avoid long skirts. Knee length or mid calf skirt will allow for the movement of air without smothering your legs.
- If you have long hair (bride or guest), wearing your hair up will work wonders to keep your neck and shoulders cool and pleasantly un-sweaty.
- Stay hydrated. One of the number one dangers during any summertime celebration is dehydration. Keep cool beverages on hand. This can be especially important for the bride and groom, as she is likely to be weigh down under layers of a heavy wedding gown, while he’ll be sporting a fetching (but also heavy) tuxedo.
- Try to stay in the shade. Avoiding the direct sunlight can help keep you cool as well as avoiding sunburn. Sunscreen is a must for outdoor ceremonies. No one wants a blistering sunburn as their thank-you note for attending.
So don’t dread the long ceremony in the sun. With proper planning and a little common sense, disaster can be avoided and you can cut loose and celebrate with the proper enthusiasm, without worrying about the heat.
Let’s face it: trying to do anything big and splashy like a wedding is tough, no matter the time you try to do it. But getting married during one of the worst recessions the International economy has ever seen – has been tough on a lot of brides. But do you realize there are actually some benefits to being a recession era bride? Let’s talk about some of the “good” reasons that getting married during the recession isn’t quite so bad after all.
A tighter wedding budget forces you to focus on what’s important. Do you really need calla lilies flown in from an exotic location at every table – or would you rather have delicious food at the reception? Do you really need an open bar all night long – or will a single signature cocktail do the trick? Do you really have to invite your very best friend from summer camp you haven’t seen for ten years – simply because you always wanted to do so? The recession era bride has an easier time of focusing on what is really necessary and needed at her wedding and what can be tossed by the wayside.
Today’s bride is a savvy shopper. Gone are the days when a bride would pick the very first wedding dress that gave her tingles up the back of her neck. The recession era bride knows to go to a variety of wedding dress shops and to take digital photos of the dresses she likes. To do more comparison shopping. Also not to be afraid to ask for a better deal – when a competitor’s shop is offering a coupon the shop you are in just might honor it as well – you never know!
A wedding truly isn’t about what you buy – it’s about what you are doing. Getting a beautiful dress and going on an exotic honeymoon is certainly fun. But the recession era bride realizes more than ever what matters is the special moment she’ll be saying her wedding vows with her husband-to-be. That moment when they’ll kiss for the first time as husband and wife. The treasured father and daughter dance or having her father walk her down the aisle. These special moments can’t be bought in a shop or charged to your credit card.
A recession era bride isn’t afraid to get a little creative. If that banquet hall is just too far out of your budget – or you can’t afford flowers or something else you’ve been dreaming of – the recession era bride doesn’t pout – she gets to thinking! Could she get married in the big backyard of a family friend or at her college or university chapel? Could she visit a flower market on an early morning and buy flowers at a discount or get flowers from the grocery store? Or would small potted plants from a nursery make great centerpieces (sure…why not?) that you just wouldn’t see anywhere else? In another economy that bride might not get as creative – but the recession era bride learns to stretch and expand her thinking like never before.
So if you’re a recession era bride – enjoy the special and treasured moments your wedding day brings. Enjoy being with family and friends and your first day of married life!
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