Wedding Ideas

Bye-Bye First Dance?

Posted on December 09, 2014 by Phoebe Lett

Drew Noel Photography

Would You Replace Your First Dance with a Toast?

Some couples just don’t feel comfortable performing a First Dance, with all eyes on them as they sway back and forth, whispering to each other. The choreographed dance, or the samba in place of a slow dance, the dramatic dips and twirls…that’s just not their style.

If we’re going to have a spotlight, we want to say something to our guests.

I attended a gorgeous wedding not too long ago, and we were all surprised – a nice way to start a reception! – when the deejay announced that in place of a First Dance, the bride and groom would like to propose two separate toasts to all of their guests. The bride and groom hadn’t shared their toasts with each other before that moment, so their words were surprises for each other as well. I thought it was completely brilliant.

The groom went first, reading from his prepared toast on a card, thanking everyone for the gift of their presence, and thanked the bride’s family for welcoming him as one of their own. He talked about the model of his parents’ marriage, and the lessons he learned from them about what makes a successful partnership. He thanked his bride for approaching him as he dined alone one evening, and talked about how they chatted for four hours that night, a story none of us had ever heard. And he thanked her for saying yes to his proposal, telling her she looked beautiful not just today, but every day.

The bride went second, laughingly revealing that she hadn’t written a speech out, but that she too was glad she mustered up the courage to approach ‘the hot guy looking completely at ease dining by himself’ that fateful night, and how each day reveals more and more to love about him. She thanked her family, her groom’s family, and her her friends and spoke about her departed father with such poignancy that no tears of sadness loomed. It was a joyful moment.

Without a spotlight toast, if they had just danced a dance for two minutes, their reception wouldn’t have taken on such an immensely warm and sentimental feeling, imbued with the depth of love between this couple and their families.

Aisle Files Tip: It may be in place of your First Dance, or it might be right after the dinner and before the dancing, or right before you cut your cake, but do consider making beautiful toasts to all, as a highlight of your wedding day that makes the day truly your own, and reflects what’s most important about the occasion: your marriage existing within the circle of your family and friends, and how rich you all are to have one another.


What do you think? Would you trade in your First Dance for a toast? Tell us!