Updated: Mar 17, 2019
First dances are not limited to heterosexual couples these days. With the legalization of same-sex marriage last year, there are sure to be many long-awaited weddings in the near future, of which the first dance is an important part. Whether the wedding’s style is simple and elegant or fun and silly, there is a first dance style that will fit every couple’s theme, no matter the genders of the couple.
Selecting a Song
Before the choreography can begin, the couple must first choose their song and the type of dance they would like to have. Many couples prefer a slow, intimate dance, while others opt for something more upbeat, like a swing dance.
Many swing songs are instrumental only (such as the famous tune “In the Mood”), so they do not mention genders, but a same-sex couple might prefer a song with lyrics about love and romance. Fortunately, many of the most classic love songs do not mention gender and are inclusive of same-sex couples. “At Last” by Etta James, “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong (or Rod Stewart), and “It Had to Be You” by Harry Connick Jr. do not mention the gender of their beloveds, so these songs will feel more personal and applicable to same-sex couples.
Of course, there are now songs about same-sex couples (and likely more to come), such as “Lay Me Down”, a duet between Sam Smith and John Legend, and Tracy Chapman’s “Wedding Song”.
Choreographing the Dance
Unlike straight couples, there is no tradition or road-map when it comes to same sex couples and the first dance. However, couples, both gay and straight, should work towards a first dance that is meaningful to them, rather than following in the footsteps of tradition. The spouses-to-be should work closely with their dance instructor to ensure that they get exactly what they want when it comes to their first dance.
Although many dances generally have a “male” and “female” role, choreography can be developed that places each member of the couple in equal roles. There may be multiple stages of the first dance: first a slow, intimate dance, followed by a playful, trendy dance that may or may not encourage your guests to join in and get the dance floor moving. Whatever you want for your wedding first dance is possible, so don’t feel the need to follow the pack and do what your family or guests might expect.
Don’t Let Others Dictate Your Day
While the law is now on the same side as the LGBT community when it comes to marriage, there are still a few lingering nay-sayers regarding non-heteronormative relationships. Just remember that your wedding is your day to enjoy with your new spouse. Pay no attention to any relatives who may tut at the sight of an intimate first dance, your first kiss, or any other PDA you might show at your wedding. Remember that they do not determine what is right or wrong for your wedding, you do. Don’t let them bring you down on your day, even if that means making an adjustment to the guest list.