We normally recommend that the first dance is done right after cocktail hour once guests are seating in the tent. If you choose to do introductions of your bridal party or just the bride and groom, right after that announcement is the perfect time to share your dance with everyone and then enjoy your dinner. Some couples choose to save the first dance for after dinner, which is also acceptable.
Just because your first dance song is six minutes long doesn’t mean that the band or DJ has to play the whole song for you. Talk with your band and/or DJ and let them know how long you want the song to be and when a good time would be to fade it out. If you do want to dance to the whole song, think about inviting your bridal party or other guests to the dance floor half way through the song so that you don’t lose everyone’s attention.
When you start thinking about your first dance song, compile a list of songs that remind you of each other or songs that have really played a role in your relationship. Then sit down and play all of the songs you came up with and do a “First Dance Test”. If you can’t really dance to the song then it makes it easier to take that one off the list and move on to another one. Now, not all dance songs have to be slow songs! I have seen many couples dance to songs that are more upbeat like Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams Come True”.
While I think dance lessons are a great idea for couples to get down the basics for their first dance, I am not an advocate for a choreographed first dance. The main reason for this is that when you are sharing your first dance with your new spouse, you want to be focusing on him/her and the moment you are in, instead of thinking about the dance steps and what one you may forget. If you want to do a fun, choreographed song, save it for later in the night and have it be a surprise with less pressure!