Sunday, October 9, 2011

The First Dance: Not Just a Song

You know when it's time to pull out the camera at a wedding - the first notes of Elvis or Shania come floating from the DJ booth. The couple embraces, smiles at each other and starts to dance. After 20 blissful seconds comes awkward swaying and boredom. Don't be this couple.

Your first dance isn't an obligation. If you don't like to dance and the thought of 150 people circling the dance floor to get a glimpse of you two eye-locking doesn't do it for you, then don't do it. Simply tell your planner to cut it out of the timeline.

But, if you want your two minutes of expressing love through words of someone who knows how to sing it, listen up...

You just said "I Do," something you've been rehearsing how to say for many months, if not years. You just shouted to the world that you've found your soulmate, the person you plan to have and to hold for the rest of your life. While Eric Clapton sure has a way of making me feel wonderful tonight and Lionel Ritchie can sell me on endless love, you can do better if these songs don't have a special meaning to you. Now there's no need to get upset and defend these beautifully written ballads! I personally think they are perfect...when the couple connects perfectly with them.

This is your first real chance to make a statement about your love to the family and friends that just witnessed your first real commitment of love. Dig deep.

Here's how to proceed:

1) Turn on the radio and tune in (together!). Start with the oldies station, then hit the easy listening station, maybe some country, and then pop and soft rock. Write down any artists or songs that remind you of your coupleness. Compare notes!

2) Remember: Just because it was popular in 1952, doesn't mean that it's outside the realm of possibilities. And Remember: Just because it's popular (and possible overplayed) right now, don't nix it from the list. The goal is to find YOUR song, and what's going to make you smile after 20 years of marriage.

3) Lyrics matter, too. There are lots of pretty songs to choose from. But if it says nothing about what made you get down on bended knee or say yes, it doesn't matter.

4) Stop when you find the one! Don't make the mistake of instructing the DJ to play your 8 favorites songs throughout the course of the evening that describe you as a couple. Your guests know that you've "Had the Time of Your Life" and that you can "Feel the Love Tonight." What they don't know is why, so tell them. In one song.

Bottom lines:
Make your first dance something you'll remember.

Not because it was the easiest song to box step to, or your current favorite song on the radio, or what everyone else will recognize.

But because, when you close your eyes, you think of all the reasons that led to knowing this one moment had to happen.