Bending Wedding Traditions | The First Dance

If you haven't met me or we've just met, you might not yet know that I'm considered to be "weird" by my brother, have been named "spunky" by a friend, and that my favorite color is rainbow (well...if you made it to my blog you probably knew that). I also like to dance whenever the feeling strikes me; this usually happens when I'm shopping at the mall ALONE. Long story short, I like to have fun, and I don't like to be constrained by what I think people could be thinking. That's not to say that I always throw caution to the wind and do whatever I like - I get embarrassed just like everyone else, so sometimes I do show a little restraint!

However, one day on which I didn't want to follow all the rules was my wedding day. When I first started the planning process I immediately felt overwhelmed by all of the rules I was supposed to follow and the many traditions I had to observe. I was beyond excited to be finally planning my wedding, yet I felt stuck. After a heart-to-heart with my trusted confidants, Ruben and I decided to observe the traditions we wanted to observe, throw out the traditions that didn't mean anything in particular to us as a couple, and to put a twist on the rest.

Once I shed the shackles of "doing it right" and started down the road of "doing it my way," wedding planning became so much more fun!

There are so many wedding traditions out there, and if you ask me, the only ones worth observing are those that mean something to you and your fiancé. You spend a whole day with your closest friends and family making an incredible commitment to someone you love, why not make every moment of that day meaningful?

I will be dedicating a weekly (hopefully!) blog post to breaking away from some of the standard wedding traditions. I may stray far, or I may just take a little detour. Either way - when it comes time to plan your own wedding, how far you stray from tradition is completely up to you.

And now that you know my thoughts, perspective, and intentions, onward we go!

The First Dance

Ruben and I searched high and low, near and far, and probably through hundreds of songs for the perfect first dance song. We didn't want to dance to a traditional first dance song. Some of the more common first dance songs, such as "At Last," by Etta James are among my favorite songs - I mean come on, they are CLASSICS! But they didn't inspire me in the least as our first dance song. I remember exactly when we decided on our song. I was "groove-sharking" songs in my parent's kitchen, and got sidetracked by Queen (greatest band ever!). I put on "Don't Stop Me Now" (a long time favorite) and while I was bouncing around the kitchen singing and dancing, I suddenly stopped, looked at Ruben and said, "THIS SHOULD BE OUR FIRST DANCE SONG!!!" I half expected him to roll his eyes and say, "Ha-ha, Yeah right." but instead he smiled and said, "Okay!" First dance song choice - CHECK!

Then came the dance. Despite what you'll hear our friends shouting in the video, we never once practiced. We never even considered practicing. I mean, talk about guaranteeing that we'd be nervous - no, we knew we'd just wing it. It was one of my favorite moments from the entire day. We just let go and had fun.

Another bonus of us tackling the first dance tradition in our way (and here comes my wedding-photographer-side talking!), is that we ended up with a lot more fun and interesting photos of us dancing. I almost fell down, I got hit in the face by Ruben (by accident, of course :), and I broke a champagne flute while pulling my bridesmaids out onto the dance floor. It was awesome, and I loved every second of it.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JIg3Ixk45k?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

This twist on tradition is definitely not for everyone. I am anything but shy. I like to be on stage and sing and dance. I would have been WAY more uncomfortable standing with my husband and swaying slowly in a circle while everyone watched us; this is perfect for some couples. What we did would likely make many people waaaay uncomfortable, but it was what we wanted.

Will you do what you want? :)

***Dear person that I might have accidentally offended (but hopefully not!), I understand that traditions are often held very near and dear to people's hearts. If you are a fan of one of the traditions that I suggest breaking or bending, that's stupendous!! :) Follow that tradition and give it a giant bear hug! Make it your own! And if following that tradition to the tee is what best represents you, then by golly I'd say the stars have aligned and all is well in the world of weddings.***