Archive for May 26th, 2010

If You’re Not Going To Dance – Don’t Have A Band!

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Often, only a few hours after pledging to stay together “for better or worse,” comes the first “worse” of the new marriage: the dance of the bride and groom. All alone on a huge dance floor, with every eye and camera lens focused on them, the wedding couple put on their fixed smiles and try to simply survive the next 2 minutes of pure hell. For many, it’s the hardest part of the whole nuptial experience and the one they are most glad to have behind them.

Sadly, it’s also one they were totally free to skip.

That’s right – if dancing in front of a gaggle of well-wishing gawkers is like having your heart cut out, then this is a self-induced cardiectomy. Simply put, you don’t have to do it, any more than the groom is required to go down on one knee when proposing, or the bride has to submit to being carried over the threshold. These customs and many more are part of a huge tapestry of regional, religious, and ethnic traditions that are observed by some couples – and totally ignored by others.

Just as you are free to write your own wedding vows, or to choose which clauses of an existing set to include, you get to pick which aspects of the reception best reflect who you are, and what makes you (un)comfortable.

So if you don’t wanna dance, at your wedding, you don’t gotta dance.

But understand, that – at your wedding – if you don’t dance, neither will anyone else. Dancing at weddings always follows the lead of the bride and groom. If you aren’t prepared to trip the light fantastic early and often to “prime the pump” on the old dance floor, then just don’t have a dance floor. Don’t have a band or deejay either. Both will only call attention to the fact that – like you – no one else is dancing. Instead, hire a pianist. Or better yet – a harp (the classiest solo instrument on earth, but not one that immediately causes guests to pack a dance floor.)

Having a solo musician makes for a quieter reception, facilitates conversation at normal – rather than shouted – levels, and usually costs a whole lot less than a band you’re not really going to benefit from, anyway. You can still proceed with all the other major events of the typical wedding gala: the champagne toast, cutting of the cake, big departure, etc. Without a band to remind folks that you didn’t dance, most of your guests won’t even notice.

But having a band (“for the guests”) won’t work. It will add needless noise, expense, and a gnawing sense that – because no one is dancing – that folks aren’t having fun. So, contrary to the swooshy shoe slogan, “Just DON’T Do It!” If your guests are such disco maniacs that they still have a need to boogie after your departure, they can always go club hopping later.

Face it – some “worses” in married life are unavoidable. But if dancing in public is sheer misery for you, this is one “worse” you can make “better” – instantly.