One of my favorite parts about a wedding is the heartfelt and memorable moments shared during the parent dances. You typically see these dances as Mother-Son, Father-Daughter, Mother-Daughter, and Father-Son, although there are many other special dances that can be made between 2 or more people on your wedding day. In general, it's a time when the bride or groom takes the floor with their parents, celebrating the special bond they share. Traditionally, a single song is chosen for this dance, but have you ever considered using multiple songs?
In this blog post, I share some of the pros and cons I've discovered of doing a surprise parent dance with more than one song.
Whether it’s one song or more, I always advise couples not to overlook their parents' dances. It’s a special moment and time to share with them. Take time together to pick your song or songs, take lessons, and practice your moves. The memories of working on your dance together leading up to the wedding day are just as valuable as dancing together on your wedding day.
Pros of Choosing Multiple Songs for a Surprise Dance:
Pro#1 - Adds Variety and Personalization That Will Wow Your Wedding Guests
By selecting more than one song for your parent dance, you have the opportunity to showcase a variety of musical and dance styles and genres. Maybe it’s a slow sentimental song that leads into a surprise dance section where you are grooving side by side to a song from your childhood, that follows with a song to get everyone up on the dance floor. It allows you to incorporate songs that are meaningful two the two of you, making the moment even more personal and unique.
Pro #2 - Surprise Factor
Using multiple songs can add an element of surprise and excitement to your parent dance. Typical parent dances are about 1.5 minutes long, to keep your guests attention, however, if you are changing up the songs, you could make your dance a little longer because your guests will be more entertained. Even just adding one song can spice up the dance floor. For example, imagine starting with a classic slow song, then suddenly transitioning to an upbeat track that gets everyone on their feet and moving to the dance floor. It’s a great way to open up the dance floor! This is what my husband did with his mom on our wedding day.
Pro #3 - Choreography Possibilities
Multiple songs provide greater flexibility when it comes to choreographing. You can create different routines for each song, incorporating exciting dance moves and formations that will surprise your guests. It's an opportunity to learn something new and special together. You will have to put in some work to practice and feel confident to execute your dance that day.
Cons of Choosing Multiple Songs for a Surprise Dance
Con #1 - Extra Time and Extra Money
All the little details of developing a surprise dance can add up. For example, after taking the time to pick out your song choices, each song requires a smooth transition, which can be challenging and time-consuming to learn how to edit music or may cost extra money to ask a professional to help you. You will have to carve out more practice and rehearsal time for choreography, and then make sure your movements are synchronized. Many couples get overwhelmed in this process and hire professional choreographers to help. I suggest couples start practicing at least 3 months ahead of time to avoid cramming everything at the end.
Con #2 - Fragmented Focus
Having more than one song in a parent dance can sometimes shift the focus away from the emotional connection between you and your parent. With each song change, the spotlight may momentarily shift, potentially diluting the intensity of the parent-child bond. Being so focused on not messing up the choreography can blur the true purpose of the parent dance, to share a fun memory and moment with each other. It's important to strike a balance between surprising your guests and maintaining the heartfelt significance of the dance.
Con #3 - Surprises Are Hard To Pull Off
Choosing multiple songs to make your dance a surprise adds an extra layer of complexity to your wedding planning. It requires careful coordination with your planner, photographers, videographers, choreographer, and DJ or band to ensure the dance and music transition smoothly, and everyone is on the same page. This can result and more stress and anxiety to make sure everything is lined up for the surprise dance to be executed without everyone anticipating it.
Celebrate Love and Gratitude With Your Parent Dance
Deciding whether to incorporate more than one song for a surprise parent dance is an exciting choice that can bring a sense of anticipation and thrill to your wedding day. While it offers the opportunity for variety, personalization, and a surprise factor, it's important to consider the potential challenges, such as time constraints, fragmented focus, and extra work. Discuss your ideas with your parents and wedding professionals to find the best approach that captures the essence of your relationship and creates a truly remarkable surprise parent dance experience. If you decide to put in the work to pull off the surprise dance, it can be an experience you’ll never forget, filled with love, laughter, and lots of practice.
Remember, whether you choose one song or multiple songs, the parent dance is a moment to celebrate the love and gratitude you share with your parents. It’s one of the few moments you have uninterrupted with your parents on your wedding day. Cherish this time together. Working on your parent dance should be fun and enjoyable, if you are getting overwhelmed with choosing multiple songs, discuss with a wedding dance instructor on other ways to personalize and make your parent dance unique.