Time Factor
"It's only days...weeks.. . months till that special day." Honestly go over your calendar to see how much time you may devote to that obligatory "first dance." Whether the inclusion of group lessons or private lessons, where you will learn steps especially suited to your dance, a 5 to 10 hour commitment is standard.  Prior to your initial date, determine how long you will need to prepare for that final day. Six months is a good starting point. If you find yourself already "under the gun" then a catch up effort may be necessary.
Musical Factor
“We both love that song At Last by Etta James, but can we dance to it?"  I strongly suggest a 4/4 time Foxtrot like Sinatra's, Fly Me To the Moon, or Harry Connick Jr.'s, It Had To Be You, for best results.  For those choosing the traditional 3/4 time waltz, Anne Murray's, Could I Have This Dance, or True Love are perfect selections. You may prefer a creative dance like Tango, Salsa or Swing to a favorite song. However be prepared to spend more time pulling it off with style.
Family Factor
After the successful conclusion of your "First Dance" (2 - 3 minutes max), you may choose the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dance. I suggest you select a dance that your parents already know and either together or solo, include an hour to brush up on those moves.
After this dance you may select the best man and maid of honor to "break in" and separate the couples with a few seconds of dancing. Then have the D.J. instruct that group to separate and get someone off the floor to join the growing "snowball" dance. This will include everyone in your first dance and assure a great kickoff for the rest of the event.
Fear Factor
O.K. the day has arrived, you're dressed to impress, the music is about to proceed. . . and "Now, how did those steps go?"
Just relax and enjoy it. Nobody knows your dance surprise but the two of you. So just let go and do your best. After all the hours of practice and anticipation, "now is the time to shine." Look up and smile and relate to each other. You are the show that they all came to see... so don't worry, you can’t possibly disappoint them.
Just take a deep breath, take that first step and remember your vows "For better or worse till dance do us part" and by the way, congratulations on a job well done.
Scott Patterson
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