Wedding first dance at Cecil Sharp House in London

5 Tips To Get Awesome Wedding First Dance Photos

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The wedding first dance is one of those must have photos from your wedding day. Being a documentary London wedding photographer I will capture it in its most natural and beautiful state.  I want to document the essence of you as a new married couple right there in that romantic moment.

Now of course I will never direct what you should or shouldn’t do, as I want to capture what a first dance means to you.  But I thought it would be useful to give you five tips to make sure you get the most awesome wedding first dance photos from your day.

#1 Decide on the Wedding First Dance You Want

The wedding first dance at Wandsworth Town Hall, in London

The kind of first dance you want is personal to you as a couple.  It demonstrates the personalities you are, so go with what feels most comfortable for you both.  It shouldn’t be about showing off.

Some couples will go with fully practiced and professional routines.  Some go funny or glitzy. Some simply prefer a romantic and intimate smooch around the wedding dance floor.

Going with what feels most comfortable will mean you look at your most natural in your wedding photography. So do think about it (and that includes the music to go with it.)

#2 Get the DJ to Kill the Lights and Put a Single Spot On

Wedding first dance photo at the Old Ship Hotel in Brighton

Nothing looks uglier in wedding first dance photos than lots of funky coloured beams all over your face or wedding outfit.

DJ’s love to add the funk factor with mini light shows that would dazzle even Blackpool or Vegas. And, of course, this is great during the rest of the evening reception but asking them to turn them down and instead leave a natural spotlight on works great for your first dance.

It also avoids you appearing with a sickly green shade to your cheeks, or weird scarlet blotches in your photos.

#3 Ask Your Wedding Guests to Gather Around & Get Close

Wedding first dance at Frithford Heath Golf Club, in Oxford.

Dance floors can be quite large empty spaces, leaving you to a look a little isolated and lonely in the wedding photos.

So I’d suggest getting all your wedding guests to form a circle or semi-circle around the floor.  Depending on the style of wedding first dance you’ve chosen will dictate how close you’d like them to get.  If you are going for the intimate sweeping smooch around, then closer is better.

The looks and emotions on your wedding guests faces also add to the wow factor of your first dance photos. And I can also get around the back of them and get some alternative photos shooting through the crowd to capture you both framed by onlookers.

#4 Sharing Is Caring

Last wedding dance of bride and father, at Ashridge House in Berkshamsted

It’s always a nice touch to invite your parents or siblings with their partners onto the floor halfway through.

Again this will be dictated by the style of wedding first dance you opt for, but trying to incorporate your closest family into the moment in some way, only adds to the emotions and drama of your first dance photos.

If you can’t include them in the dance you have gone for, then think about having a “last dance” instead with your parents – and even swapping half way through. I often find these can produce some of the most emotional wedding photos from the day.

#5 Just Be You

Bride and groom during the wedding first dance, at Littleton House in Surrey.

In a similar way to #1 – whatever you decide with your first dance, just be natural to yourselves.  After all, you’ll be looking back at your wedding photos in years to come, with family  so you’ll want a true reflection of who you really both are in your dance.

If you’re tactile and romantic, then go for it. If you want to be hilarious, just let rip.  If you’re straightlaced and more traditional then that’s perfectly fine too.

As I say about weddings in general, there’s no rules about you do it. There’s no right or wrong. There’s just you both. So just let your wedding first dance photos geneuinely reflect that.

So You Want Natural, Relaxed & Beautiful Wedding Photography?

Confetti on the floor during the wedding first dance, in Waltham Abbey Essex.

Do you want a relaxed, stress-free and unobtrusive approach to your wedding photography?  Do you want to be free of direction and interference?

Instead, you’d like the natural moments, raw emotions and genuine stories of your unique wedding being documented?

As a documentary London wedding photographer that’s exactly what I specialise in. I’ll blend into the background and you’ll largely forget I’m there, so you can enjoy you wedding as you should – with your friends and family.

So lets have a chat about your wedding plans.  Tell me all about your day via my contact form by clicking the on the box below.

Contact Me


Alternatively, just give me a call on 07920 422144.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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