Friday, February 26, 2010

The Second & Third Dance Lessons: Groom's Perspective

Due to the massive snowstorms which wreaked havoc on the DC area, we had to postpone our second lesson with Deborah, our instructor at The Wedding Dance Specialists. We finally were able to reschedule, but with the wedding quickly approaching, we decided to do two lessons in one night. This seemed like a great idea at first, but after working long hours every day and all weekend, to put it lightly, I was exhausted before we even started. This led to some humorous comments as the night went on, most notably from Deborah "You are doing better now that you are comatose".

Anyway, after having to admit that I didnt do the "homework" after our first lesson, I need a quick refresher of what we had done 2 weeks earlier. That didnt take long and we jumped into the focus of our next lesson, which was to try and really hear the beat of the song. I think i now realize that I am tone deaf lol. Aside from that, we continued to work on getting the right pace down to our chosed first dance song. This was a lot more work that you'd imagine...or at least that I imagined. Deborah had us clap our hands and then snap our fingers to the alternating beats. This is not easy when you are unable to snap your fingers. The look on Deborah and Amy's faces when i said that was hilarious. I think they thought i was kidding at first. I wasnt. A quick google search reveals that I am not alone and there are in fact groups on facebook of people who are similarly challenged. I will not join such a group lol. I got my revenge when i called out Amy on the fact that no sound comes out when she claps her hands. Granted it was because she wasnt clapping very hard, but i still had to get a little revenge and mock her for that.

Back to the dancing. We continued to practice our pace of "slowwwww, quick, quick, slowwwwww, quick, quick". This was also much more difficult than it sounds. Especially when you are all legs like me, and have to consciously try to shorten your strides because your future wife has little tiny steps and can't step as far as you. I was having a very good time, as my competitive nature sees this whole dancing thing as a challenge, but even though i am enjoying it much more than i thought i would, i still want to learn to do it right. This led to comments from Amy like "could you look any more serious? this is supposed to be fun". I could have lots of fun and have a smile on my face, if i didnt care to try and actually learn what I am supposed to be doing. I will not be so stiff at the wedding, i sure hope, but for now i was just trying to learn as much as i could, so i was concentrating very hard. The music doesnt just "flow through me" like it does some people. I may even be tone deaf lol.
Click on the link below to read the rest of the article

The Second & Third Dance Lessons: Bride's Perspective

Amy Jean and Larry Fry had their 2nd & 3rd lesson last week and here is Amy Jean's Feedback:

I love to go dancing, but when i go - i hate when people freak up on you or invade your personal space. I think I kind of know why now... I am a CONTROL FREAK! Lol and I like to do my own thing - dance to the beat of my own drum if you will...

Lessons 2 & 3 proved to be challenging, yet very insightful. I feel more confident after those two lessons than i did after the first one and I can only think of one reason why ... I can dance to the sound of a beat but its hard for me to do it in slow motion or by a defined movement. Lesson 1 was doing basic moves... not to music and just to learn the most fundamentals of dancing... staying balanced, proper step techniques, shifting of balance, etc... I found myself stumbling and tripping and not feeling like I knew what i was doing. On top of which, i was told i need to give up control... LOL... um, yeah - i'm workin on that one.

The most recent lessons with Deborah, our uber cool and very awesome teacher from The Wedding Dance Specialists aka the best place to learn your wedding dance, were still filled with basic exercises but we also got to incorporate our music - so i think the excitement of formulating our first dance really got to me. I still stumbled through the basics of walking to the beat; whether it was a slow or quick, quick stop... and adding the claps and snaps didn't help. It was like asking me to walk and chew gum... i can't really do it too well if i'm thinking about it...

Click on the link below to read the rest of the article.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The First Dance Lesson : Groom's Perspective

Lesson number 1 was much better than i anticipated. Our instructor Deborah Joy, from The Wedding Dance Specialist was great. She explained the basic fundamentals in a way that made it easy for someone as novice as me to understand quickly. Deborah explained how everything can be very black and white, and very structured, which makes it much easier for a man to comprehend. Trust me, this is true.

I think our biggest obstacle that we need to overcome going forward is Amy's fear of letting me be in control. I have faith that she will overcome this hopefully as easily as i have overcome my fear of dancing. maybe explain "and by fear, i mean my fear of thinking i'd be able to do this... don't get me wrong, I am still worried about the public performance - but, Deborah has made me feel that I really have a good shot at doing this, and even doing it "well." When Amy was practicing with Deborah, she had no problem letting Deborah lead, but when she was practicing with me, she kept trying to anticipate what i would do instead of just following my lead. I'm certain that with practice (hint hint) Amy will come to trust me and let me be the "pilot" who takes her, the "princess" on a wonderful journey, as Deborah explained to me that this should be my attitude towards dancing.

Deborah began by teaching us how to find proper balance, shifting our weight to the proper points which allows Amy to feel where i am trying to lead her to. Her first question to me was "You always start with your left foot, Why?" and I responded "Because my right foot is my planting foot!" and she quickly said "No! Because as you said, you have two left feet." This little joke quickly broke the ice as we tried to learn posture and positioning. We also worked on walking forward in a straight line without having to look at our feet. We then worked on doing it backwards, which is a bit more difficult, but we got the hang of it without out too much trouble. Then we dealt with turning. This was not so easy and will require some more practice lol.

Click on the link below to continue reading this article:

The First Dance Lesson: Bride's Perspective

Amy Jean and Larry Fry had their first lesson last week and here is Amy Jean's Feedback:

Sadly, I have to admit... the dance lesson was much harder than I anticipated. I have no training in dance. But i love to go "dancing". Whether this hurts me or not, i still found myself constantly missing beats and not being able to do the basic fundamentals.

But even though it was very challenging... and even though i was sad that i sucked at it... i'm still looking forward to the next lesson... I want to improve individually and as a team. This being said... well, I'm sure you read FH's Lesson 1 post... Yes, I am Type A. Yes, I am a control Freak. Yes, I am having a very hard time allowing myself to be lead... Yikes, this is not only physically challenging but i think its more mentally challenging for me!

The lesson started off fun. Deborah, our instructor from The Wedding Dance Specialists, asked "What foot do you lead with?" and I said "My right!" and she said "And do you know why?" and i responded, "Because I am ALWAYS RIGHT!" and she said "YES!!!" and of course we had a good laugh at that. We did basic positioning of how we should hold each other. We stayed in position as she adjusted our frames and holds, and explained why certain form helped us. Holding position was hard - i won't lie, my arms started to get that dull ache LOL (i'm that out of shape!) Click on the link below to read the rest of the article.

The Groom's Bracing Himself for the First Dance Lesson

Larry Fry is the fiance of Amy Jean a popular local blogger of "The Relentless Bride." They are taking 5 lessons to prepare for their "First Dance"

Here are his thoughts before the lessons commence:
My father has always been there for me. So when he offered some assistance to me and my fiancee in offering to assist with the bill for our wedding, it did not come as much of a surprise. Then he threw me under the bus. Well, I think that may be putting it too lightly. He threw me under the bus and kicked me in the proverbial groin.  

He had a condition to the offer. "As long as you take dance lessons." The look on my face was probably a combination of 1. anger (that he had not mentioned this to me in private first), 2. fear (of Amy, if I did say no), and 3. nausea (at the thought of dancing in any way other than what you'd see at an 8th grade dance). Needless to say, #2 overrode the other options, and here I am today writing this post the night before our first lesson.

He had not run this condition past my mother, which was obvious by the look of shock on her face when the words left his mouth. The jury is still out on whether he ran this by Amy, no matter what she says, or whether this was all her idea to begin with. All that is irrelevant now, as agreements were made, checks were cashed, and being a lawyer, I know I now have to keep up my side of the deal.

To read more about his feelings about taking dance lessons click on the link below:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Questionable Lyrics for Daddy/Daughter Song

A bride recently posted a question on Wedding Wire about choosing an appropriate song for her Honors Dance with her Father.

Joy L. asks: I probably don't really need to worry about this, but I need some reassurance that my choice of song for this dance is appropriate. I was thinking of using I've Got You Under My Skin by Frank Sinatra, because my father and I used to sing the first few lines to each other when I was very little, and I wanted a song that would be meaningful to me and my dad, but I don't want a traditional sappy I-love-my-daughter-and-she-grew-up-too-fast song. I decided to listen to the rest of the song, and when I listen to lyrics I really listen to them and take in their full meaning. I don't know if anyone else listens to lyrics like that. Some of the lyrics in that song say things (or at least they do to me) that could be taken the wrong way. Will guests be listening to lyrics, or am I worrying over nothing? Like I said I probably don't need to be worrying about this, but I am and it is going to drive me nuts until I know whether or not I'm a freak. I feel embarrassed that I am even asking this.The Lyrics:I've got you under my skin I've got you deep in the heart of me 
So deep in my heart, that you're really a part of me 
I've got you under my skin 

I've tried so not to give in 
I've said to myself this affair never will go so well 
But why should I try to resist, when baby will I know so well 
That I've got you under my skin 

I'd sacrifice anything come what might 
For the sake of having you near 
In spite of a warning voice that comes in the night 
And repeats, repeats in my ear 

Don't you know you fool, you never can win 
Use your mentality, wake up to reality 
But each time I do, just the thought of you 
Makes me stop before I begin 
'Cause I've got you under my skin

Our response: You have a hard choice here. You have sentimental attachment to this song but 3/4 of the lyrics are really not relevent to a Father/Daughter relationship. Ultimately the decision is up to what makes you happy. However, with some searching you might find a song you and your dad can be comfortable AND excited about. From our professional experience, our clients have chosen songs where the lyrics were appropriately describing the relationship and if there were any questionable lyrics they were edited out or they played the instrumental version of the song. Another creative way you could use the song is to incorporate your favorite stanza into your or your father's speech at the reception. After all, it's still a warm and sweet memory to share with your guests!

To me, the only way to spin the lyrics to make them appropriate to a Daddy/Daughter dance would be to imply that Daddy can't resist spoiling his daughter so he's going to lose the power struggle because she's Daddy's little girl. Cutesy as that may sound, I don't think that is a very positive way to paint the bride. Does anyone else have a positive spin on these lyrics that we could offer up to the bride?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

$1000,000 Crate and Barrel Wedding Contest

$100,000 Wedding Contest 

Grand Prize: The Ultimate Wedding with a whopping $100,000 value. And to make it even sweeter, this day of perfection will be organized by A–list planner extraordinaire, celebrity planner Jo Gartin. The planning will begin once the winner is announced. Gartin will be at your beck and call to bring your Ultimate Wedding to life, from designing invitations, choosing a locale, and setting the scene to creating a menu, picking a band, and coming up with favors. 

2nd Prize: One $7500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

3rd Prize: One $2500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

Honorable Mention: 15 winners will each receive a $1000 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

Popular Vote Winner: The highest vote–getter will receive a $500 Crate and Barrel Shop Card.

The Announcement: All entries must be in by 11:59 pm CST on March 31, 2010. Couples are encouraged to run their own marketing campaigns, as the 50 finalists will be those with the most votes. A panel that includes Jo Gartin, along with judges from Crate and Barrel and Daily Candy will then select a winner. We will notify the lucky couple and the 18 other winners and post all winners on in April 2010.

How to enter:
Register at Crate and Barrel

Enter between February 1, 2010 and March 31, 2010 by first registering online at Just click the “Create My Registry” button. Complete the Contest Entry Form

After registering at the site, you’ll have the opportunity to link to the Ultimate Wedding contest entry website.
1. Upload a photo of you and your fiancé;
2. Tell us your love story in 100 words or less;
3. Share three important details of your Ultimate Wedding in 100 words or less;
4. Describe your everyday dream day in 100 words or less.

Your entry will go live for all to see. Friends and family can vote for you online at So Get Out the Vote. Once you’ve created your profile, it’s your job to get as many people to vote for you! 50 couples will be chosen by the voting public to move on to the next round—heartfelt declarations, funny stories, and grassroots marketing plans are welcome. 

Add to Your Crate and Barrel Registry: To advance to the final round, your wedding registry must contain at least 50 items and have a total value of at least $2000. With all the great selection of product at Crate and Barrel, this will be easy.

Final Judging: A panel that includes Jo Gartin along with Crate and Barrel and Daily Candy will then select a winner. The winners will be notified and posted on in April 2010.

Click here for contest rules and to get started!

Friday, February 5, 2010

"The Relentless Bride" - bracing herself for her first lesson

This week we taught a wedding dance to Amy Jean and her fiance Larry Fry. Amy Jean is the author of a popular wedding blog called, "The Relentless Bride." Both of them will blog a continuing series about their unique perspectives regarding their dance lesson experiences. To the left is a picture of Amy Jean at her bridal shower. Below are Amy Jean's thoughts before commencing the lessons.

The Wedding Dance {She Said: Introduction}
I've been thinking about my first wedding dance since I was a little girl. I won't lie... I've always thought it so sweet and romantic how everything seems to disappear except for the newly married couple... But, now that i've grown up, I realize that the TV/Movies have mislead me all these years... I mean, really now... the first dance can be incredibly awkward and nerve wracking.

Amy Jean's post and the responses continue on The Relentless Bride Blog

So what are your feelings about learning to dance in the spotlight on the most sacred day of your life? Let us know! We are here to help!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I just bought my shoes!

A bride whose wedding is April 10, 2010 posted the following announcement on Wedding Wire:

I'm so excited! I've gotten so much done in the last couple of weeks, and tonight I bought my shoes.... I want to see how they look with my dress and decide if I want to dye them a bright aqua blue :) 

Posted On: Jan 30, 2010 at 3:34 AM 

Here's our response:
Those look lovely. If you plan on dancing in them all night long, I would recommend inserting some padding and also purchasing an invisible, adjustable rubber shoe strap that wraps around the arch of your shoe to hold it securely in place while you dance. They are sold online and it can be shipped to you within 4 days. (We don't sell these or receive commissions)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Daddy Refuses to Dance

The Future Mrs. Thim posted the following question on Wedding Wire's Chat board. Posted On: Jan 29, 2010 at 12:33 PM

So my dad refuses in everyway possible to do the dance. He is really shy and its to far out of his comfort zone he says. I am 100% a daddys girl and am worried everyone is going to wonder why we arent having it. advice anyone?

I have talked to him and i thought it was important to me but i really want him to enjoy the night. He is totally against any aspect of it and does not plan on dancing at all during the wedding. He wants to hang out with the family and catch up with everyone. I love the slideshow idea! I will talk to my mom and are venue about that. I think the big thing to me now is i have just never personally seen it skipped and i thought i was the only one in this boat. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Our response:
I also have never attended a wedding where the Honors Dances with the parents are skipped. Many people are extremely uncomfortable with dancing especially in the spotlight for the very first time. The Father/Daughter dance is an honor and way to pay homage to the joy and unity you have shared your whole life. Just going out there unprepared and doing the high school prom sway is awkward for everyone involved and for this reason I can sympathize with your father. However, if he and you take one hour of instruction it will empower both of you to feel confident and look elegant. The lesson itself will also be a treasured memory for both of you. In fact, bring your camera to capture the fun!

I am certain that she is not the only bride who has dealt with this. Do you have additional advice for her and others like her?