Monday, December 6, 2010

2010 Yuletide Ball Championship & Gala

Date: Dec. 31, 2010 - Jan. 2, 2011

Where: JW Marriott Hotel in DC

Contact:, 301-972-2416

Bring in the New Year at the 2010 Yuletide Ball Championships and Gala! You can see dancing at its finest by watching the competition or join in on the fun by attending the formal ball! Just don't forget your dancing shoes! Want to keep the party going? Make it a romantic weekend and reserve a room at the hotel! Give us a call to brush up on your floorplay before the gala! 703.626.7016

Monday, November 8, 2010

Your Chance to Dance & Romance!

Annual Viennese Christmas Ball

Date: Friday December 3, 2010

Time: 7:00 PM Champagne & Reception

8:00 PM Grand March & Opening ceremony

Where: Washington Golf & Country Club (“the Club of the Presidents”)

Tickets: $95, inclusive

Attire: Black Tie (white tie optional)

You are invited to the annual Viennese Christmas Ball, presented under the gracious patronage of His Excellency, The Ambassador of Austria, Christian Prosl. Join Wharton Club members and other guests for this elegant event filled with Viennese waltz, quadrilles and ballroom music from around the world!

The evening will begin with champagne and an Austrian desserts buffet, and continue the celebration dancing to our favorite waltzes by Lehar, Waldteufel, Tchaikovsky and Strauss in addition to ballroom music performed by Washington ’s preferred salon orchestra, Con Brio! Join in the famed Radetzky Grand March and dance the Fledermaus Quadrille No. 6 as done at midnight at the grand balls in Vienna.

Opening Ceremonies presented by Midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy performing all six Fledermaus Quadrilles. Champagne Reception, sumptuous Austrian desserts buffet and selected wines. Complimentary valet parking. For invitations: Mrs. Robert Bocek, 540-882-4808 or Reservations have come in quickly this year, so please do respond as soon as possible. Attendance is limited.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wedding Dance Workshops for November!

Wedding Dance Workshop
Falls Church, VA
Saturday, November 6, 2010
1:00 - 2:30
$30 per person.
Workshop attendees who are Facebook fans qualify for a discount when you pre-register for two workshops or private lessons.

Columbia, MD
Date: Saturda
y, November 6, 2010
5:00 - 6:30
$30 per person.
Workshop attendees who are Facebook fans qualify for a discount when you pre-register for two workshops or private lessons.

Sample a variety of slow dances perfect for love songs to see which style you prefer.
Develop your individual composure as a dancer by learning foundation techniques.
Learn the fundamentals and secrets of partner dancing.
Techniques for travelling around the floor.
Brief overview of choregraphy concepts
Invite your parents and bridal party so they can prepare for the Honors Dances.
Get a head start on your private lessons or polish and reinforce what you've already learned.
If your wedding isn't for a while and you haven't chosen a special song yet, this is the perfect way to get your feet wet and get comfortable dancing around others!
Meet other engaged couples in the area!

Maximize your investment in private lessons by getting a head start with this comprehensive workshop.
Dance with your partner the whole time - no partner switching

An elegant First Dance requires footwork and armwork so we strongly recommend the Rock the Reception Workshop to compliment to learn easy but dynamic armwork, sexy twirls, head drapes, cuddles and spins to spice up your First Dance plus have cool moves you can use all night long during the reception!

Rock the Reception Workshop

Location: Falls Church, VA
Date: Saturday,
November 6, 2010
2:30 - 4:00

Columbia, MD
Date: Saturday,
November 6 , 2010
6:30 - 8:00

Easy moves that look impressive. Lots of twirls to show her off. Never have to dance by yourself again to fast music! You can slow these moves down and incorporate them into your First Dance too! Learn how to twirl, spin, drape, cuddle, unwrap to give your bride the "Cinderella Moment" she deserves in the spotlght and have your guests applauding, cheering, wildly photographing and sharing their own "Facebook moment!"

Price: $30 per person. (Discounted when you pre-register for two workshops)
Workshop attendees who are Facebook fans may qualify for a discount on private lessons!
RSVP: 703.626.7016 or email:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Determining How Many Dance Lessons You Need

Determine what your dancing goals are first. This will affect when you start and how many lessons you choose. Don't worry too much about time constraints when considering quantity because we can offer double sessions. Once you have determined your goals, we can better advise you as to how many lessons we recommend for your individual needs. Consider the following:
  • Do you want to learn enough just to "survive" the wedding dance?
  • Do you want to have an interesting variety of moves for the wedding dance?
  • Are you participating in additional Honors Dances?
  • Do you plan on fast dancing during the general reception?
  • Do you want to learn to dance in general at future social events?
  • Do you want to enjoy a dinner/dancing date night with your fiance(e) during the wedding planning process?
  • Do you want to share dancing as a hobby even after the wedding?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to Select a Dance Studio/Instructor

We have couples and event planners who call us from all over the country asking us for advice on selecting an instructor for the most memorable dance of their lives. Their inquiries inspired us to write this article. So here are 8 ways to pick a wedding dance teacher:

1. Know the difference between a generalist and a specialist. In an unregulated industry such as dancing and wedding planning, just because someone calls oneself an expert or specialist doesn't mean they actually are and just because someone is a champion competitor doesn't mean they can teach beginners effectively. There is a huge difference between a a generic studio who slaps up a pink website with stock images of brides and grooms and then advertises on wedding sites that they are wedding dance experts versus a company whose bread and butter is engaged couples, has years of experience primarily serving that clientele and is keenly focused on addressing their needs. It's the difference between a general physician and a cardiac surgeon. One is a generalist the other is a specialist. One way to evaluate a service provider is to see if they are addressing your specific goals. One of the problems with a standard dance studio or instructor is that they view wedding couples as "lost leads." This is because the wedding couple has a short term goal - - the wedding, which does not usually lead them to take very many lessons. Keep these facts in mind when you call or go into a studio and especially if they try to upsell you. Unfortunately your wedding insurance won't cover dance malpractice...So choose carefully!

1) "FREE" lessons: You get what you pay for! Most "free lessons" at dance studios are a lure to get you in the door. Much of the lesson is spent convincing you of the benefits of dance as a lifetime hobby and reviewing lengthy and expensive packages for after your wedding. The free lesson’s emphasis is not actually on learning to dance but rather on selling you more lessons and since the first one was "FREE" the rest of the lessons will have to be more expensive or shorter in duration than other studios to cover the initial loss. Plus, you should factor in how much your and your fiance's time is worth. There is nothing that can't be answered over the phone, by email or online that requires a trial visit. Especially if you are just looking for a short crash course. It costs a dance studio thousands of dollars to create a dance instructor, promote their business and cover expenses. Therefore, studios do not give away QUALITY private lessons for free. Certainly DO NOT expect to receive a complete routine in one FREE trial lesson. In fact, it is rare to find any studio that will GUARANTEE a complete wedding dance routine in one lesson. We were the first!

2) One dance style versus a variety: The Wedding Dance Specialists leaves the decision of how many dances to learn up to you-the client! Most wedding couples are on a tight schedule and limited budget, they want to focus their attention on feeling comfortable for their first dance in front of their guests. In contrast, general dance studios may discourage students from studying only one dance for various reasons (primarily the bottom line). Complicating a small program (3-5 lessons) with additional dances may result in needing to purchase more lessons and cause a sense of confusion and discomfort on your big day. Feeling comfortable with new dance material generally requires about 5 hours. Depending on your skill and comfort level,it’s O.K. to reevaluate your progress and comfort level after the third or fourth lesson to consider learning the very basics of a second dance but be wary of teachers too insistent on focusing on more than one dance from the onset.

3) Experience of the instructor: Since wedding couples generally purchase small packages (less than 25) many studios have their most inexperienced instructors teach the wedding couples. Our instructors have been specially trained for the unique needs of wedding couples and are all competition or performance level dancers. Dance lessons are as important as any other service you might hire for your wedding. You have every right to ask how long your instructor has been teaching. Would you want to hire a chauffeur who just moved to the area, got his license last week and has never driven the limo before?

4) Flexibility in package options: Be wary of studios who insist you cannot benefit from just one lesson or worse do not allow you to purchase only one lesson!  Even one lesson with the right instructor can show remarkable results. Some students time or budget do not allow for more than one lesson. We understand this and are flexible. We GUARANTEE that you can look and feel more elegant on the dance-floor with ONE lesson compared to just trying to “wing it.”. The Wedding Dance Specialists cater to the unique needs of wedding couples. We created this niche in the metro/DC area years ago because we saw a need was not being met. A couple years after our inception, we have been flattered by those attempting to imitate us. Your wedding dance preparation can be the most relaxing and romantic aspect of your wedding planning process IF you have the right instructor! We encourage you to do your research and compare!

5) The Teacher: The personality, demeanor, image, teaching style are all important factors to consider when selecting a dance teacher.  Just because they are good dancers does not guarantee that they will be good teachers. The teacher must genuinely enjoy working with beginners and ideally have compassion and understanding of the unique pressures that wedding planning involves. Our staff also stay abreast of the wedding industry by reading our two complimentary online newsletters called "Wedding Dance 411" and "Marriage 411" which provide professional planning advice, resources and we have negotiated exclusive vendor discounts on your behalf! We hope you'll read it and benefit too!

6) Price: The rate an amateur dancer can expect to pay for a professional private lesson can range anywhere between $65 - $140 per lesson depending on where you live, what type of facility is hosting the lessons, the length of the lessons, the quality of the instruction and specific services provided. There are studios that require you to purchase a package combination of privates, groups and practice parties. If you do not realistically think you will be using those services then subtract out the value of the group ($15 per group) and the value of the party ($10 per party) and then you will have a realistic idea of how much you are actually paying for a private lesson. 

7) The Duration of the lesson: Lessons that are lower in price but also shorter in duration often end up costing the exact same or even more than lessons that are higher per lesson but longer in duration. The actual cost per minute of instruction may come out even in the wash and the longer lessons will save you a lot of extra commuting time and avoid you having to reserve extra studio visits in your busy wedding planning calendar. Lessons range from :40 - :55 mins. Generally it is better to find a studio that offers :55 min lessons. If you calculate in all your wasted time, the shorter and "cheaper" lessons may actually cost you more in the long run. Also remember four :55 minute private lessons are equivalent to five :45 minute lessons.

8.) The studio's/instructor focus: Does the entire studio or independent instructor exclusively focus on engaged couples 99% of the time or 10% of the time? If it is not at least 70% of the time chances are high you business is just "filler income" to them. That means they just throw up an ad during the busy season for weddings and siphon off the business from clients who didn't fully research their options. Also generic studios tend to give their most inexperienced teachers (now dubbed wedding dance specialists) their wedding couples since they consider them "lost leads" anyway. It takes a certain type of teacher who truly has a passion for weddings and for teaching beginners to be a wedding dance specialist. Even prestigious high ranking national champion dance competitors have tried and failed.

9. Can he/she work with your song? The vast majority of First Dance songs are very slow love ballads. They are not used in ballroom dancesport competitions because their tempos cannot be easily categorized. Many of these songs do not work well with the traditional ballroom dance tempos for typical dances like Fox Trot, Waltz or Rumba. So what do you do in those sticky situations? Plus if you are taking a crash course and your song does fit into a typical ballroom style, the basic curriculum is not particularly dynamic and photogenic to maximize the best poses for your photography and videography. So what do you do? This is where a specialist can help. We suggest you ask the instructor to demonstrate the whole routine at the beginning of the lesson with the bride so you can see the big picture perspective of what you are about to learn.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Unique Wedding Ideas

I came across a bride's post online asking for unique ideas for her wedding. I suggested a creative First Dance instead of the usual high school prom sway. My husband and I wanted to demonstrate our unity and teamwork and passion for each other by dazzling everyone with our First Dance. We feel the First Dance is the most sentimental and indispensible moment of the reception. With a little preparation it can also be the most memorable moment! So we changed into Tango costumes and performed a sultry Argentine Tango routine with a live guitarist and Julio Iglesias sountrack to "A Media Luz" in Spanish. (the lyrics - about a mysterious and sensual mood) were translated on the back page our ceremony program). The Argentine Tango was my husband's idea and reminiscent of the surprise date he took me on to see amazing Tango show on Broadway in NYC. It made for amazing pictures and really set the tone for the rest of the evening which was "Dancing and Romancing" all night for all of our guests! Looking back, we had lots of other unique touches but THE FIRST DANCE takes the cake! video

Saturday, July 31, 2010

National Dance Day in Washington DC!

The National Mall
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and Nigel Lythgoe, celebrity judge and producer of "So You Think You Can Dance" TV show. As our nation struggles to combat obesity, we invite you to come celebrate popular forms and to promote physical fitness across the United States

For more info: 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are Thank You Notes to Vendors Necessary?

I came across this online discussion topic and as an etiquette consultant, wedding vendor and former bride, it peaked my interest. From my perspective, a vendor's fees and gratuities cover costs but word of mouth keeps vendors in business.  Hence, the widespread popularity of social media and review sites like Wedding Wire, Yelp, Project Wedding, etc... That's why referrals and testimonials are the highest compliment. The feedback and endorsement is ultimately more valuable than the one time sale because it represents one's reputation which is priceless. Vendors build up a portfolio and credibility based on a solid history of success and customer service. What's more, most of the vendors that make our weddings magical are small family businesses and they need our support more than ever during the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Virginia State Ballroom Championships

July 15-18

Virginia State Ballroom Championships

Hyatt Regency - Reston VA Town Center

Organizers - Rosendo Fumero and Ahmed Hussien

Tentative Schedule:

Saturday Evening Gala Features Professional Championships

For spectator tickets & table reservations only, please contact:

OR contact:

Beverly A Donahue, 220 Kentland's Blvd #1, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

(301) 926-9591


Nick Short, Suite 615, 4242 East West Hwy Chevy Chase, MD 20815

(301) 657-9095

Checks payable to: Virginia State Dancesport Championships

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ballroom/Latin Dance Camp in July!

July 3-7. 2010

Independence Day Ball and Ballroom/Latin Dance Camp
The Hilton, Rockville, MD Executive Center 


*     Over 150 Latin and Standard workshops!

*     Dance Instructors are Blackpool, US and World Champions and Finalists (e.g. Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Erin Andrews)

*     Private lessons available with ALL of the instructors

*     Four workshop CHOICES every hour

*     Separate Advanced track for Open and Professional level dancers

*     Over 10,000 sq ft of dance floor

*     Independence Day Ball social dance party

*     Performance class taught by Danny Quilliam with special show

*     Practice space open all night long

*     Immersion program in Argentine Tango

*     ISTD Standard Symposium

 Visit  for more information.

The Wedding Dance Specialists teaches all the styles of dance and can prepare you for any occasion so contact us!


International Salsa Congress in DC this weekend!

June 18-21, 2010
6th Annual International Salsa Congress in DC!
Crystal City Hilton
Arlington, VA.

Brings some of the worlds finest Salsa dancers, performers, and instructors into the DC area!
Salsa workshop classes
Salsa Performances!
Salsa Vendors (shows, attire, music)
Salsa parties 11pm to 3AM every night!

42 Workshops + 10 hours of bootcamps + daytime social dancing+ party till 3am+afterparty

Contact us to learn how to thrive or just survive on the dance floor!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Award Winning Engaging Affairs Event Planning Endorses TWDS!

Award Winning Event Planners at Engaging Affairs surprised us with this lovely review on their blog. We are so flattered that one of their consultant Sara chose TWDS to prepare her and her husband for the most sacred dance of their lives! Here is their blog review:

There is a lot of debate among my couples about whether or not to take dance lessons for their wedding. I'd say most intend to and more than half actually do it. I think dance lessons are a great idea and can be a fun prewedding activity. That being said, if one person is dead-set against it, then dragging them through the lessons will not be fun. Better to stand and sway than to have one person gritting their teeth through the dance.

But if you are both willing to try, then go for it! Guests love when couples have a fun first dance complete with spins and dips. And I love seeing the excitement on couples' faces when they finish their dance and get wild applause.

We love the folks at The Wedding Dance Specialists because, well, they specialize in teaching couples to do a first dance. Even in one lesson, they will have you dancing more smoothly! Our own Sara and her now husband took lessons through The Wedding Dance Specialists and danced like pros. Sara says that they are living proof that anyone can be taught!

I also love that The Wedding Dance Specialists work with you on selecting a first dance song and have a list of appropriate songs on their website with clips so you can listen to a bit of the song. As the folks on American Idol will tell you, song selection is important. There is nothing more awkward than realizing halfway through a first dance that the lyrics are totally inappropriate.

So check out The Wedding Dance Specialists and get dancing!

Here is a link to the Engaging Affairs Bridal Bubbly Blog which is full of creative ideas and great advice on event planning!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Independence Day Ball Dance Camp

July 3-7, 2010
Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Executive Meeting Center
1750 Rockville Pike,
Rockville, MD

Learn from Blackpool, UK, US and World Champions and Finalists.
Evening fun social activities including 4th of July Fireworks near the White House!
Already confirmed instructors include:
. Maksim Chmerkovskiy
. Glenn Weiss
. Victor Fung & Anastasia Muravyeva
. Rufus Dustin
. Bill Sparks
. Danny Quilliam & Ieva Pauksena

Independence Day Ball dance camp will feature over 150 workshops from World-Class instructors.
Four concurrent workshops will be taught every hour - 2 Latin (Cha-Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive, Paso Doble) and 2 Standard (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz).
These workshops will focus mainly on technique.
There will also be a performance class focusing on figures and presentation.
Will continue to expand separate Advanced track for Open and Professional level dancers.

Nightly social events: trip to downtown Washington to see Fireworks on the National Mall near the White House, Capitol and Washington Monument.
Friday Night Social Dance.
"Pizza with the Pros" - a Q&A session with our panel of instructors that always ends in laughter and one-of-a-kind demonstrations.

Testimonial: Where else can you have so many group lessons from instructors who are World Champions? In every room, there's a different world champion teaching something. That's pretty exciting. 
- Daniel (West Lafayette, Indiana)

Visit for information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feedback from our students Julie and Jason!

Julie and Jason are a lovely couple and so easy to work with! Julie was so supportive and encouraging of Jason and Jason had such a mellow and sunny disposition. Both had the perfect attitude going into the challenge of learning something new under time pressure constraints. I guess Jason is not flustered by pressure easily as he risks his life on a daily basis as a police officer! Thank you for choosing our services!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Groom's Perspective on The First Dance

All the eyes were on us. The spotlight shone down.

We didn't panic (or at least I didn't). This was because the lessons we got from Deborah, from The Wedding Dance Specialists were even better than advertised. Although we may have missed a step here or missed a step there, not a soul noticed.

All our guests were amazed at our first dance, shocked i could even say. "You've raised the bar" some wives said as their husbands gave me that look that said "thanks, i'll never live this down".

If you recall my first blog post about taking dance lessons, I wasn't exactly thrilled about it. But I can now say it was all worth it. I am still amazed at how much Deborah taught us in just a few lessons. Our first dance just set the whole tone for the evening, it was was a perfect beginning to a perfect night.

Now I know there are a lot of guys out there who would say "no way am I taking lessons". Trust me, I was one of those guys. If you ever met me, you would see that in a heartbeat. I resisted it. I dreaded it. I can't express how glad I am that i did it. Just to have confidence when 200 people are staring at you made me imagine what it would be like to have stood up there like we were at an eighth grade dance. That would not have been very cool.

So gentlemen out there, do your future wife and yourself a favor, and take dance lessons with The Wedding Dance Specialists before your big day. They understands a groom's mental state and skill level. You will not regret it, and if you are anything like me, you may actually enjoy it. We did.

When else will you have total control over your fiance/wife's every move? It's worth it, as you know she will control your every move for the rest of your life, so you better take your opportunity when its there.

Thanks for everything TWDS you are amazing! -- Larry Frye newlywed and husband of "Relentless Bride" blogger Amy (Chung) Fry to see more pictures of their First Dance, check out the blog:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

6th Annual International Washington DC Salsa Congress

Get a break from wedding planning stress! Have a fun date night! Treat your family, bachelorettes or bridal party to a fun weekend of dancing, learning and entertainment

June 18-21, 2010
Crystal City Hilton, Arlington, VA.

Brings some of the worlds finest dancers, performers, and instructors into the DC area! Salsa workshop classes/Salsa vendors/Salsa parties until 3AM every night!
42 Workshops + 10 hours of bootcamps + daytime social dancing + party till 3am+afterparty

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ballroom Dance Cruise to the Caribbean!

Here's a creative honeymoon idea! Now you explore the world in style AND learn a new skill simultaneously! The luxurious Costa Atlantica, home to USA DANCE's first National Ballroom Dancing Cruise, features seven different dance floors, ranging from approximately 900 to 1,500 square feet each. Various floors--including the spacious pool deck--will be used for dancing, workshops and private lessons during this exciting and unique cruise heading to the Western Caribbean for a full week, departing Ft. Lauderdale on November 28, 2010.

Why Learn to Dance?

You’ve made a big investment in many aspects of the wedding day that will only last one day. Learning to dance is a small investment in your relationship creating lifetime memories -- an actual skill useful at future special occasions. Dance lessons are the most fun and romantic time a couple can have during the wedding planning process!  And couples tell us that the First Dance is the most sentimental moment of the reception.

Many couples are realizing the importance of expressing their unity and growing closer through this unique learning experience. They are seizing the opportunity to shine on the dance floor while personalizing their celebration through their own creative expression. For these insightful couples, the First Dance is often the highlight of the reception, and the most vivid wedding memory guests take home with them since actions speak louder than words.

There are lots of aspects of the wedding that can be outsourced - - the bakery, the caterer, the florist, the event planner. There
are two vital components that only the couple themselves can execute in order for a wedding to be valid and authentic - - their vows and their First Dance. The public and legally binding vows verbally profess the couple’s intentions to be supportive and loyal to each other. The First Dance is the first marital act that physically proves a couple’s ability to be supportive of one another. By exercising teamwork and patience during private rehearsals and ultimately for public display, the couple “moves as one” on the dance floor and a promise is sealed and delivered.

With a little preparation, you can turn the most sentimental moment into the most memorable moment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Top 10 Reasons to "Face the Music & Dance!"

Dancing lessons is probably one of the most mutually enjoyable aspects of planning your entire wedding! The non-verbal communication involved in partner dancing is a powerful tool for enhancing these skills because it encourages
patience, teamwork, trust, respect and cooperation - - all the same assets that contribute toward a happy marriage! But on a les
s technical note, here are the top 10 reasons for Brides and Grooms:

  1. Vacation from wedding planning stress.
  2. Express & experience your unity as a couple.
  3. Dynamic pictures and video to capture the memories!
  4. Impress your guests!
  5. Have fun with your soon - to- be Hubby!


  1. Bonus points in the "romance" department!
  2. Be the "Prince Charming" of her dreams!
  3. Avoid embarassment - like stepping on her feet or gown.
  4. The man is always right (on the dance floor!)
  5. It's not an "expense," it is an investment in a useful and fun skill that you can get mileage out of for years to come!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Getting Personal with Deborah Joy, Owner of TWDS

by Amy Jean Fry, author of blog

I really enjoyed working with Deborah from The Wedding Dance Specialists... and I thought it would be fun to do an interview with her to show you why I think she's just so talented and so much fun to hang out with... It's such a blessing when you find a vendor during your planning that you really enjoy, so you gotta flaunt it when you do! :)

Relentless Bride: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Deborah: My husband and I started The Wedding Dance Specialists when we got engaged. While preparing for our First Dance, we sampled many teachers and studios and realized with our dance, business and wedding planning background we could provide superior customer service and insight into the unique needs, budget and timetable of engaged couples.

Relentless Bride: What is your biggest piece of advice for a bride?
Deborah: Be sure to ask for help so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.

Relentless Bride: For a groom?
Deborah: This is a team project. The amount of energy, creativity, forethought and consideration you put into the planning process is similar to the way you will react to joint decisions, commitments, and adventures you will have during your marriage.

Relentless Bride:  for the wedding planning?
Deborah: A weddings requires A LOT of time, energy and organization. That is why the event planning industry exists. Whoever is playing a role in paying for and planning the wedding might benefit from a meeting with an event planner to answer questions, strategize, manage expectations, and save you time by providing pre-screened resources.

Relentless Bride: for the wedding itself?
Deborah: Hire a day of planner

Relentless Bride:  for the marriage?
Deborah: Marriage should feel like each person is helping the other grow and learn. Unexpected hurdles will come your way but as a team you will have the strength to navigate them.

Relentless Bride: What do you love best about working with couple who are in this time of their life, high excitement. high stress high chaos?
Deborah: I know I am preparing them for a stronger marriage and a big sense of accomplishment. Plus a couple that dances together, romances together!

Relentless Bride:  What dance describes you and your personality?
Deborah: Salsa. It’s how I discovered and fell in love with partner dancing in the first place. Just dancing in the DC Latin Clubs.

Relentless Bride: What dance would you say describes your husband?
Deborah: Argentine Tango

Relentless Bride: What dance describes you as a couple and why?
Deborah: Argentine Tango – It was our First Dance. It’s so incredibly exotic and sensual yet elegant.

Relentless Bride:  What was the hardest thing for you learning to dance with your husband?
Deborah: Argentine Tango was brand new to both of us and it is a very close contact dance so the chance for injury and discomfort is higher. Practicing without an instructor as a “mediator” was a challenge so we came up with several coping strategies that we now share with all of our students.

Relentless Bride: What was your first dance and why did you pick that?
Deborah: Brian surprised me with a romantic trip to see “Forever Tango” on Broadway. That was our first introduction to such an amazing dance. In honor of that romantic date, Brian suggested we choose this dance style and since I didn’t teach it at the time, we went in search of lessons.

Relentless Bride: As an instructor, what is the most difficult thing to face in a student?
Deborah: Someone who cannot acknowledge their positive accomplishments, someone who is very critical and controlling of their spouse, someone who wastes their precious class time.

Relentless Bride:  As an instructor, what is the best quality a student can have?
Deborah: Excitement to learn, trust in my expertise, patience with themselves, respect and humility toward their partner

Relentless Bride:  As a married person, what quality do you think is the best to have to make a happy and satisfied marriage in the long run?
Deborah: Respect, Appreciation and encouragement of your partner.

Relentless Bride:  Looking back on your wedding day, what is your biggest regret?
Deborah: Ironically, after a year of preparation for our First Dance, our DJ (who had a lot of prior experience working with professional dance exhibitions) did not ask our guests to clear the dance floor so our performance conditions were not ideal. It was difficult for the whole crowd to see and for the videographer to get ideal full length footage.

Relentless Bride: What is the one thing you spent a lot of energy on and you feel was well worth it?
Deborah: We had many fun twists like live doves, ice sculpture, hand made ceremony programs, handmade ice breaker conversation place settings and personalized love song CD favors. I still have to say our First Dance and my Daddy/Daughter Waltz were the highlights of the reception. We’ve been dancing that dance for years ever since….

Relentless Bride: Chocolates, candy, cupcakes, cake or pies? What is your favorite and why?
Deborah: Definitely chocolate! With all it’s aphrodisiac qualities and healthy antioxidants, it’s the next best thing to dancing!

If you want a fun and adorable dance instructor who knows her stuff, not just about dance but about marriage, life and dancing with a partner... definitely make sure you have your First Wedding Dance Lessons taught by Deborah... She is phenomenal. Stay tuned for our He Said She Said Wedding Dance Finale Post :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dinner and Dancing Date Night in Alexandria


Doc Scantlin and his Imperial Palms Orchestra

The Carlyle Club
411 John Carlyle St.
Alexandria, VA

Everyone's dancing with smiles brought on by the infectious energy dapper Doc Scantlin.He beckons you back to a Harlem nightclub with his "Bandanna Babies", dancing girls.Or elegant, romantic ballroom with soloist in ong evening gown caressing the microphone singing a sultry
Reserved Booth with Dinner Reservation - $35Reserved Table with Dinner Reservation - $25Reserved Premium Bar Seating - $25General Admission to Bar (No Guaranteed Seat) - $20

Thursday, March 4, 2010

HOT Dance Competition!

MADJam March 4th-7th Sheraton Premiere - Tysons Corner, VA. DC's West Coast Swing, Hustle & Hand Dance Spectacular! professional performances. Over 60 workshops with top teachers & national champions. pro staff including more than 50 dance experts Competitions for over $20,000+ in cash & prizes. 100% pure Hustle ballroom Fri & Sat nights.

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As you are about to create your own nest as newlyweds, I am sure you are horrified by the millions losing their homes due to natural disasters in the U.S., our neighbor Haiti and other countries. Does your heart break for the victims? Do you feel helpless or wonder what you could do to help in a substantial way? How about providing a shelter and an entire survival kit? There are two non profits and that are doing just that and other crucial services and they need your help. We contributed and hope you will too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Last Dance Lesson: The Groom's Perspective

Amazing. That is the only word that comes to mind about Deborah's dance lessons. We had our final lesson before the wedding and it was the first time we did the full dance. Deborah videotaped us doing the full dance and I am shocked at how much she was able to teach someone as novice as myself in just a few short lessons. My confidence is at an all time high that we will for sure WOW the audience on Saturday night. Although Amy and myself make mistakes or forget little things as we go along, Deborah has shown us the best ways to make those mistakes invisible to the audience and when we watched ourselves on tape, even we couldn't notice the missteps, even though we knew we had made them.

I cant put into words how happy and excited I am at the thought of being able to give Amy the "first dance" she has always dreamed of and without Deborah's masterful guidance, it would never have been possible. She is a great teacher and really knows what she is doing. She is truly an expert in her field and I would without a doubt recommend her to anyone who is getting married and wants to wow their crowd.

If you recall my earlier posts, I wasn't exactly confident that I would be able to do even half of what I feel I can do now on the dance floor. I've learned how to keep the beat of the music, how to twirl my angel around, and most to dip her without severely injuring her or myself lol. Now that we've had a full set of lessons, I know I can pull all of these things off. For Deborah to be able to teach someone like me all of this, I would not hesitate for a moment to say that she can teach anyone to dance. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Last Dance Lesson: The Bride's Perspective

Our final dance lesson proved difficult at first... but mostly b/c i was so tired and had spent the day earlier at the Weddzilla Flash Mob and the day before preparing for it... But within minutes, Deborah's contagiously fun personality infused a new sense of energy and I was ready to rock and roll... LOL

One of the most helpful things that FH and I did for our last and final Wedding Dance lesson was practicing the week before. In all honesty, the time we spent alone discussing our ideas about the dance lesson, figuring out the best way to communicate silently on the dance floor and when and where certain things are or are not effective - really got us on the same page for our last lesson. The extra time we put in gave us a familiarity that partners need when dancing to feel and sense each other's movements without actually touching aside from the proper positioning of hands/arms/etc... Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Fourth Dance Lesson: The Groom's Perspective

Tonight's lesson was a short one because we hit some traffic on the way to the dance studio. It seems people don't know how to drive in the rain. We got there a few minutes late and we couldn't run very much past our allotted time because Deborah had another lesson following ours but still gave us an extra 10 minutes to try to make up for our tardiness. Anyway, Deborah continued to work with us on our first dance, starting from the grand entrance through the big dip at the end. Of course, I had forgotten what I was supposed to do at the entrance, but after a quick refresher from Deborah, Amy and I were back on the same page.

After getting that out of the way, Deborah started to teach us a few new things to add to the routine. The first was a way for Amy to spin from a position where our arms were extended and she rolls down my arm into my chest where i can hold her tight for a second. I really liked this part, as it gives us a chance to really feel together as one while on the dance floor. After Amy spins down my arm and into my chest, Deborah then had her do a little seductive dance around me....of course this i really liked lol. We worked on this for a little while and then came what i thought was the highlight of the night...the dip. Deborah had Amy watch, and showed me what to do. I dipped her a little to low so we had to work on that. The lower you dip, the harder it is to come out of the dip. Well, I guess it was even harder than normal, because as i dipped Deborah, she realizes and exclaims "oh no, i forgot to tell you how to bring your partner out of a dip" while I was still holding her just a few feet from the floor. Once I lifted her back up, she explained the correct way to do this, which definetly made it much easier than just trying to use brute strength from an awkward position lol. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

The Fourth Dance Lesson: The Bride's Perspective

It scares me to think that we have only one lesson left because I feel like we are really starting to get the dance, dancing together and more than that, enjoying it... but its true. One more dance lesson...

The first thought I had when I realized our Lesson #4 was done was "Already?" Granted, we were tardy - but it was more b/c I was thoroughly enjoying myself. What a difference a refreshed (or fresher) FH made!

We started off a little rough. I mean the blank look on FH's face was priceless. He couldn't remember a thing... so I tried to lead him with what I remembered of the beginning of the dance... well I also forgot a big part - the TWIRL! I love the twirl. We got started and it was a little bit of staggering and trying to figure what we were doing... I mean, it felt really bad at first - like we just weren't melding well.

Well Deborah, our awesome instructor (whom I love even more every time I see her) from The Wedding Dance Specialists, broke it down for me... she grabbed me and said "Let me dance with you!" It was not more than 10 seconds before she diagnosed a big part of the issue... I was not in the right position nor was I firm and providing any resistance. This does not prove helpful to FH who needs to lead me, but if i can't sense his next move b/c i'm not providing the proper resistance to, it won't matter how much he tries. A very helpful suggestion was to try dancing with my eyes closed b/c this would MAKE me reliant on FH.

Oh, did i mention? I took my fabulous Wedding shoes with me? yup, my gorgeous 4.5 inch stilettos... yea, I made it through, but started to feel pressure obviously - my main concern - b/c they weren't tied to my feet - the possibility of them slipping off. But the height also helped FH get used to how tall I'd be the day of and i think it helped him hold his position b/c he didn't feel like he was bending over to me... (and that was in my 2-3 inch shoes LOL).

The best part was figuring out the dip... I mean, we don't have to dip - but i want a dip... and twirl and all that romantic fun stuff. Keep in mind, the high school was difficult just weeks ago for FH - so i wondered to myself, was I asking too much? Well, Deborah had FH dip her but as they landed the dip, she quickly realized that she forgot to instruct him on the proper way to get up... so they stayed that way for at least 30 seconds ... just kinda stuck with me giggling on the sidelines. Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

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?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tips for Getting the Most out of a Bridal Show

A bridal show is a rite of passage for the bride and groom. It is exciting and fun and romantic to be in the same room with so many other engaged couples. It is awe-inspiring to realize all the wonderful options and fabulously creative vendors available at your finger tips to custom make the wedding of your dreams. On the down side a bridal show can also feel intensely overwhelming. After all, bridal coordinators dedicate their entire livelihoods to planning weddings obviously it is not as easy as just saying, "I do." And the groom usually has no idea what he is getting into when he proposes...

So just indulge yourselves in the creative process of designing your most sacred day together and don't expect to walk away from the show with signed contracts or concrete decisions. A show is a place where you luxuriate in brainstorming and fantasizing, have your questions answered and make follow up appointments with vendors to discuss your wedding in more depth. Wedding planning is a process that takes place over a significant period of time so there's no pressure to make all your decisions at the show. And remember there are professionals to guide you and if you really feel overwhelmed there's always a wedding coordinator! Here are some helpful hints to get the most out of your bridal show experience:

  1. Pre-register for the show for discount tickets.
  2. Contact a participating vendor ahead of time and ask if they have complimentary tickets.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes.
  4. Come prepared with peel off labels with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and wedding date printed on them to enter the various giveaways and promotions.
  5. Rent a PO Box if you prefer not to divulge your home address.
  6. Use a specially designated "wedding email" account
  7. Sign up for all the discounts and prizes.
  8. Bring someone with you to share the fun and to help you not feel too overwhelmed. If your family will be involved in any aspect they should really come along so they can get a full appreciation of the complexity of wedding planning.
  9. Make sure all members of your entourage have cell phones with them in case you get split up.
  10. Bring swatches of material or ribbons with your wedding colors on them.
  11. Skip the fashion show if you already have your gown and visit vendor's booths during that period. 
  12. Bring a drink and snacks with you.  Why waste time and money standing in line for concession food?
  13. When filling out forms make sure to print VERY clearly.
  14. Avoid bringing children to the show if possible.
  15. Take as much literature as you can from everyone. You might not think you need information on a certain type of vendor, but leave yourself the option of changing your mind as your creative ideas flow during the wedding planning process.
  16. Bring your date book with you so you can schedule your appointments for follow up.
  17. Ask lots of questions.
  18. If you want to be guaranteed a free bridal magazine pick it up early!
  19. Take notes on your conversations to help your differentiate among the vendors
  20. Wear a back pack or bring a large bag to carry all the materials. 
  21. Take a video camera or regular camera to capture ideas and help you remember vendors.
  22. Don't purchase anything under pressure. If a special show discount is being offered negotiate a 24 hour grace period for you to do your research.
  23. Avoid unscrupulous people who approach you in the aisles, outside the venue or put flyers on your windshield. They are not affiliated with the show and their professionalism is questionable.
  24. Plan to spend 3-4 hours at the show.

See you there!