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Event Inspiration/Articles/Planning/Should You Have a Brother Sister Dance (The Experts Weigh In)

Should You Have a Brother Sister Dance (The Experts Weigh In)

Marta Block


A few years ago we started hearing of more and more brides and grooms looking for song choices for a "brother sister dance." We offered some suggestions. The trend kept growing and so, did the backlash.

Personally, I was never a big fan of the idea. I have nothing against brothers and sister dancing together, but a staged brother sister dance where everyone stops and watches the couple on the floor happen in one of two cases.

1) The bride or groom's mother or father is not present.
To me, having a brother-sister dance in this case is an example of following wedding traditions for the sake of following them. There's no rule that you have to have a father-daughter dance and if you don't, you have to replace it with something else. Now, I'll admit, I'm a little biased. My father wanted to dance with me at my wedding, but he is a lousy dancer and under no circumstances did he want to have a room full of people watch us dance. So, insteaed of a staged father-daughter dance, we just danced to a meaningful song during the regular dancing period.

2) The bride or groom wants to add a dance.
Again, I've got nothing against anyone dancing with anyone with whom they want to dance, but here's the thing, your guests do. They're too nice to tell you so, but the truth is by the time you have the first dance and the parent dances, the guests are kind of tired of watching you have all the fun. They'd like to get on with the party.

Don't just take my word for it. We asked some wedding experts what they thought of the idea: creepy, sweet, too much, perfect? Here's what they had to say.

Chris Easter, The Man Registry
Creepy? No. A potential waste of valuable reception time? Absolutely. I love the idea of the bride and groom dancing with their siblings, but I also think there's a more efficient way to do it instead of blocking off an entire song. Because brothers and sisters will most likely be in the wedding party, consider doing a bridesmaid and groomsmen dance that includes the siblings getting their moves on.

Sandy Malone, Wedding Planner and TV Personality
Often, when the father of the bride is not present at the wedding, a sibling will step in to take his place and dance with the bride. It’s lovely and emotional and makes for beautiful pictures. However, if you’re having a father/daughter dance, and a mother/son dance, having brother/sister dances too can be a bit much. How much time do you expect your guests to stand there watching  you dance? Why not just have a song that is dedicated to the siblings while everybody is dancing? And just to keep it from being weird, go with something fast and fun rather than a love song or emotional ballad. The time for tears was during the ceremony and toasts.

Kevin McHugh, All American DJ Services
I've only done one once in hundreds of weddings, it was awkward.

Regina Miranda, Scribble Dibble Face Painter
I think it all depends on the relationship between the siblings. My daughter is 23 and son is 17 and believe it or not they dance at home. My daughter tells my son that most women love to dance and so she teaches him how. In many different styles. Of course she wants him to look good while dancing with her at her wedding on day.

The overwhelming consensus among our DJs, Band Leaders and other wedding professionals was, whatever their personal opinions, if it was what the bride and groom wanted, they were in favor of it.

Photo Credit: Menning Photographic