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Money | A Hot Issue

 

We have an entire wedding budget area to talk about the complexity of money. No matter what your money views, there is no "right or wrong." This very simple award-winning game is worth the emotional awareness you'll gain. A few big "a-ha" moments may greatly help in wedding planning. Learn more

We're Going to Be One Happy Family...Or Else!

 

A very unique book written by a nationally respected marriage and family therapist who has worked with couples and families for over 30 years. Learn why a mother bought 25 copies for EVERYONE in her family to get everyone on the same page during the most intense, public, family event. Learn more

Wedding Discounts for Marriage Prep

 

Engaged couples are by their nature extremely happy. But as you know, after the honeymoon, marriage is hard work. We offer many options for marriage prep at many price-points(and wedding discounts from vendors who want to help!) Encourage your adult child to visit our website.Learn more

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The First Dance

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Premarital educators: enter here for faq

 

Where did the name “The First Dance” come from?

 

What is the first dance wedding etiquette? Who dances with who?

 

Do you believe that weddings should be less expensive than they are nowadays, and do you have opinions about who should pay the wedding costs?

 

How important is etiquette in helping with problems around guest lists, budgeting, prioritizing costs, invitation wording , money in general?

 

Do you believe that weddings should be less expensive than they are nowadays, and do you have opinions about who should pay the wedding costs?

 

Where did the name “The First Dance” come from?

 

It has two meanings for us and then the origin of the first dance comes from a point in history. First is the image of the bride and groom coming together as a couple and being in new kinds of relationships with parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. The second meaning comes from family systems theory, the core set of ideas behind our program. Relationships are like complex dances, with people moving in synchrony together and apart. You can’t tell what is really going on only by looking closely at one dance partner; you have to step back and look at all the dancers and how they influence one another. We know that not all wedding traditions involve dancing, and do not mean to imply that wedding celebrations must have a “first dance.” It’s a metaphor, not a prescription.

 

The origin of the first dance is said to come from eastern European immigrants in America who danced at their weddings. As post World War 2 immigration slowed down and those immigrants grew into the middle class they brought the dance with them to the point of it becoming mainstream.

 

What is the first dance wedding etiquette? Who dances with who?

 

We talk about the basic etiquette and the complexity that arises when etiquette doesn't quite fit your family life in our The First Dance in Today's Complex Family

 

Do you believe that weddings should be less expensive than they are nowadays, and do you have opinions about who should pay the wedding costs?

 

We have no prescriptions for the type of wedding couples should have. Every couple is different and comes from different financial and family circumstances for their wedding budget. Our messages about money are twofold: make decisions based on your values and not what everyone else is doing with their wedding, and be completely clear about who is paying for what—and what influence comes with paying for something.

 

How important is etiquette in helping with problems around guest lists, budgeting, prioritizing costs, invitation wording , money in general?

 

Etiquette used to be a very important social mechanism to figure out all aspects of weddings. Weddings used to be much more simple and straightforward, and family structures were less complex. In today's world it is an "anything goes" culture, for better and worse. We feel etiquette, especially in standard Emily Post type etiquette books, barely reflects the world we live in today, let alone deals with the extreme pressures (socially and culturally) placed on engaged couples today who often come from families of divorce, remarriage, are paying their own way, etc. Our philosophy is a nuanced stance that walks people through what is underlying all aspects of wedding stressors: money, guest lists, etiquette debates, who to invite, budget, decision making. Only when you dig deeper will you begin to see the "dance" that is going on between the stakeholders of the day and only then can you come to a real sense of the problem and potential solutions.

 

Do you offer other wedding planning resources?


We focus exclusively on the people relationships of wedding planning. We are hoping couples Join Us and by registering express interest in vendor deals. We will then be able to email you, not distribute your email, with deals vendors are willing to pass along to our readers.

 

 

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Elizabeth Doherty Thomas, is a co-founder of The First Dance, along with Marriage and Family therapist father Bill Doherty. The First Dance is a 2007 Modern Bride Trendsetter award winner for taking on the complex family dynamics of wedding planning. See what engaged couples and wedding professionals are saying about our book Take Back Your wedding. Our entire website is dedicated to offering advice on working through the people stresses of wedding planning as a couple, with your families, and how to strengthen your upcoming marriage through this enormous first task of married life.