How to dance in a mermaid wedding dress

Here's How Your Wedding Dress Style Affects Your First Dance

Bride & Bridesmaids

Dance instructors from across the country have chimed in with the ins-and-outs of how the style of your wedding dress affects your first dance.

Jaimie Mackey

Barr Entertainment

Barr Entertainment

Whether you and your partner are prepping for your first dance with lessons and choreography, are going to improvise a few spins and a dip, or will be sticking with the high school sway, those few moments in the spotlight are highly anticipated—or dreaded! One thing you and your S.O. may not be considering as you’re choosing that perfect love song, though, is how your choice of wedding dress could impact your dance moves. But think about it: You’ll be wearing a fancy dress that might cling to your curves, pouf into a cloud of tulle, or fall somewhere in between—all of which will impact the way you walk, sit, and yes, dance on your wedding day.

If your dress is sleek and fitted…

“A skirt that hugs your body will restrict your movements, especially if it’s tight around the knees,” says Elaine Hewlett, owner of Vow to Dance in Dallas, Texas. “If it’s hard to walk in, it will be even harder to dance in!” For a bride who is dreaming of a more elaborate first dance, a trumpet or fit-and-flare silhouette will be a bit more forgiving than a mermaid, as these skirts flare out around mid-thigh instead of at the knees or lower.

“Most dances work well in a mermaid gown - you just won’t be able to take big steps,” says Elizabeth Marberry, owner of Wedding Dance Coach in Denver, Colorado. “You can still do a waltz or foxtrot, but will need to practice taking smaller steps (hip-width or narrower!), and should make sure your partner knows you won’t be traveling quite so far.” Upbeat styles, such as salsa, swing, or even a hip-hop routine are definitely still possible, as long as you’re practicing with more limited movement. As a bonus, a fitted dress is great for simple lifts because there isn’t as much material for your partner to get caught in!

If your dress is an A-line…

“I love an A-Line because you can still get nice and close to your partner while dancing, without the skirt affecting your choreography,” says Hewlett. “Just be sure you have a secure bustle that will get the train out of the way. At your fittings, make sure you can take steps in all directions without tripping - including backwards!”

Adds Marberry, “An A-Line skirt is a really carefree choice to dance in, and works with just about every dance style. Your restrictions will only come in if your dress has a fitted sleeve that will prevent you from lifting your arms.”

If your dress has a full, ball gown skirt…

“If you’re dreaming of a real Cinderella moment, look for a ball gown that’s made with layers of a softer material that gives you lots of volume but allows your partner to get close to you,” Hewlett advises. “Your partner may need to adjust to the feeling of so much fabric against their legs, but this full skirt gives you plenty of room for dancing.” In fact, Hewlett loves when brides choose big ball gowns because of the amount of drama they create when you twirl across the dance floor!

“I always remind the leading partner that there is a chance they might step on a full skirt, so they should be aware of their own steps as much as you should be aware of yours,” says Marberry. But one of her favorite things about a ball gown is that such a full skirt will hide your feet—making this the ideal time to change out of stilettos into wedges (or even sneakers!) so you can really dance your heart out. “A full skirt also means you may not be able to get so close to your partner, so a more traditional dance frame (think the upright posture of a traditional waltz) works better than a close and cozy high school sway.”

More Tips and Tricks

Gabriela Sousa Events

Talk to your dance instructor about your dress.

“As you’re choosing a song and a style of dance, take your instructor aside and describe your dress’s skirt so you can make sure the final choreography will work with what you’ll be wearing,” says Hewlett. “That way you can still keep your dress a secret from your partner, while still knowing it will be comfortable during your first dance.”

Remember your sleeves.

“If your dress has sleeves, practice lifting your arms during your fittings to test out which arm placement will and won’t work,” says Hewlett. This is great advice whether you’re choreographing a dance or are just ready to get down on the dance floor!

Wear a dress to your lessons.

“Even a simple sundress will feel different than dancing in jeans, and will be closer to how you’ll feel on your wedding day,” says Marberry. “If possible, though, wear a dress with a similar silhouette to your wedding dress.”

Practice at your final fitting.  

“This may be the last time you put your dress on before your wedding day, so take a few moments to practice your steps around the fitting room,” Marberry recommends. 

Slide, don’t step.

“For a dress with a tulle petticoat, slide your feet while dancing instead of taking steps,” Hewlett recommends. “A heel can easily get caught in tulle, which could tear or cause you to trip. If you can keep your heels on the ground, you’ll avoid any snags!” This is an easy one to practice during dance lessons, even if you’re not in a dress, so you can get a feel for the movement.

Put on a petticoat…

Most dance schools have petticoats that you can slip on over your jeans to mimic the shape of your wedding dress’s skirt, allowing you to get a feel for any restrictions without ruining the surprise of the dress you’ve chosen. “If you can walk in your dress, you can dance in it!” says Donatas Nacajus of Ballroom Boutique Dance Company in New York City. “Of course, the type of skirt will impact how it feels to dance, so we love to use petticoats during rehearsals to mimic the dress.” He likes that the petticoat is helpful for the bride, but also gives the leader a feeling of the skirt around their feet, as well. 

…or book a private lesson.

 “Another thing we highly recommend is to bring the actual wedding dress to the studio and dance at least once in it, without your partner present,” says Nacajus. “You’ll practice with just your instructor, and will be able to work out any issues that your particular dress might present.”

Grooms: Button those jackets!

“Many men think they should take off their jackets or leave them open for the dance, but it looks so much better if they have their full suit on, with the top button buttoned,” says Hewlett. If you leave your jacket open you’ll look like you have wings or are wearing a cape, and removing your jacket can be too casual for such a memorable moment.  

Step away from cocktail hour to rehearse.

“Once your partner has seen your dress at the ceremony or during your first look, sneak away for a few minutes to run through your routine in your full formal attire, focusing on any lifts, turns or dips that might feel different than they did at your dance lessons,” says Marberry. Hewlett agrees, emphasizing how nice it is to get to test your dance out in your actual venue. “It will help you feel much more comfortable in the space, and is also a great private moment to share!”

Go for a second dress!

“If it is within your budget, change into a reception dress that’s shorter or has a more forgiving skirt that’s easier to dance in,” Nacajus recommends. Without any superstitions surrounding a second dress, you could even wear this one to rehearsals with your partner to really get a feel for each move!

How to Dance Like A Pro If You Are Wearing Mermaid Wedding Dress?

Everything that sees the light of day at your wedding should be fun and about you. Your first wedding dance is no exception. Although many brides-to-be dread it, you don’t have to. See, the hard thing about a wedding is… getting married. It’s a hard thing to stand up at the altar and making your vows in front of hundreds of people. Harder will be being married and creating a life-long, thriving marriage. But dancing? Dancing shouldn’t be hard. Dancing should be fun, even if you’re wearing a dress that hugs all your curves and is infamous for restricting too much movement – a lace mermaid wedding dress!

So, how can you make your first dance fun? Just so we’re clear, we’re talking “Monica and Ross doing the routine” type of fun, not “Chandler Bing dancing to just about anything” type of fun. Well, here are four tips that will help you let your inner Fred and Ginger out and have a good time, even if you’re wearing a mermaid or a trumpet wedding dress.

Style: #LD5058, Image Credit: Jordan Elizabeth Photography

Table of Contents

1. Pick a wedding song that’s really meaningful to you

The first rule of dancing like a pro is to choose a song that you want to dance to. A song that you’re familiar with, ideally one of your most played, would be perfect. Also, no matter how hardcore a metal fan you are, no loud head-banging pieces, please. You want to show everyone how much you love your fiancé with the song you choose, so pick a melodious love song with lyrics that speak to you and your significant other directly; a song that won’t look out of place in a wedding.

2. Practice

This one’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? If you want to dance like a pro, you have to dedicate your hours to it. You can’t assume that you’ll magically figure out the science behind dancing without ever having done it before with a YouTube dance tutorial. Although we kind of wish that could happen. Of course, if you’ve never danced together before and neither of you know how to dance, you’ll need some kind of instruction.

So, find someone who can teach you how to dance. This could be your friend, grandparents or even your next door neighbor. Don’t really know anyone who has good rhythm? Or maybe you want to surprise your guests with the dance, hmmm? Well, in that case, sign up at the local studio for a couple one-on-ones instead. Take some friends with you and make them support you. (What are friends for anyway?) And then once you’ve had some lessons, practice dancing in your mermaid wedding gown. Every time something fun is on the radio/sound system/whatever you’re calling it, sweep your fiancé into your arms and waltz through the apartment. Stare into one another’s arms, laugh with joy. And suddenly, you won’t just be dancing, you’ll be making love…ly memories!

Style: #LD3906, Image Credit: Kailee Elizabeth Photography

3. Dress appropriately

No, we’re not going to talk you out of your mermaid wedding dress. We’re talking about your footwear. Dancing – whether you’re doing the soft ‘sway’ or fast-paced ‘salsa’ – can get really uncomfortable really fast if you’re wearing the wrong shoes. So, maybe ditch the high heels and slip into a pair of comfortable flats before hitting the dance floor.

4. Don’t sweat it

It doesn’t really matter if all you can do is rock back and forth and pump your arms up and down or you’ve just won a national dance tournament, your wedding dance is still all about how much you love your soon to be partner for life. It’s about gazing into one another’s eyes and being transfixed not only by how much you love your significant other, but also by how much love is shining back at you. There are no judges and no dance trophy here girls. So, just let it go and have fun. Dance to express, not to impress.

Style: #CWLT14036, Image Credit: Ashley Meagan Photography

What’s the takeaway?

Give your relationship the chance it deserves to succeed wildly, against all odds! After all, you deserve it. Your relationship deserves it! So, go for it! Have fun! Turn up the music and dance your way through your wedding planning, your wedding day and your marriage! It’ll make things a lot more fun.

TAGS: Bridal GownCocomelodyFeatured categoryFeatured postlace mermaid wedding dressmermaid wedding dressWedding Dancewedding dressWedding First DanceWedding GownWedding Tips

who will suit mermaid wedding dresses NEVESTA.MOSCOW

In Andersen's fairy tale, the little mermaid fell in love with the prince and asked the witch for a potion to turn her tail into legs. The magic worked: the sea maiden came out onto land and was even able to dance. But her own feelings from walking were not pleasant. The mermaid dress also perfectly illustrates the saying about beauty, for which you have to make sacrifices. Today, the soul of the bridal salon of the same name and the fairy godmother of all brides will help all the little mermaids who have made it to land. Recall that the special project "Wedding Encyclopedia" weekly answers the most important questions of those who are going to get married.

Mermaids are not allowed!

This glamorous dress must match the style of the occasion. Its atmosphere is "French chic". If the wedding takes place in a palace or a chic restaurant, the “mermaid” will look harmonious there, but rustic or loft style weddings are not for him. It is also worth considering the mentality of your relatives and guests.

Wedding dress brand Rara Avis

Wedding dress brand Natalia Romanova

Brand wedding dress Crystal

Brand Wedding Dress Oksana Mukha 9000

From experience:

As a rule, problems arise in eastern girls. Almost all « mermaids » look very frankly: a deep neckline, tightly fits the hips, an open back. In this case, the atelier covers everything that is possible with lace elements: both the neckline and the back. But the bride still stops at the “mermaid” silhouette, because it looks very appetizing. And for oriental girls, as you know, everything is usually okay with figures: chest, waist, and hips.

Some people are ready to change not only the concept of the wedding, but also their figure for the sake of a dream dress. Often, this particular silhouette is chosen by girls who, just in time for the wedding, have lost a lot of weight and want to show everyone what they have achieved.

Striving for the ideal

Dresses of this style are beautiful and treacherous, like the depths of the sea. They fit the chest, waist and hips, so that they become lush only in the area of ​​​​the knees. Spectacular "mermaids" immediately attract the attention of girls looking through wedding catalogs, but in the fitting room they can be a cause of disappointment.

Wedding dress by Crystal brand

Wedding dress by brand Eva Lendel

Nevesta Moscow: Is it true that only girls with a perfect figure can wear a mermaid dress?

Mary Truffle: It's true. The main thing is to have a magnificent chest, a thin waist, hips and high growth, from 165 centimeters. If a girl is overweight in moderation (up to size 48), but she has a good figure with a pronounced waist, then a dress of this silhouette is also quite suitable. It happens that the bride comes for a different silhouette, but we see her perfect figure and offer " mermaid". When a girl understands how spectacular she looks, she is in a pleasant shock from her figure and chooses this particular silhouette!

When a bride wants to emphasize her figure, but the "mermaid" in the mirror is somehow embarrassing, you can find an alternative among straight dresses, possibly with a train. Models with side inserts made of lace or fabric of a different shade will visually slim.

Comfortable can not be spectacular

Wedding consultants have noticed that mermaid silhouette dresses are willingly taken to the fitting room, but then they are not taken. At the same time, the dress can sit well on the figure, only the girl suddenly realizes that she is not ready to sacrifice comfort so radically for beauty. "The Little Mermaid" makes the bride very feminine and attractive, but, like the witch from the fairy tale, she demands something in return. This style binds the legs almost to the knees: it is impossible to take a wide step in it, it is difficult to walk up the stairs and even sit down is not easy. Plus, such dresses are almost never without a train, which means that the “tail” will have to be supported by hand or pinned to a special button.

Those girls who buy a "little mermaid" usually take the second dress along with it. One for the solemn part with a photo session, the other for dancing and relaxation. Dressing up helps to produce a stunning effect on the guests, and not to fall down from fatigue. In the next issue of the "Wedding Encyclopedia" we will talk about another way to surprise guests and diversify your holiday - transforming wedding dresses.

All dresses presented in the material can be bought in the salon.

how to save a dress on your wedding day NEVESTA.


A magical day when a girl turns into a princess should not end overnight, like Cinderella with a pumpkin. The soul of the salon of the same name and the fairy godmother of all brides will teach you how to properly handle your fabulous dress so that it looks royal even after midnight. Recall that the "Wedding Encyclopedia" weekly deals with the most pressing issues of those who are preparing to get married.

What to do with the tail

Sometimes, to predict the future, it is not necessary to turn to witches. When a bride chooses a fishtail dress, it is safe to assume that during the dance she will feel like a little mermaid! And if a girl likes a dress with a magnificent silhouette or with a long train, such a style will oblige her to dance only royally majestic slow dances.

From experience :

If the bride chooses a dress that is not very comfortable - too lush or tight - we advise you to think about the second one. It is inconvenient to dance in "mermaids" and "princesses"! Usually such dresses are taken to the solemn part, for the sake of a photo. And then you can change into more comfortable clothes so that it is easy to dance.

In order to enjoy the holiday on your wedding day, and not return your thoughts to the dress, you need to think about your comfort in advance. Not later than a month before the wedding, the dress must be adjusted to the figure in the atelier, and if the bride is in position, then in a week or two.

Nora Naviano wedding dress

From experience:

Even when the bride chooses a dress, she should pay attention to make it comfortable. And then be sure to contact a qualified atelier so that the dress does not cause any discomfort. If the dress is not properly sewn, the bride will step on it, or it will be difficult for her to move.

Get off the ground

In order not to lose the shoe, and even step on your own hem, you need to step more carefully, not make sudden movements, but lift the dress. At the same time, a simple mantra will help you feel more confident: “I am the queen today.” Queens walk smoothly and majestically, even if yesterday they wore jeans and sneakers.

But every queen can have a revolutionary: the longer the train, the more likely it is to be stepped on! Of course, if pages are not assigned to the train, which protect it from encroachment.

Wedding dress of the brand Crystal Design

Wedding dress of the brand brand Crystal Design

Life hack from:

To do what to do with a train, it is better to offend in advance, so that they do not offend a passion for a passion for a passion stepped on him and ruined the mood. For example, you can sew on a button with an eyelet and pin up a train to a dress, and dissolve it only for a photo.

Butterfly wings

The life of a wedding dress is short and bright, like a one-day butterfly. The delicate, translucent wings of these moths flutter all day long in a courtship dance over water bodies until the dancers collapse in exhaustion. The fabric of a wedding dress can also be thin to the point of transparency, but it must definitely survive all the dances of this day with dignity.

From experience:

Of course, the safety of the dress depends on the quality. There was a case in another salon: the lace on the dress was not sewn, but glued. And during the wedding, in the summer, from the heat, this lace just began to fall off! But even if the dress was made by professionals, it is better to have a needle and thread with you in case of force majeure.

Not only activities are dangerous for a white dress. A significant part of the time the bride will spend in a dangerous neighborhood with salads and appetizers, and then it will be time to cut the wedding cake and pour champagne into a pyramid of glasses.

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