20+ Emotional & Powerful First Dance Photos

The first dance at a wedding is a moment that is never forgotten. It’s a tradition that dates back to 17th century Europe when the host of an event would lead the very first dance of the evening. These days, the bride and groom usually share the first dance, often to a song the two of them have chosen specifically for that purpose. There are so many beautiful moments that unfold during the first dance because the emotions are high and all eyes are on the couple. Hopefully, these first dance photos will give you some inspiration and ideas on how you want your first dance to be photographed and remembered for years to come!

We’ll break down the first dance photos into the following categories:

Emotional First Dance Photos

The first time the couple appears in front of their wedding party as husband and wife, it can be an emotional moment that they share – so there are plenty of opportunities to take first dance photos which are both emotional and powerful.  Special moments can occur in the middle of a first dance where the couples catch each others’ eye, sheds a small tear, or squeezes their partner’s hand a little tighter. Let’s take a look at some examples below:

emotional wedding first dance jason vinson

Image by Jason Vinson

emotional first dance chad winstead

Image by Chad Winstead

first dance emotional wedding photos

Image by Jason Vinson

first dance wedding

Image by Party of Two Photography

jos tree photographers

Image by Jos & Tree

intimate wedding first dance

Image by Jason Vinson

Related: 40+ Incredible Wedding Veil Photos

Creative First Dance Photos

With all eyes on the couple, you’re bound to see some great reactions and elements during a wedding first dance. Some couples choose to add fog or sparklers during their first dance to create a unique and eye-catching photo opp. Another creative technique is to shoot through decor to provide the context for the wedding reception. It’s so important to discuss details like reception lighting and decor for your photographers and videographers to have a better understanding of what your reception will look like. Here are a few of our favorite examples of this technique:

creative wedding first dance elizabeth lloyd

Image by Elizabeth Lloyd

fog first dance

Image by Chad Winstead

platte river fort wedding jared gant photography

Image by Jared Gant

reception dance wedding

Image by Jason Vinson

rain wedding photos

Image by Rey Benasfre

wedding reception couples photo

Image by Scott Josuweit

reception first dance lyndah wells

Image by Lyndah Wells

reception dance timothy

Image by Timothy Eyrich

creative wedding photography dance jason vinson

Image by Jason Vinson

wedding reception dance fog

Image by Scott Josuweit

Action-Packed First Dances

We discussed above how emotional first dance photos can be however it’s important to remember that they can also be entertaining! Couples sometimes practice for months to perfect the lifts, dips and turns in their first dance choreography. Make sure you notify your photographers and videographers of any fun surprises you have planned for your first dance so they can capture the perfect moment!

wedding first dance

Image by Lyndah Wells

estes park resort wedding jared gant photography

Image by Jared Gant

scott josuweit

Image by Scott Josuweit

wedding reception dave shay

Image by Dave Shay

boettcher mansion jared gant photography

Image by Jared Gant

ritz carlton bacara wedding lin and jirsa photography

Image by Lin and Jirsa


We hope this roundup of our favorite first dance photos gives you some much-needed inspiration for your very own first dance! Remember that when you look back at these photos, you’ll be whisked directly back to this moment! Wedding first dances are some of the most memorable moments from a wedding, make it count with special touches and heartfelt emotion.

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