Weddings have truly come a long way, from staid, boring affairs to irreverent celebrations filled with dancing, dancing, and – did we mention lots of dancing? They had become fun for a while already, as more and more couples broke from tradition and did away with unnecessary rituals. But once weddings caught up with the age of viral videos, there was no turning back.
From the altar to the reception hall, no ground is consecrated enough to cement your vows a tad more creatively. With a little encouraging from several viral videos, couples have found the audacity to make their weddings stand out from the rest.
Here are those videos.
- “JK Wedding Entrance Dance”
History will divide weddings into before and after “JK Wedding Entrance Dance.” Before this YouTube video surfaced in 2009, wedding processionals were overwrought programs that sucked the fun out of organisers. All that changed with Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s wedding, whose processional was choreographed to, not some stiff traditional hymn, but the effervescent electropop sounds of Chris Brown’s “Forever.” With as yet 88 millions views, the clip was such a hit that “Forever” returned to the top of the charts a year after its release. Mr. Brown unfortunately screwed his resurgent fame with news of a physically battered Rihanna, leading Jill and Kevin to urge viewers to donate to a domestic abuse non-profit, the Sheila Wellstone Institute. While this video is not the first of its kind—some weddings down this list predated it by a few years—it is widely credited for catapulting the cheeky-wedding-dance into the mainstream. “JK Wedding Dance” has since become so ingrained in pop culture that its numerous parodies have become viral phenomena of their own. It has been sent up on, among others, The Office and United States of Tara, and by T-mobile in an ad for the 2011 Royal Wedding.
- “Wedding Dance First As A Couple FUNNY Baby Got Back”
First, the couple dances to a maudlin song. The music breaks up, and in comes the last song you would expect to hear at a first dance. You quickly realise, however, over the din of delighted guests, that the couple are in on the joke: They are busting some serious moves. For this particular wedding, the decoy was “Unchained Melody,” and the main event was Sir Mix-a-Lot’s 1992 hit “Baby Got Back.” Yes, the very song that Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” samples from. Nothing is too inappropriate though, and 17 million views can’t be wrong.
- Dirty Dancing UK – Julia and James First Dance
That Dirty Dancing, a romantic film celebrated for its soundtrack as much as its scenes, should find itself into a wedding is foregone conclusion. James and Julia Derbyshire are just one of many couples, dating all the way back to the 1980s, to try their hand (and feet) at the iconic “Time of My Life” choreography popularised by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. But the idea of doing it all on your wedding day struck a chord with YouTube viewers. The clip has become a blockbuster of its own, giving Julia the chance to dance with Patrick himself, in front of Oprah no less, much to the mock-jealousy of her husband.
- Surprise Wedding First Dance by Clay Family
For their 10th wedding anniversary, this couple opted for the first dance fake-out, something they must have sorely missed in their original first dance. They go through a medley that starts off unassumingly with “Endless Love” and then segues into C&C Music Factory and Soulja Boy, among others. As the icing on the wedding cake, their little ones make it a family affair.
- “Wedding Thriller Dance”
“Thriller” is not actually a song you would want playing at your wedding, not even your funeral. But with a flash mob performed like this, no one gives a fig. Michael Jackson himself gave this video his official stamp of approval.
- “The ORIGINAL YouTube Surprise Wedding Dance”
“We don’t know how to waltz. We don’t know how to poplock. But we do know how to have fun,” the video’s description says. That doesn’t make it any less endearing, however. Uploaded in July 2006 – the couple were wed a year before – the video may well be the mother of all viral ‘surprise’ wedding dances.
Don’t try too hard…
Fun as these videos are, you might come off as a try-hard if you attempt a wedding blitzkrieg of your own. If you feel like your dance moves will never be up to par or your comic timing is a bit off, then don’t feel pressured to jump on the bandwagon. In fact, surprise wedding dances have become so prevalent that the only way to be really surprised nowadays is to go back to basics. Just learn how to waltz, have a wedding band sing “Fade Into You,” and you’re good to go into the sunset.