How Many Lessons Do We Need?
This will depend on your vision for your first dance. Do you want to simply 'feel comfortable' moving and swaying together, or do you prefer to surprise your guests and really 'wow' them with your first dance? Beware of the instructor who tells what you need without listening to what you want!
Many studios and instructors have a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to wedding dances. Wedding dances tend to be fairly simple and most brides and grooms to be know little if anything about dancing, This can be a recipe for unnecessary expense and/or not getting what you want!
A good instructor will sit down with you and talk about your vision, listen to your song (or help you pick one) and then go through your options with you (be sure there are options!). Here's a simple guide to let you know if what you are being 'sold' is what you really need. This is only a guide and is based on private lessons with a reputable, quality ballroom dance instructor.
1-2 lessons: You will be able to move around the floor confidently. You MIGHT learn a turn or two, should have an entrance or exit. You probably won't learn an actual 'ballroom dance' like Rumba or Foxtrot.
5-6 lessons: You will be able to move around the floor confidently. You will learn the basics of the dance that best suits your song and possibly get simple choreography to help you feel comfortable with the new material.
10-12 lessons: Everything from above plus, you could learn the basics of a second dance to use throughout the reception or learn a more involved/complicated routine. You will have the time to perfect what you are learning and really feel comfortable.
15+ lessons: You will be the talk of the town. This is for people that envision multiple songs/dances, fun and outrageous setups, etc. This is also for perfectionists and those that know that they will need a lot of practice or a few extra lessons.
Remember that this is just a guide. After talking to you, and working with you for the first time, your instructor will be able to give you a much more accurate picture.