Derek Hough Reveals He Doesn't Want a 'First Dance' at His Wedding: 'I Just Want to Be in the Moment'

The former Dancing with the Stars pro said he's not planning an elaborate first dance at his upcoming wedding to fellow dancer Hayley Erbert

Derek Hough Is Engaged to Longtime Girlfriend Hayley Erbert
Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert. Photo: Anée Atelier

Derek Hough may be a pro dancer, but that doesn't mean he wants to perform on his wedding day.

The former Dancing with the Stars pro, 37, told Entertainment Tonight that he'd be happy to skip out on doing a first dance with his soon-to-be bride Hayley Erbert at their upcoming nuptials.

"I kind of wish we didn't need to do a first dance," Hough shared. "Because I just want to, like, be in the moment."

Hough added that despite his preference, ultimately, he and Erbert, 28, will follow tradition — but it won't be anything like fans have seen on DWTS.

"We will have a first dance," he said. "But I want to try to make it feel not like a performance. I want it to be a [real] first dance, you know what I mean?"

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert attend the 2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles, California
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Hough, who announced that he popped the question to Erbert in June 2022 after seven years together, previously spoke about his first dance on The Jennifer Hudson Show, admitting that he wanted a memorable moment on the dance floor.

"We need to do something special, spectacular, you know subtle," he told host Jennifer Hudson. "Maybe come in from the roof, I don't know."

Hough also admitted the pair planned to relax during their wedding. "At first, you know we dance a lot, I think it might be time for other people to perform for us, right? I'm like, 'Hey, you dance for us. No, you dance.' We're gonna sit back," he joked.

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert
Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert. Steven Simione/Getty Images

In June, Hough told PEOPLE that he was enlisting performers for their big day.

"I'm not going to name names right now, but I've already asked a few people to perform at the wedding and they've already committed," Hough said at the 4th Annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards. "So it's going to be a full-on festival — I'm very excited about it."

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The duo also opened up about the moment they knew they were destined to be husband and wife.

"There's a good expression, 'We all have many different relationships in our lives. It's just whether or not you want that with different people or the same person' and I feel like her and I have had many different versions of our relationship," Hough shared. "And a couple years ago there was a moment where we just stepped into a new version of our relationship which was a relationship where we could see ourselves being together forever."

Added Erbert: "Honestly, quarantine was very telling for the two of us. It was the moment that we became really good friends, we became honestly the best of friends. We had so much fun together. We had our highs and lows, the highest of highs and lowest of lows, but it was really during quarantine, if I can spend every second of every day with this guy and still love him so deeply, it's like, 'Okay yes, I can spend the rest of my life with him and be so happy.' We grew way stronger after that."

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